This fresh BLT pasta salad is loaded with smoky chunks of bacon, crisp romaine lettuce, and tart cherry tomatoes in a creamy red wine vinegar dressing.
This is a great summer pasta salad recipe, particularly as garden tomatoes are beginning to ripen. My recipe calls for cherry tomatoes, for reasons which are discussed below, but feel free to substitute garden fresh tomatoes when they become available.
BLT Pasta Salad
As the name implies, this is a bacon, lettuce, and tomato pasta salad. I recommend using cherry tomatoes for this recipe, as they are typically the freshest tasting tomatoes you can reliably purchase from grocery stores. Most larger tomatoes are picked green and artificially ripened on the way to the grocer, which dramatically stunts their flavor.
I particularly like using romaine lettuce for this pasta salad. Romaine is one of the crunchiest varieties of lettuce you can purchase, so it adds to the overall texture of this dish far better than a softer lettuce would, such as green leaf, for example.
I also like adding thinly sliced red onions, for both the flavor and texture they provide. Be sure to slice them thinly though, overly thick cuts of red onion can quickly overpower the flavor of the dish.
Pasta Salad Dressing
This pasta salad is dressed with a mixture of mayo, red wine vinegar, and a generous dose of fresh ground black pepper. The bright flavor of vinegar accents the smoky bacon and ground pepper nicely. If you can't get enough of the red wine vinegar flavor, add a couple of dribbles to the pasta salad just prior to serving to really make it pop!
Can BLT Pasta Salad Be Made In Advance?
Not only can this BLT pasta salad be made in advance, but the flavors of it are best when everything is allowed to meld in the refrigerator overnight. The smoky bacon flavor really infuses each bite.
Admittedly the bacon and lettuce will soften slightly, from soaking up the liquid of the dressing overnight, but this is a very minor issue. The texture is still good overall. For maximum crispness, you can wait to add the lettuce right before serving if you wish.
Bacon Lettuce and Tomato
If you cannot get enough of BLTs, check out my BLT wraps. The secret sauce is what inspired the dressing for this pasta salad. Also, if you are craving the best, real deal, BLT you've ever eaten, try my Gourmet BLT.
BLT Pasta Salad
- 12 oz rotini pasta
- 1 pound thick cut bacon (cut into 1" pieces)
- 1 cup mayo
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups romain lettuce
- 1/2 red onion (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 pinch salt
- Boil noodles according to package instructions, drain and rinse under cold water to cool.
- While noodles are boiling cook bacon in a skillet until crispy.
- Prepare the dressing by mixing together mayo and red wine vinegar.
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix to combine.
- Serve immediately, or store sealed in the refrigerator overnight.
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