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Your favorite sandwich, the BLT, is here in pasta salad form. Bacon, lettuce, and tomato are tossed in a creamy ranch dressing with rotini pasta to make this flavorful BLT Pasta Salad. Perfect for your next picnic or barbecue.
Summer is here, and that means it’s time for picnics, barbecues, and outdoor parties. What side dish do you bring along with you? How about a BLT pasta salad.
This pasta salad is loaded with flavor from bacon, onions, tomatoes, and a creamy homemade ranch dressing. A fun twist on the Classic Pasta Salad, it will be the fan favorite at your next event. Who doesn’t love bacon?
Homemade Ranch Dressing
For this recipe, I whipped up a homemade ranch dressing, which is easy if you have your own Ranch Seasoning on hand. If not, grab a pack of ranch seasoning from the store for this recipe.
I much prefer the flavor of a homemade ranch dressing – it’s tangy and fresh with a distinct dill flavor. Plus, it’s so easy to make. For this recipe, I simply used equal parts mayonnaise and buttermilk, then added my desired amount of ranch seasoning.
If you’re using a different ranch seasoning than my homemade recipe, I’d suggest taste testing your dressing and adding more seasoning as needed to achieve the perfect taste for you.
You’re also welcome to substitute the mayonnaise, buttermilk, and ranch seasoning with your favorite bottled ranch dressing if you prefer.
Same Day Pasta Salad
This BLT pasta salad is best served the same day its made. I know, I love prepping ahead as much as possible, but this salad has a few delicate ingredients that will wilt overnight in the refrigerator.
The lettuce will wilt overnight sitting in the dressing. This is why I do not suggest preparing the full salad until the day of serving.
No worries! If you need to make this pasta salad ahead of time, here are a few tips. First, I’d combine your pasta, tomatoes, onions, and bacon in a large bowl, then cover and refrigerate. Your bacon will likely lose some crispiness when refrigerating overnight, but it will still taste just as good.
In a separate bowl or container, store your chopped lettuce. In a third container, store your dressing. Combine all three containers within a few hours of serving.
Your salad will keep for several hours in the refrigerator, so it can be made the morning before an event.
I also suggest using a sturdy, crisp lettuce for this recipe, since it’s likely to sit in dressing for several hours. I used romaine lettuce, but iceberg lettuce is another good choice. Anything delicate like arugula or spinach is not recommended (while I love both, they don’t work in this recipe).
BLT Pasta Salad
- 12 ounces rotini pasta cooked to al dente, drained and cooled
- 1 pound bacon cooked and crumbled
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 small red onion diced
- 3 cups romaine lettuce chopped
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise *
- 2/3 cup buttermilk *
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ranch seasoning *
- In a large bowl, add cooked and cooled rotini pasta, crumbled bacon pieces, cherry tomatoes, onion, and romaine lettuce. Toss to combine and set aside.
- In a small bowl, add mayonnaise and buttermilk. Add ranch seasoning and whisk until smooth.
- Pour dressing over pasta and stir until evenly coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Salad is best enjoyed the same day.