Inspired by the classic sandwich recipe, you need just 7 ingredients and 20 minutes to add this easy BLT Pasta Salad to your potluck menu. Try it for brown bag lunches and picnics, too.

A bowl of BLT Pasta salad.
Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. BLT Pasta Salad Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for BLT pasta salad.

Ingredient notes

  • Bowtie pasta: If desired, swap in another sturdy small- or medium-cut noodle like cavatappi, rotini, orecchiette, malfalda, or radiatore.
  • Ranch dressing: Use a cup from a bottle of store-bought salad dressing or make your own homemade ranch dressing by whisking together ½ cup buttermilk, ½ cup mayonnaise, 6 tablespoons sour cream, 1 tablespoon minced red onion, 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill, 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, a pinch of sugar, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). For Bacon-Ranch Dressing, mix in 2 tablespoons of chopped cooked bacon.
  • Cooked bacon: For the crispiest results, I suggest baking it on a wire rack-topped sheet pan in the oven (400 degrees for 10-15 minutes). Alternatively, you can fry bacon in a skillet on the stovetop.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Bring 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse pasta under cold water until cool. Shake out any excess water.
A colander filled with cooked bow tie pasta.
  1. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together ranch dressing, mayonnaise, and red wine vinegar. In a large bowl, toss together pasta, tomatoes, bacon and lettuce. Stir in mayonnaise dressing until thoroughly combined.
A bowl of BLT Pasta salad.
  1. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning. If you don’t season with sufficiently, this dish might taste bland.
A bowl of BLT Pasta salad.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 8 (1-cup) servings (2 quarts total).
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: The dressing can be made the day before and stored covered in the refrigerator. The pasta can be cooked, drained, rinsed, and cooled up to 1 day in advance. The vegetables can be prepped 1 day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
  • Pasta rinsing: It’s important to rinse noodles for pasta salad to ensure they don’t get gummy or stick together when serving chilled or at room temperature. You’ll also see this rinsing technique used in my Italian Pasta Salad, Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad, California Pasta Salad, and Easy Cold Pasta Salad.
  • More mix-ins: Get creative with diced cucumbers, cubes of cheese, diced avocado, or your favorite fresh herbs (fresh dill or chives would be amazing here).
A bowl of BLT Pasta salad.

Ranch Dressing

This made-from-scratch Ranch Dressing is thick, creamy, and packed with fresh herbs, just the way you and your vegetables want it. It’s perfect for dipping, dressing, and tossing! Homemade Ranch is really easy to make.…

5 minutes
View Recipe

More picnic-ready recipes

A bowl of BLT Pasta salad.

BLT Pasta Salad

Inspired by the classic sandwich recipe, you need just 7 ingredients and 20 minutes to add this easy BLT Pasta Salad to your potluck menu. Try it for brown bag lunches and picnics, too.
5 from 18 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 8 (1-cup) servings
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Calories 617

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound bowtie pasta (see note 1)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup ranch dressing (see note 2)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved, about 7 ounces
  • 4 ounces cooked bacon crumbled (see note 3)
  • 1 heart romaine lettuce chopped

Instructions 

  • Bring 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse pasta under cold water until cool. Shake out any excess water.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together ranch dressing, mayonnaise, and red wine vinegar.
  • In a large bowl, toss together pasta, tomatoes, bacon and lettuce. Stir in dressing until thoroughly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning. If you don't season with sufficiently, this dish might taste bland.

Notes

  1. Bowtie pasta: If desired, swap in another sturdy small- or medium-cut noodle like cavatappi, rotini, orecchiette, malfalda, or radiatore.
  2. Ranch dressing: Use a cup from a bottle of store-bought salad dressing or make your own homemade ranch dressing by whisking together ½ cup buttermilk, ½ cup mayonnaise, 6 tablespoons sour cream, 1 tablespoon minced red onion, 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill, 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, a pinch of sugar, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). For Bacon-Ranch Dressing, mix in 2 tablespoons of chopped cooked bacon.
  3. Cooked bacon: For the crispiest results, I suggest baking it on a wire rack-topped sheet pan in the oven (400 degrees for 10-15 minutes). Alternatively, you can fry bacon in a skillet on the stovetop.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes 8 (1-cup) servings (2 quarts total).
  5. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  6. Make ahead: The dressing can be made the day before and stored covered in the refrigerator. The pasta can be cooked, drained, rinsed, and cooled up to 1 day in advance. The vegetables can be prepped 1 day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
  7. Pasta rinsing: It’s important to rinse noodles for pasta salad to ensure they don’t get gummy or stick together when serving chilled or at room temperature. You’ll also see this rinsing technique used in my Italian Pasta Salad, Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad, California Pasta Salad, and Easy Cold Pasta Salad.
  8. More mix-ins: Get creative with diced cucumbers, cubes of cheese, diced avocado, or your favorite fresh herbs (fresh dill or chives would be amazing here).

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 617kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 13gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 22gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 754mgPotassium: 269mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 201IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 1mg
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Comments

  1. Love it! I was able to make it vegan by using veganaise, soy bacon bits, and to give it added protein, chickpea noodles. My non-vegan family members loved it too!5 stars

    1. Hi Lori, if you go to the home page you should see LOADS of current posts. I publish new posts 3x-5x per week. Just go to http://www.culinaryhill.com and you’ll see what I mean. I put up 5 new posts, just this week. Sorry for the confusion!

  2. Oh wow this looks fabulous!! I’m always looking for new takes on classics, and this sounds perfect. My husband would just love it! Thanks!!!5 stars

  3. Magnificent web site. Lots of useful info here.

    I’m sending it to several friends ans additionally sharing in delicious.
    And obviously, thank you on your effort!

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