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Creamy Bacon Tomato Pasta Salad

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Love BLTs? You’ll love this Creamy Bacon Tomato Pasta Salad with the flavors of the classic BLT. It’s a perfect salad for summertime entertaining or as an easy weeknight dish. It takes no time at all to make this delicious salad!

creamy bacon tomato pasta salad image with text overlay

Not long ago we visited a large farmer’s market in Cordele, Georgia, and came home with the most delicious juicy tomatoes, many other vegetables, and other goodies. My husband said those tomatoes would be great with some bacon and lettuce. Right there I fell in love with him all over again. I mean he read my mind!

This past week, I craved those same flavors from the classic BLT sandwich but I also wanted pasta salad. What’s a girl to do? I could either ignore the craving, give in to one of those options, or just find the bag of chocolate hidden in the freezer (that was another craving I was having). Considering those options, I went with making this tasty Bacon Tomato Pasta Salad. The perfect blend of both cravings.

image of serving bowl with creamy bacon tomato macaroni salad on a marble countertop

Table of Contents

pasta salad with flavors of the classic BLT in clear glass serving bowl
This is an easy pasta salad recipe that comes together fast.

Creamy Bacon Tomato Pasta Salad

The best thing about pasta salads is that you can use what you like, which makes it easy to use vegetables or foods that are in the refrigerator. This bacon tomato salad is sort of like that to a point. By that I mean, you have to have crispy bacon, tomatoes, and pasta. I added cheese because we love cheese on everything. The peas I had just enough in a bag in the freezer so I wanted to use them up. Plus, they gave the salad a bit of color pop!

This recipe is super simple. Cook the pasta, mix the dressing ingredients, chop the vegetables, and cook the bacon. Combine in a bowl and chill. Easy.

The hard part is waiting for dinner to eat it! This salad is a perfect side to bring to any of your summer cookouts, picnics, and so many more events. You can add chicken to this BLT salad and you’ll have a main dish meal!

overhead shot of BLT pasta salad on marble counter
Creamy pasta salads are just the thing to make in the summer!

Do I Need to use Rotini Pasta?

No, you don’t need to use rotini pasta. Any short pasta like penne, farfalle, or bow tie pasta works well. I’ve even used elbow noodles in this recipe. Gluten-free pasta is great to use, too. I do find that the rotini pasta with its corkscrew shape holds all of that creamy ranch dressing better. Whatever pasta you choose to use, be sure to drain it well after cooking according to package directions, and chill it before adding the dressing and the other ingredients. Hot pasta isn’t good for a mayo-based dressing.

What Type of Bacon is Best?

Any type of thick-cut bacon works great in this recipe. I’ve used both pork bacon and turkey bacon. Also, here’s a great tip if you don’t have bacon in the house. I like to keep a bag of real bacon pieces in the pantry. You can find it in the salad dressing aisle in the grocery stores. It saves cooking time and all of that grease. The precooked chopped pieces work wonderfully in this salad. I would steer clear of imitation bacon bits. That’s just my personal opinion.

Do you have to use Grape Tomatoes?

No, you do not have to use grape tomatoes. I like them because they’re small and I just have to half of them to use. You can use cherry or even chop an on-the-vine tomato to use. Whatever you have!

I don’t like Peas, what can I replace them with?

I hear you loud and clear! I’m not a true fan of them either, but the little green balls tasted delicious in this salad. However, you can use fresh lettuce, spinach, or even arugula.

How Long Does Bacon Tomato Pasta Salad Last?

Pasta salads in an airtight container will last about a week in the refrigerator. If the salad is mayonnaise-based, you may need to add a bit more to make it creamy again.

close up of delicious creamy ranch bacon tomato pasta salad
Such a perfect side dish!

Ingredients and Equipment

  • 12 ounces rotini pasta cooked and chilled
  • ⅔ cup mayonnaise
  • ⅔ cup sour cream
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 package dry ranch dip mix
  • 6 slices of bacon cooked and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, diced (or whatever cheese you like)
ingredients for blt macaroni salad

How to Make This Creamy Bacon Tomato Pasta Salad

Step 1

First, make the creamy dressing. In a large mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, and dry ranch packet ingredients.

adding milk to the dressing mixture in large bowl
Making the pasta salad dressing.

Step 2

Add all of the remaining ingredients to the dressing mixture in the large bowl. Toss gently to combine.

adding the remaining ingredients to the bacon tomato pasta salad

Step 3

Cover bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. You can make this salad ahead of time. I often make it the night before or in the morning.

bacon tomato pasta salad in glass serving bowl with wooden spoon
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

Tips, Tricks, and FAQs

  • Any short pasta shape will work in this recipe if you don’t have rotini.
  • You can use gluten-free pasta.
  • Chilling the cooked pasta will ensure the dressing isn’t runny plus warm pasta will absorb a lot of your dressing. You want a creamy salad.
  • Substitute mayonnaise with avocado mayonnaise
  • Not a pea fan? Use fresh spinach or arugula.
  • Use a package of pre-cooked real bacon pieces in place of the cooked bacon slices.
  • Don’t care for sharp cheddar? Use white cheddar or Colby jack cheese; whatever your favorite cheese is.
  • Add diced red onion, green onions, or celery.
  • You do not have to use grape tomatoes. Chop an on-the-vine tomato instead. Whatever you have!
close up of bowl filled with bacon tomato pasta salad with ranch dressing

Printable Creamy Bacon Tomato Pasta Salad Recipe

bacon tomato pasta salad in glass serving bowl with wooden spoon

Creamy Bacon Tomato Pasta Salad

Love BLTs? You’ll love this Creamy Bacon Tomato Pasta Salad with the flavors of the classic BLT. It’s a perfect salad for summertime entertaining or as an easy weeknight dish. It takes no time at all to make this delicious salad!

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Course: Salad

Cuisine: American

Keyword: bacon, BLT, pasta, pasta salad, salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Chill Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Servings: 8 servings

Equipment

  • 1 Large bowl

  • 1 wooden spoon

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces rotini pasta, cooked, and chilled
  • cup mayonnaise
  • cup milk
  • 1 packet dry ranch dip mix
  • 6 slices bacon cooked and chopped coarsely
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, diced

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, milk and dry ranch packet ingredients.

  • Add all of the remaining ingredients to the dressing mixture in the large bowl. Toss gently to combine.

  • Cover bowl and chill in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. You can make this salad ahead of time. I often make it the night before or in the morning.

Notes

Tips, Tricks, and FAQs

  • Any short pasta will work in this recipe, if you don’t have rotini.
  • You can use a gluten-free pasta.
  • Chilling the cooked pasta will ensure the dressing isn’t runny plus warm pasta will absorb a lot of your dressing. You want a creamy salad.
  • Substitute mayonnaise with avocado mayonnaise
  • Not a pea fan? Use fresh spinach or arugula.
  • Use a package of pre-cooked real bacon pieces in place of the cooked bacon slices.
  • Don’t care for sharp cheddar? Use white or mild cheddar; whatever your favorite cheese is.
  • Add diced onions or celery.
  • No, you do not have to use grape tomatoes. I like them because they’re small and I just have to half them to use. You can use cherry or even chop a on the vine tomato to use. Whatever you have!

If the summer flavors in this salad didn’t check all the boxes for your cravings, add chocolate for dessert! You can’t go wrong with a little sweetness with your meals!

bacon tomato pasta salad in glass serving bowl with wooden spoon
This easy BLT pasta salad recipe will become one of your favorite recipes.

Other Salads to Enjoy

close up of delicious creamy ranch bacon tomato pasta salad
Bring this creamy pasta salad to your summer BBQs!

More Summer Salads

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