BLT Pasta salad is a must try for sure!
In a typical pasta salad, obviously pasta is the star.
In this light, summer side dish the heavy pasta takes a back seat to the BLT components…smokey bacon, crunchy romaine lettuce, and bright tomatoes.
Using less pasta lightens up this dish on a hot, summer day.
And also using Healthy Homemade Ranch Dressing makes it even lighter (makes ya feel at least a little better for adding the bacon).
I started this dish by cooking the penne pasta according to the package directions.
I always add lots of kosher salt to the water because it seasons the pasta as it cooks.
As the pasta cooks, start the bacon.
I absolutely HATE cooking strips of bacon, but a simple trick that saves me stress is to cut the bacon into bite size pieces with kitchen scissors directly into a skillet over medium heat.
Toss it around in the skillet maybe 5-8 minutes and drain on some paper towels.
While all this pasta and bacon cooking is going on, find a few moments here and there to cut the tomatoes in half (cherry or grape tomatoes)
And chop the romaine lettuce.
Once the pasta and bacon are cooked, drained, and cooled, combine everything in a big bowl.
I also add some kosher salt and pepper.
You’ll want to mix with the ranch dressing right before serving.
You can use any ranch dressing, but for a lighter and fresher option make Healthy Homemade Ranch Dressing (only 3 ingredients and absolutely delicious).
Start with a smaller amount of dressing and add more if desired.
You can always add more, but it’s hard to take away so I always start with a small amount first.
If you’re bringing this BLT Pasta Salad to a party or picnic like I did, simply pack some dressing on the side and toss it all together right before serving.
Also try BLT Salad with Corn Avocado and Feta
and this BLT Salad that also uses the Healthy Homemade Ranch
BLT Pasta Salad
A great side dish for any party or picnic!
- 1/2 pound penne pasta
- 1 pound bacon
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 2 heads hearts of romaine lettuce chopped
- 6-9 oz ranch dressing (recipe for healthy ranch dressing in link above)
- kosher salt, pepper
Boil the penne pasta according to package directions, salt the water with plenty of kosher salt. Drain and run cold water over it until cool.
While the pasta is cooking, cut the bacon with kitchen scissors into bite size pieces directly into a skillet over medium heat. Toss around in the skillet for about 5-8 minutes until cooked through. Place bacon on to several paper towels to drain.
Place the pasta in a large bowl along with bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, kosher salt, and pepper. Toss with the ranch dressing right before serving. Start with 6 oz of dressing and add more if desired.