This BLT pasta salad recipe boasts soft and tender pasta generously coated in creamy coleslaw dressing and mixed together with juicy tomatoes, crispy bacon, lettuce, and crunchy shallots!
It's a great main dish or side salad.
If a BLT is your favorite sandwich, mix it up and add a little variety with this easy to make recipe!
Next time try this Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe!
Why you'll love this recipe
- It’s such a easy recipe made with simple ingredients that you already have in the pantry and fridge. It's a real crowd pleaser!
- You’ll love this creamy, crunchy, delicious BLT pasta salad recipe, it's a great side dish!
- Reduce the overall recipe time by easily preparing certain salad ingredients and storing them a day in advance!
For the exact measurements, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- pasta - I use rotini pasta, but you can use bow tie pasta, elbow macaroni or penne pasta, really any small pasta you have available.
- I prefer cherry tomatoes for their sweet flavor.
- shallots, red onion or thinly sliced green onions
- crispy, crumbled smoky bacon - substitute turkey bacon if you'd prefer.
- crunchy, fresh lettuce - I use romaine, but you could use iceberg, or red leaf lettuce - that would be very pretty!
- olive oil and seasoning salt
- coleslaw, poppyseed dressing or creamy ranch dressing
This is an overview of the instructions. For the complete directions just scroll down to the bottom!
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water to al dente. Drain well. Transfer pasta to a large bowl and sprinkle with one teaspoon olive oil and one teaspoon seasoning salt and mix well - refrigerate until completely chilled.
- In a large skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Drain well and crumble. Add crunchy bacon to the pasta.
- Chop tomatoes, shallot, and romaine lettuce. Add to the cooked pasta and toss well to combine.
- Add about one cup of salad dressing and mix well. Refrigerate until well chilled. Before serving mix again and if the BLT macaroni salad seems dry, add a bit more creamy dressing.
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- Large mixing bowl
Yes, this can be made the day before! Boil the pasta, drain and chill. Cook the bacon, chop the shallots and tomatoes, and make the homemade dressing. Store them in separate containers in the refrigerator. Assemble the ingredients and toss the salad!
BLT is short for Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato. The combination of these three ingredients originates from the famous BLT sandwich although combination has now been adopted into many different recipes, including this easy macaroni salad recipe.
Absolutely! Simply use gluten-free pasta. The rest of the ingredients are already gluten-free!
Chilling the salad helps the dressing and all the flavors of the ingredients infuse well, intensifying the taste of this delicious dish!
- Don't overcook the pasta.
- Drain hot pasta well and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Chill the pasta completely before adding dressing. If the pasta is hot, it will absorb the dressing and get mushy!
- Serve the salad chilled. Give it a stir before serving. Add additional salad dressing if necessary.
- Use your favorite short pasta - macaroni, bow tie, rotini, penne, or fusilli.
- For a low-carb option, ditch the pasta altogether and enjoy a BLT salad with additional lettuce and other favorite leafy greens.
- Create a BLT coleslaw side dish by omitting the pasta and lettuce and instead using a bag of coleslaw mix.
- Go ahead and include your favorite salad ingredients such as the addition of fresh avocados.
As you can see, it doesn't take much - bacon, lettuce, tomato, shallots - I also recommend a homemade poppy seed salad dressing. But if you use store-bought…I won't tell! 😋
Either coleslaw or poppyseed dressings are recommended for this recipe.
Refrigerate: Store BLT pasta salad recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. The fresh salad ingredients will wilt and become soggy if stored longer.
Freezer: I do not recommend freezing this salad.
If you love a great side like I do, here are more of my favorites!
And if BLT pasta is more your thing, this BLT Spaghetti Carbonara is a great example of how you can mix and match ingredients to your heart’s desire.
This easy pasta salad recipe is satisfying enough to be enjoyed as a wholesome meal on its own but you could also serve it as a side dish alongside various grilled meats - Kimchi Burger with Spicy Mayo or Grilled Turkey Burgers would be terrific.
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BLT Pasta Salad Recipe
- 1 16 oz box of pasta
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 shallot chopped
- 8 strips bacon cooked until crispy and crumbled
- 1 head romaine lettuce chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 1 cup coleslaw dressing
- Cook pasta according to package directions (aldente). Drain well. Rinse with cold water. Transfer pasta to a large bowl and sprinkle with one teaspoon olive oil and one teaspoon seasoning salt and mix well - refrigerate until completely chilled.
- Cook bacon until crispy. Drain well and crumble. Add to the pasta.
- Chop tomatoes, shallot, and romaine lettuce. Add to the pasta and toss well to combine.
- Add about one cup of salad dressing and mix well. Refrigerate until well chilled. Before serving mix again and if the pasta salad seems dry, add a bit more salad dressing.
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Originally published Jun 9, 2016 - Updated November 23, 2021 to improve instructions and photos.