BLT Pasta Salad: Bacon, sweet summer tomatoes, and crisp lettuce are tossed with tender pasta that has been coated with a rich dressing for a perfect spin on a classic BLT sandwich.
Do y’all have any summer gatherings coming up?
This BLT salad is perfect for just that occasion.
I mean would not be thrilled to have a BLT in pasta form?
BLT Pasta Salad
BLTs are the quintessential summer dish–at least at my house. Salty bacon paired with fresh, juicy tomatoes and a crunch of perfeclty toasted bread. MMM, perfection!
To turn this classic sandwich into a pasta salad is just GENIUS!!
And in my book easier! I can make the salad and not worry about eating it immediately, like you have to with BLTs–you know, to avoid soggy bread.
You will be shocked to find out what I use in this BLT Salad…………………….BACON GREASE.
GASP!! I know, it seems against my healthy living to use bacon grease.
However, very little is used and it is better than any chemically made shortening or oil that is out on the market!
Oh yes, you know you want it!!
I dare you to use a bit of bacon grease and whip this up for your next get together–your friends may kiss you, it is that good!! I know I will have a happy husband!
Tips on Homemade BLT Pasta Salad:
- To make this salad versatile for an outdoor gathering (yes, it does contain mayo), nestle your serving bowl on top of a larger serving bowl that has been filled with ice or ice packs. This will keep bacteria from growing for at least 2 hours–probably much longer, especially if you switch out your ice or ice pack, I am just EXTRA cautious!!
- If the thought of bacon grease scares you, just omit it!
- I used nitrate-free organic pork bacon, but any bacon (even turkey bacon) will work.
- To make this a Gluten-Free BLT Pasta Salad, use gluten free pasta.
- If you happen to have garden fresh roma tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes, you can use in place of cherry tomatoes–just seed them first to prevent the pasta salad from becoming watered down.
- I do use granulated sugar in the dresssing. Honey will work, but I really like the sweetness without any added taste that comes from honey or maple syrup.
- I used romain lettuce because that is my prefered green in a BLT sandwich, but iceburg or green leaf lettuce works well too.
BLT Pasta Salad
- 1 pound whole grain campenelle pasta* corkscrew and rotini noodles work just as well too
- 1 head of romaine lettuce chopped
- 2 pints of cherry or grape tomatoes sliced in half
- 3 tablespoons chopped chives
- 1 pound nitrate free bacon
- 1/2 cup good quality mayonanaise
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon bacon drippings
Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse under cold water--this is a needed step for this pasta salad to stop the cooking process and remove excess starch from pasta (normally rinsing pasta is a big no-no!) and drain well. Cool. (I do this by spreading on cookie sheet and tossing into fridge--quick and easy!)
Dice the bacon and cook over medium high heat until bacon is crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels, reserving 1 tablespoon of grease.
Mix together bacon drippings, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper to taste.
Toss the dressing, cooked and cooled pasta, chives, tomatoes, lettuce and bacon bits together until evenly distributed.
*Gluten Free Pasta works perfectly in this salad as well.
This recipe was inspired by a recipe I saw in Cuisine, but have made my own tweaks based on preferences.
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