This BLT pasta salad is an easy 5-Ingredient recipe, ready in 20 minutes! Made with buttermilk ranch dressing, crisp romaine lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and salty bacon. Enjoy this pasta salad as a quick lunch or a side dish at cookouts or picnics.
Made with ranch dressing, bacon, tomatoes and crispy romaine lettuce. This pasta salad is everything you love about a BLT sandwich, served up in a new way.
Can be made with or without lettuce depending on how long you want it to keep.
★ Why You'll Love this Recipe ★
This is an easy recipe you can have ready in less than 20 minutes! Perfect for when you're short on time but want to throw together a sharable, homemade side dish.
You need just 5 main ingredients! There are some optional ingredients you can add for extra flavor but aren't required.
This pasta salad is rich with flavor and lightly creamy with a buttermilk ranch dressing, crisp romaine, juicy tomatoes, and salty bacon. Cheddar cheese and red onion adds additional flavor.
Enjoy this salad as a quick lunch or a side dish at cookouts or picnics.
This recipe makes a large batch. Halve the recipe to serve it up with dinner or to make ahead for lunch.
This pasta salad isn't super heavy. It's cool and lightly creamy made with ranch dressing. However, if you want to thin out the dressing a bit and at the same time add some brightness, try adding 1-2 tablespoon of vinegar. White wine vinegar, plain white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar all work well.
This pasta salad can be made with hard boiled eggs added you can also add meats such as ham or salami as well as cubes of cheese.
For a vegetarian option, try using plant-based "bacon" or substituting bacon with cheese or eggs.
Try Turkey Bacon
Want a lower fat option? Try using turkey bacon. It's much more lean.
★ Ingredients You'll Need ★
All you need is 5 main ingredients. Super simple!
For added flavor, there are some suggested extra ingredients you can add in if you have time and want to. Up to you!
Just 5 Main Ingredients + Optional Extras
- Rotini pasta. Be sure to rinse with cold water after draining to remove some excess starch and cool pasta so that when combined with the lettuce, the lettuce doesn't wilt.
- Tomatoes. Grape or cherry tomatoes both work great.
- Bacon. You can use any variety of bacon including turkey bacon or save time and use real bacon bits. I've found cooked strips of bacon have more flavor than pre-packaged bacon bits. So if you have time, that's the recommended option.
- Lettuce. Romain offers crisp texture and holds up well with dressing. You can use shredded iceberg lettuce but it will wilt more quickly.
- Ranch dressing. I prefer Hidden Valley buttermilk ranch but choose your favorite brand or variety of ranch dressing.
- Cheese. Cheddar cheese shredded or cubed adds heartiness, flavor and creaminess to this dish. Cheese is optional.
- Red onion. This is optional but adds some crunch as well as some subtle spice.
- Green onion. Also optional, green onions can add more crunch and spice.
★ How to Make this Recipe ★
Here are the steps involved to make this recipe. It's quite easy!
Full recipe steps are below, this is just an overview.
Basically: cook and drain the macaroni, chop the main ingredients, fold in the dressing ingredients with spices and ta-da! Chill to marinate and then serve.
★ Tips & FAQs ★
What's the best dressing to use?
I prefer Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch dressing. It's packed with flavor and the buttermilk adds a nice tang.
You can opt for another brand if you prefer. Or mix things up each time you make it by trying out a variation of the dressing. Explore and see what you like best.
You can opt for light dressing to reduce calories.
Can this be made ahead?
Yes, BUT. Because the lettuce wilts easily, you should combine everything except the lettuce. Cover and store in the fridge. Add chopped lettuce right before serving.
How to Store Leftovers
Unfortunately, because the lettuce will wilt when combined with the dressing, I do not recommend storing leftovers. If you plan to make this and store it, I recommend offer the lettuce on the side as a topping when serving.
Then when storing leftovers, you can store the lettuce separately and add it to each serving when you're ready to eat.
This pasta salad (without the lettuce) stores well for up to 3 days in the fridge.
I do not recommend freezing this dish. The ingredients simply don't hold up when frozen.
★ More Recipes You'll Love ★
Looking for more side dish ideas?
Browse all my easy side dish recipes. Be sure to Pin your favorites for later!
This 5-Ingredient recipe for BLT pasta salad was featured on South Your Mouth!
BLT Pasta Salad
- 16 oz rotini pasta
- 2 cup chopped romaine lettuce
- 10 oz grape or cherry tomatoes halved or quartered
- 1 cup chopped cooked bacon
- 2 cups buttermilk ranch dressing Hidden Valley or your favorite brand
- 1 cup shredded or cubed cheddar cheese diced
- ½ cup red onion diced
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley
- Cook pasta according to package, a dente.Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside and let cool.
- In a large bowl, combine cooled pasta salad with chopped romaine lettuce, tomatoes, bacon and ranch dressing.Gently fold to combine.
- (Optional) Fold in cheese, red onion, green onion and parsley.
- Cover and marinate in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight. Toss right before serving.