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BLT Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Ranch Dressing

This BLT Pasta Salad is loaded with bacon, lettuce, and tomato. It's everything you love about a BLT sandwich but as a pasta salad. Coated in a creamy avocado ranch dressing this pasta salad is easy and delicious.
Servings: 4 people
Total Time: 30 minutes
blt pasta salad served in a bowl

One of Jim’s favorite sandwiches is a BLT – crispy bacon, fresh ripe tomatoes, and delicious sourdough… what’s not to love? We also have a true affection for pasta and this recipe is our version of a BLT sandwich as a cold pasta salad. It has fresh tomatoes, pieces of crispy bacon, crunchy romaine hearts, and a creamy homemade avocado ranch dressing.

blt pasta salad served in a bowl

Key Ingredients and Substitutions


This easy pasta salad recipe is super easy and perfect for any fan of the classic bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich.

The complete ingredient list and measurements are listed in the printable recipe below.

  • Pasta: Any short pasta such as Penne, Rigatoni, Farfalle, Bowtie, or Orecchiette will work for this pasta salad.
  • Tomatoes: Choose a cherry or grape size tomato and cut them in half or quarters so they are bite-size.
  • Bacon: Use your favorite bacon – turkey bacon, thick-cut bacon, or you could get a little fancy and use pancetta or guanciale. We used center-cut bacon chopped it up into 1/2 inch pieces and fried the pieces until they were crispy.
  • Romaine Lettuce Hearts: This pasta salad needs a little crunch so you want to use romaine hearts which are the center of romaine leaves. They are a little more yellow and crispier than the leaves. You can substitute iceberg lettuce but use the center of the head, not the outside leaves to retain the most crunch.
  • Creamy Avocado Dressing: We love avocados on our BLTs and decide to include them as part of the dressing to get a little more creaminess and good fat instead of the traditional ranch dressing. Our dressing includes fresh avocados, Greek yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, garlic and onion powder, dill, chives, and parsley.
ingredients for blt pasta salad with creamy avocado ranch dressing

How to Make BLT Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Ranch Dressing


Here are the quick step-by-step instructions with visuals; you can find the full instructions with the exact ingredients in the recipe card below.

Pro-tip: As it sits in the dressing it can get a little “soggy” so fry or cook your bacon until it is crispy.

1. Cook the Pasta: Cook the pasta until it is al dente following the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water then set aside. While the pasta is cooking prepare the creamy dressing.

2. Prepare the Avocado Ranch Dressing: In a food processor or blender, combine avocado, yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, dill, chives, parsley, salt, and pepper. Blend until well-combined. Continue blending and add milk a tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerator until needed.

avocado ranch dressing after being blended in a food processor

3. Prepare the Southwest Pasta Salad: In a large bowl combine the pasta, tomatoes, bacon, and romaine hearts. Add creamy avocado ranch dressing and toss gently to combine.

4. Chill and Serve: Chill the pasta salad for at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with additional bacon and tomatoes before serving.

blt pasta salad served in a bowl

Recipe Tips and Notes


  • Rinse the pasta in cold tap water after it has been drained to both cool it down and avoid it from being overcooked.
  • Cook pasta just to al dente so that it doesn’t become mushy after it has been combined with the other ingredients and dressing.
  • You can use your favorite store-bought ranch dressing as a substitute for the homemade avocado ranch dressing.
  • BLT pasta salad is best when served cold. Be sure to chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can BLT Pasta Salad be made in advance?

Yes! Prepare the pasta salad and store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. It should last up to 2-3 days.

Can I use a different type of pasta?

Absolutely. Any short pasta will work but look for bronze-cut pasta or bronze-die pasta. Pasta cut with a bronze die will have a rough, porous texture that is great for getting the creamy avocado dressing to stick.

How do you store leftovers?

Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. After about 3 days the bacon becomes a little soft from the dressing.

blt pasta salad served in a bowl

Let’s Connect! If you make our BLT Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Ranch Dressing or any other recipe on Casual Epicure, please don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It helps others who are considering making our recipes and we love hearing about your cooking experiences. And if you snapped some shots, share them on Instagram, and be sure to tag @casual.epicure so we can feature them in our stories.

Other Recipes to Try


If you enjoy this cold pasta salad, we recommend checking out some of these other salad recipes:

blt pasta salad served in a bowl

BLT Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Ranch Dressing

This BLT Pasta Salad is loaded with bacon, lettuce, and tomato. It's everything you love about a BLT sandwich but as a pasta salad. Coated in a creamy avocado ranch dressing this pasta salad is easy and delicious.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Food Processor
  • Large Bowl

Ingredients  

Creamy Avocado Ranch Dressing

  • ½ large avocado, skin and seed removed
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon fresh dill, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup milk, as needed

Pasta Salad

  • 7 ounces dried short pasta, such as bowtie
  • 3 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1.5 cups romaine hearts, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons creamy avocado ranch dressing

Instructions 

Creamy Avocado Ranch Dressing

  • In a food processor or blender, combine avocado, yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, dill, chives, parsley, salt, and pepper. Blend until well-combined.
  • Continue blending and add milk a tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency.
  • Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerator until needed.

Pasta Salad

  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions so that it is al dente. Drain and rinse well to cool.
  • In a large bowl combine the pasta, tomatoes, bacon, and romaine hearts. Add creamy avocado ranch dressing and toss gently to combine.
  • Chill pasta salad for at least 1 hour before serving.

Notes

1. Rinse the pasta after it has been drained to both cool it down and avoid it from being overcooked.
2. Cook pasta just to al dente so that it doesn’t become mushy after it has been combined with the other ingredients and dressing.
3. You can use your favorite store-bought ranch dressing as a substitute for the homemade avocado ranch dressing.
4. Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. The nutritional value will vary based on the type of ingredients used (example: mayonnaise, sour cream, and short pasta). It does not include the nutrition for any substitutions or additions.
5. Be sure to check out the Key Ingredients along with the Recipe Tips and Notes sections found in the post, for more tips, options, substitutions, and variations for this recipe! You will also find step-by-step photos there.
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