BLT pasta salad with ranch dressing, the best summer recipe and one of my absolute favourite pasta salads. It is satisfying enough to make a meal on its own, or the perfect side dish for a smoky BBQ, or a lovely picnic on Labour Day.
Salads season is just around the corner, and I'm so looking forward to it! Of course you can enjoy a big bowl of salad anytime of the year, but in summer you get the perfect excuse to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible.
Who wants a hot dish on a hot day? No way l'm staying in the kitchen, so preparing something quick is a must. After all, there's so much to do outside.
If you like a BLT sandwich, you'll love this salad: crispy bacon, fresh tomatoes and lettuce, good old nation's favourite pasta and a finger-licking ranch dressing.
I decided to get the ready-made dressing, rather than making it myself, sometimes shortcuts are just fine and you shouldn't feel too bad about it. We do have busy lives, so there you go.
Ingredients needed to make a BLT pasta salad with ranch dressing
- fusilli pasta - or any other pasta of your choice
- cherry tomatoes - or any other tomatoes
- bacon lardons - or rashes of bacon cut into pieces
- lettuce - or any other green salad
- ranch dressing - store-bought or homemade
Step-by-step photos and instructions
Like any other salad, this is best enjoyed cold - especially if you add a dairy-based dressing.
- in a frying pan set over a medium heat, fry the bacon lardons until brown and crispy
- remove from the pan and set aside
- cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, then drain the water, rinse with plenty of cold water, and set aside to cool down completely - the cold water will also help remove the starch that makes the pasta sticky
- chop the tomatoes and lettuce, and add them to the pasta bowl together with the bacon lardons and dressing
- mix well, then refrigerate until it's ready to be used
How to store the salad
If you take this salad to a picnic or BBQ, make sure you store it in a cool container, so it can stay fresh for longer. You can also add the dressing just before serving, and have the rest of the ingredients chilled ready to be served.
I used bacon lardons as they don't need chopping, and once cooked, they are ready to be used straight away. But regular bacon can be used too, and chopped for the salad.
If you like the smoky touch, you can also go for streaky bacon - the flavour will compliment the dressing nicely. Or have a combo of regular and streaky bacon.
As for tomatoes, anything goes: cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, or any other tomatoes you can find, no need to buy something specifically for this recipe.
Other pasta salads
If you enjoy a good pasta salad when it comes to summer side dishes, how about my
Tuna Pasta Salad? Or Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad? They are both so delicious, and they cater for any tastes and lifestyles. These pasta salads are also fantastic side dishes for your 4th July celebrations or Labour Day.
If you’ve liked my BLT PASTA SALAD WITH RANCH DRESSING or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.
BLT Pasta Salad With Ranch Dressing
- 3 cups fusilli pasta
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 400 g bacon lardons
- 1 lettuce
- ½ cup ranch dressing
- Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain the water, rinse the pasta with cold water, and set aside to cool down completely
- Chop the tomatoes, lettuce and spinach.
- Heat up a frying pan and cook the bacon until it's brown and crispy.
- In a bowl, add the pasta, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach and bacon, season with pepper and add the ranch dressing.
- Toss well to coat, then keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
- I used bacon lardons as they don't need chopping, and once cooked, they are ready to be used straight away. But regular bacon can be used too, and chopped for the salad.
- If you like the smoky touch, you can also go for streaky bacon - the flavour will compliment the dressing nicely. Or have a combo of regular and streaky bacon.
- As for tomatoes, anything goes: cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, or any other tomatoes you can find, no need to buy something specifically for this recipe.