This easy, creamy BLT pasta salad recipe is loaded with healthy tomatoes, arugula, and avocado, plus crispy bacon that’s all topped with a super simple-to-make Ranch-style dressing made with mayo and Greek yogurt.
You could say my collection of pasta salad recipes here on the blog are my children, and just like any mother of kids, it’s nearly impossible to choose just one as my most favorite. But, if you’re a fan of a creamy pasta salad, or an ultra simple-to-make pasta salad that’s loaded with healthier goodness (plus bacon!), this pasta salad is for you.
Once the garden tomatoes come into harvest, BLT sandwiches are a staple at our house. And the only thing that makes them even better is adding avocado for them to become BLATs. Bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato sandwiches that are now a BBQ pasta salad staple.
So when my daughter requested I make a pasta salad that included her beloved bacon in the BLT mix, avocado was an obvious addition to make.
The Best Pasta to Use for Pasta Salad
I like this pasta salad best with a short pasta noodle, and like in my Shrimp and Macaroni Salad I use my favorite shell noodle. But, there are quite a few other types you can try, like:
- Farfalle (bowtie or butterflies)
- Gemelli (twists)
- Fusilli (springs)
- Campanelle (flowers)
- Penne (tubes)
- Orichette (ears)
Always cook your pasta in water that’s been generously salted. I always prefer kosher salt to regular table or iodized salt because it’s not as harsh due to its larger, flakier crystals.
I tend to undercook my pasta just a bit for pasta salads so they don’t turn to mush as they absorb the salad dressing.
How to Make this Ranch Dressing for Pasta Salad
This pasta salad dressing is so easy to make, and is an easier rendition of my homemade Ranch dressing for saucing this easy pasta salad. If you’re out of ingredients or out of time to make the easy homemade dressing, feel free to use a quality bottled Ranch dressing instead.
The dressing is a healthier version too, because I use Greek yogurt instead of full flavored mayonnaise and sour cream. But thanks to the fresh herbs it has a totally fresh and delicious flavor.
More Pasta Salad Recipes You Might Like Too
- Classic Shrimp and Macaroni Salad (this one always gets raves)
- Macaroni Salad with Smoked Mozzarella and Proscuitto
- Easy Italian Spaghetti Pasta Salad
- Creamy Tuscan Pasta Salad
- How to Make Classic Macaroni Salad (because classics always win!)
- Kale Caesar Pasta Salad
- 1 pound short pasta noodles, such as shells, farfalle, cavatappi
- 1 pound bacon
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 2 cups arugula leaves
- 1 avocado, chopped
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh minced chives
- 1 tablespoon fresh minced flat leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions just until al denté and still a bit firm. Rinse under cool water and drain well. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- While the pasta is cooking, chop the bacon into ½" pieces and cook in a large skillet over medium heat until desired crispness. Transfer the cooked bacon to a plate topped with a paper towel to drain well.
- Add the bacon, tomato, arugula, avocado and red onion to the pasta.
- In a small bowl, mix the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, chives, garlic powder, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Thin with milk, water or buttermilk if desired.
- Drizzle the dressing over the pasta and gently toss. Taste for seasoning. Serve chilled.
More Recipe Ideas to Add to This Pasta Salad to Make a Meal
- Homemade One-Pot Sloppy Joes
- Citrus Brined Pork Chops
- Veggie and Sausage Kebabs
- Potato Chip Crusted Chicken Breasts
- The Best Grilled Chicken Breasts
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