Are you ready for a fresh, fun, SUPER easy pasta salad? Yeeeees, you say? P-E-R-F-E-C-T! Feast your eyes on this simple bow tie pasta salad LOADED with bacon, lettuce, and tomato!!! It’s dressed in a slightly creamy (and totally addicting) Zesty Italian dressing, and I promise you won’t be able to stop at just one bite. We got back from the beach yesterday, and guess what… I’m beat! After 2 hours of packing up the car, 2 hours in the car, and then – wait for it – 2 hours unpacking the dang car, I felt like I was ready for another vacation!!! Or at least a spa day 😉 Hey… a girl can dream, right?
To ease back into the whole real life situation, I decided to take things easy dinner wise and make this incredibly simple 20-minute BLT pasta salad. Creamy, dreamy, and just begging to be your dinner!
I usually like my pasta salad loaded with a TON of veggies, cheeses, and meats – like this classic Italian pasta salad – but since I wanted something simple and fast, I decided to SHAKE things up and try a new recipe that had been floating around my brain for ages. BLT PASTA SALAD. I mean, how could it not be amazing, right?
I’m a firm believer that anything involving crispy bacon, juicy tomatoes, and crunchy lettuce is a winner! This salad —————> Totally lived up to ALL expectations. I love when that happens.
The creaminess in this salad is very subtle and comes from the combination of zesty italian dressing and ranch… I know! Sounds a little weird, right? But I promise you the combo is off-the-hook incredible! The Italian dressing gives the pasta a tangy, herby vibe, while the ranch adds just a touch of creaminess. It just works!
This pasta can be ready to go in 20 minutes, but also can be made up to 8 hours before serving! Perfect for those busy days when you need to make dinner in advance 😉 Just be sure to add the lettuce in right before serving if making ahead of time… otherwise it gets a little soggy and sad.
If you have a picnic coming up, or are just looking for a fast, fresh dinner idea, BLT pasta salad has to be on your menu! And with only 7 simple ingredients… I suggest whipping it up TONIGHT!
- 1 pound bow tie pasta
- 1 cup Kraft Zest Italian Salad Dressing (Kraft Zesty Italian now has even more herbs & spices!)
- 1/2 cup Kraft Creamy Ranch (The Classic Ranch is now creamier, with more buttermilk and savory herbs.)
- 1 pound thick cut bacon, fried until crispy then cut into strips or crumbled (I think strips looks prettier, but it *is more work)
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced (heirlooms work great here if you can get your hands on them)
- 10 leaves of crispy romaine lettuce, washed / dried / and cut chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 VERY small onion red onion, diced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.
- Drain pasta and rinse under cold water until cool.
- While the water is coming to a boil, heat a skillet over medium heat, add bacon strips, and cook until crispy, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate.
- Place cooled pasta in a large serving bowl; set aside.
- In a small bowl combine zesty Italian dressing and ranch, mix well. Add dressing to pasta and toss well to coat pasta.
- Add bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onion to the pasta bowl, mix well to combine, and season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve at once, or chill until needed.
Next try these SUPER easy Antipasto Skewers
This 20-Minute Rainbow Veggie Pasta Salad is a great vegetarian option