20-Minute BLT Easy Pasta Salad

/// August 18th, 2014

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. 20 Minute BLT Pasta Salad 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?

20-Minute BLT Pasta Salad 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!

20-minute BLT Pasta Salad

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!

20-Minute BLT Pasta Salad

20-Minute BLT Pasta Salad


  • 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


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.
  2. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water until cool.
  3. 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.
  4. Place cooled pasta in a large serving bowl; set aside.
  5. In a small bowl combine zesty Italian dressing and ranch, mix well. Add dressing to pasta and toss well to coat pasta.
  6. 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

Antipasto skewers = easiest appetizer EVER.

You’ll also love this 20-Minute BLT Puffed Pastry Pizza

20-Minute BLT Puffed Pastry Pizza This 20-Minute Rainbow Veggie Pasta Salad is a great vegetarian option

20-Minute Rainbow Veggie Pasta Salad

71 thoughts on “20-Minute BLT Easy Pasta Salad

  1. Meg

    I would definitely not have thought of putting ranch and Italian dressing together, but this pasta salad sounds and looks delicious!

    1. Paula Corson

      I make a version of this using peppercorn ranch with the Italian. So yummy! And I also add grilled chicken breast for a complete meal.

  2. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking

    Totally get the needing a vacation after the vacation! But girl, this salad looks divine!!! I am drooling all over my keyboard. Why is it that everything tastes better with bow-tie noodles? Is it because they are so cute? IDK but this salad needs to find its way into my dinners this week!

  3. Stephanie

    I am now seriously craving this salad! You are totally right – nothing beats bacon, tomatoes and crisp lettuce. I never thought to combine both Kraft Ranch and Italian dressings for a pasta salad… I must try this! Thanks for sharing #client

  4. Joanne

    You know, if you’re already missing NYC and want to come back…I can totally do a spa day with you! I think I need one also after all of my current moving/not-moving fiascos. 😛

  5. Mary

    Just curious, do you get a reimbursement from Walmart for mentioning that they carry the products you use in the recipe. Those same products can be purchased at just about any store so I am wondering why you specify Walmart?

  6. Connie

    This salad looks and sounds amazing but, since my taste buds have never gotten along with onions, I am going to substitute avacado for onions when I make it. Can’t wait, ya gotta love anything BLT! Also, if you don’t like the non-uniformity of crumbled bacon, I always cut mine in narrow slices, from the end of the package, before I cook it. If you put the bacon in the freezer for about 15 minutes before slicing it, it will be more firm and slice easier. You can cut the end of the whole package and your required amount is done in a few slices and they will be nice and uniform!

  7. Sheila

    This salad was extremely light and delicious, easy to make and absolutely beautiful. I highly recommend it as a suggestion for couples to make on date nights!!!

  8. Pingback: BLT Pasta Salad - 365ish Days of Pinterest

  9. Danica Hebner

    About how many people will this serve? I am having a cookout with about 25 people and am wondering should I double the recipe or more?

  10. Danica Hebner

    Hi. I was wondering about how many people this recipe will feed? I am having a BBQ with about 25 people and I am unsure if I need to double the recipe or more…….thanks

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Danica. I would recommend doubling or even tripling this if you want to feed 25. I fed 4 people with this, but we ate it as a main. I would say triple it if you’re going to serve it as a side 😉 The good news: it triples quite easily! xo

  11. Sherry

    My boyfriend and I made this last night… followed the recipe to the letter. Oh my goodness, it’s amazing!! I encourage everyone to try this easy, and quite delicious, recipe. 😉

  12. Joel Sutton

    We made this for supper tonight and it was amazing. My new favorite salad. I’ll be getting more bacon tomorrow so I can take this salad to a church supper on Sunday. I also shared a link to your page with family and friends. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Joel. Thank you so much for this awesome comment! I am so happy to hear you enjoyed this salad, and even happier to know you’re making it again to share :) Have a wonderful night!

  13. Nancy

    Tried this last night, as the temp was 90, I needed easy and light and no oven. Did my bacon in the micro, cooked the pasta, chopped the tomatoes, red onion and lettuce on large cutting board. Also diced up some leftover grilled chicken. Mixed the dressings. Called all to dinner, and everyone prepared their own salad. It was a big hit. Will definitely make again. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Patti

    We will be having company (men) to go fishig deffinitly will be making this wonderful salad to feed them with rolls and call it good! Thanks SO much

  15. Julie

    Hi, I’m planning on making this for a family cook-out which is two hours away, I was wondering how well it would be if I made it the night before and transport it in the van for two hours? Also to make things faster could you use real bacon bits, if so how much? Thank you, I can’t wait to try this recipe.

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Julie. If you’re traveling with this dish I really don’t recommend making it the night before as the ingredients may not hold up so well. What I do think you could do is cook the noodles the night before, drain them, rinse them in cold water, and toss them with the salad dressing (so they don’t stick). Then you could just chop up the lettuce, tomato, onion, and bacon, place them in separate bowls, and toss everything together in the morning before traveling. <--- That should only take 5 minutes max. I've never made this using real bacon bits, but I see no reason why they wouldn't work 😉 I would start with 1/3 cup and add more if needed. Have a great time at the cook-out!

  16. alison

    Thanks for this recipe! My question was if I could make it the night before. I read your response to someone else asking the same question, so Im going to give it a try just cooking the pasta and add the dressing. Hope it tastes good! looks yummy

  17. Pam

    I have made a similar BLT for years Bow tie, real bacon bits, green onion and tomato. Drizzle olive oil on cooked pasta, add a little garlic powder, blend with mayo….I try my best not to eat it all!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *