BLT Pasta Salad

This BLT Pasta Salad is perfect for all the summer BBQs and potlucks. It has the classic flavors of a BLT with juicy tomatoes, crispy bacon, fresh spinach, and a creamy dressing but served up pasta salad-style.

a bowl of BLT pasta salad.

I first made this BLT pasta salad way back in 2009 when this ye olde blog was just a few months old, and since then, it’s been my go-to summer salad. It’s a crowd-pleaser with its classic BLT sandwich flavors and goes with pretty much any main dish served up at BBQs, cookouts, and potlucks.

How to Make It

The secret to making the best pasta salad is chilling the cooked pasta before you mix it with the dressing. This is especially important with a mayo-based dressing, like with this BLT pasta salad.

If you mix the mayo with warm pasta, the heat breaks down the mayo, making the dressing runny and not-so-great. It adds a little bit of time, but it’s worth it.

More Pasta Salads

Creamy Ranch Pasta Salad | Italian Pasta Salad | Orzo Pasta Salad | Pesto Pasta Salad


BLT Pasta Salad

overhead photo of BLT pasta salad in a bowl

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 6 reviews

A fun twist on a traditional BLT this salad has a creamy mayo dressing, crispy bacon, and sweet cherry tomatoes. Be sure to read the recipe notes for tips and make-ahead recommendations!

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American



For the Salad

  • 12 ounces rotini pasta
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 8 ounces bacon slices
  • 4 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 10 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

For the Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Juice from half of a lemon, plus 1 teaspoon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Cook and chill the pasta: Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain well. Spread the pasta out in a single layer on a large baking pan. Stick the pan in the refrigerator to chill the pasta while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Cook the bacon: While the pasta is chilling cook the bacon until crispy. Remove from the pan and let the slices drain on a paper towel. Once the bacon is cool enough to handle, chop it into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Make the dressing: Combine the mayo with the thyme, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt in a small bowl. 
  4. Assemble the salad: Add the chilled pasta to a large bowl. Add the onion, chopped spinach, half of the chopped bacon and cherry tomatoes and toss to combine. Add the dressing and toss everything together until everything is coated evenly in the dressing. Top with the rest of the chopped bacon and serve.


I like to use rotini pasta for this salad because its corkscrew shape is a great vehicle for the creamy dressing, but other short pasta shapes like penne, small shells, or cavatappi will work, too.

Chilling the pasta first is important because if you toss warm pasta with the dressing, the dressing will break down, making it runny. Warm pasta also tends to absorb more of the dressing, so when it’s time to serve it, your pasta salad will be dry. So, don’t skip the chilling step 🙂

You can make the salad a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator. I like to leave it out at room temperature for a bit before serving so it’s not ice cold. Also, give it a good stir before serving. 

Since this is a mayo-based pasta salad, don’t leave it at room temperature for more than two hours (or less if it’s very warm).


  • Calories: 477
  • Sugar: 2.9g
  • Sodium: 597.2mg
  • Fat: 32.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 24.1g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 35.1g
  • Fiber: 2.3g
  • Protein: 10.3g
  • Cholesterol: 30.3mg

Do you love this recipe? Don’t forget to leave a comment and your recipe star rating!

The nutrition is an estimate only. It was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.

overhead photo of the salad in a serving bowl.

I hope you enjoy this easy pasta salad!

Happy salad-making,


More Summer Recipe Ideas

This BLT pasta post has been updated from the archives. It was first published in September 2009.


  1. I looked for your BLT Salad and all that shows up on the website is the comments. I like your preliminary notes about how and why you do certain parts of the recipe; it makes the making of the recipe so much easier. The comments for this recipe are enticing, and I see where i can get just the recipe, but where is the original??

    1. Thank you so much for letting me know about this! I didn’t know the post disappeared – I think it’s fixed now! So sorry about that!

  2. This is literally the best pasta salad. Ever. Hands down. And people see the bacon and go nuts for it, brought it to a get together last week and it was certainly the very first dish to be cleaned out!

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