When the weather gets hot and the humidity soars, nobody wants to eat anything that is hot, heavy, or too filling. This recipe for BLT Pasta Salad is a great one to have on hand for the dog days of summer.
The pasta, lettuce, and tomato are coated in a fresh-tasting, cool, and creamy concoction that consists of mayonnaise, ranch dressing, and barbecue sauce, and is topped with a healthy handful of bacon bits. That may sound like a strange combination, but it actually works very well in this colorful salad.
So what if you aren’t a very big fan of mayonnaise? With the addition of ranch dressing and barbecue sauce, the dressing on this salad doesn’t taste at all like mayonnaise. However, if you are certain that any hint of mayo will not appeal to you, feel free to substitute more ranch dressing for the mayonnaise.
To save you time and hassle in the kitchen, we didn’t make you cook several slices of bacon for this recipe. Instead, we used bacon bits to add the hearty, savory, and smoky flavor of bacon to the salad.
Of course, if you do not have any on hand and you’d rather just cook a few slices of bacon and crumble them, that will work too. You probably want to prepare four slices of bacon to substitute for the number of bacon bits in our recipe.
Pasta salads are one of those recipes that are easy to customize. If you are a fan of other kinds of veggies and wish to include them in this recipe, we are sure it will only add to the flavor and excitement of this recipe for BLT Pasta Salad.
Chopped onions, diced bell peppers of any color, chopped broccoli, or even thawed frozen green peas would all make wonderful and tasty additions to this recipe. If you like to add some additional crunch to the salad, a handful of shelled sunflower seeds can provide that in this recipe.
If you are the kind of person who likes to create salads as a meal, this recipe can be easily adapted for those kinds of mixtures. Simply top the salad with grilled chicken or a healthy helping of protein-rich nuts, and this recipe will be a light and healthy way to enjoy dinner on a warm day.
If you need a recipe that will always be a favorite for a potluck dinner at your neighbor’s home, this is just the one for you. Just pop it into a serving bowl with a plastic lid and carry it along with your salad tongs and just wait for the compliments. Everyone will rave about this recipe for BLT Pasta Salad, and you can bet that they will ask you to bring it each and every time that you are invited to come over for a cookout.
We call for romaine lettuce in this recipe. The romaine is a sturdy kind of lettuce that holds up well to the creamy dressing, trapping the sauce in its folds and creases. If you want to substitute another kind of lettuce, be sure that you choose a stiffer, crunchier type of salad green. Iceberg lettuce is a decent substitute, though it lacks the flavor and deep green color that the romaine lettuce offers.
Bow tie pasta, also called farfalle, is the pasta of choice in this pasta salad recipe. We chose bow ties because their broad noodles hold the sauce well. If you choose a substitution, choose a pasta type that is on the larger side and will trap the dressing in the noodle. Pasta like shells, spirals, or penne will all work well in this recipe. Don’t forget, however, to adapt the cooking instructions for the pasta to what the box of your substitution calls for.