This gluten-free BLT Pasta Salad is full of crisp fresh veggies, perfectly cooked pasta, fresh herbs, crispy bacon, and the most delicious homemade ranch dressing. It’s the perfect addition to your next BBQ and a great option for a light lunch or a tasty dinner side dish!
Pasta salad is one of my very favorite dishes. I love how hearty they are, how versatile they can be, and that you can pack them with plenty of fresh veggies. This BLT pasta salad is made with a variety of crunchy vegetables, fresh herbs, crispy bacon, and a delicious ranch dressing to tie everything together!
The best part? You likely already have most of the ingredients you need to make this recipe already in your pantry and fridge. This recipe is gluten-free and can easily be made dairy-free if you prefer!
Full list of ingredients and instructions in the recipe card, below.
Pasta: Pick a pasta that has lots of nooks and crannies so that the ranch dressing herbs has a chance to really stick to it. I used gluten free farfalle (bowtie) pasta to keep the entire recipe gluten free but feel free to use your favorite kind of pasta
Bacon: Bacon adds just the right touch of smoky flavor and pairs really well with the ranch dressing. When buying bacon, look for a brand that is uncured and nitrate-free if you can.
Romaine Lettuce: Romaine lettuce is the perfect choice of lettuce for this pasta salad. It is hearty, yet tender which makes it a great base to go along with the other fresh veggies and crispy bacon.
Veggies: This pasta salad uses a combination of fresh veggies including red onion, avocado, and tomatoes.
Creamy Ranch Dressing: The homemade ranch dressing is perfectly creamy and full of fresh herbs to add the most delicious flavor to the salad.
How Do You Make the Creamy Ranch Dressing?
A very simple, yet flavorful, herby ranch dressing works to pull all of the ingredients of the pasta salad together.
Here’s what you need:
mayonnaise – this helps to give the dressing a nice richness and creaminess.
full fat Greek yogurt – to add an additional creamy tang to the dressing this recipe uses Greek yogurt. I prefer to use full-fat Greek yogurt over non-fat because of the flavor. You could also use sour cream instead of yogurt if you like.
fresh herbs – a combination of fresh herbs including dill, chives, and parsley add tremendous flavor to the dressing.
garlic – for the best results use fresh garlic and mince it finely.
apple cider vinegar – this helps to give the dressing a bit of extra tang.
lemon juice – to add brightness and freshness to the dressing.
salt and pepper – give the dressing a taste and adjust the amount of salt and pepper to your taste.
Once you have all of the ingredients, just whisk them together in a bowl until well combined.
How Do You Make Pasta Salad From Scratch?
Full instructions and ingredients in the recipe card, below.
Step One: First, start by cooking the dry gluten free pasta according to the package instructions. Once al dente, drain and rinse the pasta with cold water.
Step Two: Add the cooked pasta, crisped bacon, sliced red onion, romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and fresh dill to a large mixing bowl.
Step Three: Next, make the dressing. Whisk together the mayonnaise, fresh dill, chives, garlic, parsley, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until well combined.
Step Four: Pour the dressing over the salad and stir until well combined.
Step Five: Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it best to make the pasta salad the day before?
It’s up to you! If you would like to prep this pasta salad in advance, you can easily do so. I recommend leaving out the crispy bacon and romaine lettuce and adding those ingredients right before serving so they do not get soggy.
Should you rinse pasta for pasta salad?
Yes! Drain and rinse the pasta under cool water to remove any excess starch before adding it to your mixing bowl. This will ensure that the pasta does not stick together in the salad.
How long does the pasta salad need to chill?
I recommend chilling the pasta salad for at least thirty minutes before serving.
How long will this recipe last in the fridge?
To keep this pasta salad fresh, store it in an air-tight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
What to serve with BLT pasta salad?
This pasta salad recipe is great on it’s own for a light lunch or dinner. Or, if you prefer, you can pair it with your favorite protein, like chicken, fish, or beef to make a heartier meal.
This is also a great side dish option to take to your next potluck or barbecue. If you need to make a bigger batch to feed more people, just double the recipe!
Tips for the Perfect BLT Pasta Salad
Don’t over cook your pasta. Cook the pasta al dente so that it still has a bit of bite.
Salt your pasta water. while cooking the pasta to ensure that it has plenty of flavor.
Get creative. Feel free to get creative and add in other veggies you love.
I hope you give this BLT Pasta Salad a try! It is so easy to make and absolutely delicious!
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