The classic BLT flavors plus avocado bring this gluten free BLT Avocado Pasta Salad to a whole new level! It’s packed with protein + fiber thanks to chickpea pasta and makes the perfect salad for your summer BBQs, picnics, or potlucks, or even just meal prep.
Pasta salad brings back so many happy childhood memories. Growing up I played travel softball. If you are familiar with it, you know how much time it consumes. Pretty much every weekend in the summer my parents would drive anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours away for a new tournament. We would play 3 games on Saturday and then come back on Sunday for a least one game depending on how we did. If you win on Sunday you keep playing until you reach the championship.
This was every freakin weekend in the summer. You don’t realize how much your parents give up for you until you are older and looking back on the years…
But back to the pasta salad. The games were usually spread out throughout Saturday. You could have one at 8am, one at 12pm, and then one at 5pm. So we had a lot of time to kill between them. One of the first teams I was on, we would always have a picnic during one of our breaks. Everyone from the team would bring something and we would enjoy everything from lunch meat and cheese for making your own hoagies, salads, chips and dip, veggies, dessert, and obviously pasta salad. It wasn’t something my my mom would ever make, but one of my best friend’s mom would bring it each week.
I’m not sure why, but I remember that pasta salad being so good. It was pretty simple too from what I can remember – pasta, meat, cheese, tomatoes, and an Italian dressing. Nothing fancy, but it sure hit the spot in the summertime heat after you played 1-2 games. I remember eating bowls and bowls of it, along with 10 other things at the picnic. Literally I ate so much food as a teenager, my metabolism was a champ.
In honor to that pasta salad, I wanted to make my own with a fun spin on it!
Gluten Free BLT Avocado Pasta Salad
This recipe is really quite simple, but I just changed up a few things here and there. Instead of the classic pasta salad, I went with the good old BLT combo. Plus I added avocado because duh. I love the creaminess it adds to contrast the crunchiness of the bacon and lettuce. For the dressing I opted for a simple homemade Italian vinaigrette to add a little kick. You can use any homemade or store-bought Italian dressing you like though.
Instead of your usual pasta, I used Banza instead. It is gluten free, made from chickpeas, and packs 14g of protein and 8g of fiber per serving! Talk about one nutrient dense noodle!
Warning – like BLT avocado pasta salad makes a lot! It is perfect to bring to a summer BBQ, picnic, or potluck. You could also make it for meal prep to have on hand throughout the week. Feel free to half the recipe if needed!
PS – stay tuned next week for slightly different paleo version of this!
If you make this recipe or anything from Eat the Gains, make sure to post it and tag me so I can see all of your creations!!
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Gluten Free BLT Avocado Pasta Salad
- Make the pasta according to instructions on box. Once done, drain and set aside to cool.
- While the pasta cooks, make the bacon. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add bacon. Cook for 4-5 minutes, flip, and cook for another 4-5 minutes until crispy. You might have to do this in a few batches depending on how big your pan is. Once it is done, add to a paper towel lined plate to let cool. Once cooled, crumble with your hands
- Make the dressing. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.
- In a large bowl, add chopped lettuce, halved tomatoes, diced avocado, cooked pasta, crumbled bacon, and green onions. Add dressing and mix until combined. Top with fresh parsley and red pepper flakes if using. Enjoy!
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