Classic BLT flavors plus avocado bring this Avocado BLT Pasta Salad to a whole new level! Made with pasta, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado and tossed with a homemade Italian dressing. It makes the perfect side dish for BBQs, picnics, or potlucks, or just meal prep during the week.
Last updated on July 19, 2021.
Pasta salad brings back so many childhood memories. Growing up I played travel softball and we had picnics between the games on Saturday. And there would always be pasta salad as a side dish.
The thing is, pasta salad was never something my mom made at home, so this always felt like a treat and I loaded up every weekend. In honor of that pasta salad, I wanted to make my own with a fun spin on it!
Hello to this avocado BLT pasta salad! Instead of the classic pasta salad, I went with the good old BLT combo.
Plus I added avocado because it adds the perfect creaminess to contrast the bacon and lettuce. And tossed with an easy Italian vinaigrette. You cannot disappoint with this combo!
BLT pasta salad
BLT pasta salad with avocado is the perfect easy side dish. Loaded with bacon and veggies and tossed with a tangy homemade Italian dressing to bring it all together. Perfect for picnics and BBQs, or you can totally just make it for meal prep as it holds up great throughout the week.
Fair warning – it makes a lot. If needed you can half the recipe.
Avocado BLT pasta salad ingredients:
- bacon – I love ButcherBox!
- green onion
- homemade Italian vinaigrette (recipe below)
First, make the pasta according to the instructions on the 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. Then once it is cooled, crumble it with your hands.
You can also chop/prep your veggies while the bacon is cooking.
Next, make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl or jar until well combined.
Finally, 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.
Pasta salad dressing
What’s a pasta salad without an amazing dressing?! This dressing uses household staples and has the perfect zip and spice to balance out the bacon. The longer it sits, the more flavorful it gets too!
Homemade pasta salad vinaigrette ingredients:
- red wine vinegar
- olive oil
- lemon juice
- Italian seasoning
- red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
Simply whisk all the ingredients until combined. Adjust to taste if you like. This bacon pasta salad is lightly dressed, so if you like more dressing, feel free to 1.5 or double the recipe.
Meal prep BLT avocado pasta salad
This BLT pasta salad recipe is easy to prep in advance whether you are making it for a BBQ or party. I actually prefer it prepped a little in advance as it allows the flavors to come together more!
Here are a few suggestions for prepping this salad:
- partial prep – cook your pasta and bacon and allow them to cool. Store in the fridge in separate containers. In addition, make the vinaigrette and store it in a jar. When you are ready, chop up your veggies and avocado, crumble your bacon, and mix everything together.
- full prep – follow the directions as written. The avocado will brown a little after a few days. I would suggest you wait to add the avocado until closer to serving if making this for a party. The veggies will lose a little bit of their crunch the longer they sit.
- storage – store in an airtight glass container in the fridge.
How long is pasta salad good for in the fridge
Pasta salad will last up to 5 days in a tightly sealed glass container in the fridge.
What to serve with pasta salad
Here are some main dishes to serve with pasta salad:
- Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp
- Smoked Brisket
- Jalapeño Ranch Turkey Burgers
- Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken
- Greek Chicken Kabobs
Substitutions or additions
Make this pasta with veggies your own with these substitutions or additions below. It is easily customizable!
- pasta – use gluten-free pasta if necessary
- lettuce – you could use chopped spinach or arugula instead of romaine lettuce. The arugula will add a little spiciness/kick to the recipe
- dressing – you can use the homemade Italian vinaigrette or your favorite store-bought kind. You can also use a ranch or mayo-based dressing if desired as well.
While this bacon pasta salad recipe is great on its own, here are some additions to add:
- chopped red onion – will add a little bite
- cheese – shredded or chopped cheddar cheese would be delicious with the bacon and avocado
- veggies – if you want to add some more veggies, you totally can. Broccoli or bell peppers would be good options
- corn – a fun addition for summer!
More healthy side dish recipes
- Honey Mustard Potato Salad
- Greek Chickpea Salad
- Healthy Broccoli Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
- Summer Corn Salad with Tomato & Avocado
- Chipotle Mexican Coleslaw
- Roasted Potato Salad
BLT Pasta Salad
- 1 pound rotini pasta
- 8 pieces of bacon
- 3 packed cups chopped romaine (175 grams/1 head)
- 2 heaping cups cherry tomatoes, halved (1 pint/350 grams)
- 2 large avocados, diced (360 grams) – can also use 3 small avocados
- 4 green onions, chopped
- optional toppings: fresh parsley, red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Make the pasta according to the instructions on the 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 and a sprinkle of pepper. 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.
- While the bacon cooks, make the dressing. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl or jar until well combined. Adjust according to taste. You can also prep/chop your veggies while the bacon cooks.
- 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!
Recipe by Kelly Nardo, Eat the Gains | Photography by The Mindful Hapa
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