Easy BLT Pasta Salad

This 30-minute no-brainer side dish is perfect to throw together right before the potluck! Bacon, lettuce, and tomato have never been so right together. Add some grilled or rotisserie chicken to make it a quick dinner.  

Easy BLT Pasta Salad from The Food Charlatan

I’ve never claimed to be the most attentive driver, but lately it’s getting out of hand. My GPS will tell me to turn left, and it’s only after I start to go that I realize that it’s a RED LIGHT. This has happened more than once. Don’t worry, I haven’t nailed any little old ladies crossing the street…yet.

Easy BLT Pasta Salad from The Food Charlatan

Have you seen that Office episode where the GPS tells Michael Scott to turn and he drives into the lake? This is me. Can I get an applause for being personally responsible for the death of common sense? Well, me and Michael. A fictional character.

Easy BLT Pasta Salad from The Food Charlatan

I’ve mentioned that our tomatoes are going crazy lately. Eric and I picked over 20 yesterday. (Anyone have a good recipe for spaghetti sauce from fresh tomatoes??) I wanted to make something BLT-inspired because tomatoes + bacon = you win. Throw in some mayonnaise and you’re really gettin goin.

Anytime I think of BLTs I think of this line from Miracle Max in The Princess Bride (probably my favorite movie of all time), “Sonny, true love is the greatest thing in the world. Except for a nice MLT, a mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe. [smacks lips] They’re so perky. I love that.” Perky?? I love YOU, Miracle Max.

Easy BLT Pasta Salad from The Food Charlatan

Baconnnnnn. I’m actually feeling pretty good about that fact that this is not mutton.

Easy BLT Pasta Salad from The Food Charlatan

I made this salad for a church potluck, and of course I started making it later than I should have. It wasn’t going to be cold in time. As I was rinsing the pasta I thought, hm, ice cubes?

Easy BLT Pasta Salad from The Food Charlatan

YES. I put some in the colander with the noodles and they cooled off within just a few minutes. Does everyone else already know this trick?? It’s so obvious, but I’ve never even thought of it before. Hooray for cold pasta salads! And not room temperature ones, please. (Ignore the fact that this is macaroni, I shot this on round 2 of this recipe. Rotini is better, trust me.)

Easy BLT Pasta Salad from The Food Charlatan

I love the tang of the BBQ sauce in the dressing. It’s not overwhelming and doesn’t really taste like BBQ. Eric and I made this 2 days in a row because there wasn’t any leftover after the potluck, and we needed more BLT in our lives. It’s just the perfect summer food! Throw on some grilled or rotisserie chicken to make a meal out of it. (Or more bacon…)

Do you guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?
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Easy BLT Pasta Salad

Yield: Serves 8-10

Recipe by The Food Charlatan


  • 16 ounces rotini pasta
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons BBQ sauce, or to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 or 1 bunch green onions, sliced (to taste)
  • 2-4 tomatoes, chopped, (depending on how much you like tomatoes)
  • 1/2 a head of ice berg lettuce, chopped, or more to taste*
  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled/chopped


  1. In a 3 quart pot, boil a couple quarts of water. Add a tablespoon of salt. When it boils, add the pasta and stir occasionally until it is al dente. (Don't over cook!) Check the packaging for times.
  2. Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse with cold water. If you are in a big rush, add some ice cubes to the noodles and stir every now and then. If your dressing is not ready, drizzle with olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking to each other.
  3. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, BBQ sauce, garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir well.
  4. Add the cooled pasta, the green onions, tomatoes, add lettuce. Stir in the bacon just before serving. Keep refrigerated.


*Make sure you chop up the crunchy inside part...I peeled off the first couple layers of leafy green on the outside. You know, the healthiest part...

I highly recommend baking your bacon! So much easier.


More great salads you’ll enjoy!

Lemon Tarragon Pasta Salad (one of my favorite salads ever!):

Lemon Tarragon Pasta Salad from TheFoodCharlatan.com


Bacon Baked Beans:

Bacon Baked Beans from The Food Charlatan



Black Bean Couscous Salad: <<< this one is so fresh and delicious! Don’t be scared of couscous! This is coming from a quinoa hater…

Black Bean & Couscous Salad from TheFoodCharlatan.com


Puffy Bacon Twists with BBQ Ranch Sauce:

Puffy Bacon Twists (with BBQ Ranch Sauce) from The Food Charlatan



More pasta salads from friends!

Avocado Pasta Salad from Spend with Pennies
Greek Pasta Salad from Just a Taste
Creamy Cheddar Pasta Salad from Center Cut Cook





  1. says

    Dear Karen, I never trust GPS devices. I don’t have a very good sense of direction, but after one terrible experience where the GPS kept telling me to turn right and I circled a neighborhood twice because of that, I never used one again!

    What a scrumptious pasta salad. This looks so good, I could go for a bowl this morning. I love the tip about the ice cubes too…that is a great idea. Have a wonderful day dear. xo, Catherine
    Catherine recently posted…Marketside Chicken Wraps & Potato SaladMy Profile

  2. says

    I can’t imagine bringing this to a get together and not having everyone instantly fall in love with it. It looks so yummy and simple to do. Delish!

  3. Diane says

    Made this tonight to go along with our steaks. It was delicious! I left out the lettuce but next time I might try it with spinach. Everyone loved it!

  4. says

    Karen! I’ve missed your blog, but now that I’m into the CONSTANTLY HANGRY phase of pregnancy and mostly past the “I hate food, I hate pictures of food” part I am catching up on all of the goodness that I’ve missed. So now I am craving this like crazy. Definitely going to have to make it! :)
    Claire recently posted…Bacon & Split Pea SoupMy Profile

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