Tangy Tomato BLT Pasta Salad

An easy, cool salad for the Summer. This is always a family favorite in our house! I make it weekly for a perfect lunch or side dish to go with anything on the grill.


  • 1 lb of bacon, cooked until crispy, drained and chopped
  • 2 heads of romaine, chopped
  • 3 cups of rotini pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
  • 1 to 2 cups of diced tomato
  • 2 teaspoons of tomato powder (highly suggested but optional)
  • 2 teaspoons of celery salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of dill (or to taste)
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1.5 cups of mayo


Step 1: spread a pound of bacon on a cookie sheet, place in a cold oven and set temp to 350 degrees, after the oven reaches 350 degrees, bake for about 15 minutes or until the bacon is crispy, drain the bacon on paper towel, cool and chop.

Step 2: wash and chop 2 heads of romaine. Wash and dice your tomatoes.

Step 3: boil 3 cups of rotini, drain, rinse and cool

Step 4: mix the mayo with the tomato powder, celery salt, dill and black pepper.

Step 5: toss the salad, pasta and tomatoes together, then add the dressing, refrigerate for about an hour or longer, add the chopped bacon right before serving.


Choice of Pasta: Select a sturdy pasta like fusilli or rotini that can hold up well with the other ingredients.

Perfectly Cooked Bacon: Cook bacon until it’s crispy for added texture and a smoky flavor in every bite.

Fresh and Ripe Tomatoes: Use ripe, juicy tomatoes for the best flavor. Cherry or grape tomatoes work well and add a burst of sweetness.

Creamy Dressing Balance: Achieve a balance between tanginess and creaminess in the dressing by combining mayonnaise with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Layered Flavors: Layer flavors by incorporating fresh herbs like basil or parsley for a fragrant and herbaceous touch.

Chilled Salad: Refrigerate the pasta salad for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld and intensify.

Customize with Avocado: Add diced avocado for a creamy and buttery element that complements the tangy tomatoes.

Prevent Pasta Stickiness: Toss cooked pasta in a bit of olive oil after draining to prevent sticking and enhance the overall texture of the salad.


1. Can I use a different type of pasta?

Yes, you can experiment with different pasta shapes, but choose something that holds the dressing well.

2. How far in advance can I make this pasta salad?

You can make it a day ahead, but add the bacon just before serving to maintain its crispiness.

3. Is there a vegetarian version of this recipe?

Omit the bacon for a vegetarian version, or substitute it with vegetarian bacon alternatives for a smoky flavor.

4. Can I use a different dressing?

While the tangy balsamic-mayonnaise dressing is recommended, you can experiment with a light vinaigrette or a creamy ranch dressing.

5. What’s the best way to store leftovers?

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Before serving leftovers, you may need to add a splash of dressing to refresh the flavors.

6. Can I make this pasta salad gluten-free?

Use gluten-free pasta to make the salad gluten-free. Ensure that other ingredients, including the bacon and dressing, are also gluten-free.

7. Can I add protein to make it a complete meal?

Grilled chicken, shrimp, or even diced turkey can be excellent protein additions for a heartier meal.

8. What’s a good side dish to serve with this pasta salad?

Serve alongside grilled vegetables, a simple green salad, or garlic bread for a well-rounded meal.