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Creamy Pesto BLT Pasta Salad

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Summer is creeping up on us, and that means it’s time to ditch the heavy meals and embrace lighter, fresher options. But who says light can’t be delicious too? Enter the Creamy Pesto BLT Pasta Salad – a recipe that’s about to become your new summertime BFF.

This isn’t your average pasta salad. We’re talking gluten-free noodles tossed in a creamy pesto dressing, loaded with juicy cherry tomatoes, crispy bacon crumbles, and fresh spinach and basil. It’s basically a deconstructed BLT sandwich in the best way possible – all the classic flavors you love, transformed into a fun and refreshing pasta dish.

Why You’ll Love Creamy Pesto BLT Pasta Salad

  • Crazy Easy to Make: This recipe is a lifesaver for busy schedules. Just cook some pasta, whip up a simple dressing, and toss everything together – easy peasy!
  • Perfect Potluck or Party Pleaser: This pasta salad is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. It’s light, flavorful, and perfect for sharing with friends and family at any gathering.
  • Meal Prep Magic: This recipe is fantastic for meal prep! Make a big batch on Sunday and enjoy delicious lunches throughout the week.
  • Endless Variations: Feel free to get creative and customize this recipe to your liking. We’ve included some fun variations below to get your inspiration flowing!
  • All-Season Favorite: While this pasta salad screams summer, the beauty is you can enjoy it any time of year. Just adjust the ingredients based on what’s in season!

Ingredients Needed To Make Creamy Pesto BLT Pasta Salad

  • Pasta (your favorite shape)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Basil Pesto
  • Fresh Baby Spinach 
  • Fresh Basil
  • Cooked and Chopped Bacon
  • Cherry Tomatoes

Substitutions + Alternatives

Can I use Regular Pasta?

Yes, Regular Pasta can be used. Use the same amount that is listed in the ingredients, but swap with regular pasta.

How To Make Creamy Pesto BLT Pasta Salad

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook your favorite pasta according to the package directions. Once cooked, drain the pasta and set it aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, olive oil, basil pesto, and kosher salt. Make sure everything is nice and smooth and creamy!
  1. Add the cooled, cooked pasta to the bowl with the delicious dressing you just made.
  2. Now it’s time for all the yummy add-ins. Toss in the chopped fresh spinach, chopped fresh basil, cooked and chopped bacon, and halved cherry tomatoes.
  1. Gently mix everything together until all the ingredients are well combined and coated in that yummy pesto dressing.
  1. You can serve your Creamy Pesto BLT Pasta Salad immediately, or if you want the flavors to meld a bit more, chill it in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving.

Variations & Substitutions

  • Vegetarian Twist: Want to keep things meat-free? Simply omit the bacon and add more veggies like roasted red peppers or mushrooms for a hearty, vegetarian option.
  • Cheese Lover’s Dream: Craving some extra cheesy goodness? Crumble some feta cheese or grated Parmesan cheese on top of your pasta salad for an added flavor and texture explosion.
  • Zesty Dressing Delight: Like things a little brighter? Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to your dressing for a burst of zesty flavor.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Absolutely! This Creamy Pesto BLT Pasta Salad is a fantastic option for meal prep. You can make the salad a few hours ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The flavors will actually have a chance to meld together even more, making the salad taste even better! Just wait to add the chopped fresh basil until right before serving to keep it nice and fresh.

Can I use store-bought pesto?

Definitely! Store-bought pesto is a lifesaver in the kitchen and works perfectly in this recipe. There are tons of delicious varieties available at most grocery stores, so choose your favorite flavor or brand. If you have the time and enjoy making things from scratch, you can also whip up your own homemade pesto for an extra personal touch.

How long will leftover pasta salad stay good for?

Leftovers of this Creamy Pesto BLT Pasta Salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to enjoy it again, give it a quick stir and taste test. You might want to add a little extra drizzle of olive oil or mayonnaise depending on how long it’s been stored.

Can I reheat leftover pasta salad?

We recommend enjoying this pasta salad chilled for the best flavor and texture. However, if you prefer it warm, you can reheat it gently in a skillet over low heat, stirring frequently, until warmed through. Just be careful not to overheat it, as the pasta can become mushy.

Creamy Pesto BLT Pasta Salad

As the warmer weather approaches, this BLT Pasta Salad is perfect for all the get togethers. It’s a great meal prep option too!!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Pasta, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Creamy Pesto BLT Pasta Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Cool Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 693kcal

Equipment

  • mixing bowls
  • Whisk or fork
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large pot (for cooking pasta)
  • Skillet or frying pan (for cooking bacon)
  • Colander

Ingredients

  • 12 oz box gluten-free pasta your favorite shape
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup basil pesto
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach chopped
  • 1 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 8 strips of bacon cooked and chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes sliced in half

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to the package’s directions. Drain and set aside to cool.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, olive oil, basil pesto, and kosher salt. Mix well until smooth.
  • Add the cooked and cooled pasta to the bowl with the mayonnaise mixture.
  • Add the sliced cherry tomatoes, cooked and chopped bacon, chopped fresh basil, and chopped baby spinach to the bowl.
  • Mix everything together until well combined.
  • Serve the pasta salad immediately or chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.

Notes

  • Vegetarian Option: Omit the bacon and add more vegetables like roasted red peppers or mushrooms.
  • Cheese Addition: Add some crumbled feta cheese or grated Parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
  • Dressing Variation: Add a squeeze of lemon juice to the dressing for a bright, zesty flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 693kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 19g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 836mg | Potassium: 269mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2312IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1mg
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