BLT Ranch Pasta Salad

Bacon, lettuce, tomatoes with pasta and ranch dressing make up this easy BLT Ranch Salad! The perfect salad for your next BBQ, picnic, potluck, family gathering, pool party, or just make it for dinner! It’s fast, it’s easy and it is delicious!

Once the weather heats up, I am all about easy salads. I want light salads that are fast to make. We often eat them for dinner! If you love anything BLT you will LOVE this BLT pasta salad with ranch dressing!

Simple Ingredients for BLT Pasta Salad

From the name, you can guess this pasta salad is loaded with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and pasta. I have added in some red onions for a bit more flavor and then it is dressed in ranch dressing. Who doesn’t love ranch dressing?!

The ingredients are simple, but they make the best BLT pasta salad! Mix it all up for a perfect salad for any occasion! Everyone loves this easy BLT Pasta Salad and it is perfect for warm weather.

Close up shot of a bowl of BLT Ranch pasta salad with lettuce, bacon, tomatoes, red onions, bow tie pasta in a ranch dressing

The Bacon

I love to use fresh cooked and crumbled bacon. I like the bacon a bit more on the crispy side so it crumbles easily and adds a bit of a crunch to the salad. I use a thin-cut bacon because it cooks up a bite more crispy!

You can use bacon crumbles from the store if you prefer. The bacon strips that you can buy from the store and microwave also work great to save some time. I would, however, avoid the gross dehydrated bacon bits!

The Lettuce

Lettuce is an important part of this Easy BLT Ranch Pasta Salad. The lettuce I prefer is Romaine lettuce. It is a bit crispy, adds some great color to the salad, and holds up under the ranch dressing. You can use iceberg lettuce, green leaf lettuce, butter leaf lettuce or your favorite kind of lettuce.

Chop it up or tear it. You don’t want the lettuce pieces too big, but you don’t want them too small either. For another time saver, buy bags of Romaine Lettuce!

chopped romaine lettuce for easy BLT pasta salad with ranch dressing

The Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a must for BLT’s and they are needed in this salad (or it wouldn’t be a BLT Salad)! I like to buy just regular tomatoes. Roma tomatoes will also work, or grape tomatoes.

small/medium tomatoes for BLT pasta salad

You will need to remove the seeds and softer insides of the tomatoes. To do this, I cut off the end of the tomato and quarter it. Then use a spoon, or your finger and slide it under the squishy insides, scraping out the seeds. Chop/dice the tomatoes to add to the salad.

Make sure you pick tomatoes that are on the more firm side! If you are using grape tomatoes, just cut them in half!

The Pasta

Pasta is added to this salad because who doesn’t love a pasta salad?! I prefer Bow Tie Pasta for this BLT pasta salad. Bow tie pasta has a bigger surface for the dressing to stick to and is a great pasta for pasta salads because it holds up with all of the other ingredients. Rotini pasta would work great. Also, any tube pasta like penne, ziti or rigatoni are perfect for pasta salads!

cooked and cooked bow tie pasta for BLT Pasta Salad

Make sure the pasta is cooled before adding it to the pasta salad.

The Ranch Dressing

Ranch Dressing is always a crowd pleaser for salads. It is the perfect salad dressing for this easy BLT Ranch Pasta Salad. I prefer to make my own ranch dressing. When I say I make my own, I mean I use a ranch seasoning packet! Bottled Ranch Dressing works great too!

The salad soaks up the dressing pretty fast, so do not add the dressing to the salad until you are ready to serve it. If you have leftovers, you can make some more ranch dressing if you find the dressing is all soaked up (or squirt some bottled dressing on it)!

ranch dressing poured on pasta, lettuce, bacon, tomatoes and red onions

BLT Pasta Salad with ranch dressing is so easy to make! I love that it really doesn’t need to be kept cold for serving. There is no chicken or anything that will go bad fast so its great for warm weather!

Just add all of the ingredients to a large bowl, mix it up and enjoy!

Take this salad to your next summer cook-out, BBQ, pool party, picnic, or potluck! Everyone will love it!

close up shot of BLT Pasta Salad

For some other great salads try my Easy Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Easy Pasta Salad, Easy Italian Pasta Salad, Cucumber Pasta Salad, Spinach Tortellini Salad or my Greek Salad with Greek Vinaigrette!


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BLT Ranch Pasta Salad

A pasta salad loaded with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, pasta and dressed up ranch dressing! Perfect for warm weather! Take it to your next BBQ, pool party, picnic, family gathering, potluck, or make it for dinner!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword 4th of july, BBQ food, BLT, Dressing/Sauce, salad, side dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 (1 cup) servings approx.
Author Beth, The Butcher’s Wife

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. bow tie pasta, cooked and cooled
  • 1 large red onion, diced/chopped
  • 5 small/medium tomatoes, seeds removed, diced/chopped *see notes
  • 1 1/2 lbs. bacon, cooked and crumbled *I prefer a thin-cut bacon so it is more crispy
  • 8 cups Romaine Lettuce , chopped/hand torn *see notes

Ranch Dressing

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 (1 oz. packet) ranch dressing mix

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to the instructions. Cool completely. Set aside.
  • Mix up the Ranch Dressing ingredients. Place the dressing in the fridge to thicken and to chill.
  • Chop/dice the red onion.
  • Remove the seeds and squishy center from the tomatoes. Dice/chop into small pieces.
    *See blog post above for tips on how to do this!
  • Cook the bacon and crumble it.
  • Chop or tear your romaine lettuce, making sure there are no large pieces.
  • In a large bowl add all of the ingredients together, except the ranch dressing. Mix it all up.
  • Add the ranch dressing just before you are ready to serve the salad and mix it well. The dressing will soak into the pasta as it sits. See notes!
  • Serve the salad and enjoy!

Notes

See blog post above for more information on the tomatoes and how to remove the seeds and juicy center before dicing/chopping. 
You can use bagged romaine lettuce.  You will need about 2 bags (10-12 oz. each). You can add less lettuce if you don’t want a lot in the salad.
See blog post above for types of pasta, tomatoes and lettuce you can use!
Bottled ranch dressing can be used in place of the ranch dressing in this recipe.  You will need about 2 cups bottled ranch dressing.
The ranch dressing will soak up as it sits! Make sure you add the dressing only when you are ready to eat it!  If you have leftovers, make some more ranch dressing and mix it all up again. (Or squirt some bottled ranch dressing on the salad)

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