I’ve partnered with Kraft and Collective Bias to create this delicious BLT Pasta Salad. It’s perfect for summer picnics and dinners on the back porch!
Back when my wife and I lived in Atlanta, we grew tomatoes in our backyard like it was our job. We planted a small garden on the side of our house, and every year we had a bumper crop of tomatoes. And thanks to the warm weather down South, our tomato plants started growing in late February…and didn’t stop until early November. Seriously. We literally ate tomatoes all the time. And we gave them away to everyone we knew. And we still had too many tomatoes. The solution? BLT’s. Delicious BLT’s.
We ate BLT (Bacon Lettuce Tomato) sandwiches almost every day for lunch. That is until my mother came to visit and showed us the trick of adding a couple of basil leaves to our BLT’s…um, woah! (If you’ve never added basil to your BLT sandwich, then stop reading this post and go do it. Now.) So now our BLT’s turned into BBLT’s…and they were an amazing summer-time staple in our house. There were definitely nights when we ate BBLT’s for dinner because we just didn’t feel like cooking. And I was ok with that!
I remember flipping through a summertime issue of Food Network Magazine one year, and they had a BLT Pasta Salad in there. Of course I was intrigued. After all, BLT’s were pretty much a food group in and of themselves in our house! And cold pasta salads are one of my favorite things ever in the summer. So of course I loved the BLT Pasta Salad! Over the years, we’ve tweaked the recipe a bit…and of course, we’ve added basil thanks to mother’s ingenious suggestion. Now this BLT Pasta Salad is one of our go-to summer side dishes.
This BLT Pasta Salad is perfect for picnics and summer barbecues, but we often just make a big batch and use it for easy weekday lunches. We now live in upstate New York where the tomato-growing season is significantly shorter than it was down South. But that’s ok. I’ve had great luck finding tasty tomatoes at the local markets, so this BLT Pasta Salad still makes regular appearances in our house!
Of course, I only use Kraft mayonnaise when making this BLT Pasta Salad. I also use lite mayo to cut back a bit on the calories, too. But the best part is the recipe only calls for 1/2 cup of mayo. And this recipe makes a big bowl of pasta salad! You may have noticed in previous posts that I was chosen to be a Kraft VIP Blogger at this year’s Social Fabric Conference (SoFabCon) in northwest Arkansas. This trip was a truly amazing experience, and I picked up loads of awesome blogging tips…I can’t wait to start using them here on Spiced. (I even got to ride in The Wienermobile…check out this recent post for pictures!) I regularly pick up Kraft products on my weekly grocery runs to Walmart, so it was an honor to be able to attend SoFabCon as a Kraft VIP Blogger.
This BLT Pasta Salad is a great side dish to serve alongside a delicious grilled burger. If you’re looking for some fun burger ideas, I’ve linked some of my favorites here:
BLT Pasta Salad
- 16 ounces penne pasta
- ⅔ cup milk
- 12 ounces thick-cut bacon
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves torn
- ¼ cup green onions chopped
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup light sour cream
- 1 large head of Romaine lettuce chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta water and place cooked pasta in a large bowl. Add milk and stir until pasta is well-coated. Set aside.
- Using a large fry pan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crispy. Transfer cooked bacon to paper towels and pat dry. Crumble the bacon and add to the bowl with the pasta.
- Add the tomatoes, garlic, basil, and green onions to the bowl and stir until well combined.
- Add the mayonnaise and sour cream to the bowl; gently stir until well combined.
- Finally, add the Romaine lettuce and toss until well combined. (Tip: Wait and add the chopped Romaine right before you serve this salad. Otherwise, the lettuce will begin to wilt.)
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.