Easy Gourmet BLT Pasta Salad
A light, fresh, and mayo-free pasta salad with all the flavor notes of your favorite gourmet BLT!! Bring this to your next party!
Pasta salad is a big favorite of mine… it’s such a great side dish all year round, but especially in the summer! How do you like your pasta salad, with mayo or without? In the summer I prefer mine without mayo… I think the taste is lighter and I don’t have to worry about the mayo spoiling out in the heat! This pasta salad is a gourmet twist on a BLT.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
The “B” is obviously bacon, but it’s deliciously seasoned, the “L” is the herby, peppery arugula lettuce, and the “T” are some garlic roasted cherry tomatoes…. all tossed together in a light and flavorful olive oil, mustard, and herb vinaigrette!
To say that this pasta salad is tasty is an understatement 🙂 If you’d like, you can add some shredded Parmesan cheese.
Now it does take a little bit more time, since you’re roasting the cherry tomatoes… and while you could skip that step, the sweet tomato and roasted garlic flavor would be missing, but that’s totally up to you 🙂
Speaking of which, have you ever roasted cherry tomatoes? Ohhhhh you should… it really concentrates the sweet tomato-ness, so they’re literally bursting with flavor! They’re great in salads, pasta dishes, or even just on their own 🙂
To roast your tomatoes, just slice them and toss them in a few tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, a sprinkle of oregano and some minced garlic. Bake them for about 15 minutes… that’s it 🙂
For all the strong flavors in this dish… it has a surprisingly nice fresh flavor. Some pasta salads can be so heavy, dripping with oils or sauce… but not this one. The light vinaigrette and plenty of fresh flavors really help to make this a light dish.
Whisk up your dressing while the pasta is boiling. Once you drain your pasta, toss it with about half of the dressing and let it cool to room temperature. Then just toss your chopped herbs, arugula, crumbled bacon and roasted tomatoes and add more dressing as needed. You can serve this pasta salad cold or room temperature.
There are some nights, I just want to have something light for dinner… so needless to say, there have been more than a few nights that this pasta salad wasn’t the side dish, but the main event 🙂
However, I can fully attest to how beautifully this pasta salad pairs with a big, juicy, crispy piece of fried chicken!
Just look at that crispy chicken!! Oooops, I think I just drooled on the keyboard a little… (we’ll pretend that didn’t happen…).
The fresh, crispy, perfectly seasoned fried chicken goes so well with the light and fresh pasta salad 🙂
I like to serve this pasta salad on a bed of arugula… that peppery bite is just so perfect!
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- FOR THE ROASTED TOMATOES:
- 2 oz containers cherry or grape tomatoes halved, 10
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- Sprinkle of dried oregano
- FOR THE PASTA SALAD:
- 1 lb dried pasta I used rotini
- 1/2 pound bacon cooked and crumbled
- 2 cups garlic roasted cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped herbs (basil parsley, dill, chives, and oregano)
- 1/4 cup baby arugula
- FOR THE VINAIGRETTE:
- 1 Tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/4 cups olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE ROASTED TOMATOES:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, add tomatoes and toss together with olive oil and seasonings. Pour onto a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft and have burst.
FOR THE PASTA SALAD:
In a mixing bowl, whisk mustard, garlic, salt and pepper, and vinegar. Pour in the olive oil, whisking as your pour, until well combined. Set aside.
Boil pasta until al dente (according to package directions).
Drain pasta and toss with half of the vinaigrette. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Add arugula, crumbled bacon, chopped herbs and roasted tomatoes. Toss to combine, adding more vinaigrette if desired.
Serve warm temperature or chilled.