BLT Pasta Salad
- 20 minutes (active) plus 30 minutes (marinating) Prep | 20 minutes Cooking
1. Cook the bacon until crisp. Let drain on paper towels.
2. Add 2 Tbsp. of bacon drippings to the pasta and toss to coat.
3. Crumble or chop the bacon into bite sized pieces.
4. Chop the lettuce into 1 inch pieces.
5. Add bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes to pasta mixture.
6. In a small bowl, combine Duke’s, sour cream, salt and pepper. Add buttermilk 2 Tbsp. at a time until desired consistency is reached.
7. Add dressing to the pasta mixture and toss to coat.
8. Refrigerate the pasta salad for 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to develop.
As the days grow longer and the temperature creeps into near-triple digits, the craving for a sandwich that’s simple yet flavorful, savory yet refreshing starts to make itself known. With just three essential ingredients, a BLT’s simple preparation belies its complex flavor and textural multiplicity. Juicy, fresh-off-the-vine tomatoes, crispy smoked bacon, and cool, crunchy lettuce form a simple yet tried-and-true base. Just add a generous swath of tangy Duke’s Mayonnaise on each slice of thick toasted bread and you’ve crafted America’s go-to summer sandwich, the classic BLT. The only catch arises when a special occasion pops up – while a BLT is the perfect lunch to make for a handful of family members or friends, the hearty sandwich is hardly conducive to cookout nibbling.
The solution? Transform the beloved BLT sandwich into a crowd-friendly side dish by swapping bread for a big batch of pasta. Tender, buttery tendrils of cavatappi take the place of toasted bread and allow the best parts of a BLT – bacon, lettuce, tomato, and Duke’s – to shine through as the focal points of the salad. Sour cream and buttermilk add extra creaminess and bind all the ingredients together. This new take on a timeless cookout favorite is sure to be as big of a hit as the sandwich that inspired it.
Pack extra flavor into this BLT pasta salad by using Duke’s as the base for a chipotle mayonnaise dressing or garlicky aioli. Love BLATs? Avocados make a great addition to this summer salad. Be sure to toss the diced avocado in lime juice before mixing it in with other ingredients for a salad that won’t brown in the heat.