My easy pasta salad with bacon and tomatoes is my family’s all-time favorite, and it’s THE recipe everyone asks for!
This is one of those recipes you’ll be asked for over and over. I’ve been bringing this to family gatherings, BBQs, and work parties for years, and there’s never a bite left! I mean, what’s not to love about bacon, tomatoes, and pasta. This is incredibly easy to make, but don’t let the simplicity fool you. This easy side dish is bursting with flavors and textures that will have your guests coming back for more!
How to make easy pasta salad with bacon and tomatoes:
- Start the water for the pasta.
- While you wait for it to boil, get the bacon cooking.
- While the pasta and bacon cook, prep your dressing and veggies.
- Drain the pasta and bacon.
- Mix everything together.
This does not have a lot of mayonnaise – only one cup for an entire pound of pasta. The tomatoes, vinegar, and mayo combine to make a creamy dressing that’s light and tangy. That said, feel free to add as much or little as you like. I like vinegar, so I’ll often throw in a few extra splashes. I also like a little extra black pepper. You can easily double this, and I do quite often for large gatherings.
You can certainly make this salad all year long, but it’s infinitely better in the summer when tomatoes are the best. Add as much as you like. Extra tomatoes or bacon only makes it better. This recipe is easy to customize.
Easy pasta salad variations:
- Add diced bell pepper, olives, and even fresh herbs.
- Chop up hard-boiled eggs for added protein.
- For a “BLT” pasta salad, serve with some chopped romaine on top.
- To spice it up, add some crushed red pepper to the dressing.
In my opinion, this salad is best at room temperature, so I make it just before serving. If you want to make it ahead and chill it, you may need to add a little more mayonnaise and vinegar before serving. As the pasta sits in the fridge, it will soak up some of the dressing.
Serve this with:
- Beef Barbacoa (like Chipotle)
- Deviled Egg Dip
- Copycat Chick-Fil-A Nuggets
- Baileys & Guinness Ice Cream
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Bacon & Tomato Pasta Salad
- 16 ounces bowtie pasta
- 16 ounces bacon
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 3 green onions finely chopped
- 1 cup mayonnaise full fat
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Cook the bacon until crisp and drain well.
- Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and rinse well with cold water.
- While the bacon and pasta are cooking...
- Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, tomatoes, green onions, salt, and pepper to a big bowl.
- Stir well and add the bacon followed by the pasta.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Serve immediately or cover and chill.