This BLT pasta salad recipe is sure to become a summer favorite. It hits the perfect balance of indulgent and healthy. Looking for a Paleo or Keto pasta salad? We've got you covered there too!
Summer bbq season is in full swing and this is the perfect dish to bring to share.
The bacon and herbs give it so much bright flavor. And if you have any friends who claim to not like kale, this recipe just might convert them. The creamy dressing makes this veggie-packed dish universally delicious.
I personally love using Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayo for this recipe. It's made from avocado oil and organic eggs and doesn't have any weird ingredients.
I hope you love this one as much as I do!
BLT Pasta Salad
- 12 oz bacon*
- 1 bunch kale, destemmed and chopped
- 4 tomatoes
- 1 small red onion
- 10 oz gluten-free pasta
Creamy Basil Dressing:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise*
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
For Pasta Salad:
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Place 12 oz bacon slices on a parchment lined sheet pan. Cook ~20mins or until browned and crispy. Remove bacon and allow to sit on a paper towel lined plate until cool.
- Finely chop red onion and dice tomatoes.
- Remove kale stems and discard. Roughly chop kale leaves.
- Cook 10 oz pasta according to package directions
- Toss together cooked pasta, diced tomatoes, chopped red onion, chopped kale, and 12 oz
- Assemble salad and toss in creamy basil dressing.
For Creamy Basil Dressing:
- In a blender, combine 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 Tbsp basil, 1/4 tsp onion powder,
1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp dried dill, and 1Tbsp olive oil.
- Blend ingredients until smooth.
Is bacon healthy?
That's a tricky question and one that can lead to hot debate.
Bacon has a lot of fat and a significant amount of cholesterol – both things that were demonized in the past as any of you who grew up in the 90's know! Scientists have changed their tune on both of these aspects though, largely agreeing that consuming fat and dietary cholesterol do not make us unhealthy.
Bacon actually does have some super healthy nutrients as well. It contains B vitamins, Phosphorous, and lots of Selenium.
Perhaps the least healthy aspects of bacon are that it's high in salt, generally pretty highly processed, and is smoked which may have a carcinogenic effect. Due to these factors, you wouldn't want to make it the foundation of your diet, but that doesn't mean it can't be enjoyed in moderation.
Remember also that not all bacon is created equal! Look for bacon that is sugar free and nitrate free. Butcherbox is an excellent source for high quality bacon (and other meat!)
What's the nutrition like for this BLT pasta salad recipe?
Apart from the great bacon debate, this recipe is packed with some surefire nutrition powerhouses like kale and tomatoes! Here's the rundown:
- Kale: Have you heard that kale is good for you? Just kidding, unless you live under a rock you've no doubt seen this superfood basically become the mascot for healthy living, and for good reason! Kale is high in Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Folate. One caveat – if you have thyroid issues, talk to your doctor about how much kale it's safe for you to consume. It's a type of cruciferous vegetable, which can interfere with thyroid function in those with certain conditions.
- Tomatoes: Packed with antioxidants, tomatoes may help reduce the risk of several kinds of cancer. Furthermore, they contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and potassium, many of which most people don't get enough of.
- Red Onion: Onions are full of antioxidants and red onions have far more antioxidants than white so are an excellent choice if you enjoy the taste.
Tell me about Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayo
Mayo is another ingredient that has a mixed reputation – and for good reason! Some of the mayos out there in the grocery store have some pretty weird ingredients.
Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayo pretty much saves the day on this one. (#notsponsored, just love the stuff!)
It has only 6 ingredients and you likely have all of them in your house right now: avocado oil, organic eggs, organic egg yolks, organic vinegar, sea salt, organic rosemary extract (okay, you probably don't have that last one, but I bet you have rosemary!)
Paleo mayo is one of those things you can totally make at home yourself, but if you don't have time or just don't want to, this is a good option. (Psst. Check out this episode of my podcast for other things I choose to buy rather than make!)
How do I make this a Paleo Pasta Salad?
So simple! Just make sure to use Paleo mayo like Primal Kitchen and replace the pasta with zoodles.
How do I make this a Keto Pasta Salad?
Obviously a big pile of pasta isn't going to be Keto, but this is actually a super Keto-friendly recipe!
First, replace the pasta with zucchini noodles. Then if you still need to lower the carbs to fit within your daily range, reduce the amount of vegetables. You can add a protein like chicken to help bulk up the meal.
What are some other good summer bbq recipes?
If you're loving the flavors of summer as much as I am, make sure to check out these other summer recipes too!