Whether you enjoy pasta salads as a main dish or a side dish, they’re so tasty during the warmer months. I make so many pasta salads during the summertime, but one of my favorites is this Creamy Tomato Bacon Pasta Salad! A zesty dressing meets curly rotini pasta with juicy tomatoes, peas, cheese and bacon. The flavor combination is awesome and it’s hard to stop at one helping.
There are two different ways I like to enjoy my pasta salads. I like to either make pasta salads as part of my Sunday meal prep and enjoy them for weekday lunches OR I like to make them as a side dish. They’re so versatile with so many summer meals – from BBQ to poolside potlucks with the neighbors.
I’ll show you the best way to enjoy a creamy pasta salad and serve it to a crowd, without any worry about the dairy in the dressing. It’s such a great way to serve a crowd, make a side dish on a budget and it’s a delicious way to eat pasta.
Looking for other great summer side dish recipes? Check out some of my favorite summer side dish recipes that Savvy Mama readers rave about:
How To Make A Creamy Tomato Bacon Pasta Salad
For this recipe you’ll use a few kitchen tools. You’ll need to cook your pasta in a pasta pot (sauce pot). Everything will be combined in a medium and small mixing bowl, using a spoon. That’s it! It’s such an easy recipe that you probably own all of the kitchen tools you need already.
What To Serve With Tomato Bacon Pasta Salad
I always think of savory BBQ meats to pair with pasta salads. You can’t go wrong with a savory meat that’s juicy for a BBQ. Another idea is serving pasta salads with easy party sandwiches. It’s all about delicious summer foods that pair well together. Here are some of my favorite pairings for pasta salads:
How To Store Leftover Pasta Salad
When you’ve finished the salad, if you have any leftovers, you want to transfer it to an airtight food storage container. Put the salad in the refrigerator. You can enjoy it for 3-4 days for best freshness. Toss the remaining salad after that.
Can You Freeze Pasta Salad?
Unfortunately, this Tomato Bacon Pasta Salad doesn’t freeze well. That’s partially due to the mayonnaise based dressing. Don’t bother freezing the salad. Instead, make a new batch to enjoy every time.
How To Safely Serve Mayonnaise-Base Salads When It’s Hot
Whenever you serve a mayonnaise-base recipe, you need to keep it cold. You never want to make any dangerous food safety mistakes and get sick. I use a Serving Bowl Over Ice that keeps the salad cold the entire time you enjoy it. This is so important if you take it outdoors – like at a BBQ or Pool Party.
There are several recipe substitutions you can make! You can change out the pasta for any shape you prefer. You could substitute the bacon for turkey bacon (which is a great way to cut some fat). If you’re looking to cut calories and fat, you can use any mayonnaise substitute or sour cream substitute.
What You Need From The Grocery Store:
- Rotini Pasta (tri color or basic)
- Sour Cream
- Dry Ranch Dip
- Frozen Green Peas
- Grape Tomatoes
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese
How To Make Tomato Bacon Pasta Salad
Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, milk and dry ranch packet ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Add all remaining ingredients to a large bowl and toss gently.
Stir in dressing and mix until all ingredients are well coated. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow flavors to combine. Serve cold.
- 12 ounces rotini pasta cooked and cooled to room temperature
- ⅔ cup mayonnaise
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 package dry ranch dip mix
- 6 slices lean bacon cooked and crumbled
- 9 oz frozen green peas, thawed
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, diced
1. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, milk and dry ranch packet ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Add all remaining ingredients to a large bowl and toss gently.
3. Stir in dressing and mix until all ingredients are well coated.
4. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow flavors to combine. Serve cold.
- Peas can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator or place them in a colander and run cold water over them until thawed.
- Refrigerate any leftovers. For best freshness, enjoy within 3-4 days.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 430Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 475mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 15g
**Nutrition is calculated by a third party. Actual values may vary.