By Chef Alli

BLT Pasta Salad

BLT pasta salad


  • 3 cups elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 cups chopped leaf lettuce
  • 2 cups sliced grape tomatoes
  • 3-4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. sliced bacon, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. spicy brown mustard
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook chopped bacon until browned and crispy; set bacon aside on a paper-towel lined plate to drain.

Add mustard, mayo, sugar, and vinegar to bacon fats in skillet, whisking until smooth; season to taste with salt and pepper. Place cooked macaroni in a serving bowl with lettuce, tomatoes and scallions; dress with 2/3 of prepared dressing; chill for several hours. Just before serving, dress with remaining amount of reserved dressing, as desired.


Pasta salad is a popular tailgate dish, but to achieve the perfect dish for the whole pre-game party, there are a few secrets:

  • Always dress your salad while it’s warm. That helps the pasta soak up all that flavor.
  • BUT set aside 1/3 of the dressing to add right before you serve it!
  • Finally, make your salad within 12 hours before you serve it so it doesn’t start looking sad and mushy.

Looking for more potluck, picnic and tailgating recipes and tips? Try these:

  • Chef Alli

    Chef Alli is a wife, mom and chef. She's been stirring up a love of farm fresh cooking for more than a decade.  To see more of Alli's recipes, go to