This bacon parmesan pasta salad, loaded with crispy bacon, fresh parmesan cheese, and garlic, is a definite crowd pleaser. Bring it to your next potluck or serve it along side your favourite dinner.
If you’ve been looking for an easy to make pasta salad that is full of flavour, this is it. This salad comes together in about 15 minutes, including time to cook the pasta, and you can enjoy it right away, or make it ahead for a potluck, family dinner, or to eat throughout the week.
This pasta salad is loaded with crispy bacon, fresh parmesan cheese, and a creamy parmesan garlic dressing. A few colourful vegetables add some crunch and sweetness balancing out both the flavour and textures.
The dressing for this salad is simple to make and easy to adjust if you want to double or triple the recipe. When making the dressing, be sure taste it as you go. Fresh garlic can vary in flavour and potency greatly. Start with one clove of garlic and add more to suit your taste.
I actually made this dish for a family dinner a few months ago and did not taste the dressing until after I’d added a couple cloves of garlic. Well, you know how some garlic is super strong? Let’s just say it was a good thing everyone at the table was eating the salad and no one was planning any first dates or job interviews in the next few days.
It got dubbed “Vampire repelling salad,” which my 4 year old niece and 5 year old nephew thought was hilarious. Despite the potent garlic it was still devoured by everyone at the table, the kids included. Some say you can never have too much garlic, and maybe that is true, but if you don’t like yours so strong just remember to taste as you go.
The dressing will also increase in potency the longer it has been in the fridge, so if you are making this ahead you may want to keep that in mind and add a little less garlic as well.
Now let’s get started.
HOW TO MAKE BACON PARMESAN PASTA SALAD
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. While the pasta is cooking mix all the ingredients for the dressing and set aside. Then chop the vegetables, bacon and shred the cheese.
Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water until cool, then place in a large bowl.
Add the vegetables and stir to mix.
Add the dressing and mix well, then stir in the bacon and parmesan cheese.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
This salad will keep in the fridge for a few days.
THINGS TO KNOW & HELPFUL TIPS
- Can I use different vegetables? Sure, change things up, this would be great with chopped asparagus, zucchini, or diced tomatoes.
- If english peas are in season, you can use fresh shelled peas instead of snow peas.
- This salad keeps well for a few days, but the garlic will increase in flavour the longer it sits.
- If you don’t have bacon, you could use diced ham.
- You can use any type of pasta you like, but I find that spiral pastas tend to hold up better.
OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE
Bacon Parmesan Pasta Salad
- 3 Cups Dry rotini pasta or any pasta of choice
- 1 Cup Red pepper diced
- 1/2 Cup Snow peas diced (or shelled english peas)
- 1/4 Cup Red onion diced
- 1 Cup Cooked bacon crumbled or sliced
- 1 Cup Fresh parmesan cheese shredded or flaked
For the dressin
- 2/3 Cup Mayonaise
- 1/2 Cup Grated parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
- 2 tsp Dried mustard could use dijon instead
- 1-2 Cloves Garlic crushed
- 1/4 tsp Fresh ground pepper
- Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, then drain and rinse in cold water until pasta is cool.
- Place the pasta in a large bowl and add the red pepper, peas, and onion. Stir to combine.
- Add the dressing to the pasta and stir to mix.
- Add the bacon and parmesan and stir to combine.
- Serve and enjoy!