It's true — everything is better with bacon! In this recipe, the beloved BLT sandwich is transformed into pasta perfection. It's a unique and versatile side that you can serve at barbecues with burgers, chicken or fish entrées, or enjoy as a generous helping for a filling lunch or fuss-free supper.
Technique tip: Add the cooked pasta to a large mixing bowl and toss with the bacon, tomato halves, baby arugula leaves and dressing. Or, serve the dressing on the side and let everyone mix in their own.
Swap option: Feel free to swap the dressing: Top your noodles with Italian-style dressing (bottled or homemade) for a zesty spin or enjoy it with my bacon-buttermilk dressing for a creamier take. You can also choose to add pearl mozzarella balls or feta crumbles, and top it with jalapeños, diced chicken or avocado — you're the boss of your bowl.
- 1 pound rotini, fusilli or bow tie pasta, preferably whole grain
- 12 ounces (about 16 slices) cooked turkey bacon, divided
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 loose cups baby arugula leaves (about 4 handfuls)
Bacon-Buttermilk Dressing (makes 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 to 3 strips cooked turkey bacon, finely minced
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped scallion (green onion) or chives
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1. Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. While the pasta cooks, make the dressing by tossing all ingredients in a bowl and mix until well-combined. Set aside.
3. Slice all the cooked turkey bacon (with the exception of the few strips you minced for the dressing) into about 1-inch pieces.
4. Add the cooked pasta to a large mixing bowl and toss with the bacon, tomato halves, baby arugula and dressing. Or, serve the dressing on the side and let everyone mix in their own.