This post first appeared on Real Housemoms where I am a contributor.
When it comes to the perfect pasta salad, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat this Bacon and Avocado Pasta Salad recipe. Simple ingredients done right are a potluck win!
Where do I even start with this avocado pasta salad? I seriously wish I could give you a bite right now so you can savor it while you read and grab the recipe. It’s so freaking good!
I’ve started making it for all our family cookouts, and I’ll probably keep doing it until someone asks for something else. You can beat showing up with a killer pasta salad and deviled eggs for a potluck! I dare you to tell me what gets better reviews with your crowd.
I know there are people who love BLT sandwiches. I’m not one of those people. I swap out the tomato for avocado and then dig in. (Its BLA, but BLTA is yummy too… or so my mom tells me.)
Because raw tomatoes? Eww! I can’t get over the squishy, slimy insides. That being said, I recently found out that I like roasted grape tomatoes. Who knew?! They’re sweet and delicious and burst into little flavor bombs in your mouth. So I took my newly found food crush and made an easy pasta salad.
This avocado pasta salad borrows from those yummy BLTA sandwich flavors and adds them to pasta. Just a few simple ingredients, a killer dressing recipe, and voila! This pasta salad recipe will become your new favorite potluck side dish!
Ingredients for Avocado Pasta Salad
- Grape tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Rigatoni pasta
- Avocado ranch dressing – you can get the store-bought stuff or make your own. This dressing recipe is delicious!
What is the best pasta for pasta salad?
Generally, you want to stick with short pasta like rigatoni, rotini, shells, or farfalle (AKA bowtie) pasta.
Shot pasta is easier to eat in a pasta salad, then say spaghetti. Short pasta also tends to have little folds, pockets, and lines to help hold the dressing to the pasta.
You’ll want to use dried pasta instead of fresh as well. It can be served at room temperature or chilled and it’ll hold up well when being mixed with your other pasta salad ingredients and dressing.
How to Make Avocado Pasta Salad
- Start by placing the grape tomatoes in a mixing bowl. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir the tomatoes they are coated in the oil and seasonings. Pour the tomatoes onto a baking sheet and spread into an even layer.
- Then roast the tomatoes at 400 degrees F until the skins are wilted and they are starting to burst. That’s how you know they’re ready. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then season liberally with salt. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta and run under cool water until the pasta is no longer warm.
- Pour pasta to a large mixing bowl. Pour the ranch dressing over the pasta and gently stir until the pasta is completely coated.
- If you want to garnish the top of your pasta salad, go ahead and set aside some of the bacon, avocado, and a few tomatoes now. Then add the rest of these ingredients into the pasta bowl. Stir everything together gently so the tomatoes don’t fall apart too much.
- Season the pasta salad with salt and pepper to your taste. Next, add the reserved bacon, avocado, and tomatoes to the top of the pasta salad. Serve right away or cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.
I love homemade dressing for my pasta salads. There’s just no beating those fresh flavors and burst of tasty goodness. Since I was adding avocados to this recipe, I whipped up some avocado ranch for the dressing. You could also use store-bought or homemade ranch dressing if you prefer. I find the avocado ranch is a bit creamier, but you make this pasta salad how you like it.
Do you rinse pasta for a cold pasta salad?
Yes. Rinsing the pasta under cold water will help stop the cooking and cool it down.
Normally you never rinse pasta because it stops the pasta from absorbing sauce. But in this case, do it.
What goes with pasta salad?
You can even add some diced chicken to your pasta salad to make it a meal all on its own! I have and it’s delicious! I totally eat it right out of the big bowl standing in front of our fridge.
Get your bacon fix with these tasty recipes!
- Creamed Corn with Bacon
- 30-Minute Bacon Chicken Chili
- Loaded Bacon Ranch Potato Salad
- Bourbon Bacon Roast Beef Sliders
- Bacon & Roasted Garlic Deviled Eggs
- More side dish recipes
Bacon and Avocado Pasta Salad
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir until tomatoes are coated. Transfer tomatoes to the prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until tomatoes are slightly wilted and bursting. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- While the tomatoes cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season water with a generous pinch of salt. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain pasta and run under cold water until completely cooled.
- Add pasta to a large bowl and pour in avocado ranch dressing. Stir until pasta is completely coated.
- Run a knife through the avocado flesh to make a checkerboard pattern, then run a large spoon under the avocado right up against to skin to remove the flesh. Add most fo the avocado to pasta bowl.
- Add most of the crumbled bacon and roasted tomatoes to the pasta. Gently stir everything together until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Sprinkle reserved bacon, avocado, and tomatoes on top of the pasta salad. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.