Bacon And Pea Pasta Salad

Bacon And Pea Pasta Salad

Bacon and Pea Pasta Salad made with tender pasta shells, crisp bacon, peas, dill pickles, and a deliciously creamy dressing. An all time favorite salad for summer cookouts, potlucks, or a simple dinner side.

What you’ll Love About Bacon and Pea Pasta Salad:

  • Easy to make
  • Just a handful of ingredients
  • Great for BBQ’s and potlucks
  • Delicious flavor

I don’t think you can ever have too many pasta salad recipes to choose from and this Bacon and Pea Pasta Salad has become a new favorite with my family. It has great texture from the tender pasta and peas, crunchy pickles, and of course anything with crisp salty bacon is a total win.

If you are team pasta salad you might also enjoy my Spring Pasta Salad with Asparagus and Peas, or my classic Macaroni Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing.

Pasta Salad Is Perfect For Summer

One of my favorite things about summer is the delicious summertime foods. Along with grilling and easy no-bake desserts, pasta salad is at the top of my list for the most popular items to make. It’s easy to throw together, the combinations are endless, and everyone loves a big colorful bowl of pasta salad!

Simple Ingredients:

  • Pasta– We choose the shell pasta for this recipe because it captures the delicious creamy dressing.
  • Bacon- Because bacon makes everything better, right?! It also adds a nice crunch and smoky flavor.
  • Frozen peas– For sweetness and texture, and the pop of green adds vibrant color.
  • Dill pickles– Another layer of crunch and saltiness.
  • Mild Cheddar cheese– My daughter would say it isn’t pasta salad without cubed cheddar cheese. We use shredded so each bite has a little sharp cheesy flavor.
  • Dressing ingredients– mayo, sour cream, white vinegar, dried parsley & chives, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.

Recipe Tip:

To thaw out peas quickly place in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with lukewarm water until thawed. Allow to drain while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Variations:

  • Use your favorite small shaped pasta. Pasta shapes that work well with this recipe is macaroni, penne, bowtie, or spiral pasta.
  • Veggies- If you don’t like peas or want to add additional veggies use- broccoli florets, shredded carrots, bell peppers, or cucumbers.
  • Cheese– Substitute mild cheddar for sharp cheddar, Colby Jack, or for a little heat add pepper Jack.
  • Dressing substitutes– Replace the mayo and sour cream for full-fat Greek yogurt. This will give it more tang. White wine, red wine, or white balsamic can be used instead of plain white vinegar.

Recipe Tip:

  • For the best pasta texture make sure to cook al dente, according to the manufactures instructions. Rinse pasta immediately with cold water to rinse off the excess starch and stop the cooking process.

How To Make Bacon and Pea Pasta Salad:

Step One. Cook pasta than drain and rinse well. Allow to drain in colander while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.

Step Two. Meanwhile cook bacon until crisp and crumble. Set out peas to thaw, chop pickles, and shred cheese.

Step Three. In a small mixing bowl combine all the dressing ingredients until smooth. Add more seasonings to taste.

Step Four. In a large bowl add cooled pasta, most of the bacon pieces, peas, pickles, and cheese. Add all of the dressing and with a large spoon fold to combine the ingredients. Serve with extra bacon on top.

Common Questions:

>How do I rehydrate my creamy pasta salad after it’s been refrigerated?

Add dressing-
Stir in some more dressing or mayo to liven up the salad. You can also make a half batch of dressing fresh and stir it in right before serving to rehydrate the noodles and tie everything together.
Add olive oil-
Toss the salad with a drizzle of olive oil before serving to help rehydrate the noodles.

>Does my pasta need to be completely cooled before assembling the salad?

It is best to make sure pasta is cooled so the warmth from the pasta doesn’t soften veggies.

>How long does pasta salad keep after it’s made?

Pasta salad will last 4-5 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

>Can I make this pasta salad ahead of time?

Absolutely! If making pasta salad ahead of time, reserve the bacon until right before serving and mix in half of the dressing leaving the other half to mix in before ready to serve.

>Can I use canned peas for this recipe?

I would not recommend using canned peas as they are much softer and can break down in the salad. Frozen and thawed peas is best.

Other Pasta Salad Recipes You Might Enjoy:

I appreciate your comments and reviews! Be sure to leave a comment or rating below for suggestions, questions, or if you make the recipe. I’d love to know how it turned out for you!

Bacon and Pea Pasta Salad

Bacon and Pea Pasta Salad made with tender pasta shells, crisp bacon, peas, dill pickles, and a deliciously creamy dressing. An all time favorite salad for summer cookouts, potlucks, or a simple dinner side.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 459kcal

Ingredients

Salad Ingredients:

  • 4 cups medium shell pasta
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 2 cups frozen, thawed sweet green peas
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill pickles
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup mayo I love Dukes
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried chives
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp each kosher salt and black pepper

Instructions

  • Start by cooking pasta according to the package instructions for al dente. Once cooked, drain and rinse well in a colander with cold water. Allow to drain while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
  • Cook bacon, chop pickles, and shred cheese.
  • In a small mixing bowl combine all the dressing ingredients until smooth. Add more seasonings to taste.
  • In a large bowl add pasta, bacon crumbles (reserving 2 tbsp for the topping) peas, pickles, and cheese. Add all of the dressing and with a large spoon gently fold to combine the ingredients. Serve with extra bacon on top.

Notes

Tips:
Peas– To thaw out peas quickly place in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with lukewarm water until thawed. Allow to drain while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Cooking pasta- For the best pasta texture make sure to cook al dente, according to the manufactures instructions. Rinse pasta immediately with cold water to rinse off the excess starch and stop cooking process. 
Common Questions-
How do I rehydrate my creamy pasta salad after it’s been refrigerated?
Add dressing-
Stir in some more dressing or mayo to liven up the salad. You can also make a half batch of dressing fresh and stir it in right before serving to rehydrate the noodles and tie everything together.
Add olive oil-
Toss the salad with a drizzle of olive oil before serving to help rehydrate the noodles.
How long does pasta salad keep after it’s made?
Pasta salad will last 4-5 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Can I make this pasta salad ahead of time?
Absolutely! If making pasta salad ahead of time, reserve the bacon until right before serving and mix in half of the dressing leaving the other half to mix in before ready to serve.
See post for additional tips and suggestions. 
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be understood as an estimate rather than a guarantee. The Menu Maid makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Nutritional Per Serving-
Calories 459 | Total Fat 24.9g | Saturated Fat 8.6g | Cholesterol 50mg | Sodium 409mg | Total Carb 39.9g | Protein 18.6g

Nutrition

Calories: 459kcal

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