Home » Creamy Bacon Tomato Pasta Salad

Creamy Bacon Tomato Pasta Salad

This bacon macaroni salad is a brilliant in its simplicity — there are only 5 ingredients, but SO much flavor! Tender pasta, crispy bacon, and fresh tomatoes are tossed in a creamy dressing. This creamy bacon tomato pasta salad recipe has been a favorite in our family for decades and once you taste it you’ll see why!

macaroni salad with bacon and tomatoes

Aunt Fanny’s Bacon and Tomato Macaroni Salad

It seems like most people have a go-to recipe when they are invited to a pot-luck dinner or cookout. My Aunt Fanny’s bacon and tomato macaroni salad was always a big hit and we were always excited when she would bring it to a cookout.

For a long time, I thought it was my mom’s. My recipe card, says “Mom’s Macaroni Salad.” But she told me it really came from my Aunt Fanny.

Aunt Fanny was an amazing person who died way too young! She was only 53 and I can’t believe she’s been dead over 30 years. She had a great sense of humor and was such a loving aunt. I still miss her!

However, her amazing macaroni salad lives on here.

When I made this recently, I thought it was one of the best things I’d tasted in a while. It’s reminiscent of a BLT sandwich.

Our version doesn’t have the lettuce part, but you could serve it on some shredded lettuce or add chopped fresh spinach to the salad to make it a bacon, lettuce, and tomato macaroni salad.

That being said, it is pretty much perfect just the way it is.

creamy bacon tomato pasta salad in mixing bowl

For your convenience in re-creating our bacon pasta salad at home, we’ve included shop-able ad links to some of the products and supplies used. Read our disclosure policy here.

What You’ll Need to Make Creamy Bacon Pasta Salad

  • Bacon — Cooked and crumbled (save the grease because we’ll use that too!)
  • 2 medium/large tomatoes — Or a pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion — chopped
  • Green onion — chopped
  • Mayonnaise — Use the real stuff for the best flavor!
  • Salt and pepper — Optional, to taste

Kitchen Supplies Used:

fresh tomatoes and onions in bowl

How to Make Bacon and Tomato Macaroni Salad

I start the bacon first. My go-to way is to line a pan with foil. Then place a sheet of parchment paper over that. I lay my bacon flat on the pan and put it into a 375 degree over for 20 minutes. It turns out perfect every time.

cooking bacon on parchment paper

While the bacon cooks, get your macaroni water boiling. Once the water is boiling, add 8oz. of pasta and cook as per the directions. You don’t want to overcook.

While bacon and macaroni are cooking, chop your onions, tomatoes, and green onions.

diced tomatoes and onion on cutting board

After bacon is cooked, remove it from pan and drain it on a plate covered with a paper towel. The grease that’s remaining on the pan should be enough bacon grease for the recipe.

Carefully pick up your parchment paper and transfer the bacon grease to a small bowl.

When done, drain your macaroni. You can put it back in pot to mix or transfer to a mixing bowl.

Cut up or crumble the bacon when cool.

bacon pasta salad ingredients in mixing bowl

Mix the macaroni, tomato, bacon, onions, and bacon grease together.

Start with about ½ cup of mayonnaise to stir gently into the other ingredients. Taste for salt.

Bacon is already salty, so you might not need any additional salt. I found I needed to add about ½ tsp. You can also add pepper. But I like to have this on hand for people to add if they want rather than have it in the salad.

Transfer to your serving bowl. You can garnish with chopped green onions, a few chopped tomatoes, and crumbled bacon if you want it to look a little fancier.

Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Prepare to have a new favorite side dish!

creamy bacon tomato pasta salad in green bowl

Make it a BLT Pasta Salad!

As I mentioned earlier, this dish tastes so similar to a BLT! If you add lettuce, then it will truly be a BLT pasta salad!

You can use any type of lettuce, but I love chopped spinach for beautiful color and crunch.

I recommend adding 1-2 cups of lettuce, depending on how many greens you like. Add the lettuce right before serving, to avoid wilting.

Can You Make Pasta Salad a Day Ahead?

Sure! The sweet spot for making pasta salad is either early on the day your plan to serve it, or the night before.

My personal preference is to make the dish on the day I plan to serve it, however, if you’re planning for a lunch-time event, you could make it the night before and that would be just fine.

Remember, it needs a couple of hours to rest in the refrigerator before you serve it, so you do need to plan ahead a bit!

How Long Does Pasta Salad Last?

One of the great things about pasta salad is that it can last up to a week in the fridge!

If you have leftovers and it’s a little dry the next day, you can add a little more mayonnaise to make it creamy again.

TIP: If you do decide to make this BLT pasta salad by adding lettuce, wait until you plan to serve the dish before mixing in the greens, as they will wilt otherwise.

Can You Use Gluten Free Pasta?

Absolutely! In fact, I made my batch that’s pictured here with gluten-free pasta and that worked out perfectly! I used elbow macaroni for a traditional look, but penne or spirals would also work great.

More Tips and Tricks for Perfect Pasta Salad

  • If you can get fresh homegrown tomatoes, you will take the taste to a new level! Try to get the best ones you can.
  • Small cherry tomatoes would also work well since they are sweet. Use a pint and cut them in half.
  • The recipe is easily doubled if you’re feeding a crowd.
  • Use sweet onions if possible.

blt pasta salad in green bowl

Creamy Bacon Tomato Pasta Salad Recipe

Like this recipe? Please rate it!

creamy bacon tomato pasta salad in green bowl

Bacon and Tomato Macaroni Salad

Sara Garska
Tender pasta, crispy bacon, and fresh tomatoes are tossed in a creamy dressing. This creamy bacon tomato salad recipe has been a favorite in our family for decades and once you taste it you'll see why!
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 388 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 pound bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 8 ounces dry macaroni boil per directions on package
  • 2 tomatoes Can use pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 sweet onion chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon bacon grease reserved from cooking the bacon
  • 1 or 2 Tablespoons green onions chopped
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cook the bacon. I like to line a pan with foil. Then place a sheet of parchment paper over that. I lay my bacon flat on the pan and put it into a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. It turns out perfect every time.
    cooking bacon on parchment paper
  • Cook macaroni according to package directions, but take care not to overboil. Al dente pasta holds up better in this dish. When done cooking, drain macaroni and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  • While bacon and macaroni are cooking, chop your onions, tomatoes, and green onions.
    diced tomatoes and onion on cutting board
  • After bacon is cooked, remove it from pan and drain it on a plate covered with a paper towel. Save the bacon grease on the baking pan.
  • Carefully pick up your parchment paper and transfer the bacon grease to a small bowl.
  • Cut up or crumble the bacon when cool.
  • Mix the macaroni, tomato, bacon, onions, and bacon grease together.
    bacon pasta salad ingredients in mixing bowl
  • Start with about ½ cup of mayonnaise and stir gently into the other ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
    creamy bacon and tomato pasta salad in mixing bowl
  • Transfer to your serving bowl. You can garnish with chopped green onions, a few chopped tomatoes, and crumbled bacon if you want it to look a little fancier.
  • Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Notes

  • I made it with gluten-free pasta and that worked fine. I also used elbow macaroni for that traditional look. Penne or spirals would also be great.
  • If you can get fresh homegrown tomatoes, you will take the taste to a new level. Try to get the best ones you can.
  • Small cherry tomatoes would also work well since they are sweet. Use a pint and cut them in half.
  • The recipe is easily doubled.
  • Make this recipe the day of serving. It needs a couple of hours to rest in the refrigerator before you serve but will taste best if eaten the day you make it.
  • If you have leftovers and it’s a little dry the next day, you can add a little more mayonnaise to make it creamy again.
  • Next time I make it, I’m going to try adding about a cup of chopped spinach to it for some additional color and crunch.
  • Use sweet onions if possible.
  • Check for salt before adding since bacon can vary in how salty it is.

Nutrition

Calories: 388kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 4gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 196mgPotassium: 167mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 279IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mg
Keyword bacon, easy recipe, macaroni, pasta, salad, sides, tomato
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