This pasta salad packs big punches of flavor: creamy, savory blue cheese, salty bacon, plus broccoli florets and green onion.
- 1 lb. dried pasta (any medium-sized shape, such as rotini or bow ties)
- 2 cups small broccoli florets
- 4 green onions
- 12 oz. bacon
- 10 oz. blue cheese crumbles
For dressing (see notes):
- 1/2 c. mayonnaise
- 1/2 c. ranch or blue cheese dressing
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- Boil pasta in heavily salted water, following the cooking time listed on the box. While the pasta water is coming to a boil and while the pasta is cooking, prep the remaining steps. (If the pasta is ready before all of the remaining steps are finished, drain the pasta and set aside until finished.)
- Chop the broccoli into small florets. During the last minute of pasta cooking time, add the broccoli.
- Chop the green onion into thin slices, set aside.
- Cook the bacon using your favorite method (pan-frying, baking, etc.). For an easy method, use the microwave: Spread out two layers of paper towel onto a large microwave safe plate. Lay out half the bacon slices on top so they are not overlapping. Cover with two layers of paper towels. Microwave on high for 5 – 7 minutes or until cooked to your liking. (Start at five minutes and check after each additional minute.) If you are using thick-cut bacon you may need additional cooking time. Remove the bacon to a cutting board to cool. Repeat with the second half of the bacon using new paper towels. When the bacon is cool enough to handle, chop into small pieces.
- In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients with a fork until smooth.
- Add the bacon, green onion, dressing, cooked pasta and broccoli to a large bowl, reserving a small amount of the bacon and green onion to garnish the top. Stir to combine.
- Add in the blue cheese crumbles, reserving about 1/4 cup to garnish the top. Stir gently to combine.
- Garnish the top with the reserved bacon, green onion and blue cheese.
This amount of dressing provides a light coating on the pasta. If you prefer pasta salads with more dressing, make 1.5 – 2 times the amount. If you aren’t sure, you can always start with the lesser amount of dressing and then mix up some additional dressing to add in if you need to.
Keywords: pasta salad, bacon pasta salad, blue cheese pasta salad, easy side