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FoodBacon And Asparagus Pasta Salad

Bacon And Asparagus Pasta Salad

Enjoy this delicious Bacon and Asparagus Pasta Salad at barbecues, potluck gatherings, or a nutritious family meal.

A colorful pasta salad made with asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and crumbled bacon.

I’ve always loved bringing this salad to gatherings because it’s a real crowd-pleaser and reminds me of sunny days and good times with friends. It’s one of those recipes that has people coming back for seconds, and I’m always asked for the recipe. So, next time you’re headed out for a potluck or barbaques, give it a try and see just how many smiles it brings!

This pasta salad is a great side for our best Hamburger Recipe, grilled chicken legs, or it can make an easy dinner on its own.

Delicious By Design

We developed this Bacon & Asparagus Pasta Salad recipe to give a fresh twist to classic pasta salads. We recognized the need for a dish that can serve both a hearty side dish and a main course, so we chose ingredients that blend vibrant flavors and textures.

The result is a pasta salad that combines the smoky flavor of bacon with the crispness of fresh asparagus and the sweet burst of cherry tomatoes, all tied together with a zesty dressing.

What You’ll Need

All of the ingredients for this recipe laid out on a table.All of the ingredients for this recipe laid out on a table.

For this Bacon & Asparagus Pasta Salad, you’ll need pasta (we like curly pasta), asparagus, thick-cut bacon, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, fresh parsley, salt, and black pepper.

Ingredient Spotlight

a bunch of asparagus tied with twinea bunch of asparagus tied with twine

Asparagus: Asparagus is a key player in this dish, providing a fresh, crunchy contrast to the soft pasta and rich bacon. For the best flavor, opt for fresh, firm asparagus stalks with closed tips.

Green beans are a great substitute for asparagus, offering a nice crunch. When buying asparagus, look for stalks that are brightly colored and have a uniform thickness, which ensures even cooking.

How To Make Bacon And Asparagus Pasta Salad

Six-step process for making Bacon and Asparagus Pasta Salad: Step 1 shows asparagus boiling with pasta in a pot; Step 2 shows bacon cooking in a skillet; Step 3 shows cooked pasta and asparagus in a colander; Step 4 shows a large mixing bowl with cooked pasta, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, bacon, and grated Parmesan cheese; Step 5 shows a bowl of olive oil dressing with chopped parsley; Step 6 shows the dressing being poured over the salad ingredients.Six-step process for making Bacon and Asparagus Pasta Salad: Step 1 shows asparagus boiling with pasta in a pot; Step 2 shows bacon cooking in a skillet; Step 3 shows cooked pasta and asparagus in a colander; Step 4 shows a large mixing bowl with cooked pasta, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, bacon, and grated Parmesan cheese; Step 5 shows a bowl of olive oil dressing with chopped parsley; Step 6 shows the dressing being poured over the salad ingredients.
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions. Add the asparagus pieces to the boiling water approximately 2 minutes before the pasta cooks. Let them cook together for the remaining 2 minutes. (Photo 1)
  2. While the pasta is cooking, place the chopped bacon in a cold skillet. Turn on the heat to medium and allow the bacon to cook slowly. This method helps render the fat more evenly and prevents the bacon from burning (Photo 2).
  3. Drain the pasta and asparagus and rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside (Photo 3).
  4. Combine the cooked pasta and asparagus, halved cherry tomatoes, crispy bacon, and grated Parmesan cheese (Photo 4).
  5. Whisk together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until well combined. Add the chopped parsley to the dressing mixture and stir (Photo 5).
  6. Pour the prepared dressing over the pasta salad ingredients in the mixing bowl (Photo 6). Gently toss until everything is evenly coated with the dressing. Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed.
Bowl of bacon and asparagus pasta salad with fusilli pasta, cherry tomatoes, and grated Parmesan, served on a white plate with a small bowl of fresh parsley in the background.Bowl of bacon and asparagus pasta salad with fusilli pasta, cherry tomatoes, and grated Parmesan, served on a white plate with a small bowl of fresh parsley in the background.

Make It Your Own

This Bacon & Asparagus Pasta Salad is a true crowd-pleaser and oh-so adaptable! If you’re leaning towards a vegetarian option, simply replace the bacon with some grilled zucchini or eggplant. They both bring a fabulous smoky flavor and a pleasing texture that mimics the heartiness of bacon.

As for the dressing, it’s all about your personal preference! Feel free to tweak the mustard and vinegar levels to get it just right for your palate. And hey, why not switch things up with a ranch dressing? It’ll add a creamy richness that pairs beautifully with the crisp asparagus and smoky flavors. Dive in and tailor each bite to be a taste sensation!

Erren’s Top Tips

  • Season the Pasta Water – Add salt to the pasta water to season the pasta internally and improve the overall flavor of the salad. Use about 1 tablespoon of salt for every 4 cups of water.
  • Cook Pasta al Dente – Cook the pasta until it’s al dente, which means it should still have a bit of bite or chew. This will help the pasta hold its shape and prevent it from becoming mushy when dressed. Ensure the pasta is al dente to keep the salad from getting mushy.
  • Use a Variety of Pasta Shapes – Mix and match different pasta shapes to add visual interest to the salad. Just be sure to cook each shape separately to ensure they’re all cooked al dente.
  • Cool the Pasta – Cool the cooked pasta to room temperature to prevent it from absorbing too much dressing.
  • Add Flavor with Herbs and Spices – Add fresh or dried herbs and spices to the dressing for extra flavor. Some options include basil, oregano, garlic powder, and black pepper.
  • Don’t Overdress – Dress the salad just before serving to prevent the pasta from becoming soggy. Start with a small amount of dressing and add more as needed.
  • Chill Before Serving – Chill the salad for at least an hour before serving; this allows the flavors to meld together beautifully.
  • Taste and Adjust – Always taste and adjust the seasoning right before serving to perfect the flavor profile.
Close-up of a Bacon and Asparagus Pasta Salad with rotini pasta, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, bacon, and grated Parmesan cheese, all tossed in a light dressing, served in a large white bowl.Close-up of a Bacon and Asparagus Pasta Salad with rotini pasta, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, bacon, and grated Parmesan cheese, all tossed in a light dressing, served in a large white bowl.

Storage & Freezing Instructions ❄

This pasta salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, making it ideal for meal prep.

While freezing is not recommended as it may cause the vegetables to become soggy, leftovers make great next-day lunches.

Close-up of a Bacon and Asparagus Pasta Salad with rotini pasta, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, bacon, and grated Parmesan cheese, all tossed in a light dressing, served in a large white bowl.


Let’s Make
Bacon And Asparagus Pasta Salad

Our Bacon And Asparagus Pasta Salad is a delightful blend of textures and flavors. Crunchy bacon, earthy asparagus, juicy tomatoes – a delightful mix in a light, tangy dressing!

Prep20 minutes

Cook15 minutes

Total35 minutes

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Instructions

Prepare Pasta and Asparagus:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

  • Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions.

  • Approximately 2 minutes before the pasta is done cooking, add the asparagus pieces to the boiling water.

  • Let them cook together for the remaining 2 minutes.

  • Drain the pasta and asparagus and rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.

Prepare the Bacon:

  • Place the chopped bacon in a cold skillet.

  • Turn on the heat to medium and allow the bacon to cook slowly. This method helps render the fat more evenly and prevents the bacon from burning.

Prepare Dressing:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper until well combined.

Assemble Salad:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta and asparagus, halved cherry tomatoes, crispy bacon, and grated Parmesan cheese.

Add Dressing:

  • Pour the prepared dressing over the pasta salad ingredients in the mixing bowl and add the chopped parsley.

  • Gently toss until everything is evenly coated with the dressing.

  • Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 1430 (72%)| Carbohydrates: 71g (24%)| Protein: 36g (72%)| Fat: 112g (172%)| Saturated Fat: 27g (169%)| Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g| Monounsaturated Fat: 65g| Trans Fat: 0.2g| Cholesterol: 91mg (30%)| Sodium: 1128mg (49%)| Potassium: 1110mg (32%)| Fiber: 7g (29%)| Sugar: 9g (10%)| Vitamin A: 2512IU (50%)| Vitamin C: 51mg (62%)| Calcium: 283mg (28%)| Iron: 7mg (39%)

Nutritional Data Disclaimer

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