Summer is right around the corner, and this Spinach Bacon Pasta Salad is the freshest side dish for all the picnics, barbecues, and pool parties your heart desires.
Spinach Bacon Pasta Salad
Hey, summer... We are so ready for you! Pasta salads always remind me of long, sunny days outside and dinner on the deck. They have everything you could possibly need, so much so that they're almost like casserole's cooler, fresher, more summery cousin! This one covers all its bases. Protein? Check. Vegetables? Check. Carbs? Check. Tons of flavor? Check!
Plus, it's an absolutely beautiful dish. It's great to bring to get-togethers with family and friends for a colorful side that everyone will love, and it couldn't be any easier to toss together--literally. If you want to make it ahead of an event, just store the cooked pasta, mixed dressing, and veggies separately, and throw 'em in a bowl with a quick toss before serving.
What goes with pasta salad?
I may or may not be known for creating entire menus around a side dish that I love. Most people pick the entree and go from there, but sometimes, my favorite sides come calling and I have to answer. This one is no exception, so if you're looking for main dishes to go well with Spinach Bacon Pasta Salad, there are tons of options! Burgers, grilled chicken or ribs (or your favorite grilled meat), hot dogs, lobster rolls, and steak skewers are some great places to start.
How long does Spinach Bacon Pasta Salad last?
Once it's constructed, you'll want to eat this pasta salad within 24 hours to avoid the spinach wilting or tomatoes making everything soggy. If you store the cooked pasta, dressing, and chopped vegetables separately in the fridge, it will keep for 3 to 4 days.
Do you rinse pasta after cooking it for a cold pasta salad?
Yep! In a lot of hot pastas, you never rinse the noodles to save the good starchy film on the pasta, which helps pasta sauce cling to it. But for cold pasta salad, you have to rinse the noodles to stop them from cooking further and to keep the pasta loose, not sticky and clumpy.
Can you heat up cold pasta salad?
You probably could... but I wouldn't. The dressing is basically a salad dressing, and it doesn't really translate to warm foods. Plus, the veggies would steam and wilt, taking away from the nice, fresh crunch they add to cold pasta salad.
Summer is right around the corner, and this Spinach Bacon Pasta Salad is the freshest side for all the picnics, barbecues, and pool parties your heart desires.
- 8 ounces pasta
- ½ pound bacon
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup tomatoes
- ¼ cup thinly sliced mild onion (like a red or sweet onion), or to taste
- 4 cups baby spinach
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Slice the bacon into small pieces, and then place in a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, until very crisp.
- While the pasta and bacon are cooking, make the dressing for the pasta salad.
- In a small bowl, add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, mayo, garlic, salt, and ground black pepper.
- Whisk to combine well.
- In a large bowl, add the pasta, and toss with the dressing. Add the cooked bacon, tomatoes, onion, and baby spinach, and toss to combine.
- Adjust the salt and pepper to taste, and serve right away.
- Salad can be chilled before serving if you'd like.
- If you'd like to make this ahead, cook the pasta. Make the dressing, and keep the dressing separate from the pasta and the other ingredients. Toss everything together right before serving.
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 10 min
- Category: side dish
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: pasta salad, spinach, bacon recipe
Other pasta salad recipes you may like:
- Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe
- Creamy Taco Pasta Salad
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Simple Italian Pasta Salad
- Very Veggie Asian Pasta Salad
Oh friends, I have a thing for pasta salad. I even have a giant post with 8 of the Best Pasta Salad Recipes included. I think that dill pickle pasta salad is one that you should take a look at after this one. I hope you find all kinds of summer food inspiration on Bless this Mess. Enjoy cooking for your people as the weather warms up.