This creamy pasta salad is loaded with peas, crispy bacon, and noodles, all covered in a smooth and creamy dressing. It’s a perfect side dish for any dinner, potluck, or barbecue.
This creamy pasta salad is going to quickly become one of your favorite side dishes. It’s perfect for pairing with almost any dinner, and we especially love it with some grilled chicken, a nice salad, or some burgers. It’s also perfect for taking to a potluck style dinner!
It’s finally warming up, and we are ready for all things sunshine, and being outside as much as possible. That includes eating dinner outside as much as possible. Our favorite is cooking some yummy meat on the grill, and pairing it with a yummy side dish, some fresh or grilled veggies, watermelon, and of course a yummy pasta salad like this!
This pasta salad is one of my favorites, and that’s saying a lot, because we have a lot of pasta salad recipes. This pasta salad is coated in a flavorful, creamy dressing, and paired with bacon, and peas to give it a great texture and flavor in every bite.
It’s so simple to make, and so delicious! It’s a great recipe because you can customize the mix-ins however you want, if you don’t like peas, add corn instead. Want tomatoes, throw them in too? Want a little more protein, add in some cooked chicken.
How to make Creamy Pasta Salad?
Start by boiling a large pot of water and cooking the noodles until they are cooked al dente. Drain the water out of the noodles with a colander and rinse the noodles with cold water to stop them from cooking. Dry off the pasta noodles as much as you can.
While the pasta is cooking make sure the peas are thawed, and cook the bacon, and crumble it up.
Add the noodles, bacon, peas, and parmesan cheese to a large bowl, and stir them together.
In another bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the creamy dressing in a small bowl, mayo, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.
Pour the sauce over the salad ingredients and stir everything together to coat them evenly. Place it in the fridge for about an hour or serve immediately.
Tips for making this Creamy Bacon Pasta Salad:
- This pasta salad is a great make ahead recipe. Add everything together, except for the bacon and half the dressing, cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve the dish, toss in the crumbled bacon pieces, and the remaining dressing and serve.
- I like to use medium sized pasta for this salad, I love medium shells, rotini, and farfalle the most.
- Don’t overcook your pasta noodles. You want it cooked al dente so it’s not too soggy, especially as it sits in the dressing.
- Add in any additional veggies or mix-ins that you think would be delicious, chopped up carrots, bell pepper, corn. Even making it more hearty with some grilled chicken pieces, or cubed ham would be delicious too. Also some cubed cheddar cheese would be yummy.
This creamy pasta salad is full of peas, bacon, and pasta, all coated in a creamy and flavorful dressing. It’s the perfect side dish for any dinner, and perfect for a potluck!
More Pasta Salad Recipes:
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Creamy Pasta Salad
- 12 oz small pasta noodles
- 2 cup frozen peas (thawed)
- 12 oz thick cut bacon (cooked and chopped)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
For the Creamy Dressing:
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 TBS apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt (to taste)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper (to taste)
- Cook the pasta noodles in a large pot of water according to their package directions, until cooked al dente. Drain the water out, and rinse the noodles in cold water.
- While the pasta is cooking, make sure the peas are thawed, bacon is cooked and crumbled, and parmesan is grated. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, add the mayonnaise, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Whisk them together till combined.
- Add the pasta, peas, bacon, and parmesan to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the top. Stir it all together till everything is coated evenly in the dressing.
- Cover the pasta bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to chill for 1 to 2 hours, or serve immediately.
Loved bud I should have cooked my pasta a tad more! Other than that, it was perfect 🙂
This was so very delicious!
Cal Abriola says
This pasta salad was very good and made just the right amount for me. I especially liked the bacon and the peas together. Perfect for a picnic or for a gathering at the office.
This went together surprisingly fast- such an easy recipe and really tasty. I used light Mayo and that worked well. I threw in a couple of hard boiled eggs and that was yummy. The salad was not dry and was lighter tasting than the old fashioned macaroni salads that I’ve not made in a long time. My husband liked it and it’s a great summer side salad to BBQ or grilled meats.
Follow directions precisely on the first batch, and it was delicious! Second time around, I added choped cucumbers, and artichoke hearts, off the charts, a New, Family favorite
So glad you all love it. I’ll have to try artichoke hearts next time!
A. Chavez says
This turned out great! Followed the recipe exactly and it was perfect. Cooked my bacon in the oven while I made the pasta and it was perfect timing. I’ll definitely be making this again soon.
Julie P says
This is the perfect side dish.
It’s surprising how just a few ingredients pulled together can make something so delicious.
My 2 year old grandson is your #1 fan
Just made this and I love it!!!! I am trying not to eat it all before people start showing up. Can you make this the night before and it’s still good?
You can make it the night before, though sometimes the pasta soaks up the dressing so you may want to add a little the day of if it seems too dry
Turned out really bad. I’m so bummed. Way too much mayo and apple cider vinegar gave it a worst taste. Not for me.
I always recommend tasting a dressing before adding it your salad so you don’t ruin it to your tastes
Way too much salt but otherwise good recipe.
The salt ingredient says “to taste” which means you should add as much as you’ll like for your tastes. But glad you liked it otherwise 🙂
This pasta salad was so delicious. I will be making this a lot. It whips up in no time at all. I will double the dressing next time though. Because I used a 16 oz box of noodles. And I used 1/2 tsp of salt. Just because people put s&p on their food even before they taste it. Thank you🤓
Delicious recipe! Soooo tasty I couldn’t help but keep eating it lol the perfect creamy pasta salad!!
Amy VanBrocklin says
I agree! I am curious how big is a serving size for this? I see the nutrition and I made a double batch for Easter. I count macros so was trying to ballpark it 😀
It should be about 3/4 a cup
Could I use bacon bits instead of bacon?
Yes of course! I like pan frying them for a few to crisp them up, but if you like them as is you can just throw them in too 🙂
Yummm, new family favorite. I made just a few changes to please my picky family. We are from Virginia, we like our sauces tangy and sweet ❤️
1. Added 1 additional Tbsp vinegar
2. Added 1 additional tsp sugar
3. Added bacon as we were getting ready to eat it (to preserve the crispiness)
My family absolutely loved it! Thank you for such a solid recipe!
Great ideas! So glad you loved it!
Bridget Miller says
I did the same thing. So yummy!
Can this be frozen in batches
I’m not sure if the sauce would do well frozen, or if the pasta would get too soft. I’d probably suggest against freezing it.
Not crazy about peas..any ideas what else I could substitute in?
Leave them out, or add any veggies you like, diced broccoli, carrots, etc.
Corn would be worth considering. Use the frozen kernels.
Also diced green pepper (or red). Also capers would be a
This recipe looks delicious but I don’t like mayo. Are there any alternatives to the mayo dressing.
You can substitute greek yogurt or something like it!
You can use sour cream ( full fat) or a Greek yogurt.
This pasta salad was absolutely delicious! It will definitely be a regular in our house! YUM!
Could you do this for a meal prep? Sounds delicious, but want to see if it will last for a week’s worth of lunches!
We usually eat it quicker, but it should last for about 5 days with the creamy sauce.
I am definitely going to make this pasta salad.
I love the name of your blog!
This is a spot on recipe for me. You can add on, take out, or leave just is. It’s a wonder I didn’t eat it all myself in one sitting. I’m planning to try all of the pasta salads. I also wanted to thank you for replying to questions that are posed because so many cooking bloggers don’t. Love the blog name, too.
Yay, I’m so glad to hear that Deborah! I love how customizable it is too