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.
Delicious & my husband loved it. I will make this again to take to a potluck for sure.
FAB! So good. Added a little chicken to make it a main dish. So good cold or hot! Not hard. Delicious. 10/10.
Do you think it would throw the taste off if you used white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar?
no, it’s such a small amount that will work fine.
Delicious! Best part was husband and son loved as well. I’m going to make as a side for Christmas 🎄 Thanks for the recipe!
I made this and it is delicious! I added spring onions (green onions) because I had some to use up. Also added more bacon because I had some to use up. I added a couple of tablespoons of bacon fat (I used streaky bacon) to add flavour. Added this to my keeper recipes and will make regularly since I live in Australia and it’s almost permanent summer here. My husband loves carb loaded food, bacon and he absolutely adores peas. Winning. 🏆 Anyone who doesn’t like this recipe I suspect doesn’t know how to adjust seasoning as you and check seasoning once more upon finishing. If you like the ingredients (pasta, bacon, peas, part and mayonnaise you will adore this if you season properly.
I’m so glad you loved it. Your additions sound delightful!
After reading all the reviews, I was excited to make this recipe. I made exactly as the recipe instructed. But, this was the blandest dish I think I have ever made. I took it to a Halloween party & every I asked said they thought it was bland as well. Sorry to say I won’t be making this again.
So sorry you didn’t like it.
It sounds like you don’t season as you go, and possibly added or used too much pasta por ratio of the rest of the recipe. If you take a recipe to a potluck and do not re-season it to your liking, it is not the original recipes fault. Everyone’s tastes are different, this recipe is delicious, but even I re-season it is necessary.
Did u taste it before serving? You can always add more seasoning , try it again.
This is a great recipe! My husband loved it! It was a great side dish to a lot of different meals! Definitely a keeper! Thank you!!
So glad you guys loved it!
I had left over chicken that I added.
Also omitted garlic and added one third to a half cup of ranch dressing,also added lettuce.
We really liked it.
That sounds yummy, I’m going to do some experimenting myself
Just made it for cookout tomorrow, quick and easy. I added my own ranch dry mix and green onion to m one. I’m hoping it will last until tomorrow!
I just made this salad and it’s so good. I only had 1/2 cup of mayonnaise so I used a 1/4 cup of sour cream with it. It’s so versatile, I had a cucumber and some fresh dill that i needed to use so I added them in. My husband hasn’t tried it yet, but I think he will love it. I also used mini bow ties because it was the only pasta I had besides spaghetti.
This was very light and delicious! Not a fan of a lot of mayo but this was just right! And some of the gang don’t like peas so I used peas and carrots (compromise, lol) it was great and I will make this again!
Has anyone ever used broccoli instead of peas
I think it should work fine! I’d just chop it pretty small so the pieces aren’t overwhelming
Kayleigh Hatch says
So delicious! I’ve made it twice now with no changes. It’s perfect !
Using this recipe as a guide, I made a few changes. I added chopped sweet onion and quartered heirloom cherry tomatoes. I deleted the onion powder and did not add salt. I also added a small grilled chicken breast Turing this salad into a main dish salad. I will make again!
I need to try those next time I make. Especially the chicken, yum!
This was the best pasta salad I’ve ever had!!! This was so creamy with lots of great flavor and there was nothing that could have made it taste any better.
So glad you loved it!
I have made this twice now and it’s delicious! I keep it in the fridge and everyone helps themselves.
My hubby can’t stand mayo, could I use sour cream or maybe Greek yogurt or something in place of the mayo, and it still taste good?
I’m guessing you could sub either of those. You’ll probably need a tablespoon or two of milk to make it thin enough to cover the pasta. Let me know how it turns out.
Is it ok to make the day before or is it better freshly made?
I would save half of the sauce to add till you are serving, or shortly before because it seems to soak into the noodles over time, but otherwise it should be good!
To save time, Could I use real bacon bits instead of frying bacon?
I don’t like them as much, but bacon bits, should work fine!
This is easy to make, delicious to eat and a quick cleanup! Lot’s of things you could add based on whats on hand like herbs, onion and/or tomatoes. Who doesn’t love bacon and a bit of mayo. :). I enjoyed it as a small side to a healthy green salad. Thank you for the yummy recipe.
This was perfect as my side dish for the 4th of July BBQ. I had to improvise a bit. I used broccoli instead of peas and balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar. I love the tangy dressing paired with the slight salty flavor of the bacon.
Cookin Deva says
I made it as written and found it a tad salty (from the parmesan.) In reviewing your add in suggestions I added some cherry tomatoes and it made all the difference; my hubby and I loved it! Will definitely be making it again. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe.
So glad you liked it with the tomatoes! Yum!
Made this – perfect for a hot summer evening! Great flavor, I left the parmesan off for each person to sprinkle on if desired. I like the tip of leaving some dressing to stir in right before serving. Also, I make this with the addition of tuna, cherry tomatoes, and onion.
Delicious!!! Next time, I would double the dressing. I made this in the am, for an evening cookout and the pasta absorbed a lot of the dressing (which is super tasty!!)
Ah, it can definitely soak it up, great tip. Glad you still enjoyed it!
Sarah V says
Delicious 😋. (Husband approved). I was surprised that there were no onions in the pasta salad, but it didn’t need it! Super tasty as is-wouldn’t change a thing 🙌
There was onion powder in the dressing
Ha ha ha, and you can always chop up some onions and add your own if that is something you prefer.