Make room for this delicious Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil and Bacon Pasta Salad at your next barbecue or picnic. It’s easy to prepare and it is the type of side dish that people just can’t get enough of. I first made this on Memorial Day and brought it to my neighbor’s party and people kept going back for more. It’s all the flavors of caprese salad that people love – tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella, plus bacon and pasta, you can’t resist it.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to pasta salad. Some people like to use a salad dressing, while others use a mayonnaise based dressing. I prefer to use salad dressing, and I used a roasted garlic vinaigrette that complimented the tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella.
You can certainly make this ahead of time, but if you do, I recommend sprinkling the bacon over the top of the salad, and not mixing it in so that it won’t get soggy. Keeping the bacon crisp adds a fun texture to the side dish.
10 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
25 minTotal Time
- 1/2 pound of Pasta
- 3 Tomatoes
- 5 slices of Bacon
- 1 large ball of Mozzarella
- 6 large Basil leaves
- Salad Dressing (such has Stonewall Kitchen's Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette)
- Start by cooking the bacon. Heat an oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread the bacon out in a single layer. Cook for 10-12 minutes until the bacon is crispy, and then blot off excess grease with a paper towel. Let the bacon cool.
- Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente.
- Drain the pasta and let it cool for 5 minutes. Pour the pasta into a large bowl. Then add about 1/2 cup of the dressing and stir it into the pasta. I like to add the dressing while the pasta is still a little warm so the pasta soaks some of it up giving it more flavor. Let sit for 5 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Dice the tomatoes and place them in a bowl, and toss with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Dice the mozzarella, finely chop the basil, and crumble the bacon.
- Pour the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and bacon over the pasta. Top with another 1/2 cup of dressing. You can opt to toss the ingredients together, but I thought that it looked pretty layered.