Bacon and Basil Pasta Salad

Perfect for a potluck, picnic or any time you're serving a crowd, this big batch of pasta salad can be prepared in just 25 minutes.

  • Prep Time 25 min
  • Total Time 2 hr 25 min
  • Servings 22

Ingredients

1
package (16 oz) penne pasta
1/2
lb sliced bacon
1
pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
2
medium red or green bell peppers or 1 of each, chopped (2 cups)
4
medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
1/3
cup red wine vinegar
1
tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2
cup olive oil
1/2
cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1
teaspoon salt
1/2
teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Rinse with cold water to cool; drain.
  • 2 Meanwhile, in 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium heat 5 to 8 minutes until crisp; drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon; refrigerate until serving time.
  • 3 In large bowl, mix pasta, tomatoes, bell peppers and onions.
  • 4 In small bowl, beat vinegar and mustard with whisk. Add oil; beat with whisk until blended. Stir in basil, salt and pepper. Pour over pasta mixture and toss to combine. Cover; refrigerate 2 hours or until chilled.
  • 5 Just before serving, sprinkle bacon over salad and toss to combine.

Expert Tips

Grape tomatoes are the smaller version of cherry tomatoes and they are just about bite-size. Cherry tomatoes, cut in half or into quarters, can be used instead of grape tomatoes in this salad.

Experiment with the bacon. Try peppered bacon or applewood-smoked bacon for a slight flavor variation. If using peppered bacon, taste the salad before seasoning to taste with pepper.

Nutrition Information

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

Serving Size: 1 Serving (1/2 Cup)
Calories
160
(
Calories from Fat
60),
% Daily Value
Total Fat
7g
7%
(Saturated Fat
1g,
1%
Trans Fat
0g
0%
),
Cholesterol
0mg
0%;
Sodium
270mg
270%;
Total Carbohydrate
19g
19%
(Dietary Fiber
1g
1%
  Sugars
1g
1%
),
Protein
4g
4%
;
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
10%;
Vitamin C
15%;
Calcium
0%;
Iron
6%;
Exchanges:
1 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1 1/2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choices:
1
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.