Salads

Creamy Bacon Blue Cheese Pasta Salad

Perfectly indulgent, this bacon blue cheese pasta salad is made with a mayo dressing and comes together in minutes. This is a great crowd pleaser for BBQs, picnics and game day!
Overhead shot of bacon blue cheese pasta salad in a serving bowl.

Last Updated on January 11, 2022 by Betty Davies

Get ready for one delicious dish – we seriously couldn’t stop eating this! Creamy, tangy and salty, this bacon blue cheese pasta salad is one tasty side dish that you won’t be able to get enough of! Make it ahead of time for a great addition to a BBQ, picnic or game day, or serve up as part of a tasty weeknight meal.

Bacon blue cheese pasta salad in a large serving bowl.

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A creamy pasta salad is probably my favorite type of salad, and this one is all kinds of indulgent! I just know you are going to love it!

Full of texture and loaded with flavor, if you are looking for a dish to impress, this bacon blue cheese pasta salad is it!

Crispy salty bacon and tangy blue cheese is mixed into a creamy mayo dressing, then freshly cooked baby pasta shells are tossed in the sauce for one effortless but delicious addition to any meal. Trust me guys, this one is a must make!

Be sure to try my Cajun Pasta Salad and Spinach Orzo Pasta Salad too!

Why you will love this recipe!

  • Quick and easy: There’s nothing complicated about this recipe, but the flavors are out of this world. Just cook up the pasta, mix together the dressing and toss everything together. It’s ready in less than 20 minutes.
  • Make ahead: This is a great make ahead dish that can be prepared several days in advance. It’s a great option for cookouts and entertaining.
  • Perfect for a crowd: This bacon blue cheese pasta salad will easily serve up to 12 people as a side. The ingredients are easily halved for a smaller crowd, but I assure you that people will make room for this!
Bacon and blue cheese pasta salad in a serving bowl with two spoons.

Ingredients

  • Bacon: Crispy bacon adds a great salty flavor to this dish. You can cook the bacon whilst cooking the pasta, or use ready cooked bacon from the store for ease.
  • Pasta: I make this recipe with baby pasta shells – they are so easy to eat and they collect that creamy and cheesy dressing. Other pasta shapes like fusilli, bow tie, macaroni or regular shells will all work great.
  • Mayonnaise: Mayo adds the creamy texture to this pasta salad. It’s not healthy, but it’s sure damn delicious!
  • White wine vinegar: The acid in the vinegar helps to cut through the creamy dressing to hep balance the flavors. Apple cider vinegar can also be used.
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  • Blue cheese: Blue cheese brings the flavor! Use a Stilton for a stronger tangier flavor or a Danish Blue for a milder bite. It’s best to avoid creamy blue cheeses like gorgonzola, as the texture will be quite different.
  • Celery and green onions: Diced finely for crunch and some fresh flavor.

How to make bacon blue cheese pasta salad

Be sure to scroll down for the full recipe!

  • Mix together the mayo, vinegar, blue cheese and seasonings in a large bowl (photo 1).
  • Stir in the celery, green onions and bacon (photo 2).
  • Add the cooked pasta and toss to combine (photo 3).
Three step by step photos to show how to make the recipe.

Recipe Variations

This creamy bacon blue cheese pasta salad is pretty tasty as it is, but you can easily make it your own!

  • Make it vegetarian. Omit the bacon, or try replacing it with a meat-free substitute.
  • Make it healthier. Let’s be honest, you are never going to turn this into a healthy dish, but if you like, you can use a low-fat mayo to cut down of some calories and fat. It won’t be as rich, but will still work nicely.
  • Add in some shredded chicken. For a fuller meal, some cooked shredded chicken makes an excellent addition!
  • Add in some other veggies. Try adding in some diced bell peppers, halved cherry tomatoes or some broccoli florets for a bit of goodness and added texture.
  • Use a different pasta shape. Most short pasta shapes will work well. Use a gluten-free pasta to make gluten-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it last?

Although this can be served straight way, I do like to let it sit for at least 30 minutes in the fridge to let the flavors develop. Keep it covered and it will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days. Because it contains mayo, it’s best not to keep this dish at room temperature for more than a couple of hours.

Can you make this pasta salad without mayonnaise?

If you prefer to make this without mayo, you of course can, though personally I’m a total mayonnaise freak and it would be rude not to add it! For a healthier, but still creamy sauce, you can swap half of the mayo for some Greek yogurt which has a similar texture.

What’s the best way to cook the pasta for salad?

Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil and add in your dried pasta. Cook it until it is al dente in texture, if you over cook it, the final salad will be really mushy. When ready, drain the pasta and run it under cold water to stop the cooking process. It’s important that your pasta isn’t added in hot to the creamy dressing, or it can curdle.

Creamy pasta salad topped with green onions and fresh herbs.

Serving Suggestions

This bacon blue cheese pasta salad is a great addition to cookouts, pot lucks, picnics and BBQs, it works great with grilled meats and cold cuts and it’s definitely a welcome addition to your Super Bowl feast! It’s also great to enjoy as part of a lunch or weeknight dinner with your favorite mains. Try it with:

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Cook the pasta al dente and take care not to overcook it.
  • Rinse the cooked pasta under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Warm pasta shouldn’t be added to the mayonnaise dressing or it can separate.
  • For best results, let the pasta salad sit in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving, though it can be served right away.
  • Keep covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Close up of sliced green onions on top of the pasta salad.

This creamy bacon blue cheese pasta salad is seriously good guys! We added it to packed lunches, with weeknight meals and right out of the bowl with a spoon! This is the real deal for sure!

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Overhead shot of bacon blue cheese pasta salad in a serving bowl.

Creamy Bacon and Blue Cheese Pasta Salad

Perfectly indulgent, this bacon blue cheese pasta salad is made with a mayo dressing and comes together in minutes. This is a great crowd pleaser for BBQs, picnics and game day!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 458kcal
Author: Betty Davies

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 pound pasta (I used baby shells) (450g)
  • 2 cups mayonnaise (460g)
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar (4 tablespoons)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6.5 ounces blue cheese (180g / about ¾ cup)
  • 2 celery stalks (diced)
  • 6 green onions (sliced)

Instructions

  • Cook the bacon using your preferred method til crispy. I like to oven bake it at 400f / 200c til crispy. Set to one side.
  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water til al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water and set to one side.
  • In a large serving bowl, add the mayo, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic powder and whisk well to combine.
  • Crumble in the blue cheese and stir well.
  • Crumble in the cooked bacon, diced celery and chopped green onions and stir.
  • Add in the cooked pasta and toss in the dressing til well coated.
  • Let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Cook the pasta al dente and take care not to overcook it.
  • Rinse the cooked pasta under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Warm pasta shouldn’t be added to the mayonnaise dressing or it can separate.
  • For best results, let the pasta salad sit in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving, though it can be served right away.
  • Keep covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 505mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 204IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 1mg

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