Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato (BLT) Pasta

by Lana Stuart on September 17, 2011 · 30 comments

BLT Pasta from Lana @NevrEnoughThyme

People think that because I write a food blog that I must cook constantly. Well, it is true that I do enjoy getting in the kitchen and making great food for my family. However, if I’m being totally honest, there are days when by dinner time I’m just completely wiped out. Does that ever happen to you? I bet it does! And the last thing you want to do on those days is cook something complicated for dinner. That’s when I’m thankful for simple recipes like this BLT Pasta. This recipe is just bursting with flavor from the crispy, salty bacon, tangy fresh tomatoes and peppery arugula. And comes together quickly so you can have dinner on the table before you know it. It’s even easier if you plan ahead – cook a little extra bacon on the weekend and stash it in the fridge for a week night when you’re just too frazzled to deal with anything more complicated.

You start this recipe by putting on a large pot of water to cook 12 ounces of penne pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Just a note – I’ve been using Dreamfields Pasta lately and we really like it. I can’t tell any difference in taste and with its lower glycemic index it’s much better for us than traditional pasta. This is not an advertisement for Dreamfields, just an opinion :-)

While the pasta is going, cook 8 slices of bacon until they’re nice and crisp. Drain the bacon but leave 3 tablespoons of the drippings in the pan for the sauce. Crumble the bacon and set it aside. I had some already waiting for me in the fridge the day I made this recipe. So easy!

Cooking onions for BLT Pasta

In the same pan that you used for the bacon, add a chopped red onion, the garlic, red pepper flakes and salt. Cook until the onion starts to wilt and soften.

Tomatoes and cream cooking for BLT Pasta

Then add the tomatoes and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes. Once the tomatoes have cooked down, add in the half-and-half or cream. I used the fat-free half-and-half in this and it turned out just great. Stir everything together well and cook for a couple more minutes.

Adding penne and arugla to BLT Pasta

Drain the pasta and add it to the pan along with the arugula, bacon and basil. Toss everything together. Add a splash or two of the pasta cooking water if you think it’s needed.

Top individual servings with Parmesan cheese. All you really need with this is some nice crusty garlic bread and you have a complete week night dinner!


BLT Pasta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
All the elements of a BLT combine with penne pasta and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Serves: 4 servings
  • 12 oz. penne pasta
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4-5 cups chopped tomatoes (or cherry or grape tomatoes, halved)
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half or cream
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 2 tblsp. chopped fresh basil (about 10-12 leaves)
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Cook the penne according to the package directions. While the penne is cooking, prepare the rest of the recipe.
  2. Cook the bacon until crispy. Drain the bacon reserving 3 tablespoons of the drippings. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
  3. In the same pan with the reserved bacon drippings, add the red onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt. Cook until the onion has wilted and begun to soften.
  4. Add the tomatoes. Stir together well and cook for about 12-15 minutes.
  5. Add the cream or half-and-half and cook for additional 2 minutes.
  6. Drain the pasta and add to the pan along with the arugula, bacon and basil. Toss together. Add a splash or two of the pasta cooking water if needed.
  7. Top individual servings with Parmesan cheese.
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–Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine

 Other bacon and pasta recipes you might enjoy from around the Internet:

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katrina September 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm

That looks de-lish and would be a hit here (because it has bacon!) ;)


2 Lana September 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Everybody loves bacon, don’t they Katrina?


3 Mari @ Mari's Cakes September 17, 2011 at 1:51 pm

I am sure it is as delicious as it looks. Great recipe Lana, I am sure we will love this for dinner or lunch. Thanks


4 Lana September 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm

It’s a great recipe for either time of day, Mari.


5 Elizabeth @SpiceOpolis September 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I make something kind of like this.. but.. THIS looks delicious too, and I think my daughters would like this better! I’m adding it to the menu in a couple weeks! With credit to you :) Thank you!


6 Lana September 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Hope you enjoy it, Elizabeth.


7 Cookin' Canuck September 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm

This is the kind of low-maintenance dish I love to make on weeknights. And yes, sometimes I do feel completely wiped out by dinnertime and the last thing I want to do is cook!


8 Lana September 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm

I’m so glad it’s not just me, Dara. I love cooking but there are just some days when life gets ahead of me and I simply can’t face hours in the kitchen :-)


9 Shelby September 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I hear you about what people think just because your a food blogger! Honest to goodness, I don’t cook THAT much! This pasta salad looks so yummy and would be a great light dinner here!


10 Lana September 17, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Thanks, Shelby :-)


11 Nutmeg Nanny September 17, 2011 at 6:09 pm

This looks easy and delicious! I’m always looking for quick dinner time meals.


12 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts September 17, 2011 at 10:40 pm

What a great pasta dish! I love having everything all in one meal – pasta, sauce, veggies! Looks amazing!


13 Denise @ Creative Kitchen September 17, 2011 at 11:50 pm

I love BLT anything….this looks incredible!!


14 Aimee September 18, 2011 at 6:13 am

Ooohh yes please!! Looks amazing and delicious :D


15 Shop with Me Mama (Kim) September 18, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Oh that looks/sounds good!!!


16 Barbara | Creative Culinary September 18, 2011 at 6:13 pm

I went to make a BLT last year but didn’t have any bread so ended up with a pasta not unsimilar to this. No L though but arugula is a great choice. Now I might be craving some since I have the last of my summer tomatoes dying for the perfect dish…this looks YUM! (Sorry about the use of that verboten word; sometimes it just is what I am thinking!).


17 Lana September 18, 2011 at 6:26 pm

There are no verboten words here, Barbara. We say yum anytime we feel like it :-) We use smiley faces, too.


18 Feast on the Cheap September 19, 2011 at 9:33 am

Oh yum! The sudden drop in temperature here in the NE has me craving carbs!


19 blackbookkitchendiaries September 19, 2011 at 11:52 am

i really love these flavors in here:) excellent combo!


20 Alison @ ingredients, Inc. September 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm

love this! What a great idea


21 Renee (kudos kitchen) October 10, 2011 at 1:53 am

Lana this looks amazingly tasty and quick. Perfect for those days when you want to get in and out of the kitchen fast. Thanks for the new recipe!


22 Renee (kudos kitchen) September 9, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Oh Lana this sounds wonderful, and quick! I’ll bet the red pepper flakes and arugula really gives it a zip! Glad to hear you like time off from cooking too. Everybody needs recipes like this just for those occasions!


23 Megan September 16, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Could I use spinach in place of arugula or would that completely change the taste of the dish?


24 Lana September 17, 2012 at 7:32 am

Of course you could use spinach. It would change the taste, but I think it would be good.


25 Anna June 19, 2013 at 4:41 pm

I think this looks wonderful! Going to cook it this week hopefully for my boyfriend, though I’ll be switching the arugula with spinach, because I absolutely loathe arugula (don’t hate me!!!), but can’t wait to try it!


26 Monica October 27, 2013 at 5:37 pm

This is my second tine making this, and my daughter, whom is a picky eater, asks for this pretty much every other day


27 Lana Stuart October 27, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Thank you, Monica. I so appreciate it when someone lets me know that they found a good recipe to enjoy here. I’m so glad your picky eater likes this one!


28 FRN-USA December 13, 2014 at 1:20 am

i really love these flavors


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