Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato (BLT) Pasta

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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    • says

      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 :-)

  1. says

    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!

  2. says

    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!).

  3. says

    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!

  4. Anna says

    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!

  5. Monica says

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

    • Lana Stuart says

      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!


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