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Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato (BLT) Pasta

My Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato (BLT) Pasta has all the elements of the classic sandwich combined with penne pasta and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. It can be on your table in 30 minutes!

People think that because I’m a food blogger 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.

BLT pasta in a serving bowl with a napkin and cutlery alongside.

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 it 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 weeknight when you’re just too frazzled to deal with anything more complicated.

How to Make BLT Pasta

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.

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!

Red onion cooking in a skillet.

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

Tomatoes and cream added to skillet with cooked onions.

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.

Penne pasta and arugula added to skillet on top of the sauce.

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 weeknight dinner!

BLT pasta in a serving bowl with a napkin and cutlery alongside.
Lana Stuart.

Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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BLT pasta in a serving bowl with a napkin and cutlery alongside.

BLT Pasta

All the elements of a BLT combine with penne pasta and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Pasta
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 432kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces penne pasta
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups chopped tomatoes or cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • cup half-and-half or cream
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil about 10-12 leaves
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Cook the penne according to the package directions. While the penne is cooking, prepare the rest of the recipe.
  • Cook the bacon until crispy. Drain the bacon reserving 3 tablespoons of the drippings. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
  • 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.
  • Add the tomatoes. Stir together well and cook for about 12-15 minutes.
  • Add the cream or half-and-half and cook for additional 2 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Top individual servings with Parmesan cheese.

Notes

  • Use any tube style pasta you like for this recipe. Ziti, rigatoni, even rotini work great.
  • Start cooking the sauce when you put the pasta water on to boil. The pasta will be ready at about the same time as the sauce. Big time saver!
  • If you have leftover bacon, feel free to use it. Otherwise, start your sauce by cooking the bacon and draining all but a couple of tablespoons of the fat from the skillet.

Nutrition Information

Serving 1 | Calories 432kcal | Carbohydrates 78g | Protein 17g | Fat 6g | Saturated Fat 3g | Cholesterol 10mg | Sodium 1028mg | Potassium 776mg | Fiber 6g | Sugar 10g | Vitamin A 909IU | Vitamin C 29mg | Calcium 193mg | Iron 4mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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28 Comments

  1. i really love these flavors

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

    1. 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!

  3. 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!

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

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

  5. Renee (kudos kitchen) 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!

  6. Renee (kudos kitchen) says:

    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!

  7. Alison @ ingredients, Inc. says:

    love this! What a great idea

  8. blackbookkitchendiaries says:

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

  9. Feast on the Cheap says:

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

  10. Barbara | Creative Culinary 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!).

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

  11. Shop with Me Mama (Kim) says:

    Oh that looks/sounds good!!!

  12. Ooohh yes please!! Looks amazing and delicious :D

  13. Denise @ Creative Kitchen says:

    I love BLT anything….this looks incredible!!

  14. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts says:

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

  15. Nutmeg Nanny says:

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

  16. 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!

  17. Cookin' Canuck says:

    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!

    1. 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 :-)

  18. Elizabeth @SpiceOpolis says:

    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!

    1. Hope you enjoy it, Elizabeth.

  19. Mari @ Mari's Cakes says:

    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

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

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

    1. Everybody loves bacon, don’t they Katrina?