This BLT pasta recipe is a fun twist on the classic sandwich and perfect with summer tomatoes! It uses everyday ingredients and comes together fast.
Can't get enough BLT flavors? Try this BLT Pasta Salad!
Why it's so tasty
BLTs are one of life's simple joys. Just like the sandwiches, this BLT pasta has very few ingredients and tastes amazing. Ok, so there's no lettuce in here. I used spinach instead to give it similar vibes, so this dish is BLT-inspired, let's say!
Little tomatoes, crispy bacon, garlic, spinach, and an optional splash of cream make one fantastic dish. It's one of my favorite summer pasta recipes since it's so bright and inviting, and it's ready in just 30 minutes.
Just a few simple ingredients
- Pasta - I chose rotini, but any shape will work
- Bacon - use kitchen shears to easily cut up the bacon into bite-sized pieces
- Garlic - to add another savory layer to the sauce
- Tomatoes - use grape or cherry tomatoes. This dish is best in the summer months for peak ripeness.
- Cream - we're using a splash of heavy cream. There's really not much in the sauce at all, so I wouldn't recommend substituting it for anything with a lower fat content because of the acidity of the tomatoes.
- Spinach - we're using fresh baby spinach. You could swap for arugula if you'd like some peppery notes!
- Parmesan cheese - as always, grate your own parm for best texture and taste
How to make BLT pasta
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
While your pasta cooks, fry the bacon in a skillet until crispy, then transfer it to a plate and leave 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease behind. Add the tomatoes and cook until they've softened, then stir in the cream and cook for another minute or so.
Add a few tablespoons of the hot pasta water, the drained pasta, the spinach, and the cooked bacon, and toss (I use these cooking tongs) until you've got a smooth sauce and the spinach has wilted. Season with salt & pepper as needed, and serve with parmesan on top if desired!
- If you happen to have some fresh basil, it would go well in this dish. Whatever fresh herbs you normally like to add to your BLT sandwiches is great.
- You can leave the cream out, but it's a fairly small amount that combines with the bacon grease to create a delicious sauce reminds me of the wonderful creaminess of a BLT sandwich.
- I always store extra bacon fat in a small container the fridge. It hardens into lard and it's delicious to use in a sandwich instead of butter, or you can roast potatoes in it or use it in place of oil when you're cooking pretty much anything that would be enhanced with a little bit of bacon-y flavor. So good!
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers of this pasta are good in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
- We don't recommend freezing this one because the spinach won't be great when thawed.
- Reheat over a low heat in a small saucepan or microwave until warmed through.
Questions about this pasta recipe? Ask me in the comments below. Hope you enjoy this one!
- 8 ounces uncooked pasta
- 6 strips bacon cut into small pieces
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 10 ounces little tomatoes (grape, cherry, etc.) cut into halves
- 1/4 cup heavy/whipping cream optional but recommended
- 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Freshly grated parmesan for serving optional, to taste
- Boil a pot of water for your pasta and cook it al dente according to package directions. You will need to reserve some pasta water before draining it.
- Meanwhile, cut the bacon into small pieces (this is easiest to do with kitchen shears) and add it to a large skillet. Cook until crispy, then transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Leave about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan.
- Add the garlic and tomatoes to the skillet and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes start to go soft/lose their shape and the tomato juice is released. You may need to turn the heat down a bit if they're bubbling furiously.
- Add the cream to the skillet and cook for 1 minute (if omitting the cream, just skip this step).
- Before draining the pasta, reserve about a cup of the water (you won't use it all). Add a few tablespoons of the pasta water to the sauce, and then add the spinach, drained pasta, and cooked bacon to the skillet. Toss until the spinach starts to wilt. If needed (especially if you didn't use any cream), gradually add a little more pasta water to create a smooth sauce (keep tossing).
- Serve immediately with some freshly grated parmesan cheese on top.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.