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Bacon Caesar Pasta Salad

posted by Heather Tullos on May 16, 2014

Bacon Caesar Pasta Salad is an easy side dish (or main!) that is perfect for cookouts, potlucks, and summer BBQ’s! Pasta, bacon, tomatoes, and crisp romaine are tossed in a homemade Caesar dressing that comes together with a few simple pantry items.

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Bacon Caesar Pasta Salad on


So that pretty much looks like a bowl of stuff I wanna eat. Who’s with me?

I should probably clarify the ‘me’ part though, before we go sharing bowls of pasta-bacon things.

I’m Heather and I write the blog Sugar Dish Me where I attempt to fill up 2 bottomless-pit boys while sharing recipes that are fast, fresh, and easy. Also I like dessert. And cheese. And I should probably not be taken very seriously about most things… except THE FOOD. That’s serious business!

Anyhoo — I am thrilled to be here contributing for Julie today. She is super! And I’m guessing that makes all of you pretty super by proxy. No pressure or anything.

Pasta Salad with Bacon and Homemade Caesar Dressing

Speaking of super things though, let’s talk about this dressing.

I get stuck in these salad dressing ruts, especially with pasta salad, where I just make the same thing over and over. Do you do that? My regular dressing is good, great even. But since I always make it the same way I feel like it’s gotten boring.

—>>>> Enter this Caesar dressing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It comes together with just a few pantry staples – things like spicy mustard, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce – and it is everything I ever wanted a Caesar dressing to be. Tangy and kinda creamy with a hint of black pepper, and it coats the lettuce and pasta perfectly.

Bacon Caesar Pasta Salad

I added really fresh, crisp romaine lettuce to this salad right before serving. You can make the pasta and dressing ahead of time – the day before, even – toss them together, and refrigerate. Right before you break out the salad for serving you can throw in your torn lettuce, sliced cherry tomatoes, and crumbled bacon. This keeps the bacon crisp, the lettuce from wilting, and the tomatoes from needing refrigeration (raise your hand if you are ready for summer garden tomatoes!!!).

Bring this awesome easy salad to your next cookout, BBQ or potluck supper, OR you could work it out like my other half and just hug the bowl while shoveling it in with a fork. Either way.

Bacon Caesar Pasta Salad with Homemade Creamy Caesar Dressing

Bacon Caesar Pasta Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings


  • For the Pasta Salad Dressing:
  • 1 hard boiled egg yolk, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon spicy mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, very finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • For the Pasta Salad:
  • 1 box (12 ounces) pasta (I used tri-colored rotini), cooked according to package instructions, drained, and rinsed to cool
  • 1/2 cup red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces (about 1 heaping cup) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 6-8 slices of bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled (you can make an extra slice or two to crumble and sprinkle over the top when serving)
  • 7-8 cups torn romaine lettuce (in about 2" pieces)
  • shredded Parmesan cheese to garnish


  1. To make the dressing, stir together the cooked egg yolk, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, mayonnaise, spicy mustard, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, and black pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking as you pour, until everything is evenly combined.
  2. Pour 2/3 of the dressing over the cooked, rinsed, and cooled pasta. Add the onions and toss everything to coat. If you are making this ahead of time, stop here, cover everything, and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
  3. Add the tomatoes and bacon. Toss to coat. Add the romaine lettuce and the remaining 1/3 Caesar dressing. Toss everything again, until the lettuce is coated. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and a few more bacon crumbles and serve.
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Thanks so so so much for letting me share here today! Happy cooking!

Heather Bio

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  • Renee@Two in the Kitchen

    I love this salad Heather. And the bowls are so pretty too!! 🙂

  • Paula

    Wow fantastic salad, love this Heather!

  • Cindy Eikenberg

    Heather and Julie – this looks so fantastic! I eat a lot of Caesar salad and now I can kick up a few notches! Thanks so much for sharing and pinning! Hope you both have a fantastic weekend.

  • Emily @ It Bakes Me Happy

    Yum, yum! you had me at bacon Heather 🙂

  • Zainab

    I love pasta salad and this variation is just smart Heather!! Thanks for having her here Julie 🙂

  • Deb@ Cooking on the Front Burner

    I love how you added bacon!! Great looking recipe Heather – pinning!

    • Julie Evink

      Bacon makes everything better right?!

  • tanya

    Ah, the bacon! I could eat this every single day!

    • Julie Evink

      Me too Tanya!!! I’ll sit down with a fork and even give you one and we can go to town 🙂

  • Carrie @Frugal Foodie Mama

    This looks delicious, Heather! I love that it is full blown salad season now. And of course, you had me at bacon. 😉

  • Claire @ A Little Claireification

    Heather & Julie –
    This is my kind of pasta salad. You kind of had me at bacon… lol Pinned!

    • Julie Evink

      Bacon… it’s a food group right?!

  • Michelle

    Hi, Julie. I love to make pasta salad in the summer. Bacon really seals the deal! My son chose your pasta salad to feature when See ya in the Gumbo goes live Sunday night. Thanks again for linking!

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