The Country Cook: BLT Pasta Salad

Saturday, May 28, 2016

BLT Pasta Salad

I'm honored and excited to be sharing this recipe with you. It's from my friend Melissa at Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen. And she is now a cookbook author! Her new cookbook is titled Melissa's Southern Cookbook: Tried-and-True Family Recipes.Maybe you saw her over on QVC? I am so incredibly proud and excited for her as she shares her heart and passion into her first cookbook (hopefully not the last!) 
So, let's talk a bit about this cookbook and then we'll get to her recipe for this scrumptious BLT Macaroni Salad! Let me tell you what I love about blogger-created cookbooks. They are real. They are personal and they are tried-and-tested recipes. I can tell you that each and every one of these recipes were made in Melissa's kitchen. She tested and tweaked them and took all the photos herself.
This isn't a celebrity cookbook where a ghost-writer writes the entire thing and they put a celebrity's face on the cover to sell the cookbook. Those are a dime-a-dozen. But these recipes from Melissa? They are the real deal. You know that she has made these recipes herself and tested every single one. Many are recipes that she has had for years and years. She also did all the photography! So you can feel confident knowing that this is a well thought-out cookbook and she put forth her best recipes to share. 
I also had the honor to write a 'blurb' for the back of her debut cookbook. Melissa is an absolute sweetheart. She is genuine and warm and she is the definition of a kind and gracious southern woman. 
I know that I can open up any page in this cookbook and find a recipe that I can trust will turn out good. Every single recipe is accompanied with a photo. I love that! I am a visual person (as most of us are) and it helps to see what the final recipe should look like. 
There are all kinds of recipes from biscuits to salads to dinner to dessert. A little something for everyone! Generally I go straight to the desserts when I first crack open a cookbook. But this time, everything caught my eye (probably because of all the gorgeous photos!) When I saw this recipe for BLT Macaroni Salad, I knew that I had to make it! (Scroll down to enter the giveaway to win a copy for yourself!)
This is such a fun take on pasta salad. Melissa describes it as "a pasta salad (that) combines the flavors of a classic BLT with creamy macaroni salad. It's chock-full of crispy bacon, tomatoes, and crunchy green leaf lettuce, plus a tangy dressing. It's a fusion macaroni salad that takes BLT's to a whole new level." I couldn't agree more!
1 (16 oz.) box elbow macaroni
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. celery salt
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. dried dill
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 green onions, thinly sliced
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 cups Romaine lettuce, loosely packed
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
Note: I am using Cavatappi pasta here. It's a corkscrew-shaped pasta. You can use any type that you enjoy for this recipe. Also, I got some baby San Marzano tomatoes on sale so I am using those here. I just sliced them into quarters. And a great tip if you need to thin out a mayonnaise-based dressing is to add a touch of milk or chicken stock to the dressing. 

Cook the elbow macaroni in salted water per the package instructions. Drain well. While pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing. 
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, vinegar, celery salt, onion powder, smoked paprika, dill and pepper, to taste.
Chop up the tomatoes, green onions, lettuce and bacon.
Add the cooked and drained pasta to the bowl.
Stir in green onions and tomatoes. 
Mix until evenly distributed.
Cover with plastic wrap and pop it into the fridge to chill.
Just before serving, add the lettuce and bacon.
Mix well and serve. Store chilled.


  1. Wow, Brandie what a beautiful post! I treasure our friendship thank you so much. xoxo

    1. I feel the same way! Great job my friend!

  2. I love the biscuits! Mine are always hockey pucks though

  3. I love Mac and cheese....always searching for the perfect recipe!

  4. On my way to the grocery to pick up the ingredients for this gem. Cannot wait to try it for our Memorial Day cookout~~! Thanks so much and congratulations to Melissa on the new book!

    1. I think this will be a new favorite for you!! :)

  5. Melissa knocked it out of the park on this one! Looks delicious!

  6. Mac and cheese or fried chicken!

  7. Asking for what my favorite country inspired recipe is impossible for me to choose only one; I love them al!

  8. I have two, biscuits and gravy and blackberry cobbler. Thanks for the chance, looks like an amazing cookbook. Rina

  9. Collard greens made with jalapeno and white beans.

  10. My favorite is Carolina BBQ or Fried Chicken.

  11. Shrimp and grits has to be my favorite.

  12. I like Spicy Shrimp and Grits
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  13. I love fried chicken with waffles and wish my family was on the same page because I don't get to have it as often as I would like!

  14. The BLT Salad looks fabulous. Looks like a cookbook in which I would like to check out more recipes. Thanks for the chance.

  15. One of my favorite southern dishes is Chicken and Dumplings.

  16. I'm with Annette, chicken and dumplings is good. And I love a good biscuit!

  17. My favorite southern dish is anything that reminds me of family. I love to take my grandmother's recipes and modernize them. I think it's a great tribute to them. They'd love it!

  18. I love so many dishes it is hard to pick one. Macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, grits, fried okra, macaroni salad, fried green tomatoes . . . I could go on and on. The desserts are the best. Banana pudding was one of my first thoughts. I am excited to check out this cookbook to see if I can find another favorite dish to add to my list.

  19. Fresh vegetables inspire me and remind me of grandmas home cooked deliciousness, thanks

  20. I love coconut shrimp but then again I love Mac & cheese with a bit of bacon in there is wonderful too.

  21. It's extremely hard to pick one but now this BLT salad is it. I read cookbooks like they were mystery stories. Your tips and recipes are A1. Thanx for doing this wonderful Blog for those of us that loves your stories and recipes.

  22. southern fried chicken is my favorite

  23. I think my favorite is a toss up between Mac & Cheese and Biscuits.

  24. Shrimp and cheese grits is my favorite followed closely by biscuits and sausage gravy.

  25. Fruit cobbler at this time of year!

  26. Love oven baked BBQ chicken! Or anything BBQ for that matter!


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