Pasta with peas and bacon is a combo that gets me licking my lips just thinking about it. The sweet and salty combo had me at hello. Add a creamy dressing and comforting pasta and pass me a fork because I’ve already decided to not care about the calorie count.
This Creamy Bacon and Pea Pasta recipe is a classic pasta salad at heart but it’s dressed up a bit. The bacon and parmesan cheese are the front and center flavors while the sweet cider cream dressing smooths everything out.
If you’re looking for an easy to make, crowd pleasing side dish for your next dinner then you’re in the right place. Creamy Bacon and Pea Pasta salad is the recipe you have to try.
About the Ingredients
Pasta – For pasta salads I almost always prefer a small noodle shape. Something with a lot of exposed surface so the dressing can coat the whole noodle is preferable too. This will prevent the salad from having that “dry” texture. For this recipe try using small shells.
Bacon – Do you bake your bacon? I do. This method is so simple and fool proof. The bacon is cooked to perfection every time. Line a baking sheet with foil (for easy clean up), place the raw bacon on the foil in a single layer and put the tray in a COLD oven. Then turn the oven on to 375°F and set a timer to 18 minutes. That’s it. Perfect bacon. When the bacon is done, remove it to a paper towel lined plate and let the grease cool on the foil before wrapping it up and discarding.
Peas – Fresh peas are great but frozen peas are so convenient. Either option is great.
Dressing – mayonnaise, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. I use classic Hellman’s mayonnaise. I haven’t tested this recipe with any lower fat versions or alternative mayonnaise products so I can’t say whether or not the flavor changes.
How to Make Creamy Bacon and Pea Pasta
Cook the Pasta and the Bacon
Begin by cooking the bacon and the pasta both according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and rinse it in cold water. If the pasta is hot when you dress it it may absorb too much of the dressing and dry out your pasta salad.
Make the Dressing
While your pasta and bacon cook, mix up the dressing in a small bowl. Combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk until evenly combined and smooth.
Toss the Salad
Chop the cooked bacon and add it to a serving bowl. Toss in the cooked pasta, thawed peas, parmesan cheese and mix it all up with the dressing. The salad is ready to serve or can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
What to Serve Creamy Bacon and Pea Pasta With
Make it meal – Add some sliced grilled chicken like this Italian Seasoned Chicken Breast to the pasta salad and you’ve got yourself a complete meal. Pack it up for a lunch on the go or eat for dinner on busy weeknight.
BBQ Side Salad – creamy cold pasta salad always goes great with bbq meats. Serve Bacon and Pea Pasta with Beer Can Chicken on the Grill , Fall Off the Bone Crockpot Ribs , or Dry Rubbed Crockpot Pork Shoulder.
Tailgate Food – tailgating food without a grill is always a huge win. Pack up this pasta salad in an Insulated Serving Bowl to keep it cold and enjoy it wherever your setting up your party.
The Recipe for Creamy Bacon and Pea Pasta
The recipe is attached below for easy downloading and printing. If you test it out be sure to leave a note in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you thought and what you served it with. Enjoy!
Creamy Bacon and Pea Pasta
- 1 lb small shell pasta
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 8 slices bacon cooked and chopped
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
For the Dressing
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Cook 1 lb small shell pasta to in heavily salted water according to the package directions. Once done, drain pasta from cooking water and rinse in under cool water to prevent further cooking. Place the cooked noodles in a large serving bowl and set aside.
- While the pasta cooks, whisk together the 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp cider vinegar, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in a small bowl to make the dressing.
- Add 2 cups frozen peas, 8 slices bacon (cooked and chopped), 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese and dressing to the pasta and toss until everything is evenly coated in dressing. Serve room temperature or cold.