BLT Pasta Salad

BLT Pasta Salad is full of protein & veggies, made without mayo, and has tons of bacon flavor
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Author Meme

Ingredients

  • 6 oz whole grain pasta dry
  • 5 TBSP 2% milk or whole milk, divided
  • 8 slices center-cut bacon chopped
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 4 cups fresh spinach chopped
  • 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh chives chopped
  • 4 cups chopped green leaf or romaine lettuce for serving
  • 2 tsp bacon grease

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt & fat. Drain; do not rinse. Transfer to a large bowl and add 1/4 cup milk to pasta. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook chopped bacon over medium heat. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain any excess grease. Drain grease, reserving 2 tsp. {You can use 2 tsp olive or canola oil if desired}.
  • Wipe out skillet and add 2 tsp reserved bacon grease or oil. Saute onion and tomatoes until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and spinach, and cook until spinach wilts, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and thyme, and remove from heat.
  • In the bowl of a food processor or blender, add cottage cheese, yogurt, salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon milk. Process until completely smooth.
  • Add onion-tomato mixture and half of the cooked bacon to the bowl with the cooked pasta. Pour cottage cheese mixture in the bowl. Toss well to coat completely. Stir in chives and sprinkle with cooked bacon.
  • Serve over a bed of lettuce. Enjoy!
  • Keeps covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Notes

*Based on this recipe from Food Network
*You use about 2 1/4 cups dry pasta
*Serving size is about 1 cup per person for a meal or 1/2 cup per side serving
*Use 2 tsp avocado or olive oil in place of the bacon grease if desired