This salad has become my absolute favorite for summer time get togethers. Despite having a mayo based dressing, it’s light and refreshing. Even if you eat waaaaay too much of it in one sitting. Not that I always do that. I just did it a couple of times. You know, to be able to say that you’d be fine after eating too much of it. It was for science…
A couple of tips in putting this salad together. First, don’t toss the pasta, peas and dressing together until you’re ready to serve it. The salad is fine to eat after it’s been sitting for a bit, but the salad loses it’s creaminess after a couple of hours. I also add the crispy bacon after everything has been tossed to help keep it crispy.
Lemon Thyme Pasta Salad with Crumbled Bacon
Serves 10 – 12
Adapted from The Cozy Apron
- 1 c. mayo
- 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon zest
- 1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. sugar
- 1 & 1/4 tsp. of salt
- 1 & 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
- cracked black pepper to taste
- 10 oz. uncooked macaroni, cooked according to package instructions in salted water with lemon juice
- 10 oz fresh peas (or frozen that have been thawed)
- 8 oz. bacon, cooked until crispy then crumbled/chopped
- More thyme to garnish
Make the dressing: Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Cook the bacon: Cook the bacon until it’s crispy. Drain the strips on paper towels. Once they’re cooled, crumble the strips or chop them up. Set aside until ready to use.
Cook the pasta: Once cooked, drain the pasta in a colander and rinse it for a minute or two under cold water to stop cooking. I like to toss in the frozen peas into the colander with the pasta during the cold water rinse. Cover the pasta and peas in the colander with a clean dish towel and place it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to toss them with the dressing.
Put the salad together: Put the chilled pasta and peas in a large bowl. Using a spatula, toss the dressing with the pasta and peas. Then add the crumbled bacon and toss into the salad. Serve immediately.
This stuff keeps great covered in a container for a couple of days (though I promise you it won’t last that long).