Pasta Salad With Bacon, Peas & Grape Tomatoes

Pasta Salad with peas and bacon at The Happiest Home

A few weeks back, the local paper got in touch with me hoping to do a story about my blog, my podcast, and feeding a family. I talked to the reporter about why I started The Kitchen Hour, how I manage blogging and life with five kids, getting dinner on the table more easily, and my work with ConAgra Foods.

And then a photographer came out to my house to snap pictures of me in the kitchen with the kids, which they totally dug. (The younger three, anyway. Jacob and Isaac hid.)

meagan francis and kids

kids in the kitchen - the happiest home

As part of the story, the Herald Palladium reporter asked me to share a simple recipe. I decided on a pasta salad because it’s easy, uses simple, common ingredients, and is adjustable depending on what you have in the house. Seriously, I just made up this recipe on the fly – you really can’t go too far off-course with pasta salad, so if you don’t have peas try corn or spinach, or whatever you do have.

Bright, fresh and colorful, veggie-laden pasta salad is a perfect dish for a spring potluck, picnic or any time. Here’s the recipe:

pasta salad recipe at The Happiest Home

Crowd-Pleasing Pasta Salad with Peas and Bacon

This super-simple and delicious pasta salad can be served hot or cold. I like to cut the onion in big chunks so that picky kids can pluck it out.
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 box (12 ounces) bow-tie pasta (or any kind of pasta of your choosing)
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1/4 a red onion, chopped (add more if you really love red onion!)
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix together the mayo, red wine vinegar, grape tomatoes, peas, and red onion in a medium bowl. If you have time, store in the refrigerator for an hour or two to allow the flavors to meld – it’ll taste even better!
Prepare the pasta according to the box directions – it’s best when served al dente, so don’t let it cook too long. Drain the pasta and let it cool for a few minutes, then stir in the dressing. Toss in the bacon, then add salt and pepper to taste.
The peas add a nice sweet crunch to the tangy, creamy pasta, and in my house, no child can resist a dish that includes bacon!

*All photos in this story courtesy of Don Campbell of the Herald-Palladium.

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