Gosh Darn Good BLT Pasta Salad with Creamy Jalapeño Cashew Dressing

Gosh Darn Good BLT Pasta Salad with Creamy Jalapeño Cashew Dressing
Ambitious Kitchen

This wonderful BLT pasta salad made with fresh corn, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, creamy avocado and crispy bacon. This healthy, easy BLT pasta salad recipe is tossed in an incredible, creamy jalapeño cashew dressing for an unbelievably delicious twist on your favorite sandwich. Perfect for potlucks, BBQs, or enjoying for a healthy lunch or dinner!

PREP TIME 2hours  COOK TIME 15minutes  TOTAL TIME 2hours and 15minutes  SERVES 6


  • 1 bath of jalapeno cashew cream dressing (see below)
  • For the pasta salad:
  • 12 ounces bacon
  • 10 ounces pasta of choice (I suggest bowties or large shells, gluten free if desired)
  • 1 ½ cups corn, grilled, raw or sauteed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (I love using heirloom cherry tomatoes for color variety)
  • ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2-4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 slightly ripe but still firm avocado, diced



While the cashews are soaking for your dressing, I suggest chopping all your veggies and having them ready to go. You can also cook your bacon: add bacon to a large skillet or pan and place over medium heat, cook bacon on both sides until crispy and golden brown. If the pan starts to smoke at any point, simply lower the heat. I always cook my bacon on medium low heat. Once bacon is done, blot with a paper towel to absorb excess grease, then chop into bite sized pieces and set aside.


Next cook your pasta until al dente, drain and then place in a large bowl. Add all of the jalapeno cashew dressing, then stir together to combine. Next add the chopped bacon, corn (I prefer grilled or sauteed), halved cherry tomatoes, sliced red onion, romaine lettuce and avocado. Gently toss again, then taste and adjust seasonings as necessary, adding more salt and pepper if you’d like. Serves 6, or 4 as a larger meal. Garnish with extra corn, tomatoes, red onion, avocado and bacon.

Jalapeño Cashew Cream Sauce

Delicious and easy cashew cream sauce with a kick of heat from jalapeño! This wonderful vegan cashew cream sauce is packed with flavor and healthy fats, and is perfect for pasta, grain bowls, tacos and even dipping.


  • ¾ cup raw cashews*
  • 1/3 cup water, plus 2 tablespoons more if necessary
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeded
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Freshly ground back pepper


Step 1

Soak the cashews in 2 cups of warm water for at least 2 hours; otherwise I've found that you can easily speed up the process by adding the raw cashews to a pot with water and placing over high heat. Bring water to a boil, then immediately turn off the heat; let the cashews sit for about 30 minutes in the hot water, then drain.

Step 2

Once the cashews have finished soaking you'll be ready to make the sauce: add drained cashews, fresh water, jalapeno, garlic, fresh lemon juice, salt, onion powder and black pepper to a blender. Blend on high until sauce comes together. If you want a bit of a thinner sauce, add 1-2 tablespoons more water. Makes roughly 1 cup sauce. Serves 4.