Creamy Bacon and Pea Pasta Salad
Updated: Jul 28, 2022
The perfect summer side dish is this savory ranch pasta loaded with crispy bacon and bright green peas. This easy pasta salad is so good with everything from juicy burgers to grilled chicken and comes together in no time with fresh and tasty ingredients!
Fresh or Frozen?
When it comes to produce, fresh and frozen are both great choices to add to every diet. Fresh vegetables and fruits are fabulous during their peak season since they are more nutritious and tastier during this time. However, if you cannot find certain foods due to it being their off-season, try frozen! Frozen fruits and vegetables are picked and quickly frozen during their peak seasons, which means they are more nutritionally dense and taste great! You will always find plenty of frozen fruits and veggies in my freezer for quick dinners and healthy smoothies!
Why Green Peas are So Good For You!
Green or garden peas are the tasty little green gems (seeds) found in the Pisum sativum plant, which belongs to the legume family and is considered a starchy vegetable. Green peas are available frozen year round but their peak season is in November through February and come in yellow, black-eyed and purple varieties.
Garden peas are a delicious and nutritious addition to a whole food diet, let's dig a little deeper on this!
Vitamin B1 (thiamine): Essential in metabolic function and supports a healthy brain.
Vitamin B9 (folate): Essential vitamin that supports neural tube development during pregnancy, the production of red blood cells and the production of genetic material .
Vitamin A (beta-carotene): A fat soluble vitamin that is a powerful antioxidant supporting healthy vision, immune function, cell growth, and brain function.
Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant that neutralized free radicals and reduces oxidative stress.
Vitamin E: An antioxidant that supports immune function and works to regulate free radicals that cause cellular damage.
Vitamin K: Vitamin K is essential in bone health and it is converted to vitamin K2 by our gut microbiome, which supports our heart health.
Manganese: Essential mineral in supporting blood sugar regulation, glucose metabolism, and supporting healthy brain and nerve function .
Iron: An essential mineral that your body needs and in plants we find non-heme iron. Nature has a way of helping us out since non-heme iron is more difficult for our bodies to absorb , pairing it with vitamin C, also found in habanero peppers, increases the absorption of the non-heme iron in our diets.Phosphorus: Supports healthy teeth and bones, muscle recovery after working out, and detoxification.
Zinc: Essential in digestion, thyroid health, and a healthy immune system.
Did you know that green peas are an excellent source of plant based protein? A one cup serving has 8 grams of protein and has 8 of the 9 essential amino acids!
Histidine: necessary for the production of histamine and also plays a role in nervous system health
Valine: necessary in energy production as well as muscle growth and repair
Phenylalanine: building block for neurotransmitters like dopamine and epinephrine (adrenaline), and in the production of other amino acids.
Leucine: necessary in stimulating wound healing, muscle repair, and blood sugar regulation.
Isoleucine: necessary in immune function and energy regulation.
Tryptophan: necessary building block for serotonin.
Threonine: necessary in skin and connective tissue health.
Lysine: necessary in hormone production and your body's ability to absorb calcium (bone, heart, muscle and nerve health.)
The one amino acid peas lack, methionine is necessary in detoxification, metabolism, and in your body's ability to absorb selenium (supports thyroid health) and zinc (necessary in production of HCl in your stomach) and can easily be added to your meal with these sources to complete the essential amino acid profile:
Mayonnaise: in this recipe
Whole Milk Dairy
There are more benefits to eating peas, they are full of fiber to support a healthy and optimized digestive tract! They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber:
Insoluble fiber: Works to keep things moving along and helps with toxin and waste elimination.
Soluble fiber : Soluble fiber works to support a healthy microbiome and supports healthy blood sugar regulation.
So grab some beautiful green/garden peas and let's get cooking!
Creamy Bacon and Pea Pasta Salad Ingredients
12 oz Elbow Macaroni, I love Jovial Brown Rice Elbows
8 oz Green Peas, fresh or frozen
1/2 Red Onion, finely diced
8 oz No sugar Bacon, diced
1/2 cup No Sugar Mayonnaise, I love Primal Kitchen
2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Dried Parsley OR 1 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Dried Dill OR 1 tsp Fresh Dill, minced
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Fine Sea Salt or Pink Salt
How to Make Creamy Bacon and Pea Pasta Salad
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil for the peas and the pasta, you can use two separate pots as well.
2. Once the water is boiling, blanch the peas first by setting them in a large mesh strainer (if using the same pot) and setting it in the pot of water for:
60 seconds for frozen peas
2-3 minutes for fresh peas
3. Immediately remove the pease from boiling water or drain in a colander and transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once the peas have cooled, drain and set aside.
4. Bring water back to a boil and cook pasta per instructions, I love to use Organic Brown Rice Elbows for this dish! Once pasta is al dente, drain (rinse if instructions say to: a lot of GF pasta tastes better if rinsed) and let cool.
5. Dice and sauté the bacon* in a frying pan until cooked to your preference, remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel lined dish to remove excess fat.
6. In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and spices mixing well to combine.
7. Dice the red onion and add it with the pasta, peas, and bacon to the ranch sauce and fold in until evenly combined.
8. Serve or cool even further in the refrigerator.
*I like to add black pepper to my bacon while it's in the skillet
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Q: Can I make ranch bacon pasta salad ahead of time?
A: Absolutely! I love this creamy bacon pasta salad when it's nice and cold!
Q: How long with bacon pasta salad last?
A: Store in an airtight container and enjoy within 3-4 days.
Q: What can I substitute for the mayonnaise in bacon pasta salad that will make it egg free?
A: If you can have dairy, try a whole milk sour cream or greek yogurt, and for dairy free, try a plain coconut or almond milk yogurt.
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. - Amy
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