Creamy Pasta Salad with Bacon, Peas, & Bell Peppers

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Creamy Pasta Salad with Bacon, Peas, & Bell Peppers

It seems like I blinked and now the end of summer is here.

(Can I let you in on a little secret? I’m looking forward to summer ending. Fall — ahem, Autumn, which happens to be my niece’s name — is my favorite season for a million reasons, not least of which are chilly temps, cozy sweaters, and warm mulled cider, but I am also head-over-heels in love with winter. And yes, when I tell people that, the most common question I get is Really? Lol, yes, really.)

With Labor Day next weekend, I know a lot of people are looking for new twists on picnic food, and this salad is a great way to switch up your normal pasta salad routine.

Here are a few more picnic salad ideas:

If you have a favorite picnic food to share, feel free to link to it in the comments below!

Creamy Pasta Salad with Bacon, Peas, & Bell Peppers 2

Creamy Pasta Salad with Bacon, Peas, & Bell Peppers

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: About 8 servings

Creamy Pasta Salad with Bacon, Peas, & Bell Peppers


  • 8 oz pasta (I used gemelli, but you can use any shape you like)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 slices turkey bacon, diced
  • 4 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 medium onion, very finely diced
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons low-fat mayo or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 shallot, halved and thinly sliced


  1. Cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions; drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat; add the bacon and cook until crispy, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
  3. Whisk together the cream cheese, onion, mayo or Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, thyme, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until smooth. (Alternatively, process everything together in a food processor until smooth and then transfer it to a large bowl.)
  4. Toss in the pasta, peas, red bell pepper, and shallot in the dressing.
  5. Refrigerate until serving; right before serving toss in the bacon or sprinkle it on top.


Recipe adapted from Cooking Light’s recipe for Macaroni Salad with Bacon, Peas, & Creamy Dijon Dressing.

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Hello! I’m Faith and I write An Edible Mosaic. This is my recipe collection of international favorites and updated American classics, with an emphasis on seasonal dishes. I focus on real foods that sustain body and mind, bring people together, and make a house a home. Welcome to my mosaic of recipes.

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