It’s been a bit since I’ve shared a new bacon recipe. Check this out! You’ve got pasta, red grapes, and green beans all mingling with crisp bacon and nutty pecans, tossed in a tangy/sweet cole slaw type dressing. Delish! This hearty salad is perfect for summer and great with grilled anything. We had it along side teriyaki salmon, roasted brussel sprouts, and corn on the cob. This worked really well in our family as there was a little something for everyone’s tastes, and bacon for all. Really, could it be any more perfect?!
It did double duty as my light lunch the next day at an outdoor volleyball tournament. Playing in the hot sun leaves me with no appetite, and yet I need the calories and energy in order do stuff like JUMP– an important skill for a 5-foot, 3-inch player who wants to compete with the big girls! This worked out great — cold, light, and easy to digest, I took a few bites here and there throughout the day to power up. That salad (and LOTS of water and some Gatorade) got me all the way through to the semi-finals!
Green Bean, Bacon, and Pasta Salad
Makes 8 servings
Adapted from MyRecipes.com
1 cup chopped pecans
6 bacon slices
1 pound thin fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1 (8-oz.) package penne pasta
1 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups seedless red grapes, cut in half
Salt to taste
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread pecans on cookie sheet and toast in oven for 5-7 minutes, until lightly toasted.
2) While pecans are toasting, heat nonstick frying pan and cook bacon slices over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble when cool.
3) Put green beans in saucepan and add water just until beans are covered. Add a few sprinkles of salt. Bring quickly to a boil, and cook until crisp-tender (no more than 5 minutes). Remove pan from heat and quickly plunge beans into ice-cold water to stop cooking process.
4) Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse cooked pasta.
5) Whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, and red wine vinegar for the dressing.
6) In a large bowl, combine the nuts, bacon, beans, pasta, and grapes. Add dressing and stir until well combined. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
7) Chill until ready to serve.