Bacon and Avocado Macaroni Salad

A simple macaroni salad loaded with fresh avocado and applewood smoked bacon tossed in a lemon-thyme dressing – the best macaroni salad I’ve ever had!

Bacon and Avocado Macaroni Salad - Loaded with fresh avocado and applewood smoked bacon tossed in a lemon-thyme dressing!

When Fresh & Easy started opening up around town, I honestly didn’t know what to think of it. I already had my grocery routine down, starting my Saturday morning grocery store errands at Trader Joe’s and then finishing up at my local grocery store. But surprisingly enough, I could find everything that I needed right at Fresh & Easy, saving me from an extra grocery store trip. Plus, their prices are very comparable to Trader Joe’s (if not cheaper), there are no lines to the cash register and they always have these weekly $5 off coupons (expires 7/7).

Bacon and Avocado Macaroni Salad - Loaded with fresh avocado and applewood smoked bacon tossed in a lemon-thyme dressing!

So with my most recent Fresh & Easy shopping adventure, I stocked up on some elbow macaroni pasta, bacon, avocado, fresh thyme and a bag of lemons in hopes of making an out-of-this-world-type macaroni salad. And boy, was I in for a treat.

This simple macaroni salad of just three main ingredients comes together so beautifully as they get tossed in an incredibly creamy lemon-thyme dressing. It has such a wonderful burst of fresh flavors with just enough savoriness from the fatty, crisp, salty bacon. It’s become my most favorite summer picnic recipes yet!

Bacon and Avocado Macaroni Salad - Loaded with fresh avocado and applewood smoked bacon tossed in a lemon-thyme dressing!

Bacon and Avocado Macaroni Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 10 minutes

Total Time 20 minutes

Yield 4 servings

Bacon and Avocado Macaroni Salad

A simple macaroni salad loaded with fresh avocado and applewood smoked bacon tossed in a lemon-thyme dressing – the best macaroni salad I’ve ever had!

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces elbows pasta
  • 5 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
  • For the lemon thyme dressing
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Instructions

  • To make the dressing, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and thyme in the bowl of a food processor; season with salt and pepper, to taste. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified; set aside.
  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • In a large bowl, combine pasta, bacon, avocado, lemon-thyme dressing, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with thyme.

Notes

Adapted from The Cozy Apron

http://damndelicious.net/2013/06/28/bacon-and-avocado-macaroni-salad/

Disclosure: I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Comments

  1. Sharesa says

    With the avocado in this salad does it brown quickly? I was looking for a pasta salad I can make the night before. Thanks!

    • Chung-Ah says

      Yes, it will probably brown if you make it the night before. I’d suggest tossing it the night before and adding the avocado right before serving.

    • Shadda says

      I made this about six hours ahead of time and the avocado was still bright green. It also stayed green the whole meal…I think the lemon in the dressing helped.

  2. Amanda says

    I’m thinking of making this for Thanksgiving, it says yields 4. Is that as a side dish serving size? Twelve ounces of elbows seems like it would serve more than 4 people? Thanks!

  3. Shadda says

    Loved it!!! I used turkey bacon and Greek yogurt to lighten up but is was so creamy and tasty. This is a new staple at my house!

  4. Jennifer says

    Perfect!!! Thank you! New go to pasta salad. Only thing I did different was add more (light) mayo, well because I LOVE mayo.

  5. kentuckylady717 says

    This really sounds good, but I would not use that much sugar…..way too much :)

    Looking for a good chicken fried rice recipe….would you have one of those ?

    Thanks,

  6. Diane says

    Do you take all these pictures yourself? Or do you have someone come in and do it? They’re so amazing. They make me want to try everything you post.

  7. Brad says

    you guys REALLY need a FaceBook site!!! if you already have one, can you send a link? HAD to share the avo and bacon mac… YUM! :)

  8. Derek says

    Since it is summer and love avocado and bacon, together they were very tempting. I substituted some of the olive oil with the remaining bacon grease…ohh soo delicious!

  9. Hayley says

    This is a great base recipe. I am not a mayo lover though, and the mayo flavor was just too strong for me. I sprinkled extra lemon juice, salt and pepper on my plate and it was perfect.I may chop up a red onion and add it to whats left to add some crunch and zing.

  10. Shauna says

    Excited to make this for a work BBQ tomorrow! My husband and I are vegan so I’ll be using vegan mayo and veggie bacon. Super excited, it looks delicious.

  11. Camille says

    Hey, I tried this salad tonight and it came out perfectly! I used slightly less lemon juice, and had to offset the intense flavour with a little more sugar…but otherwise it was great. I also added some yellow and red bell peppers to make it more colorful. I’ll definitely try this again. Thanks!

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