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Carbonara Pasta Salad

Carbonara Pasta Salad
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Carbonara Pasta Salad

I had the most bizarre realization the other day, you could even call it an epiphany; I’ve never considered a use for  lettuce beyond a salad.

pasta salad [2]

I fully acknowledge this is a recipe for a salad but it’s a PASTA salad, not a salad salad.

pasta salad [3]

Here the lettuce gives a fresh crunch, meant to compliment the creaminess of the dressing and the pasta.  BUT… It’s role is that of support, not star.

This is crazy.  I’ve opened my own eyes up to a whole new world of arguably my favourite vegetable – ever.  I’m not sure if I feel smart or dumb… Let’s go with enlightened 🤔

Oh and in case you’re wondering, the title and ingredients of this pasta salad are inspired by my favourite sub when I was in university; the Chicken Carbonara sub that I always had with fresh mushrooms.  It’s like a floodgate of memories!  It feels like a lifetime ago,  which in a way it was.  That was an amazing time in my life but I wouldn’t go back for all the money in the world.  I’m happy, loved and at peace with my life today and truly appreciate everything I have and everything I don’t.



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Carbonara Pasta Salad

Carbonara Pasta Salad
  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8


2 Cups small-shaped pasta (uncooked), I used shells

¼ Cup Buttermilk

¼ Cup light mayonnaise

¼ Cup fat free sour cream

¼ Cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

½ tsp pepper

5-6 Leaves fresh basil, sliced

4 Large cremini mushrooms, sliced

½ Small red onion, sliced in half moons

2 Cups Chopped romaine lettuce

4 Strips bacon, cooked and crumbled


Cook the pasta according to package directions.

After the pasta has been strained place it in the fridge to cool completely (I just used the same pot I cooked the pasta in).

Meanwhile, whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, vinegar, pepper and basil leaves; set aside.

When the pasta is completely cold, add it to the sauce and then add in the mushrooms and red onion; mix well.

When you are ready to serve the salad, mix in the romaine lettuce.

Top with the crunchy yummy bacon.

Taste and adjust seasoning.