This salad is great to cook before heading out on a camping trip so you’ve got a healthy, filling meal to eat when you arrive or once you’ve set up your tent. Alternatively, cook this while you’re camping and if you know you’re going to be cooking this for lunch or dinner, cook extra bacon at breakfast and store it in your cool box until later. And of course it can be cooked at home too!

Pasta salad with avocado & bacon

Serves: 4

600-700 g cold cooked pasta (or 300 g dried pasta cooked, drained and cooled)

6 middle rashers of bacon, cooked until crispy, roughly chopped or crumbled

2 avocados, diced

250 g cherry tomatoes, quartered

Couple of handfuls of rocket or other salad leaves

Dressing:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic or white wine vinegar

1 red chilli, seeded and finely diced (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Put the cooked pasta in a large bowl. Add the bacon, avocado, tomatoes and rocket* and mix well.

2 Combine the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Mix well and if you have time, leave for about 20 minutes to allow all the flavours to mingle. Can be served warm or cold. If taking on a trip, store in an airtight container in an esky (cool box).

*If you’re making this in advance, leave out the rocket and toss it through just before serving.

For more great camping recipes check out my cookbook Hungry Campers Cookbook available from BigW, Myer, independent book stores and on-line.

Photography Natasha Milne (copyright Explore Australia)