4.97 from 26 votes

Hidden Valley Ranch Pasta Salad

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This Hidden Valley Ranch Pasta Salad recipe is a delicious and easy potluck pasta salad that is perfect for cookouts and picnics.

The flavors of bacon, cheddar cheese, and black olives, combined with ever-popular homemade ranch, create a classic Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad that is perfect for summer.

white plate and piled high pasta with tomatoes, olives, cheese and bacon and a top of green parsley visible

Ingredients

  • rotini pasta
  • Hellmann’s Mayo + 1 packet of dry ranch dressing
  • Bacon, cooked and chopped— Fresh bacon is always preferred, but it is fine to use pre-made bacon or real bacon bits if you need a super quick shortcut.
  • Grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes
  • black olives
  • shredded cheddar cheese

Customizable: We use bacon, black olives, and tomatoes, but it’s so easy to remove and add ingredients. Many people like Ranch pasta salads with peas, chunks of cheddar cheese, and even boiled eggs.

How to make Ranch Pasta Salad

Cook the Pasta: Start by boiling water in a large pot. Add your pasta and let it cook until al dente, which usually takes 9 to 11 minutes. The exact cooking time can be found on the pasta package. Once done, drain the pasta and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Mix the Ingredients: Grab a large mixing bowl and combine the cooled pasta, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced black olives, chopped & cooked bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese. Sprinkle the Kraft ranch seasoning over the top.

easy ranch pasta salad showing assembling in 4 different images

Add the Dressing: Mix the mayo directly into the salad, combining all the veggies, pasta, and ranch seasoning. You could also pre-mix to make homemade ranch dressing.

large bowl of mixed ranch pasta salad

Recipe Tips

  • Ranch in a Rush: If you’re pressed for time or don’t want the hassle, grab a bottle of Kraft Hidden Valley Ranch and drizzle it over your pasta salad. It’s a quick and easy fix that tastes just right.
  • Party-Size It: Got a crowd coming over? This recipe doubles like a dream. Plus, if you let it sit in the fridge for a day, it tastes even better. Perfect for prepping ahead for those big backyard BBQs.
  • Bacon Hack: Need bacon fast? Toss it in the air fryer or grab pre-cooked strips from the store.
  • Leftovers: If you’re digging leftovers, give the salad a good mix to bring everything back together. If the pasta is a little dry, add more mayo or ranch to bring back the creamy base.
bowl of fresh pasta salad with a piece of parsley on top.

FAQ’s

Can you use a different type of pasta in this salad?

Certainly! You can use different pasta types in this salad, though it may alter the flavor absorption and texture. For a similar experience to Rotini, try small spiral pasta or large shells. Nonetheless, Rotini, especially tri-colored, pairs exceptionally well with Italian dressing in this salad, making it a standout dish.

Should this pasta salad be served cold?

Ranch Pasta Salad is ideally served cold. For optimal flavor, chill it in the refrigerator for 4 hours and give it a good stir just before serving.

I hate mayo, is there a substitution?

If you’re not a fan of mayo, sour cream is a great alternative for achieving a similar texture in the dressing.

More Potluck Salad Recipes

Looking for some more delicious pasta salad recipes? Try one of our favorites!

black spoon holding ranch pasta salad with olives, cheese and tomatoes visible
4.97 from 26 votes

Hidden Valley Ranch Pasta Salad


Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Hidden Valley Ranch pasta salad with curly Rotini pasta, cheddar cheese, bacon, and Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning is an incredible and satisfying pasta salad that is a MUST at BBQs, potlucks, picnics, and cookouts. Easier to make than boxed bacon ranch salad (and better tasting too); if there are any leftovers the next day, they make a perfect side dish for lunch. Great with almost anything, this recipe is one of those perfect summer salad recipes!

Ingredients
 

  • 8 oz. Rotini Pasta cooked
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 oz. Hidden Valley dry ranch seasoning
  • 10 slices bacon cooked and chopped
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
  • 3.8 oz. black olives drained
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Prepare Pasta: Cook eight oz. of rotini pasta as per package instructions, then drain and rinse under cold water to cool.
  • Mix Salad: In a large bowl, combine the cooled pasta, 1 cup of mayonnaise, and one oz. of Hidden Valley ranch seasoning. Stir until the pasta is well-coated.
  • Add Extras: Fold in 10 slices of cooked and chopped bacon, 1 pint of halved grape tomatoes, 3.8 oz. of drained black olives, and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese into the pasta mixture. Combine and Mix well.
  • Chill: Refrigerate Ranch Pasta Salad for 4 hours to allow flavors to come together. Stir well before serving.

Video

Notes

EXPERT TIPS

  • Short on time? Use bottled Kraft Hidden Valley Ranch dressing to pour over pasta salad in place of ranch seasoning packet and mayo.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled for a potluck, party or BBQ and makes great left overs. The longer pasta salads sit (12-24 hours) the more flavorful they often become.
  • Make bacon in the air fryer to speed it up or simply use pre-made bacon.
  • If serving left overs, make sure to stir well to prevent settling. If the fridge has dried out any part of the pasta salad (which does happen occasionally) simply add a bit more mayo OR pre-made ranch and stir until creamy again.

How much does pasta salad feed?

This is a fairly large salad, serving approximately 8-10 and makes a great party or picnic side dish salad.  

Does Ranch Pasta Salad have to be served cold?

This pasta salad is best served cold, so put in the fridge for 4 hours for best flavor, stirring well just before serving.

I hate mayo, is there a substitution?

I fully understand that mayo may not be the best choice for every person but it DOES make the best ranch dressing. That being said, try using SOUR CREAM as a texture replacement.

Nutrition

Serving: 8people | Calories: 394kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 642mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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4.97 from 26 votes

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