Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is a perfect classic summer salad with bold flavors and compliments almost every meal as a side dish. Perfect for large groups, this pasta salad folds in a variety of delicious veggies and tops with a creamy homemade ranch dressing that fully pairs with every delicious bite.
If you are looking for a traditional salad that packs a flavor punch, you cannot go wrong with bacon ranch pasta salad. This ranch pasta not only filling, but has everyone’s favorite flavors from crispy bacon to creamy ranch and shredded cheese.
Its also quick to make (provided your pasta is cooked) and is a perfect choice next to grilled up chicken and ribs, so skip the boxed version.
Plus- bonus that it makes great left overs and coming from me, someone that despises left overs, that is saying a lot!
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Side note: If you want to add a bit of protein to your bacon ranch pasta salad, cold rotisserie chicken is a fantastic option or simply grill up some chicken breast, let cool, chop and top! Additionally, if you are running short on time, sliced up deli ham or even turkey goes just fine for a more filling option.
Time to make this pasta salad would be about 20-30 minutes plus refrigeration time (best served cold)
- 1 package, 8 oz, rotini pasta
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 packet, 1 oz, dry ranch dressing
- 10 slices, bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1 pint, grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 can, 3.8 oz, black olives, drained
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
All in all this is a super quick salad and the it’s boiling the pasta that takes most of the time the time. However, you could easily pre-make your pasta and put it in the fridge until you salad prep if you need a “day before” side dish solution.
Can you use a different type of pasta in this salad?
But remember that while most pastas are made of the same ingredients, changing the type of pasta changes how the flavors soak up and the actual bite tastes. If I were to change this pasta from rotini to something else, it would be a small spiral pasta or a tiny macaroni. In fact, one of my favorite recipes has rotini- my tri colored pasta salad with Italian Dressing, so good and an excellent choice if you need more dishes.
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Recipe
Boil a large saucepan of water.
Next, add rotini pasta and cook until done, about 9-11 minutes.
Drain and rinse your pasta with cold water.
In a large mixing bowl, add mayonnaise, milk and dressing.
Mix all your salad ingredients well.
Stir in tomatoes, olives, bacon and cheese and mix again very well, so you make sure all the flavors go from top to bottom of the bowl.
Add your cold pasta and mix to evenly coat with the dressing and veggies.
Cover your salad and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight until ready to serve.
This is one pasta that is best with some time in the fridge for the flavors to really set in.
Serves 8 and makes a good summer salad.
Salad Side Dishes
- Southwest Cous Cous Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Ham and Pea Salad
- Ranch Pasta Salad with Peas
- Classic Macaroni Salad