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 BBQ, potlucks, picnics and cook outs. Easier to make than boxed bacon ranch salad (and must better tasting too), if there are any left overs the next day, they make a perfect side dish for lunch. Great with just about anything, this recipe is one of those perfect summer salad recipes! Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is a perfect classic summer salad recipe with bold flavors and compliments almost every meal as a side dish. Perfect for large groups, this potluck pasta salad folds in a variety of delicious veggies, yummy bits of bacon and tops with a creamy homemade ranch dressing that fully pairs with every delicious bite.
Course: Salad Recipes
Keyword: bacon, Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad, BBQ, cheese, dressing, party food, pasta salad, pasta side dish, pasta side salad, picnic, potluck, ranch, salads, seasoning
Boil a large saucepan of water. Add rotini pasta and cook until done, about 9-11 minutes.
Drain noodles and rinse pasta with cold water. Make sure pasta is cool before making the salad (or it can melt the mayo)
In a bowl, stir in drained and cooked pasta, halved grape or cherry tomatoes, can of drained olives, cooked and chopped bacon, shredded cheese, Kraft Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning and mix again very well, making sure all the flavors go from top to bottom of the bowl and cover all the pasta and veggies.
Add in mayo and mix really well once more.
This pasta is best served cold, so put in fridge for 4 hours for best flavor, stirring well just before serving.
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.
Can you use a different type of pasta in this salad?
Yes, absolutely. 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 large pasta shells.
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.
Can this salad be served for dinner too?
Like most cold pasta salads, add a little extra protein to make it perfect for dinner! Try cold rotisserie chicken or grilling up some chicken breast, let cool, chop and top! Additionally, if you are running short on time, sliced up deli ham chunks or even turkey goes just fine for a more filling option.
How long does this take to make?
Time to make this pasta salad is only about 20-30 minutes (because of boiling pasta) plus refrigeration time (best served cold)
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.