Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is perfect for BBQ’s and all your summer get togethers. It’s loaded with pasta, bacon, cheese, olives, tomatoes, and onion – then tossed with a simple, creamy ranch dressing.
The spring and summer months are full of opportunities to get together and eat good food. I love good barbecue with some tasty side dishes and this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad can be added to the list!
You know those boxed pasta salad mixes at the store that look good, but use dried vegetables that don’t really reconstitute very well? It’s just not worth it my friends. Cutting up some fresh vegetables is worth it. This homemade Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is worth it. I especially like the crunch of the diced onion in this pasta because it provides added texture as well as great taste.
If you’re lazy like me you can use pre-cooked and diced real bacon bits for this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad, but my husband was missing the fresh, greasy bacon. He wanted extra bacon flavor. Either way, this salad is easy to whip up, and I didn’t have to add any extra dressing to it even though I made it ahead of time. MY TIP: Cook the pasta the maximum time so it will soak up water, not sauce.
What’s your favorite potluck side dish?
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- 1 (12 oz) package tri-color rotini pasta
- 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 (1 oz) packet dry ranch dressing mix
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 roma tomato, diced
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1 (4.25 oz) can sliced black olives
- 1/2 cup real bacon bits (about 10 slices cooked and crumbled)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Cook the pasta in salted water for the maximum time according to the directions on the package (about 10 minutes). Drain and run under cold water until cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, dry ranch mix, and garlic salt.
- Add the cooled pasta, diced tomatoes and onions, sliced olives, chopped bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese. Fold gently until everything is coated with the dressing. Refrigerate for 2 hours prior to serving.
- *If you cook pasta for the longest amount of time listed on the package, it shouldn't soak up the dressing. If it still does, add a little extra milk before serving. (I used whole milk.)
- *For extra zesty pasta salad, use 2 packets of dry ranch dressing mix.
- *Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
- ~Recipe altered from Life in the Lofthouse
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