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This bacon ranch pasta salad is filled with colorful veggies and perfectly contrasting textures and flavors! Every bite is so satisfying it will be an incredible hit with anyone lucky enough to enjoy it!
If you love the flavors in this pasta salad, enjoy them as the main dish too! To turn these flavors in to a delicious, warm dinner try Cheesy Chicken Bacon and Broccoli Ranch Pasta or Slow Cooker Creamy Ranch Chicken.
Incredible Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Trust me when I say this is the best pasta salad ever! My son and his friends ate the entire thing in 5 minutes and agreed that it was the best pasta salad that they have had. I wasn’t surprised, because these flavors together are so amazing. The combination of the bacon, pasta, veggies, and ranch flavor is to die for!
The crisp bacon and veggies are so nice in contrast to the al dente pasta. The creamy ranch sauce coats every groove of this salad, leaving no bite without its delicious flavor! And, as if it couldn’t get any better, the cheese and olives bring their sharp and unmistakable tastes to this vibrant meal. This is the only pasta salad I will take to potlucks from now on!
Easy Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Ingredients
This recipe is not only easy but it’s delicious. Even my kids will eat this because of the creamy ranch dressing. I finally found an easy way for them to get in their veggies!
- Fusilli Tri-Color Pasta: I love using this colorful pasta to bring even more visual interest to this dish.
- Bacon: The bacon adds a crunch and a savory element.
- Roma Tomatoes: I love biting into the tomatoes for a burst of sweet flavor!
- Broccoli: Adds crisp and fresh earthy flavor
- Sliced Olives: Adds pieces of salty, smooth richness.
- Cheddar Cheese: I use shredded cheddar cheese. If you shred it straight from the block, the cheese will have a stronger flavor.
- Mayonnaise: Mix together with ranch seasoning to make a creamy sauce to coat the veggies and pasta.
- Dry Ranch Seasoning: Combines with mayonnaise to add the classic ranch flavor.
How to Make Pasta Salad
In just a few simple steps, you can enjoy an amazingly nutritious and satisfying meal! Cook your pasta, make your ranch sauce, then toss all the ingredients together with the creamy sauce, and you are ready to enjoy a great combination of flavors and textures. This is a great recipe to make with kids because there are so many easy ways for them to learn and help!
- Cook the pasta: Follow the package directions to cook pasta. Drain and rinse in cold water.
- Cut Veggies: Cut up your veggies before adding them to the bowl.
- Combine: In a large bowl, combine pasta, bacon, tomatoes, broccoli, olives, and cheese.
- Whisk: Whisk the mayonnaise and dry ranch seasoning in a small bowl.
- Toss: Add the mayonnaise mixture to the bowl of pasta and veggies and mix until combined.
Variations for Delicious Pasta Salad
What I love most about this pasta salad is its versatility! If you are short on time or are out of an ingredient, this salad can easily be adapted to fit your needs and still taste amazing! Here are some recommendations of swaps and additions I have loved.
- Add a protein: To make this a complete meal, add some proteins like shrimp or cubed deli ham or turkey.
- Veggies: Add anything you love, like peas, red onion, or peppers.
- Shortcuts: If you are in need of some corner-cutting, try grabbing these items from the store: shredded cheese, ranch dressing, or pre-cut veggies instead of preparing them yourself.
- Allergies: If you have certain dietary restrictions, this recipe works great with gluten-free noodles or zucchini noodles.
- Cheese: If you are cheese obsessed like me, use a larger cheese cut like a crumble or cubed cheese instead of shredded. This will give more of the cheese flavor than a thinner shredded version.
- Ranch dressing: Want to cut down on the mayonnaise? Use ½ cup sour cream and ½ cup mayonnaise, or replace it entirely with ranch dip with a little milk to thin it out.
- Pasta: Use any pasta you love. My kids love Farfalle or shells. Use whatever you have on hand to make this easy.
- Low Calorie/Low Fat options: Use plain Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise or a low-fat version of the mayonnaise or sour cream in the dressing.
How to Store Leftover Pasta Salad
If you are taking this to a BBQ or potluck of any kind you will want to double or triple this recipe. Luckily, this recipe is great to make beforehand so that it can be ready to go whenever. Here are a few tips on how you can store any leftover pasta salad:
- In the Refrigerator: Once you have assembled all of the ingredients, store them in an airtight container in your fridge. They will last about 4-5 days. The sauce will get absorbed into the noodles, so I would add a little extra to them just before serving to make it taste completely fresh. Note: If you’re using Gluten free noodles, they do not last as long in the refrigerator.
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Incredible Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water.
- Cut up your broccoli, olives, and tomatoes and add them to a large bowl.
- Combine the pasta, bacon, and cheese with the veggies.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.