Bacon ranch pasta salad wasn’t something I thought about for a long time, but then one day it just came to me. Why wouldn’t these iconic flavors be great together? Let me tell you, they are!
10 oz bow tie pasta, dry
1 c cheddar cheese, shredded
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp, crumbled
1 – 2 green onions, sliced
½ c buttermilk ranch dressing
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the al dente package directions. **See notes below
2. Drain pasta and cool it down with cold water.
3. Transfer cooled pasta to a large bowl.
4. Add the cheddar, green onions, and ranch dressing. **See notes below
5. Fold the ingredients together gently as to not tear the pasta.
6. Refrigerate the salad covered, for approximately 1 hour before serving.
7. Just before serving, fold in crumbled bacon.
As soon as the pasta is cooked through, remove it. The pasta should be cooked but firm (al dente), – if the pasta is too soft, it will fall apart and/or tear while you’re mixing the salad ingredients together.
When adding the ranch dressing, start with a ½ c. If you find you like a creamier salad, add more as you go, in small increments.
Waiting to add the crumbled bacon to the end ensures that the bacon will hold it’s crispiness, and not get soft while sitting in the salad ingredients.
How long is Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad good for
A pasta salad should never be kept out on the counter for too long. Being a mayonnaise-based food it needs to be kept cold. So after you’re done feeding your crowd make sure you put it away. Generally speaking, any pasta salad should be good in the refrigerator for about a week, as long as it is covered and stored properly.
Mayonnaise alternatives for Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Not really but I do have an Italian pasta salad recipe that you could make instead. It’s light and absolutely delicious!!
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad add-ins
A simple way to change bacon ranch pasta salad from a side dish to the main course is simply to add a protein. Leftover roasted chicken is a great option for this because it doesn’t require more cooking but will add great flavor. But you can absolutely go all out and use your imagination here.
Other ideas might be to add veggies like green peas, carrots, broccoli. Think of it this way, if you’d be willing to dip it in ranch, you can absolutely add it to this recipe.
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad with chicken
To add chicken to your bacon ranch pasta salad you can bake, boil, or use roasted chicken leftovers. Cut them into bite-size pieces, or shred it and mix it in with all your other ingredients. Adding chicken to your recipe will quickly transform it from a side dish to the star of the show.
How to make Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Bow tie pasta
cooked crisp, crumbled
Buttermilk ranch dressing
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the al dente package directions.
Drain pasta and cool it down with cold water.
Transfer cooled pasta to a large bowl.
Add the cheddar, green onions, and ranch dressing. See notes below
Fold ingredients together gently as to not tear the pasta
Refrigerate salad covered for approximately one hour before serving.
Just before serving, fold in crumbled bacon. See notes below
- When adding the ranch, start with 1/2 c. If you find you like a creamier salad as more as you go, in small increments.
- Waiting to add the crumbled bacon at the end ensures that the bacon will hold its crispiness, and not get soft while sitting in the salad ingredients.