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Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is made with crispy bacon, tender pasta, sharp cheese, sweet peas, and a cool ranch dressing, coming together to create the BEST pasta salad ever! You can ever have too many salad recipes in your recipe box and this one is an all-time favorite.
This past weekend, the temperatures were perfect for sitting outside and enjoying a meal in the fresh air. I was looking forward to putting my feet up and not really doing much of anything. Well, until the call came. My son, Hunter, asked if we could have a cookout on Saturday evening. Of course, I instantly said yes, mostly due to the fact that I already knew what I wanted to make.
See, thanks to my son, I have become somewhat of an expert at last-minute hosting. This quick and easy pasta salad recipe is my secret weapon for feeding a crowd on short notice! On top of being simple to make, you can serve this salad in under 30 minutes, plus it’s super easy to clean up since you barely make any dishes!
Ingredients Needed For This Simple Pasta Salad Recipe
One of the things that I love about this recipe is the fact that most of the ingredients for this pasta salad are already in your pantry and fridge!
- Rotelli or Elbow Pasta
- Cheddar cheese – cubed
- Frozen peas – thawed
- Cooked bacon – chopped
- Chives – chopped
- Parsley – chopped
- Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning Packets
- Sour cream
How To Make Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Begin by cooking your pasta according to the directions on the back of the box. Drain and rinse the cooked pasta thoroughly. Place the pasta in a large bowl along with your cubed cheddar cheese, thawed peas, and chopped pieces of bacon.
In a small bowl whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, dried ranch seasoning, and milk until creamy and smooth. Pour this dressing over the pasta mixture and gently stir to coat all the ingredients.
Sprinkle fresh chives and fresh parsley over the top of your salad and toss together until well combined. Serve immediately or cover and place in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.
Delicious Additions to Ranch Pasta Salad
Every ingredient in this recipe has a special and important role to play when it comes to flavor. But, that’s not to say that you can’t have some fun with add-ons to make this recipe your own. Here are a couple of my favorite things to add to this pasta salad…
- Chicken – You can easily transform this recipe from a tasty side dish into a whole meal by simply adding chicken! Whether you’re making it for BBQs, potlucks, or Block Parties, I guarantee that Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad will be a hit!
- Sriracha – If you’re a fan of spicy foods, then add a tablespoon of sriracha into the dressing for a kick of heat!
- Fresh Basil – While it’s a welcome addition to most recipes, fresh basil is particularly good in this one! Sprinkle it on top along with your chives and parsley, and it’ll really give the salad an added burst of freshness.
People Often Ask…
I think the answer to this is completely based on personal opinion! This salad has many of the same ingredients as macaroni salad and is often served the same way at parties, cookouts, and potlucks.
More Pasta Salad Recipe You’ll Love…
- Spaghetti Salad
- Creamy Tomato Cucumber Pasta Salad
- Pesto Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella
- BEST Caprese Pasta Salad
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- 1 lb pasta – rotelli or elbow
- 8 oz cheddar cheese – cubed
- 1 bag (10 oz) frozen peas – thawed
- 8 strips cooked bacon – chopped
- 2 tablespoons chives – chopped
- 1 tablespoon parsley – chopped
- 4 tablespoons (2 packages) Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup milk
- Cook pasta according to directions on box. Drain and rinse. Place pasta in a large bowl along with cheddar cheese, peas and bacon.
- Mix dried ranch, sour cream, mayonnaise and mix together until smooth. Pour over pasta and other ingredients and sprinkle on chives and parsley. Toss together until well mixed. Serve immediately. Can be stored in fridge – may need to additional sour cream/milk if pasta sticks together.
This post was originally published in May 2018.