Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is a delicious, easy-to-make cold, creamy pasta salad. It's the perfect side dish for barbecues, potlucks, and cookouts.
It has all the ingredients everybody loves: crispy bacon, creamy ranch, cheese, and tender pasta.
Enjoy this salad recipe with our delicious and refreshing homemade Ranch Dressing.
Do you know the feeling of not really knowing what to cook even though your fridge is full? The Bacon Ranch Pasta salad is a great recipe for days when you don't know what to cook.
This salad works as a lunch salad or as a side salad for dinner. Besides that, it's also a fan favorite on any party buffet table. From potlucks to barbecues to family or social gatherings - it's always a crowd-pleaser.
Why This Recipe Works
EASY - This recipe is straightforward and requires no complex cooking techniques, making it great for beginners and seasoned cooks alike.
VERSATILE - This bacon ranch pasta salad can be served at any time of the year, for any occasion - from summer picnics to holiday parties.
FLAVORFUL - The combination of crunchy bacon, creamy ranch dressing, and fresh veggies creates a harmonious and delicious flavor profile.
Please check the recipe card below for a detailed, printable ingredient list.
PASTA - The pasta serves as the base of the salad, providing a hearty texture and absorbing the flavorful dressing. Use your preferred shortcut pasta, such as penne, fusilli, elbow macaroni, or rotini pasta. For a fun twist, you try using spinach pasta or gluten-free pasta.
BACON - The bacon adds a smoky flavor and a crunchy texture that contrasts nicely with the other ingredients.
TOMATOES - Cherry or grape tomatoes are great choices for this pasta salad. I recommend halving them.
PEAS - You can use fresh or frozen peas.
OLIVES - A half cup of sliced black olives adds savory flavor, more texture, and visual appeal.
CHEESE - The cheese adds a creamy texture and a rich flavor, which complements the savory bacon and dressing. Cheddar is perfect for this pasta salad. You can use shredded Cheddar or cube the cheese according to your own preferences.
RANCH - The creamy ranch seasoning ties all the ingredients together, adding a tangy and savory flavor to the salad. I prefer the combination I describe in this recipe. But if you're looking to save time, you can definitely also use store-bought Ranch salad dressing.
How To Make Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Prepare the pasta in a large pot al dente according to the package directions.
- Cook the bacon in the oven for 18 minutes at 400° Fahrenheit.
- Combine the dressing mix, milk, sour cream, and mayonnaise in a small bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Use a large bowl to combine bacon, peas, tomatoes, olives, and cheese, and add the chilled pasta.
- Add the dressing to the pasta salad and toss to coat.
What to Serve with a Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
CHICKEN - The cool and creamy salad complements the warm, smoky flavor of grilled chicken perfectly.
BBQ RIBS - The tangy, smoky ribs work well with a side of pasta salad.
How long does pasta salad last in the fridge?
You can keep this salad for 3 to 5 days in the fridge. Store the leftovers in an airtight container. Give the salad a good stir before serving.
More Simple Pasta Salads
Most of these salads can be used as a main course or as side dishes.
- Seafood Pasta Salad
- Broccoli Pasta Salad
- Red Lentil Pasta Salad
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Tuna Pasta Salad
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit and cook the bacon for 18 minutes. Once cooked, pat dry the bacon and chop into bite-sized pieces.
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Chill with cold water and set aside.
- Combine dry Ranch dressing dip, mayonnaise, sour cream, and milk and whisk until well combined.
PUTTING THE SALAD TOGETHER
- Combine pasta, peas, tomatoes, olives, bacon, and cheddar cheese in a large salad bowl. Add the dressing and combine well.