Crispy bacon meets smooth cheddar cheese, while bright peas and olives add a refreshing twist to the Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad. Topped with a creamy homemade ranch dressing, this dish proves that a salad can really be the star of the show.
This Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is a harmonious blend of creamy, savory and refreshing flavors that dance with every bite. With the satisfying crunch of bacon, the smooth richness of cheddar cheese, and the lively bursts of green peas and olives, this dish is a medley of flavors that delights the senses. And the homemade ranch dressing? It’s the cherry at its best, tying it all together with a delicious ribbon of culinary delights.
Much different than the typical garden variety salad, it’s hearty, satisfying, and versatile. Serve as a stand-alone dish for a light lunch or as a side dish at a barbecue or dinner party. Needless to say, it’s definitely a crowd pleaser. Whether you’re looking for a dish to bring to a picnic, potluck, or weekday family dinner, this pasta salad is a versatile choice.
The trick is to wash the cooked pasta in cold water. This not only stops the cooking process, but it also removes excess starch that causes stickiness.
absolutely! In fact, making this salad a few hours in advance can allow the ingredients to meld together and enhance the flavor. Remember to stir well before eating to distribute the dressing.
absolutely. Rotini are great to serve with dressing, but other types of pasta such as penne, fusilli, and farfalle work equally well.
The advantage of homemade dressings is that they are adaptable. If you don’t have enough herbs, you can skip them or substitute with something else. Dill, basil, or tarragon can all add a unique flavor to the dressing.
Yes, if you want to make this dish even more hearty, add some grilled chicken. If you add protein, be sure to thoroughly cook and cool it before adding it to the salad.
The best way to know it is to taste it. The pasta should ideally be cooked al dente. In other words, it should remain slightly chewy. This will keep the salad from getting mushy.
absolutely! Using precooked bacon saves time, especially when you’re in a hurry. Make sure they are properly heated before adding them to your salad.
This salad is quite flexible. Feel free to add chopped bell peppers, red onions, carrot matchsticks, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, and more. It’s all up to you!
How to eat and store
This salad can be served immediately after preparation or refrigerated for the flavors to develop. It’s the perfect dish for warm-weather gatherings or for a quick, refreshing meal.
To save, simply cover the salad and store it in the refrigerator. Stores well for up to 3 days. If your salad looks a little dry after storage, you can mix it with a little more dressing to freshen it up.
If you like this recipe, you may also be interested in other delicious pasta salad recipes.