Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

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Creamy homemade ranch dressing coats every bite of pasta and vegetables in this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad. Sprinkled throughout with bacon and cheddar cheese, my kids absolutely went nuts over this salad.

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad - recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

My boys would happily choose tacos, enchiladas, or even sandwiches, over a pasta salad most of the time. So, you can imagine my surprise when they dove into this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad for second helpings and the three of them ate almost the entire recipe in one sitting!

I’ve already promised my kids that I’d make this salad again very soon. And I’m hoping to get more than a few bites for myself next time!

Ranch Pasta Salad

This is a great salad to make for a potluck or summer party. I suspect that I’ll be making it all year long.

I love having easy recipes like this one at my fingertips for nights when it’s too hot to even think about being in the kitchen. A few minutes spent in the kitchen after breakfast and you’ll have dinner ready whenever you are hungry for it.

There’s nothing better than homemade ranch dressing for salads any day of the week, but if you don’t have the spices on hand to make the dressing for this recipe, store-bought ranch salad dressing will work nicely for this pasta salad.

Keeping this salad as easy to make as possible, I almost always cook the bacon in the oven.

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Pasta Salads

This Creamy Pasta Salad has been a family and a reader favorite for a number of years.

If you’re looking for a lighter salad, this Spinach Pasta Salad has become a go-to summer lunch for me. I like to make a double recipe of this salad on the weekend for an easy family meal and then eat the leftovers through the week.

For the shrimp lovers in your life, this Shrimp Pasta Salad by Shugary Sweets is sure to be a hit.

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is a kid favorite!

Italian Pasta Salad can be made a day ahead and it’s great for a crowd or for easy lunches through the week. This one is a frequent make-ahead dinner for me in the summer.

Easy Pesto Pasta Salad by Kalyn’s Kitchen is another great make-ahead recipe that’s great for lunch or dinner.

Here’s a handy kitchen tip: I use this bowl to store pasta salads. (I love the handy lid!)

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, adding a generous tablespoon or so of kosher salt to the water as it cooks.
  2. When the pasta is tender, rinse well with cold water. While the pasta is cooking, rinse the peas to thaw them.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, milk, dill, parsley, chives, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Add the lemon juice, taste, and add more lemon if desired.
  4. Add the peas, cooked pasta, tomatoes, cheese, and bacon to the mixing bowl with the dressing.
  5. Stir gently to coat all the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  6. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir again just before serving.

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

5 from 4 votes
Recipe inspired by Julia's Album
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces pasta shells
  • 8 ounces frozen peas thawed, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 6 ounces grape tomatoes about 1 cup, halved
  • 4 ounces cheddar or Colby jack cheese about 3/4 cup shredded
  • 1/2 pound bacon  cooked and crumbled
  • Optional: chopped avocado for topping
  •  
  • Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, adding a generous tablespoon or so of kosher salt to the water as it cooks. When the pasta is tender, rinse well with cold water. While the pasta is cooking, rinse the peas to thaw them.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, milk, dill, parsley, chives, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Add the lemon juice, taste, and add more lemon if desired. 
  • Add the peas, cooked pasta, tomatoes, cheese, and bacon to the mixing bowl with the dressing. Stir gently to coat all the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. 
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir again just before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

This recipe multiplies nicely for a crowd. 1/2 cup of store-bought ranch dressing or homemade ranch dip can be substituted for the dressing listed in this recipe. If you're using this homemade ranch dip, you'll want to thin it with 1-2 tablespoons of milk, just enough to make it thick and pourable.
If you are making this salad with gluten free pasta, you'll want to make it right before serving it. Gluten free pasta noodles tend to get harder than we like after spending much time in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Calories: 541kcal · Carbohydrates: 36g · Protein: 17g · Fat: 36g · Saturated Fat: 11g · Cholesterol: 53mg · Sodium: 543mg · Potassium: 350mg · Fiber: 4g · Sugar: 5g · Vitamin A: 881IU · Vitamin C: 21mg · Calcium: 164mg · Iron: 2mg
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{originally published 5/2/16 – recipe notes and photos updated 8/2/18}

A pile of pasta

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Kristine A. Cooper says

    In a very significant mixing up serving, whisk jointly your mayonnaise, wrong ointment, dill, parsley, chives, garlic oil powdered ingredients, red onion powdered ingredients, sodium, along with spice up. Put your fruit veggie juice, tastes, along with put additional fruit veggie juice in case ideal.

  2. Steve says

    This is so good and easy, even for us dads! Best summer dish for lunch or dinner, go on treat the wife…..or husband. Swapped the peas for broccoli which I put in some boiling water for 5mins then drained and cooled with cold water to keep it crunchie. Also added some toasted sesame seed which added a nice nutty flavor. Try this one it won’t disappoint.5 stars