This bacon ranch pasta salad is filled with colorful veggies and perfectly contrasting textures and flavors! Every bite is so satisfying it will be an incredible hit with anyone lucky enough to enjoy it!
If you love the flavors in this pasta salad, enjoy them as the main dish too! To turn these flavors in to a delicious, warm dinner try Cheesy Chicken Bacon and Broccoli Ranch Pasta or Slow Cooker Creamy Ranch Chicken.
Incredible Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Trust me when I say this is the best pasta salad ever! My son and his friends ate the entire thing in 5 minutes and agreed that it was the best pasta salad that they have had. I wasn’t surprised, because these flavors together are so amazing! The combination of the bacon, pasta, veggies, and ranch flavor is to die for!
The crisp bacon and veggies are so nice in contrast to the al dente pasta. The creamy ranch sauce coats every groove of this salad leaving no bite without its delicious flavor! And, as if it couldn’t get any better, the cheese and olives bring their sharp and unmistakable tastes to this vibrant meal. This is the only pasta salad I will take to potlucks from now on!
Easy Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Ingredients:
Seriously, filling a fork with all these delicious ingredients is insanely good! Even my kids will eat this because of the creamy ranch dressing. Finally, I found an easy way for them to get in their veggies!
- Fusilli Tri-Color Pasta: I love using this colorful pasta to bring even more interest to this dish!
- Bacon: Adds crunch and a savory element.
- Roma Tomatoes: I love biting into the tomatoes for a burst of sweet flavor!
- Broccoli: Adds crisp and fresh earthy flavor
- Sliced Olives: Adds pieces of salty smooth richness.
- Cheddar Cheese: Shredded (freshly shredded will give a stronger cheese flavor)
- Mayonnaise: Mix together with ranch seasoning to make a creamy sauce to coat the veggies and pasta.
- Dry Ranch Seasoning: Combines with mayonnaise to add the classic ranch flavor.
How to Make Cold Pasta Salad:
In just a few simple steps you can enjoy an amazingly nutritious and satisfying meal! Cook your pasta, make your ranch sauce, then toss all the ingredients together with the creamy sauce and you are ready to enjoy a great combination of flavors and textures. This is a great recipe to make with kids because there are so many easy ways for them to learn and help!
- Cook the pasta: Follow package directions to cook pasta. Drain and rinse in cold water.
- Combine: In a large bowl combine pasta, bacon, tomatoes, broccoli, olives, and cheese.
- Whisk: In a small bowl whisk the mayonnaise and dry ranch seasoning.
- Toss: Add the mayonnaise mixture to the bowl of pasta and veggies and mix until combined.
Variations for Delicious Pasta Salad:
The thing I love most about this pasta salad is how versitile it is! If you are short on time or are out of an ingredient, this salad can easily be adapted to fit your needs and still taste amazing! Here are some recommendations of swaps and additions I have loved.
- Add a protein: To make this a complete meal you could add in some proteins like shrimp or cubed deli ham or turkey.
- Veggies: Add in anything you love like peas, red onion, or peppers.
- Shortcuts: If you are in need of some corner-cutting, try grabbing these items from the store: shredded cheese, ranch dressing, or pre-cut veggies instead of preparing them yourself.
- Allergies: If you have certain dietary restrictions this recipe works great with gluten free noodles or zucchini noodles.
- Cheese: If you are cheese obsessed like me use a larger cut of cheese like a crumble or cubed cheese instead of shredded. This will give more of the cheese flavor than a thinner shredded version.
- Ranch dressing: Want to cut down on the mayonnaise? Use ½ cup sour cream and ½ cup mayonnaise or replace it entirely by using ranch dip with a little bit of milk to thin it out.
- Pasta: Use any bite size pasta you love. My kids love Farfalle in anything or shells. Use whatever you have on hand and brings a smile to the faces at your house!
- Low Calorie/Low Fat options: Use plain greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise or a low fat version of the mayonnaise or sour cream in the dressing. Also, you could leave out the cheese.
How to Store a Cold Pasta Salad:
If taking this to a BBQ or potluck of any kind you will want to double or triple this recipe. Seriously, trust me, this stuff will go fast! Also, I also recommend preparing it a little ahead of time so that it has time to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. The flavors will have time to settle together and it will be so much better. If you are in the very rare situation of finding your self with leftovers use these guidelines.
- Storing: Place in an airtight container in the refrigerator within 2 hours
- Expiration: Pasta will be good in the refrigerator for a maximum of 5 days.
- Note: If using Gluten free noodles, they do not last as long in the refrigerator.
More Amazing Pasta Salad Recipes to Try:
- Kale Pasta Salad
- Orzo Pasta Salad
- Greek Broccoli Pasta Salad
- Easy Tuna Pasta Salad
- Pesto Pasta Salad
Incredible Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- 16 ounce fusilli tri-color pasta or pasta of choice
- 10 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- 3 roma tomatoes diced
- 2 cups broccoli chopped
- 5 ounce sliced olives
- 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 cup mayonnaise*
- 1 packet dry ranch seasoning
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water.
In a large bowl combine pasta, bacon, tomatoes, broccoli, olives, and cheese.
In a small bowl whisk the mayonnaise and dry ranch seasoning. Add it to the bowl of pasta and veggies and mix until combined.