Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad – A quick and simple pasta salad with bacon, peas, tomatoes and cheese tossed in a creamy homemade ranch dressing.
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So, I feel the need to get in a couple more summer salads before we head into Labor Day weekend.
The summer has flown by, and a part of me refuses to accept any cooler weather that may be coming our way. So. . . to combat any feelings of autumn, we’re going to keep whipping up yummy summer dishes. That should help, right?😉
Today, we’re making Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad. It’s one of my favorite potluck dishes – and as with any pasta dish – it feeds a crowd.
The salad features bacon, peas, tomatoes and cheese and is tossed in a creamy homemade ranch dressing. Sounds pretty good, right?
Then, let’s get right to it!
HOW TO MAKE BACON RANCH PASTA SALAD
To make this pasta salad, you’ll need:
- Medium shells pasta
- Frozen peas
- Grape tomatoes
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Cooked bacon
- Miracle Whip
- Seasonings: dill, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper
Once you’ve boiled, drained and rinsed your pasta, you can begin making the dressing for the salad.
The dressing is a combination of Miracle Whip (or mayo if you prefer) and a handful of seasonings: dill, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
Once you have the dressing all mixed up, set that aside.
Now, in a larger bowl, combine the pasta, peas, tomatoes, bacon and cheese.
Then, pour that delicious ranch dressing all over the top!
Go ahead and and stir it around until everything is well-coated.
You can either chill the salad until you’re ready to serve or just go ahead and serve it right away.
CAN I PREPARE THIS PASTA SALAD AHEAD OF TIME?
I normally like to serve creamy pasta salads right away because the noodles tend to soak up the dressing quickly.
If you decide to make the salad ahead of time, you’ll want to whip up a little more Miracle whip with a little milk and add it to the salad before serving. Sometimes, just a little dash of milk will even do the trick!
CAN I JUST USE BOTTLED RANCH DRESSING FOR THE SALAD?
Yes, you can. But if you have all the necessary spices, I recommend you follow the recipe – you’ll be really happy with the results.
If you need to go with store-bought ranch, add about 1/2 cup to the salad, or if you’re using ranch vegetable dip, thin it out with 1-2 tablespoons of milk and mix it in!
Tip: You could also use my homemade cucumber ranch dressing recipe for a bit of a flavor twist!
ARE THERE ANY ALTERNATIVES TO FRYING AND CHOPPING UP THE BACON?
For those of you who are looking to cut down on prep time, frying and chopping up real bacon isn’t absolutely necessary.
When I’m running a little behind, I’ll often use pre-cooked bacon pieces to save on time!
LOOKING FOR MORE SUMMER POTLUCK SALADS?
- Tuna Pasta Salad
- Seven Layer Salad
- Avocado Salad
- Triple Berry Shortcake Salad
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Pineapple Pretzel Salad
- Dorito Taco Salad
- Broccoli & Tomato Salad
- Easy Pea Salad
- Snickers Caramel Apple Salad
- Cheddar Broccoli Pasta Salad
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
A quick and simple pasta salad with bacon, peas, tomatoes and cheese tossed in a creamy homemade ranch dressing.
- 8 ounces medium shells pasta
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup bacon, cooked and chopped
For the Dressing
- 3/4 cup Miracle Whip
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Boil pasta according to package directions.
- Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside and allow to cool.
- In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and whisk together. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cooled pasta, peas, tomatoes, bacon and cheese.
- Pour dressing over pasta mixture.
- Stir until coated with the dressing.
- Chill in the refrigerator or serve immediately.