Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pasta Salad Recipe

Rebekah Garcia Kalinowski | Kitchen Gidget

This bacon cheddar ranch pasta salad is perfect for potlucks or a cool summer dinner! There’s even a full serving of vegetables, and it only takes minutes to throw together.

Every summer gathering needs a pasta salad! I am all about the side dishes (and desserts!) when it comes to food functions, like this bacon cheddar ranch pasta salad.

Everyone else has their eyeballs on that rack of ribs or grilled sausages, but I’m over there loading up my plate with all the wonderful sides.

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pasta Salad Photo

From fresh fruit salad to homemade dill dip with veggies to s’mores icebox cake, I don’t even need the BBQ to be happy!

Everyone has their own favorite pasta salad. The beauty is that there’s no baking involved. That’s one of my first rules for summer cooking.

This salad is unique, yet at the same time a popular blend of flavors everyone loves. Bacon…cheddar…ranch. I don’t know why this trio is so tasty — I just eat it!

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pasta Salad Picture

So, to make this bacon cheddar ranch pasta salad you’ll need some pasta. I’ve used rotini, but any short variety will do. Pasta salads have no rules!

BACON. Cook it until it’s nice and crispy, then crumble. Make extra for snacking on.

As for the cheese, I like it cubed so you get large bites of sharp cheddar. You could also shred it so you get a little bit in every bite.

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pasta Salad Image

To zest things up, I’ve added cherry tomatoes. I added them whole to the salad and discovered they’re impossibly slippery to stab with a fork. So definitely slice them in half.

I love adding broccoli florets as well since it punches up the nutrition! Fresh, raw (not frozen) broccoli is what you want to use.

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pasta Salad Pic

If you want to sneak in more veggies, shredded carrots, fresh peas, chopped cucumber or bell peppers are also great options.

The whole salad comes together with an easy, creamy ranch dressing. There’s no flavor quite like ranch — tang from buttermilk along with savory herbs.

File 1 Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pasta Salad

I use bottled dressing for convenience; you can add more or less to taste. I also mix in freshly ground black pepper for a little spice. For extra heat you can also add hot sauce.

If you happen to have leftovers and you happen to have some cooked chicken, this pasta salad magically transforms into an easy main dish! 

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Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pasta Salad Recipe

    8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces Rotini
  • 12 ounces Bacon
  • 8 ounces Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups Broccoli Florets
  • 3/4 cup Ranch Dressing
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Boil large pot of water for pasta and cook according to package instructions, then drain and rinse.
  2. While water is coming to a boil, cook the bacon and chop remaining ingredients. In a small bowl, mix together the ranch dressing and milk.
  3. To assemble, in a large bowl combine the cooked pasta, bacon, cheese, tomatoes, broccoli, and ranch mixture. Season to taste with black pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

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Category:
Side Dishes
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Related Recipes:
Cheese Recipes, Pasta Recipes, Bacon Recipes, Ranch Recipes, Family Meals and Snack Recipes, Easy Recipes, Broccoli Recipes, Side Dish Recipes
Recipe Yields:
8 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
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Published:
Author: Rebekah Garcia Kalinowski
Recipe Yields: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 8

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 373
Calories 594

% Daily Value*
72%
Total Fat 47g
48%
  Saturated Fat 10g
63%
Sodium 1521mg
9%
Total Carbohydrate 28g
2%
  Dietary Fiber 2g
  Sugars 1g
53%
Protein 27g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Rebekah Garcia Kalinowski

About Rebekah

Rebekah is the blogger behind Kitchen Gidget, an all-encompassing food blog dedicated to her Midwestern roots and Hispanic heritage. She adores cheese (who doesn't?!), so we asked her to be our Cheese fanatic. Time to get excited!