This Creamy Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is the perfect salad for neighborhood BBQs or potlucks. You will love how easy it is and how good it tastes!
This Creamy Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is seriously so easy and yummy. You can get the dressing and toppings ready while the pasta is boiling and throw it all together just as fast as those boxed “Suddenly Salad” things. You will get more pasta salad and it tastes SO MUCH BETTER. Why cut corners when it really doesn’t even save you time or money??
ANYWAY– back to the pasta salad… You can get as creative with the toppings as you want! I am not one who loves onions and celery in my pasta salad (don’t get me wrong, I love onions and celery,just not in pasta salad), but if that is something you want to add to yours, please, be my guest! In fact, add any other toppings you like or you think your family would like.
If you would like to make it healthier, you can use Greek yogurt in place of the mayonnaise and sour cream (which I have tried, and it is delicious). You can also use low-fat cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Another fun, healthy substitution is turkey bacon instead of regular. My son actually likes turkey bacon more than regular bacon! When you cook the bacon, you can actually chop it up beforehand and then cook it in little pieces so you don’t have to worry about crumbling it afterwords. It speeds up the process a little bit, in my opinion.
Be sure to make this salad ahead of time so that it has some time to cool in the fridge. If I have time, I always try to make pasta salads the day before I serve them because I think they taste so much better after being in the fridge overnight – it gives the flavors some time to mix and settle. You don’t have to make it THAT far in advance, just make sure the noodles have time to cool.
- 1 Lb. cavatappi noodles or macaroni, small shells, bowties.. etc...
- 1 ranch seasoning mix 1 oz.
- 3/4 c. mayonnaise
- 1/3 c. sour cream
- 1/3 c. milk
- 8-10 slices bacon cooked and crumbled or chopped
- 1 c. frozen peas thawed
- 1 c. cheddar cheese cubed
- 1 c. shredded carrots
- 1 c. grape or cherry tomatoes halved
- Cook noodles according to package, drain, and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- While noodles are cooking/cooling, in a large bowl combine ranch seasoning, mayo, sour cream, and milk. Whisk until smooth.
- Stir in bacon, peas, cheese, carrots, and tomatoes into the ranch dressing.
- Slowly add noodles and stir until noodles are well covered in dressing and all ingredients mixed together.
- Cover and refrigerate until serving.
- Add a little milk before serving if needed if it seems too dry (just a tablespoon or so..). Stir well before serving.