I use to nail those Hamburger Helper ranch pasta salad meals when they first came out. Now I think they are down right disgusting!! Maybe it’s because I have so many wonderful homemade pasta salads in my collection. One of my favorites is this bacon cheddar ranch pasta salad.
This creamy, cold pasta salad is bursting with fresh ingredients like tomatoes, broccoli, crisp bacon, cheddar, olives and red onions. The ranch-mayo dressing is the perfect balance to provide flavor and creaminess without overpowering the other ingredients.
Makes a great summer side dish but I’ve eaten this for lunch on many occassions, it’s pretty filling.
*NOTE* I always make and dress this pasta salad as soon as I’m ready to serve it. This makes for a creamy, beautiful pasta salad with crisp veggies and bacon. If it sits overnight the pasta starts to absorb some of the sauce and the bacon and veggies begin to soften. (Still yummy but not as pretty and crunchy)
Watch me make this creamy, bacon cheddar ranch pasta salad from start to finish!
- 3 cups bow-tie pasta, uncooked
- ⅔ cup cheddar cheese crumbles
- 6 slices cooked bacon, diced
- 2-3 small tomatoes, seeded & diced
- ⅔ cup fresh broccoli, chopped
- ⅔ cup red onions, diced
- ⅓ cup black olives
- ½ cup mayonnaise (I used Dukes)
- ½ cup creamy ranch dressing
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½-1 teaspoon oregano
- Cook pasta until al dente. Be careful not overcook.
- Drain pasta and rinse with cold water until pasta is cool.
- Add drained pasta to a large bowl.
- Add in the bacon, broccoli, red onions, black olives, and tomatoes.
- Toss to combine. (you may need to add a tiny bit of water to moisten the pasta if it’s too sticky to toss)
- In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, ranch dressing, garlic and oregano.
- When ready to serve, mix the dressing in with the pasta mixture until well coated.
- Serve immediately.