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Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is a super easy side dish that everyone loves. Based off of the classic Suddenly Salad that my kids go crazy for, the homemade version is even better!

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I love make ahead side dishes like three bean salad or cucumber onion salad for busy weeknights and weekend cookouts. This easy pasta salad is always a good one to go with grilled burgers, chicken or pork chops

bowl of pasta salad with bacon and tomatoes

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad ~ Easy Side Dish

Quick and easy is what I’m looking for in a side dish. If you would like to make a homemade pasta salad that everyone is going to love, this bacon ranch pasta salad does the trick. 

Ingredients Needed:

  • Small Shells Pasta ~ Macaroni works too.
  • Bacon ~ Cooked and crumbled. 
  • Green Onions ~ Sliced, both green and white parts.
  • Carrot ~ Shredded or julienned adds bright and fresh flavor.
  • Tomato ~ Roma or cherry tomatoes work great in pasta salad, diced.
  • Shredded Cheese ~ I used sharp cheddar, use your favorite.

For the Dressing:

  • Mayonnaise ~ not Miracle Whip, use your favorite brand.
  • Sour Cream ~ Lightens the mayo flavor and makes the dressing extra creamy.
  • Milk ~ Adds a good consistency to the dressing.
  • Ranch Seasoning Mix ~ I use Hidden Valley Mix. I use it so often I buy it in the large containers.
  • Onion Powder, Kosher Salt, Black Pepper ~ Adds additional flavor to the dressing.

closeup of bowl of pasta salad with tomatoes and bacon

How to Make Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad:

cooked pasta shells in a red colander

  • Boil pasta according to package direction, do not over cook. Mushy pasta doesn’t make for good pasta salad.
  • Drain in a colander. Rinse under cold water until cooled. 
  • Drain well.

mayo, sour cream, seasonings for ranch salad dressing in abowo

  • In the serving bowl, add mayo, sour cream, milk, ranch dressing mix, onion powder, salt and pepper.

ranch pasta salad dressing in a bowl

  • Mix with a whisk until well combined.

bowl of pasta with carrots, cheese, green onions, bacon and tomatoes

  • Add cooled and drained pasta to the bowl. 
  • Top with bacon, green onions, carrots, tomatoes and cheese. Reserve a bit of each for garnish if desired.

bacon ranch pasta salad in a white bowl

  • Stir until well combined.

bowl of pasta salad with a serving spoon to the side on a blue check towel

  • Garnish with remaining toppings if desired. 
  • Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until serving or overnight.

How to Store:

Pasta salad should be covered and refrigerated. It is best in the first two days but it doesn’t usually last that long.

More Easy Pasta Salads:

The Best Macaroni Salad is my go-to for summer cookouts and just about every family holiday dinner. It has a sweet and tangy dressing and loads of crunchy vegetables.

Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad is quick, easy and delicious. Made with a homemade Italian dressing, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella balls. 

Easy Pasta Salad is filled with plenty of summer fresh veggies and a quick creamy herb dressing. 

Sesame Pasta Salad is a quick and easy side for any meal with a simple Asian dressing that will have you coming back for more.

You might also like this Bacon Ranch Potato Salad, it’s made with bottle ranch dressing and is super easy to make for cookouts and barbecues.

spoonful of pasta salad

Serve this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad with Fried Chicken Strips, Air Fryer Cheesesteak Rolls or as a quick lunch. It’s one of those easy recipes that you will want to make again and again.

For a quick and easy homemade side salad, give this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad a try. It goes with just about every meal and it’s so simple to put together in under 20 minutes.

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Yield: 6 servings

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

bowl of pasta salad with bacon, tomatoes and green onions

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is a super easy side dish that everyone loves. Based off of the classic Suddenly Salad that my kids go crazy for, the homemade version is even better!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups small shells pasta or macaroni
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons or 1 packet of Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup shredded or julienned carrots
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.
  2. Rinse under cold water until pasta is cooled. Drain well.
  3. In a serving bowl, mix up the dressing by combining mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, ranch dressing mix, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Add pasta to the bowl.
  5. Next add bacon, green onions, carrots, tomato and cheese, reserving a bit of each for garnishing if desired.
  6. Mix well.
  7. Garnish with remaining toppings if desired.
  8. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

Store salad in a covered dish in the refrigerator up to two days.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 548Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 1234mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 14g

Nutritional calculations are estimated and may not be accurate.

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