Bacon and ranch lovers, I have a recipe for you! My bacon ranch pasta salad is a delicious update on a classic. A hit at barbecues, you can also make it for lunch at home!
Pasta salad is a classic recipe for a reason!
Full of carby goodness from the macaroni, fresh veggies that add a crunch, some sort of protein to really fill you up, and a flavorful dressing to bring everything together. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
I can’t help but agree, which is why I wanted to share my bacon ranch pasta salad recipe with you all today.
It’s an update on a traditional pasta salad recipe and features plenty of crispy bacon and creamy ranch. I’m a huge fan of both bacon and ranch, so dishes like this are right up my alley.
I definitely plan on whipping this up for my next barbecue, pool party, or picnic. And in the meantime, it’s a great choice for lunch!
Eat it on its own for something a bit lighter, pair it with soup or a sandwich, or enjoy as a side dish at your next gathering.
My bacon ranch pasta salad recipe comes together in just 15 minutes!
Once you cook the pasta, there isn’t much left to do but toss it with all of the other ingredients. Easy, fast, and delicious!
How to Make Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
STEP ONE: Cook the pasta by following the instructions on the back of the package. When it’s done cooking, drain and set aside in a large mixing bowl for later.
STEP TWO: Add the mayonnaise, dry ranch mix, garlic powder, heavy whipping cream, and sour cream to a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.
STEP THREE: Pour the homemade ranch dressing over the pasta and stir. Then add the peas, olives, tomatoes, bacon, and cheese and toss the salad to combine.
Incorporate the sliced cucumbers and mix everything together again. Place in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes (recommended), or serve immediately!
What to Serve with Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Air Fryer Hamburgers
- Air Fryer Hot Dogs
- Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Air Fryer Fried Chicken
- Instant Pot Potato Salad
- BBQ Hot Dogs
- Easy Deviled Eggs Without Mustard
- Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
Variations for Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Substitute the mayonnaise with plain Greek yogurt if you’d like to make this dish a bit lighter.
- Use plant-based bacon or omit the meat completely for a vegetarian-friendly variation.
- Opt for a different type of macaroni. If you end up using a larger pasta shape, make sure to double the dressing ingredients so you have enough.
- Use a different type of cheese. Mozzarella, provolone, or cheddar would all work great!
Can I Make Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Ahead of Time?
Yes! My bacon ranch pasta salad is best served fresh, you can make it up to a few days in advance using the directions below.
If you do make it ahead of time, you may need to freshen it up with a splash of milk if it dried out in the fridge.
Make sure to stir well to combine.
How Long Does Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Last?
You can store any leftover bacon ranch pasta salad in an airtight container in the fridge. When stored properly it will last for 2-3 days!
What is Pasta Salad Dressing Made Of?
All recipes will vary. Some keep it really simple and add a bit of oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.
Others, like this bacon ranch pasta salad, are a little more elaborate!
My pasta salad dressing includes mayonnaise, ranch seasoning, garlic powder, heavy whipping cream, and sour cream.
What Makes Pasta Salad Bitter?
If you’ve ever noticed a funny aftertaste when eating pasta salad, you’re not alone!
The bitter taste comes from vinegar, which is a common ingredient in many pasta salad dressings.
You won’t have to worry about that one bit with my recipe as it doesn’t feature any vinegar!
Other Salad Recipes You’ll Love:
- Barbecue Chicken Salad
- Classic Egg Salad Recipe
- Pea Salad with Eggs
- Simple Chicken Salad Recipe
- Quinoa Chickpea Salad
- Taco Salad With Catalina Dressing
- Broccoli Salad
- 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 (12 ounce) box Rotini pasta (4 cups)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 package dry ranch seasoning mix
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
- 1/2 cup sliced Black olives
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup Colby Monterey Jack cheese, cubed
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- Cook pasta according to the ingredients on the back of the package; drain and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
- In a small mixing bowl combine the mayonnaise, dry ranch mix, garlic powder, heavy whipping cream, and sour cream; stir to mix well.
- Pour dressing over the drained pasta and stir. Add the peas, olives, tomatoes, bacon, and cheese; toss the salad to combine. Add sliced cucumbers and toss again.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 721Total Fat: 61gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 38gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 1488mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 24g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.