This Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad recipe is quick, easy and totally delicious. Creamy pasta salad with cheddar cheese, bacon, peas & ranch seasoning all tossed together for a great potluck dish!
A Creamy Homemade Pasta Salad Recipe – With Bacon!
This Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is going to be your new favorite side dish to take to a party, a potluck, a bbq…or to eat all all alone. It’s seriously just that good. If I make it ahead for a party, I can’t stop sneaking bites!
I have made a good handful of pasta salad recipes over the years and this one might win the title for my favorite pasta salad, ever.
The only one that makes me question the title is Kerri’s Tuna Pasta Salad. Cause that’s the bomb.com too.
They have some similarities, and a few differences, but both are extra delicious. This Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad might have a little edge on the tuna salad because it is loaded with bacon and ranch seasoning. You know, only two of the best flavors…ever.
Ellie and Lyla have grown ever more picky lately and I can only assume it’s because they are coming closer and closer to the dreaded three’s. When they were about a year old and younger, they ate almost everything and anything. That said, I was incredibly excited to watch them gobble down this homemade pasta salad.
Obviously, there are three can’t miss ingredients right in the name. Bacon, Ranch and Pasta.
Bacon: you want fresh crispy bacon that is pan fried or bacon cooked in the oven. Drain and crumble it.
Pasta: Elbows, rigatoni, shells, bow tie, or campanelle, it’s all good!
Ranch: head to the salad dressing aisle and grab the package of the dry ranch dressing mix.
There are a few more ingredients that add a ton of flavor, peas, cheddar cheese, sour cream and mayo.
If you want, you can also add a little actual ranch dressing, but I find it’s not needed.
Make Ahead or Fresh?
This Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is best within a couple hours of making it, in my opinion. However, some of my girlfriends make this and their families prefer it the next day!
If you make it the day before, the pasta will soak up more of the liquid and flavors. So if you are making it ahead, you will want to add additional sour cream, mayo or ranch dressing before serving.
It’s really all about personal preference, both ways are good!
I hope you enjoy this pasta salad as much as my family does! It’s one of those recipes we make over and over.This pasta salad has traveled with us to many a family get together and is always one of the first to go.
It is the perfect dish to bring to a potluck or bbq, is super easy to make and has a ton of flavor.
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Recipe
- 1 16 oz box elbow noodles
- 1 1 oz package hidden valley ranch dip seasoning mix
- 1 16 oz container sour cream
- ⅓ cup mayo
- 1 16 oz block cheddar cheese (sharp or mild), cubed
- 1 10 oz bag frozen peas, thawed
- 8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water, stir so they don’t stick. Let cool while you prep the rest.
- Mix the ranch seasoning, sour cream and mayo together until well combined.
- Place pasta in a large bowl. Mix together with ranch mixture.
- Toss in cheese, peas and bacon. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
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