Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

A delicious spring and summer dish, this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is a perfect potluck, cookout or anytime recipe that people will absolutely love!

A FUN TASTY PASTA SALAD

Now that spring has finally sprung I have to share one of my absolute favorite salads with yout, this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad. It is like you are eating a BLT but in salad form. This is our go-to pasta salad for any occasion and we just cannot get enough. It is one of our most requested as well, so that must tell you something! With easily available ingredients this salad comes together in no time and it feeds a crowd! Of course you can double it to serve more people or have on hand for yourself, you might just want to because it is just that good! If you are looking for that perfect side dish to bring to your next function, it has to be this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Recipe.

Overhead of Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad on white plate.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Do I have to use cavatappi pasta?

No, we love using it because it really grabs ahold of the other ingredients and the salad dressing really well. Other pastas that would work great for this recipe include penne, elbow macaroni, rotini and farfalle.

What lettuce do you use?

You can technically use any lettuce for this recipe. But I suggest using a more hearty lettuce such as romaine, iceberg or green leaf.

Why do you add the bacon and lettuce at the end?

We do this so that the bacon doesn’t get soggy and the lettuce will not wilt.

Can other cheeses be used?

Absolutely, this salad is really customizable. Some other cheese that would taste great in this would be Pepper Jack, Monterey Jack, Cheddar, and Mozzarella.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes you can, but we suggest that you do not add the lettuce and bacon until ready to serve. If you leave the pasta salad in the fridge for too long or overnight, the pasta may soak up the dressing. Just add a little more dressing and toss again before enjoying.

I can’t find grape tomatoes, is there another option?

If you don’t have grape tomatoes on hand, I suggest using Roma tomatoes or another tomato that is not too juicy, making the salad overdressed and watery. You can also just take out the seeds in a beefsteak tomato or similar and small dice.

How do you store leftovers?

This can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to 5 days. Again, the salad may soak up the dressing so add a little more before enjoying leftovers.

Pinterest image of Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad on plate with bowl in background.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • cavatappi pasta
  • bacon,
  • colby jack cheese block
  • grape tomatoes
  • scallions
  • red onion
  • ranch dressing
  • lettuce
Ingredients needed: cavatappi pasta, bacon, Colby Jack cheese block, grape tomatoes, scallions, red onion, ranch dressing and lettuce.

HOW TO MAKE BACON RANCH PASTA SALAD:

Cook the pasta to al dente per the directions on the back of the box. Drain and rinse with cold water, allow to drip dry as best you can. We need the pasta to be as dry as possible. Set aside. Cook the bacon until crispy and drain excess fat. Place on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up any excess grease, set aside.

Cooked bacon on paper towel lined plate.

Place the cooked pasta, Colby jack cheese, tomatoes, scallions, red onion into a very large bowl.

Pasta,cheese, tomatoes, scallions, red onion added to bowl with pasta.

Add the ranch dressing.

Ranch being poured over salad ingredients.

Toss to combine. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.

Pasta mixed together with ranch.

Once you are ready to serve, add the cooked bacon and lettuce.

Bacon and lettuce added to bowl with pasta ingredients.

Toss to combine, serve immediately.

Close up overhead of Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad on white plate.

WANT MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES? YOU MUST TRY THESE!

Square image close up of Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad on white plate.

Print

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

A delicious spring and summer dish, this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is a perfect potluck, cookout or anytime recipe that people will absolutely love!
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad, Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 456kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces cavatappi pasta
  • 1 pound bacon small diced
  • 8 ounces Colby Jack cheese block small diced
  • 1- pint grape tomatoes cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 scallions thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 ½ cups ranch dressing
  • 4 cups small diced lettuce

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta to al dente per the directions on the back of the box. Drain and rinse with cold water, allow to drip dry as best you can. We need the pasta to be as dry as possible. Set aside.
  • Cook the bacon until crispy and drain excess fat. Place on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up any excess grease, set aside.
  • Place the cooked pasta, Colby jack cheese, tomatoes, scallions, red onion, and ranch into a very large bowl. Toss to combine. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.
  • Once you are ready to serve, add the cooked bacon and lettuce. Toss to combine, serve immediately.

Notes

  • Other pastas can be used, see some suggestions above.
  • We recommend using romain, iceberg or green leaf lettuce.
  • Make sure your bacon is extra crispy so it does not go soggy.
  • Switch up your cheese for your favorite flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 456kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 621mg | Potassium: 327mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 739IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 1mg

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