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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, this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad. This is definitely a go-to pasta salad for any occasion and it whips up so easily! With simple ingredients, this salad is perfect to take to a picnic or potluck when you need to make something in a pinch! If you are looking for that perfect pasta 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. I use cavatappi (corkscrew pasta) because it really grabs ahold of the other ingredients and the salad dressing really well. Plus, it just looks fun! 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 pasta salad ahead of time?

Yes you can, but 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 a lot of 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 (which would making the salad watery.

How do you store leftover pasta salad?

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 (store-bought or homemade 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, green onions, 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?

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

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!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time:: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 16

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces (1 pound box) cavatappi pasta
  • 1 pound bacon, small diced
  • 8 ounces Colby Jack cheese block small diced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 green onions, 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, green onions, 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.
  • Romain, iceberg or green leaf lettuce are the best to use.
  • Try making a Homemade Ranch Dressing to make this extra special.
  • Make sure your bacon is extra crispy so it does not go soggy.
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 456kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 33g | Sodium: 621mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I enkoy eating pasta salads on a hot Texas day and this looks Fantastic and so very easy to make
    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes that you share.
    Enjoy your day and have a wonderful weekend