Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad combines crispy bacon, tender pasta, sharp cheese, sweet peas, and a cool ranch dressing to create the BEST pasta salad ever! You can never have too many salad recipes in your recipe box, and this one is an all-time favorite.

This salad is the perfect side dish for BBQ Chicken Legs, Crock Pot Chicken Thighs, and Air Fryer Hot Dogs.

If you have kids, you’re probably familiar with the last-minute gatherings and calls saying, “Hey, can my friends come over in an hour?” (or less). It’s one of the joys of parenthood, and I mean it. I’ve become so proficient at last-minute party food that can feed a crowd that if I were a superhero, that would be my power. This bacon ranch pasta salad is my go-to recipe because everyone loves it, and I usually have everything on hand!

Why I Love This Easy Pasta Salad Recipe

  • It serves a crowd with minimal effort because all you need to do is chop up a few things, boil pasta, and mix. Plus, you can add certain ingredients if you have more on hand (like doubling the pasta and dressing to feed hungry teenage boys).
  • It’s perfect as a quick and easy side dish because it only takes minutes to assemble. The longest part of the recipe is waiting for the pasta to boil.
  • It is super portable, making a great salad for parties, cookouts, and summer barbecues.

    Ingredients Needed For This Simple Pasta Salad Recipe

    • Pasta – I like to use Rotelli or elbow pasta.
    • Cheddar Cheese – Cube the cheddar cheese for easy eating.
    • Peas – I prefer frozen peas that I thaw because they are always in my freezer.
    • Bacon – Cook it to crispy perfection and then chop it small. For different ways to cook it, you can try my air fryer bacon or oven baked bacon.
    • Fresh herbs – I use a combination of chives and parsley to bring a freshness to the pasta salad.
    • Seasoning – This is a Hidden Valley ranch pasta salad through and through. Hidden Valley ranch packets are made with simple ingredients, and you can’t beat the flavor they pack.
    • The cream – To make the rest of the dressing, I use a combination of sour cream for tang, mayonnaise for creaminess, and milk to help thin out the dressing.

      How To Make Homemade Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

      1. Begin by cooking your pasta according to the directions on the back of the box. Drain and rinse the cooked pasta thoroughly. Place the pasta in a large bowl with cubed cheddar cheese, thawed peas, and chopped bacon pieces.
      2. In a small bowl whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, dried ranch seasoning, and milk until creamy and smooth. Pour this dressing over the pasta mixture and gently stir to coat all the ingredients.
      3. Sprinkle fresh chives and parsley over your salad and toss until well combined. Serve immediately or cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

      Additions And Variations To This Cold Pasta Salad

      • Chicken – Adding chicken can transform this recipe from a tasty side dish into a whole meal!
      • Sriracha – If you’re a fan of spicy foods, add a tablespoon of Sriracha to the dressing for a kick of heat!
      • Fresh Basil – While it’s a welcome addition to most recipes, fresh basil is particularly good in this one! Sprinkle it with your chives and parsley, and it’ll give the salad an added burst of freshness.