You can’t go wrong with a classic macaroni salad, but modifying it for a refreshing change is a tasty idea! That’s why this ranch pasta salad with bacon is so perfectly different and delicious!
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
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Macaroni Salad Ingredients
Pasta – While this recipe calls for macaroni style pasta, you can experiment with any pasta shape you like best. Why not try rotelle, bow tie, penne or even mini shells to really fancy it up?
Veggies – Tomatoes and onions are classic add ins for this ranch pasta salad recipe. Other delicious additions might be diced cucumbers, red peppers, or celery. Get creative!
Meat – Bacon is perfect in this pasta salad! For a fun and tasty alternative, try subbing chicken in place of bacon for your own version of a chicken bacon ranch macaroni salad!
Dressing – The dressing for this recipe is super simple – ranch dressing mix and mayo! You can use either the bottled ranch dressing or the powdered mix.
Adding diced cheese is a great way to jazz up this salad. Use a sharp cheddar, marble or a spicy Monterey jack.
How To Make Macaroni Salad
It takes only 3 easy steps to make this delicious homemade ranch pasta salad.
- Cook: Pasta should be cooked al dente. Bacon should be cooked crisp and crumbled.
- Chop: Onions should be diced and tomatoes cut into quarters.
- Mix: Combine all ingredients and chill to allow the flavors to blend.
What To Serve With Ranch Macaroni Salad?
A great side salad deserves a great entrée! And this pasta salad is best served along side your favorite main dish.
- If you are craving beef and comfort food, try these mini meatloaves!
- Thinking chicken? Try this easy and delicious recipe for baked parmesan crusted chicken!
- Pork Chops? Look no further than this easy crockpot recipe!
Let’s not forget dessert! Caramel Brownies, Texas Sheet Cake, or Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are easy, hand held desserts perfect for potlucks or backyard barbecues!
Leftovers are not an issue with this ranch pasta salad because it gets devoured so fast! But if you do have leftovers, you can store them in the refrigerator for about a day. Any longer and the salad may become watery and the pasta may become a bit soft as well.
You can make this salad in advance for maximum flavor and also convenience. However I would recommend no longer than a day for integrity and freshness.
This creamy pasta salad is best served cold. On a hot day, it’s a good idea to fit your serving bowl inside a larger bowl that has been filled with ice. This will help keep your macaroni salad cool and delicious!
Other Pasta Salads To Try
Southwest Pasta Salad – a zesty alternative.
BLT Pasta Salad – an entree salad.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad – fresh and full of veggies!
BBQ Chicken Macaroni Salad – perfect for a BBQ!
Spaghetti Salad – so different and delicious.
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces macaroni noodles
- ½ cup ranch dressing
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes quartered
- ½ pound bacon cooked and crumbled
- 2 green onions sliced
- 2 tablespoons purple onion diced
- Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Cook the bacon, drain and crumble.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the macaroni, Ranch dressing, tomatoes, onions and crumbled bacon. Stir well.
- Refrigerate about 2 hours to allow flavors to blend.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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Bet it would be good with peperoni in it also
I’m not big on ranch , was thinking doing it with ceasar dressing with cherry tomatoes
I will definitely make this for the 4th!! What size bottle of ranch do you use? As always, thank you posting amazing recipes!
This looks delish! Just curious, what size bottle of Ranch should I use?
I make this…and we love it…I do add chopped celery and green onions….and any other veggie I might have on hand…BACON is good in ANYthing. :))
Thanks for reminding me to make this for the 4th….:)
over from whats cooking…
This macaroni salad looks great and I definitely love the ranch flavor! I am featuring this at Showcase Your Talent Thursday. https://www.whatscookinglove.com/2013/06/showcase-your-talent-thursday-65.html. I also shared it on Facebook and pinned it!
I would agree. This is my favorite as well!
Ohhh your macaroni salad sounds SO GOOD!!! Looks like a great picnic dish!!!! Thanks for sharing, I’ll definitely try this out this summer!!!!
We would really enjoy this salad. Hope you have a wonderful week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
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I added romaine lettuce, herbs from my garden and green onions and everyone raved.