The ingredients in this simple Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad recipe call for the tri-coloured rotini pasta, however nearly any medium sized pasta could be substituted.
I made this one with just plain elbow macaroni because that was what I had, BUT - if I were taking it to a potluck - I would have gone out and bought the coloured pasta, just for eye appeal.
The combination of bacon, vegetables, and pasta makes this a complete meal, all-in-one dish.
Perfect for a hot Summer day.
Bacon Ranch Ingredients
• 1 (12 oz – 360 ml) pkg uncooked tri-colour rotini pasta
• 10 slices bacon
• 1 cup (240 ml) mayonnaise
• 3 tablespoons (45 ml) powdered ranch salad dressing mix
• 1/4 teaspoon (60 ml) garlic powder
• 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) pepper
• 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk - or a bit more
• 1 large tomato - diced OR 12 grape tomatoes - halved
• 1 (4.25 oz – 120 ml) can sliced black olives - drained
• 1 cup (240 ml) Cheddar cheese - shredded or grated
1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until it is al dente. Drain and immediately rinse with cold water.
2. Fry the bacon until cooked. Drain and cut the bacon into bite sized pieces when cool.(alternatively - you can dice the bacon before cooking)
3. Mix the mayonnaise, garlic powder, ranch dressing mix, and garlic pepper in a large bowl. Add the milk slowly, stirring until smooth.
4. Combine the remaining ingredients with the pasta in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss gently to evenly coat the ingredients.
5. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour before serving. Note: Sometimes the pasta absorbs quite a bit of the dressing, so if the salad appears a bit dry add a bit more milk.
Yield: Serves 4 - 6
1. If you are in a real hurry you can use prepared (store-bought) Ranch Dressing and omit the mayo, milk, and powdered Ranch Dressing.
2. You can make your own ranch dressing. The recipe for Home-made Ranch dressing is here.
3. You can substitute diced/sliced sausage/wieners for bacon.
4. You can substitute medium or mild cheddar for the cheese.
5. If you don't like olives - you can omit them.
6. For convenience you could use pre-cooked bacon from your grocery store.
Picnics & Tailgate Parties
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