Monday, October 9, 2017

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

Recently, I was invited to dinner at a friend's house involving multiple families, all contributing bits of the meal. The main dish was going to be meatloaf and most of the obvious sides where already accounted for. It was incredibly hot (and here in Germany, we have no AC), and I found myself craving a cold pasta salad.

I had no intention of making it by scratch, and had always bought a box of Kraft Suddenly Pasta in the past.

I nearly decided on something entirely different when I discovered my brand wasn't carried at the store I had gone to. But a quick Pinterest comparison of a handful of recipes convinced me that it can't be hard to make on my own.

Full disclosure - my husband is the primary cook in our family.  I'm slowly learning, though!

This is what I ultimately came up with :)

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

Cooked crumbled bacon*
1 (16oz) box/bag elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 (16 oz) sour cream
1 (1oz) ranch dressing seasoning/dip mix
1 can peas
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt pepper to taste

*I can't say for sure how much bacon to be honest because the first thing I did that morning was make breakfast, including a full pound of bacon, and used the leftovers to crumble into the pasta salad.

As the pasta was cooking as normal, I added Himalayan pink salt to the water to ensure the noodles themselves wouldn't be bland.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix sour cream, mayo, and ranch mix together until it is creamy and blended. Be mindful about how RANCHY you want it to taste, I used the full packet and it was a very strong taste. Perhaps start small and add more if needed.

After noodles are cooked, rinse them with cold water in a colander to stop them from cooking any further and to become cold before adding to the dressing.

Once the pasta is chilled and drained, combine pasta and dressing, coating all noodles well.

Add drained can of peas, (I drained in the colander instead of the usual lid method to prevent smashing)

Add crumbled bacon and desired amount of shredded cheese, mixing well.

Salt and pepper as desired.

Pro Tip - I didn't add any salt and pepper the first day. It was extremely bold ranch flavored. I discovered with the leftovers that adding salt and pepper, especially pepper, helped cut down the flavor blast and gave it a nice mellow taste.


  1. Oh my...YES, please. I am totally pinning this for future potluck contributions. I always try to take something I don't mind bringing home in case it doesn't get eaten, but I don't think I'll have to worry about that with this! Thanks for sharing...stopping by from #WelcomeHomeWednesdays!

  2. This looks so simple and delicious. I can't wait to try it!

  3. This is a perfect side dish and the ranch seasoning is very different. Thank you for sharing with us at Celebrate Your Story, and have a great weekend.

  4. Yum, Jackie, your Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad looks delicious! I really appreciate you sharing your awesome post and your talent with us at Full Plate Thursday.
    Have a great weekend and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  5. Yummy - the perfect salad to bring to a party! Thank you for bringing these along to Fiesta Friday!
    Ginger x

  6. Oh This salad looks so yummy and creamy and I think it is a perfect addition on a party table! Thank you for linking up at Sweet Inspiration Link Party :)

  7. We love pasta salad and ranch dressing, so this sounds like something we would love. Thanks for sharing your recipe on MM.