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Creamy Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

This Easy Creamy Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is a homemade classic dish perfect for any spread or cookout. This side dish is cheesy thanks to cheddar and is also loaded with plenty of veggies, mayo, Greek yogurt, or sour cream.

bacon ranch pasta salad in a white bowl

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FOR THE FULL LIST OF INGREDIENTS AND COMPREHENSIVE INSTRUCTIONS, PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END OF THIS POST. BEFORE YOU SCROLL, THERE’S IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG POST.

vanilla, spices. sugar, eggs, and sweetener in separate bowls

Have you seen the Suddenly Pasta Salads in stores? Maybe you love to grab them and make them! You can make your own pasta salads….homemade from scratch at home, honey! They are so simple! Trust me, here.

Nothing beats bacon right? Well maybe the combination with ranch….

fresh spinach, chopped cucumbers, black olives, and tomatoes in separate glass bowls
chopped bacon, shredded cheese, Greek yogurt, mayo, and homemade ranch seasoning in separate glass bowls

What Type of Pasta to Use

You can use whatever you like. I use rotini. Something like penne, spaghetti, or linguine will also work. If you are looking for low carb, check out my Keto Low Carb Pasta Salad.

uncooked rotini pasta in a glass bowl
cooked rotini pasta in a glass bowl

Ranch Seasoning

I like to use my Homemade Ranch Seasoning in this recipe. The store-bought packets include ingredients like maltodextrin, artificial flavor, and carboxymethyl cellulose (used to thicken and create creamy texture).

Carboxymethyl cellulose is a water-soluble cellulose ether obtained by chemical modification from natural cellulose such as cotton linter or wood pulp.

Maltodextrin is a white, starchy powder that manufacturers add into many foods to improve their flavor, thickness, or shelf life. Maltodextrin is a common ingredient in packaged foods, such as pastries, candies, and soft drinks. Maltodextrin is high on the glycemic index (GI), meaning that it can cause a spike in your blood sugar. You can read more about maltodextrin here.

I feel like I’m better off simply making my own. It’s pretty easy. Feel free to use store-bought seasonings like Hidden Valley if you wish.

homemade ranch seasoning in a white bowl

How to Make Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

Exact measurements and detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card below.

  1. Cook rotini in accordance with the package instructions.
  2. Rinse the rotini in cold water and pat dry.
  3. Add the rotini to your serving dish along with cucumbers, bacon, ranch seasoning, tomatoes, olives, shredded cheese, and spinach.
  4. Chill.
cooked rotini pasta in a glass bowl with mayo and greek yogurt
bacon ranch pasta salad in a glass bowl

Additional Toppings and Ideas

bacon ranch pasta salad in a white bowl

Can You Use Ranch Dressing?

Sure, if you want. I’m not a huge fan of the texture when salad dressing is used. I like for this pasta salad to be thick and creamy. The combination of Greek yogurt and mayo does that for me.

If you choose to use salad dressing, use enough to suit your taste.

Can You Substitute Mayo?

Yes, you can sub it for additional Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Can You Omit the Cheese?

Yes.

How to Make it Vegetarian

Simply omit the bacon.

bacon ranch pasta salad in a white bowl

How Long Can it Sit Out

It can sit out 1-2 hours. It takes about 2 hours for bacteria to start to grow to dangerous levels. In warm temperatures, that time shrinks. You can read the Food Safety Guidance from the FDA here.

Can You Make it Ahead of Time/How Long Does it Last in the Fridge

Yes, store the salad in the fridge (tightly covered) for up to 3-4 days. When the salad sits in the fridge overnight (or for several hours), the pasta will absorb a lot of the moisture and it isn’t as creamy.

If you plan to make this ahead you will likely need to refresh the salad with a little mayo or Greek yogurt (or sour cream) immediately before serving.

Can You Freeze It?

You can freeze it, but I wouldn’t recommend it. In general, mayo, yogurt, and sour cream do not freeze well and usually develops ice crystals.

bacon ranch pasta salad in a white bowl

Pair This Dish with These Main Dishes

Air Fryer Ribs
Grilled Baby Back Ribs
Air Fryer Cheeseburgers
Air Fryer Catfish
Air Fryer Fish Sticks
Instant Pot Ribs
Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Chicken and Avocado Salsa
Slow Cooker BBQ Meatballs
Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon
How to Grill the Best Burgers
Grilled Cedar Plank Shrimp
Mushroom Swiss Burgers
Queso Burgers
How to Grill Chicken Wings

More Salad and Side Dish Recipes

Southern Potato Salad
Instant Pot Potato Salad
Keto Low Carb Coleslaw
Keto Low Carb Cauliflower Potato Salad
Keto Low Carb Broccoli Salad
Keto Low Carb Egg Salad

Easy Spaghetti Salad
Creamy Cucumber Salad
Southern Macaroni Salad
Southern Coleslaw
Grilled Asparagus in Foil

a forkful on bacon ranch pasta salad

More Ranch Recipes

Roasted Ranch Potatoes
Keto Low Carb Ranch Dressing

Get a full listing of BBQ and Cookout Recipes here.

bacon ranch pasta salad in a white bowl
Print Pin
4.95 from 19 votes

Creamy Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

This Easy Creamy Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is a homemade classic dish perfect for any spread or cookout. This side dish is cheesy thanks to cheddar and is also loaded with plenty of veggies, mayo, Greek yogurt, or sour cream.
Save this recipe here.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword bacon ranch pasta salad, ranch pasta salad recipe, rotini pasta salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
chill 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 305kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 oz rotini pasta
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 8 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup chopped cucumbers
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes Sliced in half. You can use any tomatoes.
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives

Homemade Ranch Seasoning

Instructions

  • Cook the rotini in accordance with the package instructions.
  • Rinse the rotini in cold water and pat dry.
  • Add the rotini to your serving dish along with the remaining ingredients. Taste repeatedly and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • Chill for a minimum of 1 hour. 2-3 hours is optimal.

Video

Notes

  • Make this pasta salad yours! Load it up with the vegetables that you like.
  • I’ve always made this dish for a crowd. Feel free to cut the recipe in half. You can cut the recipe in half by using half of the ingredients noted.
  • You can double the recipe by using double the ingredients.
  • If you use a seasoning packet, start with 3 tablespoons.
  • If you like a wet pasta salad, then serving immediately after chilling the dish will work best for you. You may find that you need additional mayo or sour cream (Greek yogurt). Add additional to suit your taste and texture needs.
  • You can omit the bacon to make the dish vegetarian.
  • You can use whatever pasta you like. Anything will work, i.e. penne, linguine, etc.
  • You can use ranch dressing if you wish. I’m not a huge fan of the texture when salad dressing is used. I like for this pasta salad to be thick and creamy. The combination of Greek yogurt and mayo does that for me. Use enough to suit your taste.
     
  • Add additional seasoning to suit your taste if necessary.
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 18g
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Recipe Rating




Adrienne

Tuesday 6th of July 2021

I made this for a bbq and it was a hit!! It was a last minute get together and this pasta salad took less then 20 minutes to throw together. Will definitely be making this again. Can’t wait to try different veggies and see which combo is my favorite! Thanks for sharing all your tips in the paragraphs above the recipe, they were helpful!

staysnatched

Tuesday 6th of July 2021

You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Joanna

Monday 5th of July 2021

The boxed version of this was a staple in my house growing up - this cleaned up homemade version is just as good, if not better/ I love it and have been making it on repeat!

staysnatched

Tuesday 6th of July 2021

Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed this version.

Carissa

Tuesday 22nd of June 2021

If I could rate this higher than 5 stars, I would! Just made it at my friend’s and she asked for the recipe as soon as she tasted it! Can’t wait to make this all the time!! Thank you!

staysnatched

Thursday 24th of June 2021

You're welcome! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Alicia

Sunday 20th of June 2021

I make this pasta salad every other week for lunches and quick dinner sides. It is toddler approved! Just finished making it and I went with zucchini, corn, and tomatoes. Thank you for this recipe!

staysnatched

Sunday 20th of June 2021

I love those substitutes!

Kelsee

Saturday 19th of June 2021

This recipe is delicious! Always a crowd-pleaser at family gatherings. I like to chop the spinach and tomatoes into bite size pieces. The homemade ranch seasoning makes it perfect!

staysnatched

Sunday 20th of June 2021

I'm so glad you enjoyed it!