Bacon makes everything better right? Pasta salad is no exception! This BLT Ranch Pasta Salad has all the flavor of your favorite classic sandwich, combined with ranch to create an amazing flavor combination that everyone loves! Crispy bacon, creamy ranch dressing and fresh tomatoes create a pasta salad that is always a crowd pleaser Bonus- it is super easy to make!
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Pasta salad is one of our staple meals in the summer, we head to our lake cabin and I whip up a nice big one that can last all weekend as the kids come and go. It is the perfect side dish, alongside a delicious burger, grilled chicken breast, or hot dogs for a quick and super tasty dinner! Or it can make a nice light main dish for a quick summer lunch or super easy dinner!
I have a handful of recipes that I make several times throughout the summer and this one is always a favorite! It gets eaten up quickly, and so many people have asked how I make it. It is almost tempting not to tell them because it is SO easy!
This easy ranch blt pasta salad recipe will become a staple in your arsenal for summer picnics, BBQs, the 4th of July, Memorial Day, or any evening! It will become your new favorite summer salad with a quickness!
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Here are a few tips for this BLT Ranch Pasta Salad-
Can I make this ahead of time-
You may want to have this ready to go for a picnic or party and wonder if you can make it a day or 2 ahead, you can but with just a few notes. You’ll want to leave out the bacon and lettuce until ready to serve. Just have the bacon cooked and crumbled, and the lettuce chopped so you can toss them in right before you’re ready to serve or head out to your party!
Can I use “alternative” pasta-
In our house we have some diatery restrictions, low carb for me, and gluten free for my oldest, so we’ve made this pasta salad with chickpea pasta, and lentil pasta and it works beautifully! You can use your favorite alternative pasta and the results will likely be delicious!
I wouldn’t recommend using something like zucchini noodles because I think they would water down the salad, and change the texture of the salad. But if you want to use a protein enriched pasta, gluten free, or anything else, go ahead and try it!
Can I use turkey bacon?
If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to the bacon in this easy blt ranch pasta salad recipe you’re in luck! You can easily swap out the regular bacon for turkey bacon, or even a vegetarian alternative. The key is that you want crispy bacon for the salad so whatever kind you choose make sure to cook it to a nice crisp texture. For the best results, no matter what bacon you use make sure to cook until crispy and drain on paper towels.
Can I add other things to this salad–
This simple salad recipe is delicious with just the classic blt ingredients, the crunch of romaine lettuce, tender pasta, fresh tomatoes, and creamy ranch dressing, however, there are some great additions you can make like fresh veggies, chicken, etc. Some of our favorite additions are chopped red onion, bell peppers (green or red), chunks of swiss cheese, or crumbled blue cheese, even grilled chicken or rotisserie chicken can be added to elevate this from a delicious side dish to a hearty salad that you can have as a main course! Another great addition to this salad is fresh herbs! Fresh dill, chives, or parsley chopped into this salad make the flavor even more amazing!
What pasta is best?
There are kinds of shapes and sizes of pasta in the world so which one works the best in this creamy pasta salad? Our favorite is rotini pasta but another great option is elbow macaroni or bowtie pasta. The biggest consideration is that it is pasta that isn’t too thin and that has lots of surface area for the dressing to cling to!
Here’s what you’ll need for this BLT Pasta Salad
1- Lb. Box of Pasta
1- Cup of Mayo
1- Cup of Sour Cream
1- Pkg Ranch Dressing Mix
8- Pieces of Bacon Cooked and Crumbled
6- Green onions
1- Container Grape Tomatoes
4 -5- Romaine Lettuce Leaves
1/2- tsp Salt
Here’s how to make this BLT Ranch Pasta Salad
This salad is super simple to make and comes together really quickly.
First you’ll need to cook your pasta, place it in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water according to the package directions. You want the pasta to be al dente so make sure not to overcook it.
When they are done drain the cooked pasta and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking and keep the pasta a great texture.
Meanwhile in a large bowl combine the mayonaise, sour cream, and ranch seasoning mix, stir until well mixed.
Thinly slice your green onions, and cut the grape tomatoes into halves or quarters, and your romaine lettuce into small bite size pieces.
Add the cold pasta into the dressing mixture and stir to coat evenly. Add in the bacon, tomatoes, green onions, and lettuce, stir to incorporate evenly.
Serve & enjoy!
Serve & enjoy!
- 1- LB Box of Pasta
- 1- Cup of Mayo
- 1- Cup of Sour Cream
- 1- Pkg Ranch Dressing Mix
- 8- Pieces of Bacon Cooked and Crumbled
- 6- Green onions
- 1- Container Grape Tomatoes
- 4 -5- Romaine Lettuce Leaves
- 1/2- tsp Salt
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water.
- In a large bowl combine sour cream, mayonnaise, and ranch dressing mix.
- Thinly slice green onions, cut tomatoes into halves or quarters, and chop the lettuce into bite-size pieces.
- Add pasta into the bowl with the ranch dressing mixture, stir until pasta is evenly coated.
- Add in the green onions, bacon, tomatoes, and lettuce, stir until well incorporated.