Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad by Pioneer Woman is an easy and delicious summer side dish. It features a creamy ranch-style dressing, bacon, tomatoes, bell peppers, and cheese, all tossed together with cooked pasta. This salad is sure to be a hit at any summer gathering, and makes a great lunch or dinner option.
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Why You Will Love This Salad
- It is easy to make and requires minimal prep time.
- The creamy ranch dressing and crispy bacon give it a delicious and satisfying flavor.
- The vegetables add a refreshing crunch to each bite.
- The optional diced chicken makes it a complete meal in one dish.
- It is a crowd-pleasing recipe that is sure to be a hit with everyone.
- It can be made in advance and served cold or at room temperature, making it a convenient option for busy schedules.
- It is perfect for picnics, barbecues, and potlucks.
Pioneer Woman Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Ingredients
- Sour cream
- Ranch dressing
- Fresh chives
- Fresh parsley
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red onion
- Bell pepper
- Cooked chicken (optional)
How To Make Pioneer Woman Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, ranch dressing, chives, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Add the pasta, bacon, cherry tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, and chicken (if using) to the bowl with the dressing and toss to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.
How To Store Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- In The Fridge: To store Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad in the fridge, place it in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to give it a good stir before serving, as the dressing may settle at the bottom of the container.
- In The Freezer: It is not recommended to store Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad in the freezer, as the pasta and vegetables may become mushy and the dressing may separate when thawed. However, if you do want to try freezing it, it is best to omit the pasta and only freeze the dressing and other ingredients. When ready to serve, cook a fresh batch of pasta and mix it with the thawed ingredients.
Can I Make Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Ahead Of Time
Yes, Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad may be prepared in advance. It’s advised to prepare it 1 hour ahead so the flavors can mingle. Prepare the salad as directed, cover, and chill until ready to serve. The pasta salad may be prepared 3-4 days ahead and kept in the fridge. Just whisk it before serving, since the dressing may settle.
How To Reheat Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
In The Oven:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Transfer the pasta salad to an oven-safe dish.
- Cover the dish with foil and place it in the oven.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.
In The Microwave:
- Transfer the pasta salad to a microwave-safe dish.
- Cover the dish with a paper towel or microwave-safe lid.
- Heat on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. Stir the pasta salad halfway through to ensure that it heats evenly.
In The Air Fryer:
- Preheat the air fryer to 350°F.
- Transfer the pasta salad to the air fryer basket.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through.
In The Stove:
What To Serve With Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Here are some ideas for dishes that would pair well with Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad:
- Grilled meats such as steak, chicken, or pork chops
- Burgers or hot dogs
- BBQ ribs or pulled pork
- Roasted vegetables
- Green salads or coleslaw
- Baked beans or three bean salad
- Corn on the cob or roasted corn
- Watermelon slices or fruit salad
- Chips and dips such as guacamole or salsa
- Bread rolls or cornbread
You can also serve Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad as a standalone meal by adding diced cooked chicken or other protein sources.
- Southwest Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad: Add some southwestern flair to the salad by stirring in some black beans, corn, diced red bell pepper, and diced jalapeno peppers. You can also use a taco-flavored ranch dressing or add some taco seasoning to the homemade ranch dressing.
- Greek Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad: Give the salad a Greek twist by adding some diced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, and crumbled feta cheese. You can also use a Greek yogurt-based ranch dressing or add some Greek seasoning to the homemade ranch dressing.
- Italian Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad: Add some Italian flavors to the salad by stirring in some sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, black olives, and Parmesan cheese. You can also use an Italian dressing or add some Italian seasoning to the homemade ranch dressing.
- Vegetarian Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad: Omit the bacon and use a vegetarian protein source such as tofu, tempeh, or chickpeas. You can also add some roasted vegetables, such as zucchini, eggplant, or bell peppers.
- Buffalo Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad: Give the salad a spicy kick by adding some diced cooked chicken tossed in buffalo sauce and some crumbled blue cheese. You can also use a buffalo ranch dressing or add some buffalo sauce to the homemade ranch dressing.
Keto, and gluten-free version of Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
For the keto version:
For the gluten-free version:
- Use a gluten-free pasta such as brown rice pasta or quinoa pasta.
- Use a gluten-free ranch dressing or make your own by using a gluten-free mayonnaise and sour cream, along with some dried herbs and spices.
- Pasta: You can use any type of pasta that you enjoy and that will hold up well when mixed with the dressing. Some good options include rotini, fusilli, penne, or elbow macaroni. If you are looking for a lower carbohydrate option, you can use a pasta alternative such as spiralized zucchini or cauliflower rice.
- Mayonnaise: You can use a store-bought or homemade mayonnaise. If you are looking for a lower fat option, you can use a lighter mayonnaise or a mixture of mayonnaise and Greek yogurt.
- Sour cream: You can use a store-bought or homemade sour cream. If you are looking for a lower fat option, you can use a lighter sour cream or a mixture of sour cream and Greek yogurt.
- Ranch dressing: You can use a store-bought or homemade ranch dressing. If you are looking for a lower fat option, you can use a lighter ranch dressing or a mixture of ranch dressing and Greek yogurt.
- Fresh herbs: You can use any fresh herbs that you enjoy and that pair well with the other ingredients. Some good options include chives, parsley, dill, or basil. You can also use dried herbs if fresh ones are not available.
- Bacon: You can use any type of bacon that you enjoy. If you are looking for a lower fat option, you can use turkey bacon or vegetarian bacon. You can also omit the bacon altogether and use a vegan protein source such as tofu, tempeh, or chickpeas.
Other Dressings To Use
- Italian dressing: This will give the salad a flavorful and tangy Italian twist. You can use a store-bought or homemade Italian dressing.
- Caesar dressing: This will give the salad a creamy and savory Caesar flavor. You can use a store-bought or homemade Caesar dressing.
- Blue cheese dressing: This will give the salad a tangy and creamy blue cheese flavor. You can use a store-bought or homemade blue cheese dressing.
- Greek yogurt dressing: This will give the salad a creamy and tangy flavor with a hint of Greek herbs and spices. You can make your own by mixing Greek yogurt with some diced cucumber, lemon juice, and dried herbs and spices.
How Do I Keep Macaroni From Absorbing Mayonnaise
To keep macaroni from absorbing mayonnaise, you can try the following:
- Use a thick mayonnaise.
- Mix the mayonnaise with other ingredients such as sour cream, milk, or yogurt.
- Add the dressing just before serving.
- Use cold ingredients.
- Use enough dressing to fully coat the pasta.
How Long Is Costco Pasta Salad Good For
Prepared items, like Costco pasta salad, should be eaten within 3-4 days. This ensures food safety and quality. Check for indicators of deterioration, such as an odd scent or sight, before eating the pasta salad. Whether you’re unclear if the pasta salad is still OK, toss it out to prevent food illness.
There are a few reasons why your pasta salad might not be as creamy as you would like. One possibility is that you didn’t use enough dressing. Another possibility is that the dressing was too thick. Another reason might be that the pasta absorbed too much dressing. Lastly, the pasta may have been overcooked. Make sure to use enough dressing to fully coat the pasta and vegetables, thin out the dressing if it is too thick, add the vegetables to the pasta just before serving or add more dressing if needed, and cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
Can I Make The Ranch Dressing From Scratch
Yes, you can make the ranch dressing from scratch by mixing together mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, and dried herbs and spices. You can also add in some fresh herbs such as chives and parsley for added flavor.
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- Pioneer Woman Chicken Noodle Casserole
- Pioneer Woman French Onion Chicken Casserole
- Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole Pioneer Woman
Pioneer Woman Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/6 of dish
- Amount Per Serving
- Calories 350
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 10g16%
- Saturated Fat 2g10%
- Cholesterol 10mg4%
- Sodium 540mg23%
- Total Carbohydrate 49g17%
- Dietary Fiber 2g8%
- Sugars 3g
- Protein 11g22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.