This Hidden Valley Ranch pasta salad is the best way to have an awesome Super Bowl party or summer picnic or just an awesome party! Heck, it’s even great just on Saturdays!
This girl is not a huge fan of mayonnaise, so I wanted to come up with a creamy pasta salad that had a little bit more flare to it than other easy pasta salad recipes. Now, ranch dressing, on the other hand, is something that this girl gets behind 110%!
Throw in a dash of bacon, cheddar and some other awesome ingredients to come up with this Hidden Valley ranch pasta salad recipe. (Bacon and cheddar cheese make it extra amazeballs)
Hidden Valley Ranch Pasta Salad with Super Powers of BACON
One of my favorite memories of summer is all the ranch dressing that I used as a kid to devour my vegetables. This girl could eat carrots with ranch for days. There was just something about the smooth creamy taste of ranch with the crisp sweet carrots. Yeah, that love still hasn’t changed.
Sometimes I feel like the Bubba Gump of ranch dressing. Bacon cheddar ranch pasta salad; bacon cheddar ranch salad dressing; bacon cheddar ranch macaroni and cheese (oh this one is coming soon!); ranch dressing on salad; ranch dressing on chicken; ranch dressing on rice casserole. There’s really not a single thing I wouldn’t douse in ranch. (Ok, maybe there’s a few things but you get the point!)
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Cooking Tips
This bacon and cheese ranch pasta salad is easy, peasy lemon squeezy to make, but there are a few tips I’m gonna share with you to help you make it EXTRA awesome.
- Cook your pasta just a tad past al dente: You don’t want to crunch your pasta salad, but you don’t want it to be mushy either…EWWW….. If you cook it just a tad past al dente, and let it dry a little while you cook the bacon it will be perfect.
- Cook your bacon and pat dry: Cooking your bacon extra crispy (not burnt….that’s TOOO CRISPY), and then putting it on a paper towel, let it set for a little while and pat the top with another paper towel. This will make sure your bacon is nice and crunchy and doesn’t sog down the salad.
- Save the dressing for later: Ideally, you want to add the Ranch dressing less than an hour from when you are serving it. If you’re going to a party, bring the dressing with you in a separate container ( I LOVE these bowls and containers). At the beginning of the party add your dressing and top with the crispy fried onions. Then it’s PARTY TIME!
Other Great Recipes for a Large Party
If you are planning a party, you need to check out these other super awesome dishes!
- Crockpot queso dip: Great for a Super Bowl Party or any other get together!
- Easy Italian Pasta Salad Recipe: This easy pasta salad recipe is much like it’s ranch cousin, but it’s punched with flavor thanks to homemade Italian salad dressing and other goodies!
- Easy Dip Recipes: Cheesy Bacon Ranch Dip: Another of my favorite cheese, bacon and ranch combos!
When we made this recipe, we thought it was going to be good, but I didn’t realize just HOW good. (Sometimes I surprise myself)
could. not. stop. eating. it. It’s right up there with my crack dip. (which by the way I can’t stop eating either)
This will definitely be an easy side dish that you won’t have leftovers from, plus it’s super crazy easy to make multiple batches.
We made this easy pasta salad of awesomeness using Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing, but here’s the top secret tip. You can use ANY of the new Hidden Valley Ranch flavors. We tried them all, and they are all fabulous in this recipe. Ready to get to cookin’?
Easy Pasta Salad Recipe: Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad of Awesomeness
- 1 Box Rotini Pasta
- 1/2 Cup Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
- 1 Pound of Applewood Smoked Bacon
- 1/2 Pound Sharp Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
- Cripsy Fried Onions
- In a large stock pot, boil the pasta per the directions and strain.
- While the pasta is boiling, cook the bacon, and allow it to cool and cut into bits.
- After you have strained the pasta, rinse it with cold water to bring the temperature down. Make sure it’s not warm at all or things will get all mushy.
- Drain the pasta and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Combine all the ingredients, but leave some cheese and bacon for garnish.
- When ready to serve, top with additional bacon bits, cheddar, and crispy fried onions (optional)