This family-friendly, kid-approved Ranch BLT Pasta Salad is a quick, easy, and flavorful addition to any meal! Great for potlucks and BBQs.
Ranch Pasta Salad
This family-friendly, kid-approved Ranch BLT Pasta Salad is a wonderful and flavorful addition to any meal! No more worrying about getting veggies into the kids – this is the best pasta salad to do it.
I think salads have a lousy reputation sometimes, don’t you?! Even pasta salads. You see them all over the place listed as flavorless “diet food” or something similar.
But I firmly believe salads can be a filling, tasty side dish – or even a full-on meal! This ranch BLT pasta salad proves it, too.
Imagine a pasta salad with delicious ranch (already an A+ meal) plus crispy bacon and lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, onions … that’s this recipe. It’s a BLT in salad form, and it’s amazing!
My family always enjoys this recipe, and yours will, too. Even my adult loved ones who don’t “do” veggies love them when they’re thrown in ranch BLT pasta salad.
This salad’s a great base! Add other veggies to it as you like! Enjoy!!
Ranch BLT Pasta Salad: Ingredients & Equipment
To make this Ranch BLT Pasta Salad, you will need …
- Cavatappi pasta – cooked al dente, or until it’s firm to bite. Cavatappi pasta, by the way, is that spiral-tube pasta that looks a little like a crazy straw.
- bacon – cooked until crispy. One of the main ingredients in this salad!! Can’t be BLT without the “B”! You’ll add this at the end of the recipe.
- lettuce – diced. You’ll want to use heartier lettuce like romaine or iceberg!! Like the bacon, you’ll add it at the end of the recipe.
- Colby jack cheese, tomatoes, scallions, red onion, and ranch – the rest of your salad ingredients – including your “T”! Mixing these all together creates a beautiful ranch flavor that’s a winner even with the pickiest veggie eaters.
- whatever you’ll need to cook bacon – I’m keeping this vague because you can cook your bacon however you’d like – as long as it’s crispy!!
- whatever you’ll need to cook your pasta – same as above! Just get it to al dente, however, you generally do it! 😉
- large bowl – for mixing your ingredients.
Ranch BLT Pasta Salad: FAQs
Yes – and you should refrigerate any leftovers! Use an airtight container and it’ll stay “good” for 4-5 days.
I wouldn’t freeze it – or any salad!! It just doesn’t keep well.
Dry out your pasta as MUCH as possible after you cook it. Seriously!! Even use a paper towel if you have to. This prevents the salad from getting gross when the water leaks out later.
Like I said, crisp that bacon up! Real crispy!! Then it won’t get a weird wet texture.
Any you love, store-bought, or try my homemade Ranch dressing!
About a half-hour! You’ll need 15 minutes for prep and 15 minutes to cook the pasta!!
About sixteen side-servings, which should be enough for the whole family, I imagine!
If you’re not a fan of Colby Jack, you can try…
– Pepper Jack
– Monterey Jack
Grape tomatoes are best, but you can use any variety of tomato that isn’t too juicy (and therefore won’t make the salad all watery). If needed, you can remove and discard the seeds from larger tomatoes.
Other recipes you may enjoy
- 1 box (16 ounces) cavatappi pasta
- 8 ounces Colby Jack cheese block, small diced
- 1-pint grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 2-1/2 cups ranch dressing
- 1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 4 cups small diced lettuce
- Cook the pasta to al dente per the directions on the back of the box. Drain and rinse with cold water until the pasta is no longer hot. Set aside.
- Place the cooked pasta, Colby jack cheese, tomatoes, green onions, red onion, and ranch into a very large bowl. Toss to combine. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.
- When you are ready to serve, add the cooked bacon and lettuce. Toss to combine, and serve immediately.
- The pasta must be drained very well, so your pasta salad doesn't get watery.
- Pasta tends to soak up the dressing in the refrigerator. If necessary, add a little more dressing and toss again before enjoying the leftovers.
- Add whatever veggies you like, this is a great base pasta salad!
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Stainless Steel 5-Quart Colander
Simply Calphalon Nonstick 10 Piece Cookware Set
Oversized Cutting Board, 3 Piece, Non-Slip, Extra Large Thick Chopping Boards, Dishwasher Safe, Non-Porous, Set of 3
Chef Knife - 8 Inches
Stainless Steel Measuring Cups - 5 Piece Stackable Measuring Set
Serving Bowl with Lid, Extra Large Bowl for Salad, Snacks, Dough Kneading, Durable Plastic Mixing Bowl with Tight Lid, Vibrant Party Decor, Random Colors (1 Container)
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 336Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 836mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 14g
Please note that the nutritional information listed on this page is an estimation based on the products I used. Ingredients and nutritional information can vary significantly between brands. Always be sure to read labels. Please verify that a recipe fits your needs before using it. Nutrition info may contain errors, so please verify it independently. Likewise, recipes may contain errors, so please use your common sense when following them.