Recipe by Wilemon
"This is a very flavorful pasta salad. The crisp cooked bacon really adds a nice flavor. I get requests for this pasta salad for every get together and cook out."
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1 (12 ounce) package
uncooked tri-color rotini pasta
dry ranch salad dressing mix
milk, or as needed
1 (4.25 ounce) can
sliced black olives
shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
I have always loved Suddenly Salad's Bacon & Ranch Pasta...they ain't got nothing on you Wilemon! This was sooo much better!!! I used a chopped roma tomato because that's what I had on hand, & I'm not a big fan of garlic powder so I subbed fresh minced garlic. I also used lite mayo (I always do...it's the only kind I buy). I didn't use fresh bacon as I had a huge bag of real bacon bits to use up....I probably added 3 or 4 handfuls because we were eating this for dinner & hubby likes his bacon. My can of olives were whole & there was no way I was going to slice them so I gave them a rough chop instead (I really loved the bites that had the olives in them so next time I think I might add more). I squeezed half a lemon (it wasn't a really juicy lemon) over it all & gave it a toss before serving & it freshened it up a bit. Very, very good pasta salad! BTW 3 tbp. of ranch mix is about the same as a packet of ranch mix.
Since this called for ingredients and seasonings that seemed like a great combination I was surprised when this just fell flat. I was really unimpressed. Not very flavorful at all. It wasn't all that pretty to look at either since the mayonnaise all but obscured any color. Thank goodness I had decided to cube, rather than shred the cheese, as it did add some texture and color. At this point I felt I had nothing to lose, because what I had was a pretty boring mayonnaise pasta salad, and that's what I've based my rating on - so I decided to just throw caution to the wind and have at it! First of all, I added more of pretty much everything - more bacon, more seasoning, more tomato, more olives. Still, a little too tangy and mayonnaisy tasting so I gave it a good plotch of sour cream to mellow it out - and some half and half. And some sliced green onion. And some frozen peas. And then more of the dried ranch dressing mix. I kept adding and tasting along the way (I must have used up every spoon in the drawer in the process!) until I had something pretty darned respectable, both in looks and in taste. If prepared as written, I think this would have been a forgotten dish at the dinner table. With my changes (all it basically needed was a little more of everything, plus some sour cream and chopped green onion) this is comparable to the pasta salads sold in gourmet markets!
On step 3 I neglected to instruct to add the pasta with bacon, tomatoes, etc. then toss. My grocery store has since started carrying grape tomatoes, I use them now because the salad will stay even fresher with uncut tomatoes by adding the grape tomatoes whole IF there is any left over.
I've been making this salad for awhile and just got around to writing a review! My family LOVES this salad! Every time I make it someone asks for the recipe! I add two pkgs of the Ranch dressing mix and I add a cucumber, 1 1/2 cups peas, and a small bag of shredded carrots. When I want this to be more of a meal, I'll boil 3 chicken breasts, cube them and put them in the salad. I always let this salad sit over night or else make it in the morning. It tastes much better if you let it sit. Very yummy!
Fantastic recipe that I have been making for years, but just now reviewing.... shame on me! Few changes for personal preference and to enhance the flavor: use Hormel bacon crumbles for ease, wedge cut black olives for a flavorful bite, two cloves minced garlic and 1 tsp coarsely ground fresh cracked pepper in place of the garlic pepper, greeen and red onions and red and yellow cherry tomatoes. The trick is to use the shredded SHARP cheddar cheese. A mild or medium just doesn't hold up to the myriad of flavors in this salad. Also, since the original making of this salad, I have switched to using the buttermilk Hidden Valley dressing made from scratch. HEPFUL HINT: Garlic pepper is usually in a "grinder" and contains salt which this recipe definitely DOES NOT need as the cheese, olives, dressing and bacon have enough sodium already. Thanks for the recipe!
Great pasta salad! This is perfect for BBQ's! My husband loves anything with bacon and his favorite dressing is ranch so I had to make this for the last bbq of the season. Needless to say he loved it and so did our guests! I used sea shell pasta (I'm sure just about any type of tube pasta would work here). I also used 1 quart of cherry tomatoes cut in half, 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (a whole bag) and instead of the olives I added 3 chopped green onions and 2 cups of thawed petite sweet peas. For the dressing I used 1 oz. of Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix with 1 cup of lite mayo and 1 cup of skim milk. I didn't mix that together with the pasta until 2 hours before serving so the pasta didn't soak up the dressing. Thanks for another great recipe Wilemon!
Great salad! I used the entire packet of dressing mix, a little extra garlic powder, and plain pepper instead of garlic pepper. I used half and half in place of milk, adding till it had just the right creaminess. If it gets dry in the fridge, just freshen it by stirring in a little milk and the creaminess is restored. This is delicious and has a very pretty presentation. It's perfect for potlucks. Love it! Thanks for sharing. Kaye
I LOVE this pasta salad! I'm also picky, so I leave out the tomatoes and olives and add some canned peas instead. I use one packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix since it's exactly 3 tablespoons as directed in the recipe and it's sooo good!
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Serving Size: 1/10 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 10
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 242
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