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Today we are talking about the BBQ cookout classic, pasta salad! I have to be honest, I’ve always HATED pasta salad and when my husband whipped this particular Ranch Pasta Salad up one night for just our little family of 4, I informed him that only he would be eating it. Ohhhh, how wrong I was! When I cracked the door open on my closed little mind to try the tiniest bite, I was then HOOKED!
I didn’t know that there were different variations of pasta salad but this wonderful side dish uses my personal favorite flavors of ranch, bacon and mayo, which I am convinced you can’t go wrong with! It immediately found it’s way on to our BBQ cookout menu for the grilling season (or any season for that matter!) and will most definitely be whipped up on the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend. The best part is, wait for it….it only takes 5 ingredients! YES!!! Any recipe that yields such deliciousness AND only takes a handful of ingredients is instantly a keeper in my book! So, for your next summer celebration, whether it be the upcoming Memorial Day or summer BBQ cookout or you forgot you were on the roster to bring a side dish for a potluck, this will be a sure crowd-pleaser! Oh, and it can be done in about 15 minutes!
Just a few notes: We usually use the medium shell pasta but I have used other kinds and the results were just as delicious! The ranch packet we use is actually one packet of Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix, 1.0 Ounce. We usually have bacon already cooked up in our house but I realize not everyone is bacon crazy like we are so you can use bacon bits if you have them!
Without further ado, here is the recipe and I hope you enjoy it!
5 Ingredient Ranch Pasta Salad
You can create this creamy, flavorful, Ranch Pasta Salad as a side dish for your next BBQ in about 15 minutes by using only 5 ingredients! Its a quick, simple pairing of bacon, ranch, veggies, pasta and mayo. What could be better?
- 1 lb Medium Shell Pasta
- 1 Packet Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix, 1.0 Ounce
- 1 C Mayonnaise
- 6 Slices Bacon (Crumbled) You can use bacon bits if you have them.
- 1 C Frozen or fresh Peas & Carrots
Using your choice of pasta, prepare according to package directions. When I am preparing anything to do with pasta, I usually favor it nice and tender, and this recipe is no exception in my book (just a preference).
Measure out and combine all of the other ingredients into a large bowl with emphasis on the large. Remember, we’re boiling a pound of pasta and when its done, we are pouring right in with the other ingredients (less dishes too!).
Strain the pasta when it is complete according to the directions or to your desired texture. I personally never rinse pasta because I worry about compromising the texture.
After straining the pasta, mix it into the other ingredients while still piping hot. This will defrost your frozen peas and carrots and let all of those yummy flavors marry together to make a taste sensation!
If you tried my recipe what do you think? Did you make any substitutes or have recommendations? As always, please share your thoughts!