Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad – Cowboy Inspired!
This is the perfect potluck dish: bacon ranch pasta salad! All the flavors of the the salty bacon bits combined with classic ranch is super delicious!
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
If you’re a fan of these flavor combinations, this pasta salad is right up your alley! And best of all, you can make a big bowl and share it at your next gathering! It’s flavorful, loaded with texture with familiar flavors that everyone loves. You can add as much bacon as you want because no one seems to complain if there’s too much bacon!
Video: How to Make Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Cowboy Recipe Inspired!
We’re inspired by all the Cowboy inspired recipe ingredients like bacon, ranch, bbq sauce and corn. The combination of all these flavors is wonderful and we’re obsessed. One of the founders of this website is a cowboy himself, growing up on a cattle ranch. Thus, all the love of the ingredients, especially bacon. YUM! So check out more of our Cowboy inspired recipes here like Cowboy potato salad recipe and cowboy egg salad recipe.
Perfect for Potlucks
This is a perfect potluck pasta salad to share. If your friends and family love ranch and crispy bacon, this is a great one to have them feast on. It’s filling too like a full meal because of all the flavors and textures.
What Pasta is Best for Salads?
- Dried pastas instead of fresh pasta will work much better for salads. Save the fresh pasta for your hot pasta dishes.
- Shorter pasta shapes that have lots of ways to catch all the goodies of that salad are ideal. Penne, rotini, fusilli, macaroni, orecchiette, farfalle are all classic and perfect choices. Some don’t like farfalle because they find it floppy, but as long as you don’t overcook it, it can be quite tasty. Orzo (rice shaped pasta) is great for some pasta salads that have smaller components, but doesn’t work the best with this bacon ranch pasta salad.
- Cooking the pasta just the right amount is key. It will harden a touch when it is cold, so you’ll want to have the pasta cooked soft, but not mushy. A minute or two past al dente is usually perfect.
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
For the Salad
- 12-16 ounces (340-454 g) dried pasta , cooked to package instructions
- 10-12 thick cut slices cooked bacon (@1 lb./454g) , chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1/4 cup (25 g) sliced green onion or minced red onion (or both)
- 3 boiled eggs , diced (optional)
- 1 cup (100 g) chopped celery (about 3 celery stalks)
- 1 cup (115 g) shredded cheddar cheese
For the Dressing:
- 16 fl oz. (473 ml) ranch dressing , or to taste
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) paprika
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt , or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) fresh cracked black pepper
- Prepare the pasta: Fill a large bowl (big enough to hold cooked pasta) halfway with ice water. Boil pasta to package instructions. Drain pasta, rinse with cold water and shock the pasta by adding it to the cold water to get it cold fast. Once cold, drain the pasta, transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
- In large bowl, combine ranch, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
- In bowl with dressing, add pasta, bacon, green onion, eggs, celery and cheese. Gently stir to combine all ingredients. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Add additional toppings if you want for more texture and flavor!
Must Make Summer Time Recipes:
- Cowboy Bacon Ranch Potato Salad
- Favorite Greek Pasta Salad
- Best Summer Grilled Corn Salad
- Cowboy Egg Salad with Bacon, Ranch, BBQ Sauce
- Click Here for all our –> Amazing Pasta Salad Recipes
Here’s some more bacon ranch recipe ideas for ya!
This recipe was originally published in 2020 and updated in 2021.