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What’s the secret for a pasta salad everyone will want to try? Homemade ranch dressing. Here’s your brand new go-to side for a backyard barbecue, potluck, or picnic. People in the test kitchen liked this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad so much they were taking it home, and we’re thinking it had something to do with our perfectly herby and garlicky ranch that coated the veggies and pasta perfectly. Speaking of dressing, save some on the side for serving, especially if the pasta salad will rest in the fridge for a while—sauces have a tendency to thicken up when cool. Serve with burgers, grilled chicken, ribs, or whatever else you’d grill in your backyard.


Credit: Caitlin Bensel

Recipe Summary

15 mins
45 mins
Serves 8 (serving size: 2 cups)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk together mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, 2 tablespoons of the chives, and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt in a medium bowl. Refrigerate ranch dressing until ready to use.

  • Prepare pasta according to package directions. Toss together cooked pasta, bacon, romaine, tomatoes, Cheddar, shallot, and remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, 2 tablespoons chives, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Pour ranch dressing over pasta mixture, and toss to coat. Serve immediately.