Whip up this easy bacon ranch pasta salad for your next barbecue or potluck. Spring is definitely the best time of the year in central California. It’s a few months of perfect weather, where you don’t feel like melting and can actually enjoy being outdoors for long periods of time. We like to take advantage of the beautiful weather by enjoying picnics at the park and often eating dinner al fresco. During spring break a few weeks ago the kids asked to eat outdoors almost everyday, of course we happily agreed. While my husband grilled, I quickly whipped up this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad. I’m always trying to find ways to change up our normal dinner meals and this pasta salad made a great side dish to our barbeque. It’s light and makes a great potluck meal.
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- 1 box Barilla® Pronto™ rotini pasta
- 1 cup Hidden Valley® ranch dressing
- 8 bacon strips, cooked
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 small red onion
- 2 tomatoes
- ½ cup sliced olives
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- Garnish with chopped green onions and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside to cool.
- Once pasta has cooled combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. Add pepper to taste and garnish with chopped green onions.
- Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
Did you know Hidden Valley® has a variety of ranch dressing flavors? We used the original ranch in our recipe but I’m loving the cucumber ranch in salads right now! They also have avocado and sweet chili. The new Barilla® Pronto™ pasta is also great. The pasta cooks quickly and is perfect for one-pan meals. Of course we couldn’t enjoy our last few days of spring break without a few treats. To get the whole barbecue experience we made lemonade, raspberry lemonade to be exact. This is by far the easiest lemonade you can make. We used the new COUNTRY TIME LEMONADE STARTER drink mix and frozen raspberries. It’s 1 ½ tablespoons to 8 ounces of water, then we added frozen raspberries to each cup – super simple! You could puree the raspberries or leave them whole and mix them in.
then finished off with ice cream for dessert.