This Creamy Ranch Bowtie Pasta Salad is an easy summer side dish for your barbecue or cookout, or an easy dinner idea! The leftovers make a great cold lunch for school or work, and it keeps well in the fridge. Loaded with your favorite summer veggies and a creamy ranch dressing! It’s easy, packed with nutritious ingredients and budget-friendly!
It’s that time of year, friends. Either the sun is shining or the rain is pouring, the grass is starting to green up and little shoots are making their way out of the ground. It’s one of the best times of the year after a long, cold winter!
It’s also grilling, bonfire and picnic season which means it’s time to bust out all the cold salad recipes like this Creamy Ranch Bowtie Pasta Salad! (See more Pasta Salad Recipes here or try this Tortellini Pasta Salad!)
I can tell already that this one is going to be on repeat for the next 4 months!
In this Bowtie Pasta Salad, I used my kids’ favorite dressing and veggies. Feel free to mix things up, and add in other things that better suit your tastes! The best thing about pasta salad is there really are no rules 🙂
For this recipe, I’m using Catelli’s medium bows, as they’re such a fun shape and the kids love them!
This recipe is so easy to throw together, and it’s one the kids can almost do by themselves. I just have to boil the pasta and chop the veggies, cheese and meat, and then they’re able to stir in the dressing (with a little help!) and toss everything together.
I like to cook the whole box of pasta because the leftovers last in the fridge for a few days and are perfect packed cold into the kids’ lunchboxes. Pasta is also an awesome, inexpensive way to stretch a little bit of meat and cheese, and it’s packed with some protein and fiber to keep the little ones going throughout the day.
To make this Bowtie Pasta Salad as budget-friendly as possible, be sure to check the grocery store to see what’s on sale or in season. Canned vegetables or frozen vegetables that have been thawed can be great, inexpensive ways to save on produce!
The local food bank is something that has been close to my heart for some time now, and I am thankful that Catelli is committed to raising awareness of Canada’s food crisis through their Feed the Hope campaign. Did you know that 1 in 5 Canadians have used a food bank in their life?
We like to bring the kids grocery shopping for the food bank every once-in-a-while. We talk to them about how important it is to help people in the community who aren’t as lucky as we are, while we load our cart up with the staples: pasta, pasta sauce, peanut butter, cereal, granola bars, canned soup and other pantry items that are nutritious and filling!
Helping to put food on every table is something that should be a concern for all of us, and something that is easy enough to do. Even when all you can spare is a box of pasta, can of soup or box of cereal, then you can help. There’s no reason not to!
How to Make Bowtie Pasta Salad:
- You can make this Bowtie Pasta Salad gluten-free by choosing one of Catelli’s gluten-free pastas.
- You can make this pasta salad dairy-free by using a dairy-free dressing such as Italian, or a dairy-free Ranch dressing (or homemade!).
- You can make this pasta vegetarian by simply leaving out the ham or swapping it with a can of white beans for extra protein.
*This post is generously sponsored by Catelli pasta — thank you for supporting the brands that help me bring you these recipes!
If you’re looking for more barbecue-worthy salads, check out this Creamy Fruit Salad with Homemade Vanilla Pudding Dressing, this Hawaiian Fruit Salad, or this BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad.
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Creamy Ranch Bowtie Pasta Salad
- 375g Catelli Medium Bows (about 5 cups)
- 3/4 cup cubed ham (100g)
- 3/4 cup sliced cucumbers (70g)
- 3/4 cup broccoli florets (50g)
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese cubes (60g)
- 1 tomato halved, squeezed dry, and chopped
- 2/3 cup ranch dressing
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons oil (canola or other)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- In a large pot of boiled, salted water, cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain.
- To cool pasta quickly, pour into a large colander and run under cold water. Pour cooled pasta into a large bowl.
- Stir together the ranch dressing, mayonnaise, oil, salt and pepper and pour over pasta. Add ham, cucumbers, broccoli, cheese, and tomato and stir just to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 2-3 hours. Serve cold.
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