Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is the perfect side dish for your summer barbecues, but it’s also great as a filling lunch or lighter dinner! Packed with fresh, herby, and smoky flavors, this dish is so delicious AND so easy to make!
Ingredients – 4 cups short pasta (about 375 grams) gemelli pasta pictured* – 4 slices thick-cut bacon (or 6 slices regular cut) chopped – 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (halved) – ¾ cup sliced cucumbers (70g) – ¾ cup broccoli florets (50g) – ¾ cup carrot matchsticks – ½ cup cheddar cheese cubes (60g) – ⅔ cup ranch dressing – 2 tablespoons mayonnaise – 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat (or canola oil, olive oil, or other) – ½ teaspoon salt – ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Stir together the ranch dressing, mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons bacon fat, salt, and pepper, and pour over the pasta.
Add crisped bacon, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, and cheese and stir just to combine.