A perfect summer salad, this Ranch Pasta Salad is chock full of fresh vegetables. It’s a fan favorite at any barbecue or neighborhood gathering, and it doubles as a hearty warm-weather lunch or a light vegetarian supper.
Summer and pasta salad just go hand in hand at my house.
Quick, economical and delicious!
Now let me beat you to it, yes I know Summer’s long gone and it’s already November. While that may be the case, another thing that go hand in hand in our home, are quick and easy meals.
A hearty pasta salad is also a favorite of ours for a light dinner or a really filling lunch.
So even though I’m loving living in the land of Soup, Stew, and Comfort Food at the moment pasta salad, or a version of it, still visits frequently.
This is one of our favorite creamy/mayonnaise based pasta salads.
I don’t make it too too often, but when I do I always wonder why I don’t make it more often. I normally make it with rotini pasta (I feel the ‘dressing’ sticks to it best), but you can use pretty much any shaped pasta you’d like.
Pasta salad doesn’t have to be the tired stuff of bad salad bars anymore (it’s 2014 people).
Think of it as a blank canvas for fresh and flavorful ingredients you can toss in. Just look at all the vibrant colors we’re throwing into this one. They add one heck of a fresh flavor punch.
This Ranch Pasta Salad doesn’t give up an ounce of flavor, but it does slice the calories and include a heaping, helping of veggies.
Fresh pasta, crunchy raw or steamed and drained broccoli, a bit of crunch from sliced carrots and chopped bell peppers. Some protein from diced ham and cubed cheddar. This Ranch Pasta Salad is all tied up in a neat little edible bow thanks to a homemade ranch dressing.
I urge you to try a pasta salad with ranch dressing. It’s a lovely, lovely thing. And the perfect side dish for Summer.
Ranch Pasta Salad
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 pkt ranch dressing mix plus extra, to taste, if desired
- 1 lb rotini pasta cooked
- 2 large carrots
- 1 1/2- 2 cups broccoli raw or steamed, depending on your preference
- 1 cup diced ham
- 1 cup cubed cheddar cheese
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- Combine the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, and ranch dressing mix. Set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water, drizzle with a bit of olive oil so it doesn't stick.
- Chop the veggies, ham, and cheese into bite sized pieces. Combine with the pasta and ¾ of the dressing. Stir well, add additional dressing if it is too dry.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.