Ranch Pasta Salad

This Ranch Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish. Done in minutes, packed with delicious ranch flavor and a major crowd pleaser.

This Ranch Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish. Done in minutes, packed with delicious ranch flavor and a major crowd pleaser.

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You know how to tell someone is from the Midwest? They love ranch. On all the things. In all the things. To dip all the things. It’s just kind of a way of life at this point.

So of course we have to add ranch to our pasta salad. And let me tell you, it’s just as delicious as it sounds.

This Ranch Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish. Done in minutes, packed with delicious ranch flavor and a major crowd pleaser.

Ingredients for Ranch Pasta Salad

Here’s what you need to make this yummy pasta dish:

  • Rotini pasta: You can use rotini pasta or any other short cut pasta that you have on hand. Think elbow noodles, shells, bowties, you get the idea. Preferably a pasta that has ridges or nooks for all the delicious ranch dressing to seep into.
  • Ranch Dressing Mix: The dried, powdered stuff you can find in the dressing aisle. I’ve tried over and over again to make my own version but nothing beats the store-bought packet in ranch flavor.
  • Mayonnaise: Please use the real stuff. Low fat won’t be as creamy or flavorful.
  • Milk: The milk thins out the dressing. Use whatever type of milk you have on hand. You could even use buttermilk if an extra tangy flavor.
  • Seasoned Salt: This helps bring out the flavors and balance things out. I like seasoned salt because it gives that extra oomph but if you don’t have any regular salt will work too.
  • Diced Ham: I like to buy the pre-diced ham from the meat department to make things quicker and easier. Grab the finely diced ham rather than the bigger chunks. You can use the leftover ham in omelets the next day.
  • Frozen Peas: Peas provide a little freshness and sweetness to the ranch pasta salad. Measure them out and leave them in a bowl on the counter while you’re boiling your pasta. They’ll be thawed by the time you’re ready to add them.
This Ranch Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish. Done in minutes, packed with delicious ranch flavor and a major crowd pleaser.

How to Make Ranch Pasta Salad

The process of making this pasta salad couldn’t get easier. And it’s all done in a matter of minutes.

First, get a big pot of water on the stove and cranked up to boil. While you are waiting on the water to boil, make the dressing.

In a large bowl, whisk together the mayo, milk and ranch dressing packet. It will be really thin at this point but as it sits it will start to thicken up.

By the time the pasta is ready to be added it will be the perfect consistency.

Rinse the pasta with cold water and add to the ranch dressing. Stir in diced ham and thawed peas.

This Ranch Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish. Done in minutes, packed with delicious ranch flavor and a major crowd pleaser.

Plan Ahead

This ranch pasta salad is best if it’s had a few hours to soak up the dressing. You could even make it the night before to make things even easier for you.

That said, if you don’t have the extra time it’s definitely still delicious and flavorful when eaten right away.

This Ranch Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish. Done in minutes, packed with delicious ranch flavor and a major crowd pleaser.

Optional Add-Ins

This recipe is delicious just as it’s written but there are lots of ways you can change it up or customize it to your taste.

  • Cheese: It’s always the right answer. I think cheddar would be the best addition to this ranch pasta salad. You could add a cup of shredded cheddar or small chunks if you like a bigger bite of cheese.
  • Pepperoni: If you want a little spice you could leave out the ham and substitute small chunks of pepperoni instead.
  • More Veggies: Make it healthier by adding a few handfuls of your favorite raw vegetables. Broccoli, diced peppers, halved cherry tomatoes or even fresh corn would be a great addition.
  • Bacon: Give this salad a bacon ranch vibe by adding crispy bacon pieces.
  • Olives: I’m personally not a fan of olives in any form but my family loves them in pasta salads. They would add a little briny flavor to this dish.
This Ranch Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish. Done in minutes, packed with delicious ranch flavor and a major crowd pleaser.

More Potluck Side Dish Ideas:

This Ranch Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish. Done in minutes, packed with delicious ranch flavor and a major crowd pleaser.
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5 from 1 vote

Ranch Pasta Salad

This Ranch Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish. Done in minutes, packed with delicious ranch flavor and a major crowd pleaser.
Prep Time10 mins
Active Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ranch pasta salad
Yield: 10 servings
Author: Meg’s Everyday Indulgence

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. rotini pasta
  • 1 1 oz. ranch dressing mix
  • 3/4 cup mayo
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed

Instructions

  • Bring large pot of water to a boil. While you are waiting for the water to boil, make the dressing. In a large bowl, whisk together ranch dressing mix, mayo and milk. Set aside to thicken.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cold water and drain well. Add pasta, ham and peas to dressing and stir until well coated. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving if you have time.

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