Ranch Pasta Salad

Tired of eating the same old boring pasta salads? This easy Ranch Pasta Salad is a total game changer! Plus it’s a great way to use up that pasta in the pantry!

overhead of cold pasta salad with tomatoes


 

You won’t go back to regular pasta salad after you’ve tried this delicious Ranch Pasta Salad recipe! It’s easy to make with simple ingredients!

Summer is around the corner and with that comes BBQs and parties. What is the perfect side dish for any party? Hands down, pasta salad.

This Ranch Pasta Salad recipe takes a traditional pasta tossed with chopped veggies and elevates it using a zesty Ranch seasoning mix.

A bowl of dry spices

Have you ever read the store bought ranch dressing mix ingredients? Let me enlighten you: maltodextrin, monosodium glutamate, lactic acid, calcium stearate, etc.

But my homemade ranch seasoning includes:

  • dry powdered buttermilk
  • dried parsley flakes
  • dried dill
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • dried onion flakes
  • ground black pepper
  • dried chives
  • fine sea salt
dry ranch seasoning pouring into pasta salad with carrots, celery, onion and tomatoes

All normal. All pronounceable. And probably all in your pantry already. I make a large batch and just keep it in the pantry for seasoning all sort of things:

olive oil pouring into ranch pasta salad

How to make Ranch Pasta Salad

While pasta salad is typically a pretty easy dish to prepare, there are a couple of ways you can ensure that yours is out-of-this-world.

The first is picking the right type of pasta. You need something with shape and body so the sauce can stick to it. An oil based dressing would just slick off a piece of spaghetti, but hugs rotini and elbows magically.

ranch pasta salad in a serving bowl

The second is making sure your pasta isn’t overcooked. Mushy ranch pasta salad is against my religion. This is the one and only time I will instruct you to rinse your pasta in cold water and that is to stop the cooking process and prevent soggy noodles.

Now you’ll need to get chopping and while I find using different shapes and sizes of veggies and add-ins to add interest, I also want them all to be relatively the same size.

Lastly, this ranch pasta salad needs a little time to marinate. The pasta and the veggies all need to soak up the delicious ranch laced sauce and the only way to make that happen is time.

overhead of ranch pasta salad

What should I put in my pasta salad?

I used carrot, onion, celery and tomatoes, but you can use whatever you have on hand or need to use up. Some of my other favorite pasta salad ingredients include:

  • sliced olives
  • cucumber
  • corn
  • roasted red pepper
  • green bell pepper
  • caramelized onions
  • fresh herbs
  • diced pepperoni, ham, bacon or summer sausage
  • diced cheese
ranch pasta salad being served with grilled chicken
Pictured with Ranch Chicken

How far in advance can I make this?

This ranch pasta salad has a sweet spot for serving and I would say that is about 6-12 hours after you make it. Let it sit too long and it gets a little gummy, but if it doesn’t sit long enough, the flavors can’t marry.

It will stay good (just not A+) in the fridge for up to 5 days. I do not suggest freezing pasta salad.

Ranch pasta salad for Pinterest

Here are my other favorite pasta salads:

spoon in bowl of macaroni salad

Best Macaroni Salad

4.48 from 55 votes
If you’ve ever wondered how to make macaroni salad, this Classic Macaroni Salad recipe is the answer! Great for BBQs, potlucks, cookouts and, of course, garbage plates!
See The Recipe!
overhead greek pasta salad in a bowl

Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

4.22 from 339 votes
This simple Greek Pasta Salad is just the thing for potlucks and summer cookouts! The textures of crunchy veggies, al dente pasta, and flavors of a savory Greek dressing and feta cheese make this one of the best summer salads around!
See The Recipe!
A bowl filled with pasta salad

Gouda and Corn Pasta Salad

4.86 from 7 votes
If you're looking for a way to mix up your usual pasta salad recipe, this Gouda and Corn Pasta Salad is it! It's EASY to make and packed with flavor!
See The Recipe!
close up of ranch pasta salad
ranch pasta salad in a serving bowl

Ranch Pasta Salad

4.75 from 12 votes
You won't go back to regular pasta salad after you've tried this delicious Ranch Pasta Salad recipe! It's easy to make with simple ingredients!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Rinse under cold water to stop cooking process.
  • In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, water, apple cider vinegar and dry ranch mix. Blend until combined.
  • In a large mixing bowl, toss together cooked pasta, carrots, celery, onion, tomatoes and Ranch mix.
  • Cover and chill for 30 minutes to 6 hours before serving. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!

Nutrition

Calories: 326 kcal, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Protein: 5 g, Fat: 19 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Sodium: 389 mg, Potassium: 193 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 2 g, Vitamin A: 1420 IU, Vitamin C: 5 mg, Calcium: 17 mg, Iron: 1 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 326
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cold pasta salad, ranch pasta salad
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and food lover behind Savory Experiments. She is obsessed with butter, salt and bacon and spends all her time in the kitchen and behind a camera. Jessica is a contributor to PopKitchen by Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal Food + Travel and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Pasta salads are awesome and this one looks very nice for a weekly dinner and even for Easter, thanks for the inspiration.

  2. 5 stars
    This is the only pasta salad I take to pot lucks! Everyone loves it and the bowl always comes back empty!

  3. 5 stars
    MMM, this looks so delicious and easy to make! So comforting , I can’t wait to try this recipe out!

  4. 5 stars
    I do love a good pasta salad so will definitely be giving this Ranch pasta salad a try – it sounds packed full of flavour.