A great side dish for the summer picnic. I made this on accident when I put some soup ingredients into the bowl instead of the stock pot. I doctored it up and added other ingredients, and voila! Use your favorite pasta shape.

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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the bow tie pasta and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink. Transfer to a bowl, and refrigerate until cool, at least 30 minutes.

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  • Meanwhile, place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate, let cool, and chop.

  • In a large salad bowl, stir together the ranch dressing, bacon, Parmesan cheese, carrot, celery, and red onion until well combined. Lightly stir in the cooled pasta to coat with dressing, and refrigerate 2 hours to blend flavors before serving.

Cook's Note

Lettuce or cabbage can also be substituted for the pasta in this recipe for a lighter summer salad with crunch.

Nutrition Facts

584 calories; protein 17.7g; carbohydrates 62.8g; fat 28.3g; cholesterol 26.8mg; sodium 712.7mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (56)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
03/25/2011
Easy and delicious! I did however use half the amount of pasta called for... As for the dressing I chose to use "No-Mayonnaise Ranch Dressing" from this site. I cut down on the red onion and instead of celery I used sweet peas. Using shredded Parmesan was a nice change from Cheddar and we loved the combination of "bacon and ranch"! Overall, very good after being chilled for a few hours. Read More
(73)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
07/26/2010
I made this as is except the Parmesan was grated, and I used only a bit over half the onion. I like a lot of onion in pasta/potato salads but the whole thing just seemed a bit much. (Maybe mine was big.) I doubled the ranch dressing, and that was before it sat around soaking it up because it was already on the dry side. Looks like a lot of folks increased and even doubled the ranch. It's just dry as is. And I couldn't taste the Parmesan nor the bacon (even subtly). So all in all it was like having pasta with a few crunchy things and only a bit of flavor, sorry. (A shame since this is the kind of thing I would like. And I don't rate for doctoring up.) Read More
(15)
78 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 39
  • 4 star values: 31
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 4
Rating: 4 stars
03/25/2011
Easy and delicious! I did however use half the amount of pasta called for... As for the dressing I chose to use "No-Mayonnaise Ranch Dressing" from this site. I cut down on the red onion and instead of celery I used sweet peas. Using shredded Parmesan was a nice change from Cheddar and we loved the combination of "bacon and ranch"! Overall, very good after being chilled for a few hours. Read More
(73)
Rating: 5 stars
06/02/2010
Made this for Memorial Day picnic. I omitted the carrot and the parmesan cheese. Added a little bell pepper and a few sliced black olives. Substituted cheddar cheese for the parmesan. I was afraid the bacon would get soggy mixed in with the dressing, so I layered the cheese and the bacon on top of the pasta mixture just before serving for a nice presentation. I made this the night before and the pasta absorbed a lot of the dressing, so be liberal with it. I ended up using a full bottle. Everyone loved it. Not a smidgeon left. Read More
(38)
Rating: 5 stars
06/09/2010
I'm not a fan of pasta salads but thought the idea of using Ranch Dressing was intreguing. We really liked this!! I followed exactly and agree you may need to add more Ranch as mine absorbed much of the dressing. I will also double the bacon next time and liked the idea of others to add it before serving (although it was fine as is for us). Thank you!! Read More
(27)
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Rating: 4 stars
06/07/2010
Agree that chilling overnight is better. Also leaving bacon out until ready to serve hate soggy bacon. Didn't have any carrots but did have partial container of diced mixed bell peppers and part of seedless cucumber(diced) so threw them in too. Before serving I topped the bacon with avocado slices and some chopped hard cooked egg that needed using and finished with a mix of grated cheeses--what I had in the house. The carnivors had to have grilled sausages on the side but salad alone is a good meal. Read More
(20)
Rating: 4 stars
06/04/2010
I make this all the time. I usually add frozen peas, black olives, smoked gouda cheese, an halved tiny grape tomatoes. Every time I make it it is gone very quickly. Read More
(20)
Rating: 3 stars
07/26/2010
I made this as is except the Parmesan was grated, and I used only a bit over half the onion. I like a lot of onion in pasta/potato salads but the whole thing just seemed a bit much. (Maybe mine was big.) I doubled the ranch dressing, and that was before it sat around soaking it up because it was already on the dry side. Looks like a lot of folks increased and even doubled the ranch. It's just dry as is. And I couldn't taste the Parmesan nor the bacon (even subtly). So all in all it was like having pasta with a few crunchy things and only a bit of flavor, sorry. (A shame since this is the kind of thing I would like. And I don't rate for doctoring up.) Read More
(15)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/13/2010
I had to add a little more ranch. This was one of the best pasta salads I have ever had!! Read More
(13)
Rating: 5 stars
03/09/2011
This is so good I keep sneaking bites before the barbecue starts. I used hidden valley buttermilk seasoning dressing, the spicy one, and followed everything else. Thank you! Read More
(13)
Rating: 4 stars
03/16/2016
3-16-2016 ~When you need a good, reliable pasta salad (meaning one most people are likely to like) this is a good choice. The idea of this is very familiar to me and brought back fond memories of a very similar Parmesan Peppercorn Ranch boxed pasta salad I used to make years ago when my kids were young (affectionately known in our house as “Parm Pep”) The only thing they would not eat was peas, so I painstakingly picked every single one of those dehydrated things out before the contents of the bag went into the boiling water. This time I made a point to ADD peas for all the times I picked them out! Can’t go wrong with this pasta salad, particularly if you use a dressing you know you like. In my case, I happened to have “Low Fat Buttermilk Ranch Dressing,” also from this site, on hand. This had a little too much Parmesan for me, so I would suggest starting off with less than the recipe calls for, then adding more if you wish. Rather than dicing the carrots I julienned them, which appealed to me more than crunchy/hard pieces. A helpful tip: many reviewers remarked they had to add much more dressing than the recipe directs because the pasta soaked it up. Rather than doing that, I do the same thing with pasta salads as I do with any other pasta dish – reserve some of the cooking water and add that to your pasta salad if it gets too dry after setting awhile. Works great, much better than milk for instance, and this way you don’t load it up with extra dressing. Read More
(13)