Rating: 4.5 stars
60 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 38
  • 4 star values: 16
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 0

Macaroni salad can sometimes be a little boring. So one day I just started adding extra ingredients and this is what I came up with. The whole family love's it! This recipe is even better if served the next day so that all of the flavors are well-incorporated. Enjoy!

Recipe Summary test

prep:
20 mins
cook:
20 mins
additional:
4 hrs
total:
4 hrs 40 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Cook bacon in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 10 minutes; drain on a plate lined with paper towels until cool. Crumble the bacon.

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  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but firm to the bite, 8 minutes; drain.

  • Rinse macaroni with cold water until cool; drain.

  • Mix cooled macaroni, crumbled bacon, mayonnaise, red onion, green bell pepper, ranch salad dressing mix, and Cheddar cheese together in a large bowl.

  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

Nutrition Facts

583 calories; protein 18.1g; carbohydrates 47.5g; fat 35.3g; cholesterol 47.4mg; sodium 735.6mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (59)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
06/21/2012
I'm always happy to be the first reviewer of a new recipe and report that I enjoyed it and recommend it. This is not a unique pasta salad, but it's a good one, and the submitter is correct - the bacon and cheddar DOES make it better. In this case, I needed something at the last minute and this was good, filling and simple. I find that often it's the basic recipes, the non-fussy, non-fancy recipes, that are the best. I stuck pretty much to the submitter's intent, only adding a little sour cream as I always do to mayonnaise-based salads to mellow out the tang of the mayo, and some thawed, frozen peas. This was exactly what I had in mind for our impromptu, grilled burgers dinner tonight. Read More
(65)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
09/17/2012
This salad was ok but I had to adjust the recipe. Using a full pound of macaroni I had to almost double the ranch dressing. I used shredded cheese because that's what I had on hand I think I liked it better than I would have liked cubed. I also wish I had used miracle whip instead of mayo because it needed a little zing (I guess I could have added a little vinegar but didn't think about it at the time). Good starter recipe and easily adjustable to your tastes. Read More
(4)
60 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 38
  • 4 star values: 16
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
06/20/2012
I'm always happy to be the first reviewer of a new recipe and report that I enjoyed it and recommend it. This is not a unique pasta salad, but it's a good one, and the submitter is correct - the bacon and cheddar DOES make it better. In this case, I needed something at the last minute and this was good, filling and simple. I find that often it's the basic recipes, the non-fussy, non-fancy recipes, that are the best. I stuck pretty much to the submitter's intent, only adding a little sour cream as I always do to mayonnaise-based salads to mellow out the tang of the mayo, and some thawed, frozen peas. This was exactly what I had in mind for our impromptu, grilled burgers dinner tonight. Read More
(65)
Rating: 4 stars
07/02/2012
I used red bell pepper instead of green, reduced fat mayonnaise and homemade dry ranch seasoning mix. My husband and kids liked it but it was unanimous that it needs double the bacon, for us at least. Great quick pasta salad. EDITED: My husband said this was even better the next day, after it had sat. He ate all the leftovers. Read More
(57)
Rating: 5 stars
07/29/2012
This was right up our alley. I did mix mayo with sour cream as another reviewer recommended. Great ranch flavor and super quick to prepare. Highly recommend! Read More
(22)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/24/2013
This recipe is really good. Added more of the ranch mixture. Try heating up. It's excellent. Actually better hot. Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
08/08/2015
In looking for a pasta salad recipe that included bacon I found this one. I was drawn to the simplicity of ingredients and inclusion of cheddar cheese along with the bacon and mayonnaise. I will definitely make this one again I did add a bit of sour cream to the mixture of mayo and ranch dressing as per other reviewers if anything next time I would add a bit more bacon and a little extra ranch dressing This was very easy to make and crowd pleasing. Read More
(4)
Rating: 3 stars
09/17/2012
This salad was ok but I had to adjust the recipe. Using a full pound of macaroni I had to almost double the ranch dressing. I used shredded cheese because that's what I had on hand I think I liked it better than I would have liked cubed. I also wish I had used miracle whip instead of mayo because it needed a little zing (I guess I could have added a little vinegar but didn't think about it at the time). Good starter recipe and easily adjustable to your tastes. Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/06/2012
We love this salad! I've made this a few times now with minimal changes. I usually use whole wheat pasta and do 3/4 c mayo and 1/4 sour cream. I use shredded cheddar. This is the best macaroni salad we've ever tasted! Thank you! Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
09/11/2012
this recipe was a nice alternative to classic mac salad. I just had to substitute some sour cream because I ran out of mayo but it was just fine that way. yum! Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
06/16/2016
I am new to cooking and found this recipe the be easy and delicious! I followed some other reviewers' advice and added some extras including green onions sour cream salt pepper and double the amount of bacon. Very simple recipe and easy to add things you like! Read More
(3)