Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pasta Salad with Homemade Herbacious Buttermilk Ranch

 Welcome to my West Virginia kitchen!  Are you looking for the ultimate crowd-pleaser for your next BBQ or potluck?  This Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pasta Salad is flavor-packed, creamy delight that will have everyone coming back for seconds.  

The Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pasta Salad in white bowl, on the counter.

With a homemade herbaceous buttermilk ranch dressing, crispy bacon, and sharp cheddar cheese, this pasta salad is not only easy to make, but also irresistibly delicious.  I can't wait to share it with you so...

Let's Get Started! 


For the Pasta Salad:

  • 1 lb Pasta (I used cavatappi, but you can use your favorite)
  • 8 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese, cubed
  • 1 lb Bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, finely chopped
  • 2.25 oz can of Black olives, drained and sliced
  • 4 oz jar of Diced Pimientos, drained
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas
For the Herbaceous Buttermilk Dressing:
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Dill, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste


  1. Cook the Pasta:  Cook pasta according to package instructions.  Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking precess.  Set aside.  
  2. Prepare the Ingredients: While the pasta is cooking, cube the cheese, halve the tomatoes, finely chop the onions and bell pepper, chop the dill and parsley, and drain the olives and pimientos.  
  3. Cook the Bacon:  In a skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy.  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.  Once cooled, crumble the bacon.
  4. Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, cheddar cheese, hopped bacon, tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, black olives, pimientos, and frozen peas.
  5. Make the Dressing:  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk until smooth.  Stir in the chopped dill, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, onion powder, salt and pepper until well combined.  
  6. Dress the Salad:  Pour the herbaceous buttermilk ranch dressing over the pasta salad.  Toss to evenly coat.  
  7. Serving:  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld.  Garnish with additional fresh herbs and sprinkle of bacon bits before serving, if desired.  


There are some shortcuts you can take to make this go by a little quicker.  

  1. Cook your pasta in the Instant Pot.  I have instructions on how to do that HERE.
  2. Use pre-cooked bacon.  They make pretty good pre-cooked bacon these days, that can be ready in literal seconds with minimal mess. 
  3. Add fresh herbs to your favorite bottle of ranch.  No one will ever judge you for doctoring something up.  
  4. Use pre-chopped veggies. 

  • Make Ahead:  This pasta salad can be made a day in advance.  it tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld.  
  • Add Veggies:  Feel free to add other vegetables like cucumber, carrots, or broccoli for extra crunch. 
  • Use Greek Yogurt:  For a lighter version of the dressing, substitute Greek Yogurt for mayonnaise and sour cream.  
  • Crispy Bacon:  For extra crispy bacon, bake it in the oven at 400°F/200°C for 15-20 minutes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  


Can I use store-bought ranch dressing?

Yes, you can use store-bought ranch dressing, but making your own herbaceous buttermilk ranch adds a fresh a delicious flavor that's worth the extra effort.  

How long does the pasta salad last in the fridge?

This pasta salad will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container,  

Can I use different type of cheese?

Absolutely!  Feel free to use your favorite cheese.  Colby Jack, Monterey jack, or even Pepper Jack would be great alternatives.  

This Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pasta Salad with Homemade Herbaceous Buttermilk Ranch Dressing is a guaranteed hit for any occasion.  It's creamy, flavorful, and loaded with fresh ingredients that make it a standout dish.  Whether you're hosting a summer cookout or bringing a dish to a potluck, this pasta salad is sure to be a crowd favorite, so give it a try tonight!

And as always, 

Happy Eatin' Y'all
~The Kitchen Wife~



Post a Comment