This recipe is not only a favorite in my not-so-little immediate family. It's also something that both of my brother's love and ask me to make for them from time to time. It helps that it's super easy!
It's best if you can make it early in the day so that it can get cold (or at least part of it...read on), but it's also delicious at room temperature!
This is by no means a difficult or totally "from scratch" recipe (see Ranch dressing below)...but here's how I do it:
*If you scroll all the way to the bottom, there's a printable version and you can also save it to your Ziplist recipe box!
Mix all ingredients together and let it chill for a bit to thicken up. The "normal" ranch dressing doesn't have the sour cream in it, but when you add the sour cream, the dressing is thicker and creamier and it holds onto the pasta better. Which is a good thing!
For the pasta salad...
So, after you've diced the tomatoes, and cooked and cooled the bacon and pasta, it's simple. In a large bowl, add in all the ingredients (tomatoes, bacon, pasta, salt & pepper), then pour about 2 cups of the of the Ranch dressing over the top. Toss and coat all ingredients until you have a creamy pasta salad.
If you're preparing this ahead of time, you can add the dressing, salt, and pepper to the pasta salad and let it chill for a few hours or overnight, but always save the bacon and tomatoes and mix them in right before serving (so they stay crisp and don't get soggy). You can have them all cooked, diced, etc. and ready to go...just don't add them in yet!
You may need to add more Ranch if you let it chill first (the pasta seems to absorb the dressing the longer it sits), but does anyone object to extra Ranch dressing? Not me!!
This recipe easily serves our family of 7 one meal - with no leftovers. Now, ya'll know I love to have some leftovers...they're in my meal plan every week! But, this is not one of my favorite recipes for leftovers... remember, if the bacon and tomato are mixed in, they tend to get soggy after just a few hours and that's just not as yummy as crunchy bacon and fresh tomato.
But, if you don't mind that, then by all means double the recipe and eat it the next day! Or double it and take it to a church potluck...it's always a HUGE hit!
We like to enjoy this recipe as a stand-alone meal or as a side dish with burgers!
That's it! Super easy - super delicious! Enjoy!Print