#Bacon #Ranch #Tortellini #Pasta #Salad
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is the ultimate summer side! It starts with copious amounts of bacon, a perfectly tangy ranch dressing, fresh vegetables and tortellini pasta. It's the perfect summer salad bursting with vibrant colors and flavors. It is versatile enough to serve with any main dish, and this recipe is so amazing and so simple to make you will be eating it all year long.
We officially broke 100 degrees here in Arizona last week. That is when I automatically start craving and looking for cold side salads. I love pasta salads. They are one of my favorites. They pretty much incorporate all my favorites into one bowl: pasta, cheese, veggies and yummy dressings and toppings. That is summer salad perfection.
Luckily for me and my family and friends, Chad and Munchkin are not as keen on pasta salads as I am so I am fortunate enough to share with our loved ones. Oddly, I can't seem to eat an entire recipe on my own and I love to love to feed my loved ones. Something about it is so fulfilling. Am I the only one?
BACON RANCH TORTELLINI PASTA SALAD
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is the ultimate summer side! It starts with copious amounts of bacon, a perfectly tangy ranch dressing, fresh vegetables and tortellini pasta. It's the perfect summer salad bursting with vibrant colors and flavors.
- 1 (15-ounce) bag cheese-filled tortellini pasta
- 16 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 bell peppers (1 orange and 1 yellow), cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 English cucumber, cut into spears and then sliced
- 1/2 medium red onion, rough dice
- 1 (4.25-ounce) can sliced black olives
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
- 1 cup bacon crumbles (1 pound cooked, cooled and crumbled)
EASY RANCH DRESSING
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons dry ranch salad dressing mix
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves minced garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic paste)
- 1 teaspoon course ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook tortellini according to directions on the package (do not add salt to the water). Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, prepare the salad dressing: In a medium bowl whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, and milk. Add remaining dressing ingredients. Place in refrigerator until ready to dress the salad.
- Combine tortellini 1/2 of salad dressing and toss to combine.
- Add remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl, toss until combined. Reserve the remaining dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss with salad tongs until well coated.
- The salad is excellent the next day. When making ahead, use 1/2 of the dressing when preparing the salad and reserve the remaining dressing to pour over the salad before you serve.
- It is important to not overcook your tortellini otherwise it will fall apart when tossed.
- After pasta is rinsed and drained, immediately add it to a large bowl then toss it with half of the dressing to keep it from sticking.
- If you prefer your salad more vegetable heavy, add 1 more orange pepper, 1 yellow pepper, 1 cucumber. Follow the instructions for the remaining steps.
- For the cheese, I prefer to use sharp cheddar, cut into bite-size pieces. If prefer you can substitute any sliceable cheese.
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