Summer and pasta salad just go hand in hand at my house. Quick, economical and delicious! Now let me beat you to it, yes I know Summer’s long gone and it’s already November. While that may be the case, another thing that go hand in hand in our home, are quick and easy meals. A hearty pasta salad is also a favorite of ours for a light dinner or a really filling lunch. So even though I’m loving living in the land of Soup, Stew, and Comfort Food at the moment pasta salad, or a version of it, still visits frequently. This is one of our favorite creamy/mayonnaise based pasta salads. I don’t make it too too often, but when I do I always wonder why I don’t make it more often. I normally make it with rotini pasta (I feel the ‘dressing’ sticks to it best), but you can use pretty much any shaped pasta you’d like.
Pasta salad doesn’t have to be the tired stuff of bad salad bars anymore (it’s 2014 people). Think of it as a blank canvas for fresh and flavorful ingredients you can toss in. Just look at all the vibrant colors we’re throwing into this one. They add one heck of a fresh flavor punch.
I urge you to try a pasta salad with ranch dressing. It’s a lovely, lovely thing.
Ranch Pasta Salad
recipe adapted from Inspired Craft Ideas
1 cup Greek yogurt (fat free is great!)
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 packet ranch dressing mix, plus extra, to taste, if desired
1 lb rotini pasta, cooked
2 large carrots
1½- 2 cups broccoli
1 cup ham
1 cup cheddar cheese
½ yellow bell pepper
½ red bell pepper
1. Combine the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, and ranch dressing mix. Set aside.
2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water, drizzle with a bit of olive oil so it doesn’t stick.
3. Chop the veggies, ham, and cheese into bite sized pieces. Combine with the pasta and ¾ of the dressing. Stir well, add additional dressing if it is too dry.
4. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out these other fan/family favorites as well.
Southwestern Chicken Pasta Salad
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Great salad with great flavors, Meaghan. I too bucked the traditional “cold weather” food recently with a pasta salad. The calendar may say autumn, but I’m just not ready to say goodbye to summer. And with the flavors of a BLT…can’t go wrong there!
I like to go against the grain. I’m also a big fan of soups, and will fix them even in the dead of Summer.
Welcome to Fiesta Friday Meaghan, and thanks for bringing us this wonderful pasta salad. I like your greek yogurt addition to the pasta. Great ideas for future pastas too, I especially like the Ranch BLT one. Enjoy your weekend!
I love sneaking Greek yogurt into things! More protein for the boys, less calories for me 🙂 I’d call that a win-win.
This looks delicious, I am definitely pinning this to try! 🙂 All of your salads look very good!
Thanks, April! I hope you’ll enjoy them just as much as we did.
I love the veggies in here: were you being sneaky, or do your 4 boys actually enjoy broccoli?
I’m very, very fortunate in that the three older sons are pretty agreeable to any veggie. Son # 4 does require a bit of cajoling with things like carrots and celery, but anything else is pretty much a go! Also, this was broccoli coated with a teensy, tiny bit of mayo. Son # 4 regularly request mayo toast and sandwiches and can’t ever figure out why he keeps getting denied! 🙂
This looks so good. A must try, for sure. Thank you
Thanks, BJ 🙂