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Easy Ranch Pasta Salad – Go To Recipe

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ranch pasta salad in white bowls - jug of orange cordial and bowl of grapes are on the table by the pasta

Easy Ranch Pasta Salad is my go to summer pasta salad recipe – perfect for serving at BBQ’s or summery family dinners and it’s super easy to make too!

Honestly I just can’t wait to dig my fork into a bowl of this creamy ranch pasta salad – it’s just so good!

This is the pasta salad I throw together for BBQ’s because it just goes so perfectly alongside a juicy loaded burger or grilled chicken kebabs. There’s something about ranch dressing that just shouts BBQ time!

Now you don’t have to save this just for BBQ’s it’s also a great pasta salad for lunch boxes or just to serve as an easy family dinner and because you can make it ahead of time it works well for me when I make it in the morning and then just pull it out of the fridge at dinner time.

I like my pasta salad to be totally LOADED with little added extras so we add lots of tasty salad ingredients as well as shredded cheese and ham.

I usually make this pasta dish when I’ve got leftover shredded ham from a previous meal – if you’ve not made our slow cooker shredded ham recipe yet than you should check it out.

orange and white floral bowl filled with homemade shredded ham

Slow Cooker Shredded Ham is great for using in pasta, stir fried rice or just on sandwiches and wraps – I probably make shredded ham at least once a week and then use it in a few meals.

Easy Ranch Pasta Salad Ingredients

ingredients for ranch pasta salad - pasta, shredded ham, grated cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, sweetcorn, olives, spring onions, jalapeño and chopped parsley along with a bottle of ranch dressing

To make our Easy Ranch Pasta Salad you’ll need the following

  • 6 tbs ranch salad dressing
  • 300g rigatoni pasta – this also works well with penne or fusilli
chopped baby plum tomatoes, diced cucumbers, sweetcorn and chopped black olives
  • 250g baby plum tomatoes – chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber – diced
  • 300g sweetcorn (just from a tin)
  • 150g black olives – roughly chopped
salad chopped spring onions, chopped dill pickle and chopped flat leaf parsley, plate of shredded ham in the background
  • 2 large dill pickles – diced (these add a lovely tang – you could use jalapeño though if you like a spicy kick)
  • handful of flat leaf parsley – chopped
  • 4-5 spring onions – finely sliced
chopped spring onions, chopped dill pickle and chopped flat leaf parsley, plate of shredded ham and cheese in the background
  • 2 large handfuls of shredded ham (approx 300-400g)
  • 150g grated cheese

Easy Ranch Pasta Salad Recipe

  • Cook the pasta as per the packet instructions then, drain and rinse under cold running water to cool quickly.
rigatoni pasta being drained in a bright green joseph jospeh colander
  • Put the cooled drained pasta into a mixing bowl and pour over 3 tbs of ranch dressing – then stir well to coat all the pasta – rigatoni pasta has grooves all along the pasta which the sauce really clings into.
rigatoni pasta being coated in ranch dressing
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and sweetcorn
chopped baby plum tomatoes, sweetcorn, chopped black olives and diced cucumber being added to ranch coated rigantoni pasta in a green mixing bowl
  • Stir the pasta salad well to distribute all the ingredients.
chopped baby plum tomatoes, sweetcorn, chopped black olives and diced cucumber all stirred together with ranch coated rigantoni pasta in a green mixing bowl
  • Add in the shredded ham and cheese
shredded ham and cheese being added to ranch pasta salad in a green mixing bowl
  • Mix everything together well.
homemade ranch pasta salad being mixed in a big green mixing bowl
  • Tip in the chopped dill pickles, flat leaf parsley and spring onions
chopped parsley, dill pickles and spring onions being added to ranch pasta salad in a green bowl
  • Add in 3tbs ranch salad dressing (or more if you like)
ranch salad dressing being poured onto ranch pasta salad in a green mixing bowl
  • Give the pasta salad one last mix so everything is nicely coated in ranch dressing.
homemade easy ranch pasta salad in a green mixing bowl
  • Tip the pasta salad into a serving bowl and dig in.
easy ranch pasta salad in a blue and white serving bowl on a white table

How to serve pasta salad?

ranch pasta salad in white bowls - jug of orange cordial and bowl of grapes are on the table by the pasta

Pasta salad is great alongside BBQ food, roast chicken, grilled kebabs or grilled fish.

It’s also great as a stand alone quick dinner idea or in packed lunches or for taking along to potlucks or picnics.

Can I make this a vegetarian salad?

Yes totally – just skip the shredded ham and add something like garlicky sautéed mushrooms or marinated tofu.

How to store pasta salad?

I keep this pasta salad in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 24 hours.

Love salad? Try these easy recipes…

Yield: Serves 4 as a main, 6-8 as a side salad

Easy Ranch Pasta Salad

easy ranch pasta salad in a blue and white serving bowl on a white table

A super tasty summer pasta salad

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 tbs ranch dressing
  • 300g rigatoni pasta
  • 250g baby plum tomatoes 
  • 1/2 cucumber 
  • 150g black olives 
  • 300g sweetcorn 
  • 300g shredded ham 
  • 150g grated cheese 
  • 4-5 spring onions 
  • 2 dill pickles 
  • handful of flat leaf parsley 

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta as per the packet instructions then drain and cool under cold running water.
  2. Tip the drained pasta into a mixing bowl and add 3tbs ranch dressing - stir well.
  3. Chop the tomatoes, cucumbers and olives.
  4. Tip the tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and sweetcorn into the pasta - stir well.
  5. Add the shredded ham and grated cheese and stir well.
  6. Chop the spring onions, dill pickle and flat leaf parsely - tip them into the pasta salad and stir well.
  7. Add another 3 tbs of ranch dressing and mix everything together.
  8. Either eat straight away or keep in an air tight container in the fridge until ready to eat.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 442Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 1076mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 24g

Nutritional content will vary depending on the exact ingredients you use and how careful you are with measuring - this nutritional information is given as a general guide only and may not be accurate - you should always calculate your own nutritional information especially if you have specific dietary requirements.

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Disclosure – the green mixing bowl used in this recipe was gifted for review from Joseph Joseph in November 2017

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