Well, folks, It looks like it is officially grilling season here in Kentucky and that makes me so very happy! Pasta salad is a dish that’s a MUST at all spring/summer barbecues and you can never have too many recipe options. Ranch is a universally loved flavor, so my hopes for this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is that it will be appealing to picky eaters and foodies alike. Sure, you can easily pick up a packet of dry ranch seasoning at the grocery store, but those things are full of nasty preservatives! You can easily make your own ranch with dried herbs that you probably already have in your cupboard. My advice? If you have to sign up to bring a dish to a summer potluck, always volunteer for the pasta salad. In the time it takes for your bowties to boil, you can have everything else ready to go all in a matter of 10 minutes! Win, win!
- 1 (1lb) box of short cut pasta-I used bowtie
- 3⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 oz goat cheese
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried onion flakes
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped chives
- 1 tsp salt
- 1⁄2 tsp pepper
- 4 slices cooked center cut bacon, crumbled
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- Cook your pasta according to directions on the box, I like to add a handful of salt to the boiling water. Drain, and rinse with cold water.
- While pasta is cooking, mix together the dressing. In a large bowl, combine all of the herbs, salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice, and goat cheese. Whisking everything together until goat cheese is incorporated. Slowly stream in the olive oil as you continuously whisk everything together.
- Toss dressing with the cooled pasta and add the tomatoes. When you're ready to serve, top with bacon crumbles and devour!
These flavors pair very well with other ingredients so use your imagination and add in your own spin!
If you are serving this the next day, you may need to add a little more olive oil as the pasta will absorb some of the dressing.