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Ranch Pasta Salad is the best pasta salad side dish! Rotini spiral pasta noodles, cucumber, tomato, broccoli, parmesan cheese with an easy dressing of ranch. Simple to make with only 6 ingredients and it’s full of fresh vegetables!
RANCH PASTA SALAD
This ranch pasta salad recipe continues to be one of the most popular recipes on my site. I have been making this for years and we could never get tired of it.
Only 6 ingredients to make this side dish and one of those is ranch dressing. There are some tips and how-to instructions in the post below so be sure and read them. One of them is an easy homemade ranch dressing that goes perfectly with this salad.
If you love all things ranch like we do then be sure and check out my slow cooker creamy ranch potatoes, this homemade ranch seasonings mix (to replace store bought packets), or this vegetable ranch dip.
HOW TO MAKE PASTA SALAD RECIPE, STEP-BY-STEP PHOTOS
- Boil the tri color rotini noodles. Depending on your preference, cook to al dente or to soft. I prefer the noodles softer in pasta salads so I always cook for the longest cooking time given on the box.
- While the noodles are cooking prepare the vegetables. Dice the cucumber, tomatoes, and broccoli into small bite-sized pieces. I try to make them all the same size.
- Add noodles, vegetables, parmesan into a large mixing bowl. Stir together to combine.
- Pour the ranch dressing over top and mix well. Serve right away or let it refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving if you want the salad colder.
MY TIPS FOR MAKING THIS RECIPE
If you are using a bottled, store-bought ranch dressing then be sure and use one that you love! I really like the Litehouse brand that you find in the refrigerated part of the produce area in the grocery store.
This salad is so delicious with my homemade ranch dressing (which will be in the recipe card if you want to try it). No matter if you use homemade ranch dressing or store-bought, be sure that it is COLD. If you add warm, room temperature ranch then it will make the salad that same way.
Tri color rotini pasta is the best one to use for this salad. The noodles have much more flavor than just regular rotini noodles. They are easy to find in any store so be sure you use them.
For the parmesan cheese you can shred your own from a wedge or buy a bag/container of shredded parmesan cheese. This is what I do cause it’s easy.
Like any pasta salad, this will dry out once it’s in the fridge for several hours. This salad can be served right away OR refrigerated for 1-2 hours at the most before serving. Leftovers are fabulous! Just add some additional ranch dressing and mix it up, and it’s good as new.
One recipe of the homemade ranch dressing is the perfect amount for this salad. When I eat leftovers of it the next day, I just add some bottled ranch dressing and it’s fabulous.
TRY THESE OTHER PASTA SALAD RECIPES
- Easy Greek Pasta Salad
- Cowboy Caviar Pasta Salad
- Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- Coleslaw Pasta Salad
- Shrimp Scampi Pasta Salad
- Easy Italian Pasta Salad
Ranch Pasta Salad
- 1 box (12 oz) tricolor rotini pasta
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 1 cup chopped cucumbers (peeled & seeded)
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1¼ cups ranch dressing (more or less to taste)
Homemade Ranch Dressing (optional)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
- ½ teaspoon dried chives
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Remember to salt the pasta water so the noodles have some flavor. I use about 1 teaspoon salt. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water so pasta can cool.
- In a mixing bowl combine the cooled pasta, broccoli, cucumber, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. Stir. Add ranch and stir again to coat the noodles and veggies in the ranch.
- Serve right away or let it refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving. Pasta salad tends to dry out in the fridge so don't leave it in there too long before serving. If needed, add some additional dressing and give it a good stir to moisten it back up.
- ** If you are making the homemade ranch dressing, I would suggest making it before you make the salad so it has plenty of time to refrigerate and get cold. Combine all the ranch dressing ingredients into a small bowl and stir with a wire whisk. It makes just enough for the salad. For leftovers, I just use store-bought ranch dressing to moisten it back up.
Did You Make This Recipe?
I'd love to see it! You can share it with me on @togetherasfamilyblog and follow on Pinterest @together-as-family-blog-recipes or Facebook @togetherasfamilyblog for more!
This recipe has been updated with new pictures & more helpful text in February 2020. Recipe is the same as before and has not changed. I also added the homemade ranch dressing right on the recipe card so you don’t have to go to another post to find it. Enjoy!
Did you love this recipe?
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I have made this 2 times, once per the exact recipe and the 2nd time added about a cup and a half bacon pieces and 1/2 cup chopped onion. While the original recipe is very good, the bacon and onions put it over the top!
I LOVE your addition of onion and bacon. Now I need to go make this! Bacon makes everything better 🙂 So happy to hear you love this salad.
Very good site!!!
Thanks so much Tera 🙂 I hope you find lots of stuff you like.
You said you sometimes make your ranch dressing . What is the recipe?
Here it is https://togetherasfamily.com/2015/11/homemade-ranch-dressing/
Where do I find your ranch dressing recipe? This salad looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it.
I hope you love it! I always use the homemade ranch dressing when I make this salad 🙂 Here is the link for the dressing https://togetherasfamily.com/2015/11/homemade-ranch-dressing/
Love this easy side dish idea!
Thanks so much! Enjoy.
This is definitely a keeper! Love the ranch dressing and its so easy!
Yay! SO glad you tried the homemade ranch with this salad. It’s really the only way to make it 🙂
I made this yesterday and everyone really liked it. I used the Hidden Valley Ranch packet cause I didn’t want to go out for buttermilk but I will try your ranch recipe soon. Next time I will add bacon as Joyce suggested. I’m thinking it will be a regular summer pasta salad around here. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Do you cook the broccoli? Or leave it raw?
Just chop it in small pieces and leave it raw 🙂
Jessica, you can always blanch the broccoli, then immediately shock it. I do that with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and any other really hard veg that I want to put into a tender salad.
What the best kind of tomatoes to use for this. As they each add different fkavors to what your making
I always use Roma tomatoes. You can probably use any kind you like.
This looks simple and delish! Could this be prepared the night before? What adjustments would you recommend?
If making it the night before I would assemble the dry ingredients (like the cooked pasta, tomatoes, cucumber, broccoli) into the mixing bowl. The next day before serving, add in the ranch dressing and parmesan cheese.
Delicious salad. I always shook my head for a yes whenever someone asks for salads and keeps trying different salad recipes. I am surely gonna try this pasta salad. Looking forward to some more delicious salads. Thanks for sharing.
Anxious to make this tomorrow. I’ll add the bacon and chopped red onion (love onion!).
Yum. Onion and bacon sound amazing. Enjoy!