Monday, September 26, 2011

BLT Pasta Salad and Homemade Ranch Dressing

Your favorite sandwich is now a pasta salad! I personally don't care for bottled ranch dressing and I don't always have a packet of dry mix in my pantry, so I've included a recipe for making your own homemade ranch dressing. It makes a little more than you need for this recipe, but I'm sure that you won't have trouble using it up. :)

This recipe serves 6-8 as a side dish. It's easily doubled if you need to serve more.

An easy way to cook bacon is to lay it out evenly on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. To get it crispy enough for crumbling, you may need to leave it in a few minutes longer - but watch it so it doesn't burn. Let cool on a paper towel lined plate.

adapted from

8 oz. rotini pasta (half of a 1 lb. box), uncooked
8 oz. (half a pound) bacon, crisp cooked and crumbled
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup packed, chopped Romaine or Bibb leaf lettuce
1 - 1 1/2 cups prepared ranch dressing
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water. In a large bowl, combine pasta, tomatoes, and onions. Fold in 1/2 - 3/4 cup ranch dressing until mixture is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Just before serving, add lettuce, bacon, and black pepper to pasta. Add more ranch as necessary, to taste.

adapted from

1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. dried chives
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving to let flavors mingle.

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