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This Dill Pickle Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is a crowd favorite! It’s a great choice for a cookout, game day party, or a quick weeknight meal!
At our house, recipes like this Dill Pickle Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad are referred to as “A.I.” – which is short for “Available Ingredients.”
I’d be willing to bet that the majority of you have a box of pasta, a jar of pickles, a package of bacon, a bottle of ranch dressing, fresh veggies, and some grated cheese on hand, most of the time. If so – you’re ready to make this easy pasta salad!
And if not, this Dill Pickle Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is one of those recipes that can definitely be adapted based on whatever available ingredients you have in your refrigerator and pantry.
How do you make Dill Pickle Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad?
Start by cooking up a box of your favorite pasta to al dente. We used pipette shaped pasta, but elbows, bow ties, or penne would be some other good options. Drain and cool, then set aside in a large bowl.
Also, cook up a pound of bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels to remove any excess bacon fat – then chop into bite-size pieces.
Add the bacon to the bowl of pasta, along with grape tomatoes (we cut them in half), diced bell pepper and red onion, diced dill pickles, shredded cheese (we used a 4-cheese Italian blend that had a mixture of mozzarella, provolone, Asiago and Romano), plus freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Then combine Ranch dressing with a couple of tablespoons of pickle juice from the pickle jar. Pour over the pasta mixture and toss to combine – then chill until ready to serve.
Can I swap in other ingredients?
You bet! We listed some different pasta options above.
We used orange bell pepper – mostly for color – but feel free to swap in green, red or yellow bell peppers instead. Or add some blanched broccoli or green beans.
And, use whatever shredded cheese you like. You can use cubes of cheese instead, although we do think shredded cheese mixes with the other ingredients better and is easier to eat.
You are going to love the combination of flavors in this creamy pasta salad! The smoky bacon and the briny pickles are great, complementary flavors with the creamy, cheesy pasta. And the fresh veggies always taste great with Ranch dressing.
You may enjoy these other Pasta Salad recipes:
- Broccoli Grape Pasta Salad
- Macaroni Salad
- Avocado Chicken Pasta Salad
- Fresh Vegetable Pasta Salad
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
12 ounces of your favorite dry pasta (we used pipette-shaped pasta)
1 pound thick cut hickory smoked bacon
1 pint grape tomatoes cut in half
1 large orange bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup red onion, diced
1 16-ounce jar dill pickles, diced (we used Vlasic baby dills), reserve two tablespoons of the pickle juice
1 7-ounce bag (1 ½ cups) Italian mix large shred cheese (we used Sargento 4-Cheese Italian – which is a mix of mixture of mozzarella, provolone, Asiago and Romano)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 ½ cups ranch dressing (see our homemade recipe here or use your favorite brand)
2 tablespoons of pickle juice (reserved from above)
Cook the pasta according to box directions to al dente. Drain and cool, then set aside.
Cook the bacon to crisp, dry on paper towels and cut into bite sized pieces.
In a large bowl combine the pasta, bacon, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, diced drained pickles, Italian cheese blend and Parmesan cheese and toss.
In a two-cup measure, measure out 1 ½ cups of ranch dressing and stir in the two tablespoons of pickle juice then pour over the pasta mixture and toss to combine.
Cover, chill then serve.
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