Bacon-Ranch Pasta Salad
Bacon and ranch belong together—it's indisputable. Rich and smoky bacon makes the perfect vehicle for a sauce that's both tangy and packed with the flavors of fresh herbs. Together, this combo offers the perfect indulgent coating for chilled cooked pasta and some sliced cherry tomatoes. We throw shredded Parmesan into the mix to add a layer of salty goodness, and fresh dill is stirred in to further brighten the pasta salad and enhance the herby taste of the ranch seasoning. A bite of this pasta salad is savory and tangy with juicy pockets of tomato and chewy bits of bacon clinging to the creamy pasta. You can use whatever noodle shape you'd like, but for sentimental reasons, we stick to traditional cavatappi or elbow pasta because it reminds us of the pasta salads made by our grandmothers. The only non-negotiable is that you use high-quality bacon because it's incomparable in flavor and texture and elevates this pasta salad into another realm of greatness! Trust us, this bacon-heavy dish requires the best, and once you taste it, you'll already look forward to leftovers.
It's important to heavily salt the boiling water before you cook the pasta, as this seasons the pasta while it cooks. Also, this is a recipe that tastes better after it has some time to sit in the fridge. So make it the day before you plan to serve it for the best results.