This ranch pasta salad is the perfect side dish! Cooked pasta is tossed with veggies and coated in a creamy homemade ranch dressing with fresh herbs.
If you grew up on ranch dressing like I did, I know you’re going to love this pasta salad recipe! It’s creamy and delicious, but surprisingly vegetarian (easily made vegan) and gluten-free!
Whether you want a simple light lunch or are looking for the perfect summer pasta salad recipe to bring to a potluck, this recipe is sure to be a hit.
It’s so Easy to Whip Up!
This ranch pasta salad is really easy to make (even with the homemade ranch dressing)!
You just have to boil the pasta, chop the veggies, whisk the dressing and then combine everything! I like to mix it up a few hours in advance so the flavors can meld together and the salad has time to chill in the fridge.
Here’s What You Need
pasta – I recommend using a gluten-free pasta, but any type of pasta works. I used Banza rotini.
cucumber – finely chopped for a refreshing pop of flavor. I love using mini cucumbers or english cucumbers because they have less seeds.
broccoli – I love the texture, color and flavor that fresh broccoli adds! Feel free to use pre-chopped broccoli for a shortcut.
red bell pepper – a slightly sweet addition to the salad. It adds a great crunch too!
sweet vidalia onion – you can also use a white onion if you can’t find a vidalia onion!
homemade ranch dressing – a creamy combination of Greek yogurt, mayo, fresh dill, fresh chives, white vinegar, garlic salt, onion powder, black pepper and sea salt.
Homemade Ranch Dressing
If you’re intimidated by making homemade ranch, don’t be! All you have to do is whisk all of the ingredients together. The hardest part is mincing the dill and chives… which is pretty simple! After mixing your dressing, store it in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to marinade as you prep the rest of the salad.
Make this dressing vegan by using vegan sour cream or vegan yogurt in place of the Greek yogurt and vegan mayo in place of the regular mayo! Or you can make my vegan ranch dressing instead!
Can I Use Store-Bought Ranch?
While I do think homemade dressing is so much better than store-bought dressing (and super simple to make!), you can absolutely use store-bought ranch. Here are the brands I recommend:
Tessemae’s Organic Creamy Ranch
Primal Kitchen’s Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing with Avocado Oil
Sir Kensington’s Classic Ranch
All of these options are dairy-free and made with great ingredients!
What to Serve with Ranch Pasta Salad
Like I mentioned earlier, this would be the perfect side for a backyard BBQ or potluck. Here’s what I would serve it with:
Cook pasta: Cook pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool.
Make dressing: Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Toss: In a large bowl, combine the pasta, cucumber, broccoli, bell pepper, and onion.
Add dressing: Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and gently toss to combine. Taste for salt and pepper, adding more if needed. Serve right away or refrigerate in a container with a lid for 1-2 hours or until ready to serve.
Vegan version: Use vegan sour cream in place of the Greek yogurt and vegan mayo instead of regular mayo. Or make my vegan ranch dressing.
Non gluten-free option: Use regular pasta. Just be sure to only use 8 oz of dry pasta as most regular pasta comes in a 16 oz box.