Creamy Italian Ranch Pasta Salad is the best pasta salad recipe that I make on repeat all summer long. It's always a huge hit and is super easy to make! Made with juicy tomatoes, fresh broccoli and cauliflower, arugula, black olives, and red onion, this pasta salad is packed full of veggies and tossed in Italian and Ranch dressing! The combination is addicting. Perfect for potlucks, BBQs or as a weeknight side dish. Everyone will be going back for more.
Hello Summer Pasta Salad Season!
If I'm asked to bring a dish to share to a potluck or BBQ, I'm brining one of two things:
- Creamy Italian Ranch Pasta Salad
- Best Classic Potato Salad
Can you tell I'm from the Midwest? 😂
My Creamy Italian Ranch Pasta Salad recipe is actually a long-time family favorite recipe that my mom created probably before I was even born. This pasta salad recipe is exactly the same as the one I've been eating my entire life except one small, but delicious, addition... arugula! It adds an almost spicy, peppery element to the salad, and I love it!
At summer family gatherings, this pasta salad almost always makes an appearance because it's everyone's favorite and it feeds a large group. It’s perfect for warm weather because you serve it cold and it's packed with fresh vegetables. The best part is that it's super quick and easy to make, and I've never once heard a single complaint about this pasta salad. I'm telling you, it's the best!
Typically this pasta salad is served as a side dish, but I would by lying if I said I’ve never consumed a bowl full as my lunch or dinner. You’ll soon understand.
Italian Pasta Salad + Ranch.
Typically, a lot of people make an Italian Pasta Salad that has cheese, salami, veggies, and Italian dressing. But, I've never once before seen someone show up to a party with pasta salad made with both Italian dressing and ranch dressing. When I introduce people to my Creamy Italian Ranch Pasta salad, they're immedately hooked! Mixing together Italian and Ranch dressing is just genius. Thanks, mom!
How to Make Italian Ranch Pasta Salad.
- Pasta. I learned to make this pasta salad with bow tie pasta, but use any short cut pasta you like.
- Red onion.
- Cherry tomatoes.
- Black olives.
- Italian dressing.
- Ranch dressing.
Making this pasta salad is super easy. Strat by bringing a pot of water to a boil then add the pasta.
While the pasta cooks, chop the vegetables. Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into bite size pieces, dice the onion, and cut the cherry tomatoes and black olives in half.
Once cooked, strain the pasta and rinse it with cold water.
In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, vegetables, arugula and both dressings.
That's it. Crazy simple & crazy good.
Tips & Substitutions.
Slightly over cook the pasta. When it comes to making cold pasta salad, I always find that it's best to slightly overcook the pasta. Once the pasta is rinsed with cold water, mixed with cold salad dressing and stored in the fridge, it always firms up a bit and can seem undercooked. So, the trick is too cook it about a minute longer than you typically would. Not long enough that it falls apart, but make sure it's nice and soft.
Pasta salad is all about making it your own. So, if you're a picky vegetable eater, simply leave out what you don't like.
How to make pasta salad ahead of time. Cook the pasta and add it to a large bowl with all of the vegetables, except the arugula. Once you're ready to serve the pasta salad, toss in the arugula and the dressing.
How long does pasta salad last in the fridge. Pasta salad is best when it's freshly tossed together, but it's still delicious 1-3 days after. I'll still devour it. As the pasta salad sits it starts to absorb the dressing, so just add more Italian and ranch dressing to make it saucy again.
More Summer Salad Recipes You'll Love!
If you make this recipe, I would love to hear from you! Please rate the recipe below using the stars or leave a comment. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture of the food you created and tag me at Modern Farmhouse Eats! I love seeing all the pictures! 😊
Creamy Italian Ranch Pasta Salad
- 1 pound bowtie pasta (or your favorite short cut pasta)
- 1 head broccoli, cut into bite size pieces (about 3 cups)
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces (about 3 cups)
- ½ red onion, diced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 6 ounces black olives, cut in half (1 can)
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 ½ cups Italian dressing
- 1 cup ranch dressing
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then cook the pasta until soft and tender. Drain and rinse the pasta under cold water.
- While pasta is cooking, prepare the vegetables.
- In a large serving bowl, toss together the cooked pasta, vegetables, arugula, Italian and ranch dressing.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.