BLT Ranch Pasta Salad


Ingredients

  • 16 ounces gemelli pasta (or your pasta of choice, gluten-free if needed), cooked according to package directions and cooled
  • 1 pint tomato grapes, halved
  • 1 heart of romaine, sliced horizontally
  • 12 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Better-For-You Ranch Dressing, or your favorite ranch (1/2-1 cup, depending on whether you like your salad lightly or more liberally tossed)
  • one small bunch green onions (or 1/4 cup of fresh chives), chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine pasta, tomatoes, romaine, and green onions. Pour the ranch dressing over top and toss well.
  2. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  3. Prior to serving, toss and add another drizzle of dressing, if desired. Add crumbled bacon and serve immediately.
  4. In season, fresh basil is a wonderful addition, either as a garnish or mixed throughout the salad.

Notes

  • I like to cook the pasta ahead of time and, after draining, toss with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper and kosher salt. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to finish prepping the salad. This makes the preparation very easy and ensures that the pasta does not absorb too much of the dressing before you are ready to eat.
  • In season, add a little chopped basil as a garnish or mix more liberally throughout the salad for a burst of fresh flavor.
  • This recipe makes enough for a good-sized crowd and can be cut in half easily.

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