Ranch Pasta Salad

Saturday, April 21, 2012

It's grilling season again! YAY!   You know what that means, trying to figure out what to serve with all that grilled food.  I am a lover of all things grilled but I do like a bit of freshness to go along side of it.  That freshness typically comes in the form of a salad and more often than not, pasta salad.  

I whipped up this easy pasta salad after work one night.  It was the perfect accompaniment to the grilled chicken breast Mr. Schwartz grilled that evening.  It also made a boatload so I enjoyed it for lunch for the rest of the week.  

You can easily adapt the vegetables in this recipe to clean our your fridge.  I also think turkey, salami or chicken would be a great substitution for the ham.  Let me know how if you try and modify it!  I'm always looking for new ideas.  

Musical Selection: Have You Seen the Rain by: Creedence Clearwater Revival.  When I was trying to figure out what song to use today my mom said "Can't go wrong with a Creedence song."  She is clever like that.
Start by hauling the dog bed into the kitchen, hand the dog a bone and get to work.
Okay, but for real, start by combining 1 cup of fat free Greek Yogurt and 1/4 cup of Miracle Whip (I used reduced fat/fat free) and a packet of ranch dressing mix.  I think you could probably use regular mayonnaise if that is what you have on hand.
Either way, mix it up.
Give it a taste to make sure it is seasoned enough for your liking.  If not, add a little additional ranch seasoning mix.  This is fantastic ranch dip too by the way, you can use it for a vegetable platter instead of dressing on the pasta salad if you wish.
Cook up a pound of pasta, drain and let it cool.  When I need cool pasta I typically run cold water over it and drizzle it with a little canola oil so it doesn't get sticky.
Pour the pasta into a large bowl and chop up some veggies, ham and cheese into tini-tiny cubes.  I love all of the colors in this pasta salad.
Add a good amount of the dressing to start.
Mix it up and add additional dressing if needed.  Remember that the pasta will soak up the dressing as it sits.  Refrigerate the pasta salad for at least an hour before serving.
There it is.
Like a fiesta of colors and flavors in a bowl.  I think I'll make more today! 

Ranch Pasta Salad
1 cup Greek yogurt (fat free is great!)
1/4 cup Miracle Whip (fat free/reduced fat is great!) 
1 packet (+ additional depending on your taste) ranch dressing mix
1 lb pasta, cooked
2 large carrots
1 1/2 cups broccoli
1 cup ham
1 cup cheese 
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper 

Combine the Greek yogurt, miracle whip and ranch dressing mix.  Set aside. 

Cook the pasta until al dente.  Drain and rinse with cold water, drizzle with a bit of canola oil so it doesn't stick.  

Chop the veggies, ham and cheese into bite sized pieces.  Combine with the pasta and 3/4 of the dressing mix.  Stir well, add additional dressing if it is too dry.  

Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.


Recipe by: Mrs. Schwartz 


  1. What a perfect summer side dish, I love pasta salads

    Mal @ The Chic Geek

    1. Hi Mal! You will have to try this, so fresh and so easy to make!

  2. Love this colorful pasta salad, yum for greek yogurt and fat free miracle whip! Have to try this and I'm glad I don't have to worry about the diet that I'm supposed to be on ;-)

    1. Hi Tisa,

      It is really great, and like I said using the dressing as a veggie dip is fantastic as well!

  3. Just made this for dinner tonight! Sooooo yummy and fresh!

  4. How many servings does this make?

  5. How many servings does this make?

  6. This is happening for our cookout this weekend! Making 2 big pans. Can't wait to eat it! :)

  7. I love your recipe for this. I have used a similar recipe with bacon instead of ham for years. Peas and carrots and some peppers. One time, i used grilled chicken and some grilled corn the day after the cook out and it was WONDERFUL!!!

  8. This was awesome! i had mayo over miracle whip but dang.... LOVED it. Keeping this recipe.

  9. how long could this be refridgerated for before its expired!?

  10. This is so colorful and looks so amazing. No doubt u r a great foodie. I will definitely try this out. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  11. what would you recommend using instead of miracle whip/mayo?

    1. You could also make a homemade vinaigrette. If you going to be somewhere that you will not be able to keep it could. That would be best.
      Amy Holt

  12. Have made something like this using the rainbow noodles for color and I just use Ranch dressing you buy over the counter in lite or fat free. Works great and you can add more if it gets dry. Yum

  13. Also fat free or lite Italian dressing works great!

  14. Hi wondering how many people this serve and if you have nutritional facts on it. It look amazing

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  16. Don't know what happened but my salad was so dry. Wasn't appetizing at all..


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