Creamy Ranch Pasta Salad {Gluten Free}

Creamy Ranch Pasta Salad {Gluten Free}

Creamy Ranch Pasta Salad {Gluten Free}
pinterest image creamy ranch pasta salad

It’s almost May, which means it’s almost cookout season. And typically, when someone else is doing the grilling, I love bringing a cold side of some sort. Cold sides just seem right in the summer, and now that I’m pregnant, cold food is pretty much all I eat! haha. This Creamy Ranch Pasta Salad is so delicious, and if you choose to use gluten free pasta, it’s easily gluten free as well!

Ingredients for Creamy Ranch Pasta Salad

The list of ingredients for this Creamy Ranch Pasta Salad is pretty simple. You’ll need 16 ounces of pasta (brown rice pasta or other gluten free if that’s your thing), as well as fresh veggies. I used yellow and red bell pepper and diced cucumber, but you can throw in any fresh veggies you love or have on hand!

Aside from that, grab a jar of pickles, some mayonnaise (Wildly Organic is my fave!), sour cream, a block of cheese, and a packet of ranch seasoning mix. I was surprised to find that Hidden Valley Ranch’s dry seasoning mix is gluten free! So you can use that one, but you can always make your own ranch seasoning as well.

Creamy Ranch Pasta Salad with mayonnaise 1600

Making the Pasta Salad

Start by cooking your pasta according to the package directions. I recommend leaving it a little more on the al dente side, because as it soaks up the dressing, the noodles will get a little softer. Drain the pasta when it’s done and toss with a drizzle of olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking together.

While the noodles are cooking, chop your vegetables and pickles. You can dice them as finely as you like, or leave them in bigger chunks. My preference is bigger chunks, because I like to really taste the veggies I’m eating.

Cube your provolone (or whatever cheese you decide to use) into 1 inch cubes.

Make the dressing: In a large bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and sour cream. Sprinkle in the ranch seasoning mix and pickle juice and stir to combine well.

In a very large serving bowl, toss together your pasta, vegetables and cheese. Add in most of the dressing, reserving about 1/4-1/2 cup. Gently toss the ingredients together until they are fully coating with dressing.

Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve the creamy pasta salad.

Tips and Tricks

  • If you are using brown rice pasta, I recommend consuming within 2 days. Or, cook only half the pasta and make the rest later if you’re going to have leftovers. We found that after a couple of days, the brown rice pasta tended to get really mushy when sitting in the dressing.
  • Use the reserved dressing on the leftovers. The leftover creamy pasta salad tends to get a little dry, so stir a couple of tablespoons of reserved dressing into the salad to freshen it up again!
  • If you’re making this gluten-free, make sure your pickles are gluten free. Some pickles are brined in malt vinegar, which is not gluten free. Click here for a list of gluten free pickles you can find at most grocery stores.
Creamy Ranch Pasta Salad 1600

Ways to Change Up Your Pasta Salad

Use Italian dressing mix instead of ranch. It’ll completely change the flavor, and it’ll still be completely delicious!

Switch up the vegetables you’re using. Add avocado, broccoli, jicama, cherry tomatoes, or anything else you can think of!

Add a protein to make it a complete meal. Try adding diced chicken, turkey pepperoni, or diced ham. Or, if you prefer vegetarian, you can add a nonmeat protein like tofu or chickpeas or black beans.

Creamy Ranch Pasta Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
 

deliciously creamy. incredibly easy.

Servings: 16 servings
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces pasta (gluten free if desired)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 packet (~2 tablespoons) dry ranch seasoning (gluten free if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon pickle juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped pickles
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup (about half of one vegetable) cucumber, diced
  • 8 ounces provolone or other cheese, cubed
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, and toss with a quick drizzle of olive oil to keep the noodles from getting sticky. Set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, mix together sour cream and Wildly Organic mayonnaise. Stir in pickle juice and ranch seasoning.

  3. Mix pasta, diced bell pepper, diced pickles, diced cucumber, and provolone cheese in a large mixing bowl. Add dressing (reserve about 1/4 cup for leftovers) and toss gently to coat.

  4. Refrigerate until serving. Eat within a few days for best texture and taste.

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I’m Lisa – a married mama of one ninja-monkey toddler living in the cornfields of the Midwest. I’m so happy you’re sharing our journey with us! Here you’ll find family friendly recipes, kids/toddler related posts, and anything this mama is loving. I hope you also find a place of kindness and acceptance here. It takes a village, mamas!

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