Roasted Red Pepper Ranch Pasta Salad

A while back, I shared with you my recipe for Ranch Dressing.  By adding a few more ingredients, the dressing takes on a whole new look and taste.  Along with the dressing, I purée some roasted red bell pepper, which lends a sweet and smoky flavor.  I stir in some poppy seeds for a nutty crunch, then toss it with pasta that has been drained, rinsed, and cooled.  It is a tasty bowl indeed.

It is important that the pasta is cooled completely.  Adding the dressing to hot pasta will cause the pasta to soak up the dressing, leaving you with a dry salad.  It is delicious as a side to grilled meats or with a lunch time sandwich.  You can add diced chicken or turkey and chopped fresh vegetables, like tomatoes and red onion for a heartier main course meal.  

Roasted Red Pepper-Ranch Pasta Salad
serves 4

8 ounces dried pasta, like Campanelle or Gemelli
1 full recipe Ranch Dressing (recipe follows)
1/4 cup roasted red bell pepper, chopped
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
Kosher salt to taste

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta according to the manufacturer's directions.  Drain the pasta, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, process the Ranch Dressing with the roasted pepper until smooth and combined.  Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir in the poppy seeds.  Pour the dressing over the pasta and toss to combine.  Season with salt to taste.  Enjoy!

Ranch Dressing
makes about 1 cup
1/3 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellmann's)
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream, full fat or light
2 Tablespoons chopped green onions, 1-2 onions depending on the size
2 Tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 small garlic clove, smashed and peeled
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In the bowl of a food processor, add the green onions, garlic, and parsley.  Process until finely chopped.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and process again.  Add the remaining ingredients and pulse just until combined.  Dressing will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.  Enjoy!

Source: Country Living


  1. Nicole,
    This sounds great, I love the flavor that roasted red peppers add to recipes! Good idea!

  2. Thank you, Chris. It is also a great way to sneak a little vegetable into a child's diet:)

  3. With some leftover chicken, this was such an easy and quick weeknight meal. The pasta's still on the stove, but the sauce is delicious!

  4. Steph-
    I am so pleased you are enjoying the pasta tonight. Yes, it is a quick and easy weeknight meal. Thanks for letting me know!

  5. That is one tasty sounding pasta!

  6. I love this idea! I've taken to making my own ranch dressing and I'm always looking for other ways to use it.

  7. Hellmanns when I was on the East Coast.... called "Best Foods" where I live now! Same brand!

    : )

  8. thank you for the recipe,I have tried the salad(I have used homemade pasta fetuccine) and it was YUMMY!


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