BLT Pasta Salad!

This is one of my favorite pasta salad recipes and it's always a hit whenever I take it to something.  Pasta salad is one of those things that can be really good or really blah.  This one is never blah.  I sort of just made this recipe up one day so I can't credit it to anyone really. 

Here is what you will need:
Penne pasta or you can use bow tie, ranch salad dressing mix, buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, roasted red peppers, green onions, bacon, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, Nature's Seasoning, Tabasco, taco seasoning (like El Paso), cheddar cheese. Notice that I used Barilla pasta.  I prefer Barilla pasta most of the time.  On many things, I just buy whatever is on sale or the store brands because I can't tell much difference, but I do think Barilla is the best dry pasta and it costs only pennies more and at times it's the same price as the store brands.

Chop the green onions including some of the green blades, the red pepper and the tomatoes.  Fry the bacon until crisp and drain on a paper towel.

Boil the pasta until it is al dente and then drain well.  Do not rinse it with cold water like so many recipes call for.  It mixes better if it's a little warm.  I just put it back in pot I boiled it in after I made sure it was dry, to mix all of the salad ingredients together.  Add the chopped vegetables, Parmesan cheese, Nature's Seasoning and the dressing which we will make next.

Mix the ranch dressing mix with mayonnaise, buttermilk and sour cream.  Add 1 Tbs. taco seasoning and a dash of Tabasco sauce to taste.  I usually add about 5 drops or so.   Pour over salad ingredients and mix lightly.

Chop the bacon and add it at the end.  Mix lightly again and put in a glass salad bowl.  You can chill it before serving or serve just as it is.  It's equally good either way. 

This is great to take to potlucks or to serve at cookouts! 


1 lb. penne pasta
6 slices bacon
1/2 cup sliced green onions or you can use Vidalia onion
1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1 cup chopped tomatoes  Roma or cherry tomatoes halved works best)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 pkg Ranch salad dressing mix*
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbs. Taco seasoning mix
dash of Tabasco sauce
1 tsp Nature's Seasoning or 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese sprinkles on top (optional)

*You can use a good bottled Ranch dressing instead of making your own.  Just add 1/2 cup sour cream, the taco seasoning and Tabasco to about 2 cups of it and mix. 

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