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Quick Zesty Ranch Pasta Salad

Updated on June 19, 2013
This is a tasty ranch pasta dish that doesn't take long to whip together
This is a tasty ranch pasta dish that doesn't take long to whip together | Source
5 stars from 5 ratings of Ranch Pasta Salad

Versatile Recipe

I made this using angel hair pasta, corn, ranch dressing, and savory crackers, but there are many very tasty substitutions. Any type of pasta may be used (I usually use ziti or penne). As for vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower or peas would taste great in it, and Italian dressing would work instead of ranch. As far as crackers go, any kind would add the satisfying crunch. Or try crushed croutons, or bread crumbs.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 11 min
Ready in: 21 min
Yields: Serves 4 people two ounces
Cooking pasta in the microwave is a shortcut
Cooking pasta in the microwave is a shortcut | Source

Ingredients

  • 8 oz pasta
  • 1/2 cup light ranch salad dressing
  • 2 cups corn
  • 1/2 cup crackers, crushed
  • 4 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 can tuna or chicken (optional)
Parmesan cheese, crushed crackers, pepper and Italian seasoning make this crunchy topping
Parmesan cheese, crushed crackers, pepper and Italian seasoning make this crunchy topping | Source
I used corn, but many other vegetables taste great with this pasta dish
I used corn, but many other vegetables taste great with this pasta dish | Source

Preparation:

  1. As a shortcut, I use the microwave to cook the pasta. Pour about 6 cups of water into a deep microwavable dish, and heat it for about 4-5 minutes. Add the pasta, and heat for 6 more minutes, until the pasta is soft.
  2. While the pasta is being cooked, mix the Parmesan cheese, crushed crackers, pepper and Italian seasoning together. Get the corn ready, and measure the Ranch dressing.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it, and add the ranch dressing, the corn, and the topping. Stir until the ranch dressing is evenly distributed.
  4. If you use meat, add it to the pasta, and heat as desired.

Stove-Top Directions

In case you would rather use the stove top to cook the pasta, here are the alternative directions:

Bring about 6 cups of water to a boil (it may take a few minutes, depending on whether your stove is electric or gas), add 8 oz of pasta, and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until tender.

Source

Author Information

To learn more about the author, or read more of her works, click on http://kathrynstratford.hubpages.com/

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That looks easy enough for me to make. :) Thanks for the recipe. I'm not big on experimenting with food, but this recipe has everything that I would eat, so it gets the Holland seal of approval. :)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      It is really easy! Actually, I made this as an experiment when I didn't feel like spending much time in the kitchen, and my significant other loved it!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      You offer some great variations! Pasta can be so flexible. Voted up, useful, interesting, and awesome!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thank you, Victoria! I know, I love how flexible pasta is. You can pretty much just dump whatever you have in stock in it, within reason.

    • Insightful Tiger profile image

      Insightful Tiger 4 years ago

      This looks delicious! I will definitely try it. My son loves pasta and I am always looking for new recipes. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      You're welcome, Tiger!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Thanks for a lovely idea, pasta s ounds great

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      You're welcome! Thanks for the comment, I appreciate feedback.

      One thing I love about pasta is that it's so versatile. You can make a pasta meal out of pretty much anything you have on hand.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      I miss eating sweet corn. I must try cooking this at home. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I might mimic it and also publish a 'duplicate' hub (lol, just kidding).

      It makes my mouth watery. Hmmnnnn.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      LOL, you made me laugh. Publish a duplicate hub! Although if you wanted to change the recipe to suit your tastes, and make a hub based on those changes, with new pictures, I would not be offended!

      I love corn. Other vegetables would taste good in it, too, but corn adds a pleasant sweetness that goes well with the Ranch.

      If you ever try it, I hope you enjoy.It was one of those quick little experimental suppers that worked very well! I was just being lazy that night, and I'm glad!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Kathryn,

      This pasta salad sounds like it would be good served cold as well as hot. The Ranch dressing makes me think of it as a cold pasta salad. Have you eaten it that way? Up votes and thanks for sharing your recipe with us.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Yes, I actually had some of it cold the next day, and it was delicious!

      Thank you for reading and responding, I enjoy input!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      I love recipes that are quick and easy and tasty too. This one looks really good. I love ranch dressing. I have to tweak every recipe I make even before I make it the first time, it's one of my weaknesses. So I think I might add some minced or chopped green pepper and a couple of other veggies to jazz it up even more! Saving this recipe.

      Gave you 5 more stars, voted up, and useful. Too bad they don't have a button for yummy!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I always tweak a recipe when I use one, too! And so many things would taste good with it. My meals widely depend on how much time I want to spend on it, and what ingredients I have. It would taste fantastic with more veggies in it!

      Thanks, Au fait. I know, I wish they had a "yummy" button, since recipes are published on some of these hubs. I have thought the same many times!

      Enjoy, and let me know how your own version comes out!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      This sounds delicious! I look forward to trying your versatile recipes for busy evenings. Thank you!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      You're welcome, Vespawoolf, and thank you for reading and commenting.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      This is something we make when we are short on time. Of course, we have never tried cooking pasta in the microwave and the ingredients are different.

      This time we will make pasta according to this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

      Voted up, interesting and gave 5 stars.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Rajan, there are many varieties of pasta salad that taste great! I barely ever add the same ingredients in.

      I have only been cooking pasta in the microwave for a few years. I was always skeptical of it, but it's how my boyfriend does it, so I adapted to his way. But in reality, it is not much quicker than using a stovetop, especially gas burners.

      You're welcome, and thanks for reading and commenting. If you try it, I hope you enjoy.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      Kathryn,

      this looks really delicious

      I absolutely love pasta and I've never had ranch pasta salad before

      but I am more than willing to try it in the future

      Voted up

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Oh my goodness, this looks superb! I love the sound of it and I have to try it asap. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Torilynn, thanks, it is very delicious! If you try it, I hope you enjoy it.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Cyndi, thankyou, I'm glad you like the looks of it. You're welcome, and I hope you enjoy it when you try it!

    • Amber522 profile image

      Amber522 4 years ago

      This looks delicious! I think I know what I am making for dinner :) Thanks for sharing.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Amber, if you try it, I hope you like it! I sure did. Actually, I haven't made it in a while, and it would be the perfect thing for me to make tomorrow without having to take any meat out to thaw.

      You're welcome, and thank you for reading and commenting!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      I needed to make this today so came back again to read this. Thanks.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Great, Rajan, I hope you enjoyed it.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      This sounds good and so easy. I love angel hair pasta. Voted up and more.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thanks, Moonlake. I like angel hair pasta, as well. I prefer it over spaghetti, because it is thinner.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Kathryn,

      Had to really scroll to find a hub I hadn't read and what a great find this is!

      We love pasta (just as well since we are moving to Italy) and I adore sweet corn so right up my street! Breadcrumbs are what I would probably use in place of these crackers since we don't have them, maybe toasted? Hungry now thinking of this and it is time I rustle up dinner! Cheers for a quick tasty sounding treat I will definitely try!

      Voted up, useful, interesting, shared and pinned to pasta!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Suzie, thanks for taking the extra effort to find a hub you haven't read yet!

      Breadcrumbs would be perfect on this. Actually, I think the only reason I used crackers was because I didn't have any breadcrumbs at the time.

      I love pasta, too! I suppose if you are moving to Italy it would be unusual to not like pasta.

      Thanks, Suzie, and I hope you have a fantastic weekend! I'm going to get outdoors soon. It's 93 degrees out, and I am wearing my Summer clothes! I will bring my music player and my journal, and sit down and write for a while, and maybe snap a few photos. I'm curious to see if anyone is swimming or sunbathing yet. I have seen many young'uns from my building leave in bathing suits, smelling like suntan lotion.

    • theryanpride profile image

      Sonya 3 years ago from Indiana

      Sounds so easy and looks and sounds good i just might have to try this angel hair is my favorite pasta to.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Theryanpride, it's very easy. Angel hair is also my favorite pasta. If you try it, I hope you enjoy. Have a great weekend!

    • agapsikap profile image

      agapsikap 3 years ago from Philippines

      Looks great, Kathryn. Thank you for this quite easy recipe. Its already school days, and I think this is a great recipe for kids. Best to send them snacks in school.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Agapsikap, this is definitely an easy recipe, and school days are a great time to have quick and convenient meals. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my recipe hub, and I hope your weekend is going well.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      Yummy! I have pasta leftover from yesterday, so I just make the sauce but not with corn. I´m out of corn. I just use paprika instead. Thanks for sharing Kathryn. Voted up and shared.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thelma,

      That's what I love about recipes. You can make your own version of it, based on what you have and what you like. Even without corn, it is bound to be great! If you try it, I hope you enjoy it.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and for sharing it. Have a wonderful day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Condominium,

      It is so tasty with the ranch dressing! I am so glad I experimented with that ingredient. Ranch anything is delicious, I think.

      I hope you get the chance to make this, and that you and your wife enjoy it very much.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Take care!

      ~ Kathryn

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