Buttermilk Dill Ranch Pasta Salad has a creamy homemade dressing, perfectly cooked pasta, loads of freshly chopped veggies, and enough flavour to knock your socks off!
I’m all about pasta salads. I can eat pasta salad every day. There’s just a few caveats. First and foremost, they have to be delicious. Texture is an absolute must. And, they have to be easy to make, inexpensive, and they must be still just as tasty the next day!
The best thing about past salads is that they can be made ahead of time. You can easily adapt them to your liking too, because they’re very forgiving. And, it seems that everyone loves them! That’s probably why they are such a popular side dish at many restaurants, and certainly at every summer picnic or backyard bbq!
IS THIS A COLESLAW OR A PASTA SALAD?
You’ve got a keen eye, Dear Reader. Indeed this dish has the makings of a coleslaw, but it also has everything you need to make a delicious pasta salad. I’ve seen a coleslaw pasta salad circulating online for the past year or two. I tried the recipe once. And, we loved it. I just thought I could do better.
I’m not being conceited! Really! I just firmly believe that a simple recipe is great, but you can always improve upon it. How did I improve on the original? I made a homemade dressing for starters. And I added dill to the dressing – lots and lots of dill!
The original has carrot and cabbage. My version has jalapenos, red and yellow bell peppers, green onions, corn, and even chopped hard boiled egg! These are all simple ingredients, but they’re fresh and there’s a lot of them. They all work together to create a very delicious pasta salad.
THAT’S A LOT OF CHOPPING!
Yes, it really is. But, I love it. I find chopping vegetables to be very pleasing and theraputic. Not everyone agrees with me, so you can certainly take shortcuts.
You can eliminate the need to chop carrots and cabbage. Purchase a bag of pre-chopped coleslaw mix at the grocery store. The 14 ounce package will give you pretty much the same amounts as if you were to cut whole veggies. Just dump in the entire contents of the bag!
In some grocery stores, you can find pre-chopped carrots and peppers too. They can usually be found in the cooler section of the produce department. If you want to speed things up, you can opt for that route as well.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of pre-chopped veggies. The only time I make an exception is if I’m very busy and if I’m cooking with them. I never purchased pre-chopped veggies for a fresh salad.
IT’S ALL IN THE DRESSING!
I’ll go on record stating that no matter how many veggies you toss into this salad, it’s the dressing that will make the difference. The dressing is the most important part of any salad. Otherwise, why would we every eat a bowl of mixed greens? I’ll pass, thanks!
For this particular salad, I felt like I could afford to use a heavier dressing, because all of those vegetables could certainly stand up to it. I opted for Buttermilk Dill Ranch Dressing, because it’s one of my favourites and I make it myself.
It’s this thick and creamy mixture of sour cream and buttermilk. I add fresh lemon juice and lots of dried herbs from my spice rack. Use up that dried dill and that dried parsley. But be sure to add some fresh dill to this salad too, because the combination of both really adds a depth of dill flavour.
If you prefer to buy a store-bought dressing, you can certainly do that. It’s certainly okay if you do! After all, I’m no stranger to a bottle of Hidden Valley dressing myself! (It’s my favourite store brand.)
Okay, this is getting a little long-winded, so I’ll go ahead and tie it all up now. When the dressing ready, the veggies are prepped, and you’re good and hungry, toss everything together and go! It couldn’t be easier! Buttermilk Dill Ranch Pasta Salad is filling enough to eat as a meal, but I personally like to serve it with a steak or a burger. That’s just how I roll.
If you have any leftovers, don’t worry. From the time you toss all of the ingredients together, you can refrigerate this dish for up to three days. Yes, it will certainly last that long in your fridge and still look and taste fresh!
Buttermilk Dill Ranch Pasta Salad
- 450 grams pasta, cooked, drained, and cooled
- 3 cups green cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup red cabbage, shredded
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup corn, cooked and cooled
- 1 small carrot, julienned
- 2 large jalapenos, diced, seeds discarded
- 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup dill, chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 6 large eggs, hard boiled, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk ranch dressing
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons bon appetit seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk ranch dressing with the salt, ground black pepper, bon appetite seasoning, and dried dill.
- Add in all of the prepared veggies, pasta, and egg. Toss well to combine and coat.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Serve chilled.