There is nothing better than a good pasta salad to go along with a meal, especially one that involves meat - like a BBQ. I decided to make this Creamy Ranch Macaroni Salad for a recent camping trip to go with the burgers I was grilling.
Unfortunately, I forgot to bring yellow onion but luckily I had some green onions with me so I used them as a substitute. The end result was the same delicious creamy ranch macaroni salad I was used to.
This particular macaroni salad is not terribly fancy and doesn't require many different ingredients either.
The key to this creamy ranch macaroni salad is to let it marinate in the refrigerator overnight. If you didn't plan accordingly, at least try to let sit in your refrigerator for 2 hours. It will be well worth it in the end!
💭 Ingredient Substitution
If you don't have a yellow onion on hand, you can substitute for some green onions as I mentioned above OR you can use a red onion. I usually use a yellow onion when they are going to be cooked but red onions taste great when raw.
If you are like me and buy your ranch dressing mix in bulk, this recipe will need 2 tablespoons of ranch dressing mix. Which is the equivalent of a 1-ounce packet of the Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix.
Contrary to popular belief, a whole head of celery is called a stalk and a single “stick” from the stalk is called a rib. Since most call a rib of celery "stalk", I use the term Celery Stick to try and avoid any confusion.
Can't decide besides pasta salad or coleslaw? Now you can have the best of both worlds with my Macaroni Coleslaw Salad.
📋 Gather your Ingredients
You will need the following ingredients to make this creamy ranch macaroni salad recipe (see recipe card for quantities): Pasta, Yellow Onion, Celery, Parsley, Sour Cream, Ranch Dressing Mix, Mayonnaise and Cheddar Cheese.
🥣 How to make Creamy Ranch Macaroni Salad
Cook the pasta al dente according to the directions on the package. Drain water then rinse the pasta shells in cold water to stop them from further cooking. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine diced onion, diced celery, and parsley. Mix well.
Add cooled pasta shells to the onion mixture and toss until well mixed.
Add the sour cream and half the ranch dressing mix to the pasta mixture. Toss until well mixed.
Add the mayonnaise and the remaining ranch dressing mix. Toss again until well mixed. Add shredded cheddar cheese and toss well once again.
Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
Creamy Ranch Macaroni Salad
- 16 oz Pasta
- ¾ Cup Yellow Onion, Diced
- ½ Cup Celery, Diced
- 1 Cup Dried Parsley Flakes, Finely Chopped
- 1 Cup Sour Cream
- 1 Pkg Ranch Dressing Mix, divided
- 1 Cup Mayonnaise
- ½ Cup Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
- Cook pasta al dente according to directions on package. Drain water then rinse pasta shells in cold water to stop them from further cooking. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine diced onion, diced celery and parsley. Mix well.
- Add cooled pasta shells to the onion mixture and toss until well mixed.
- Add the sour cream and half the ranch dressing mix to pasta mixture. Toss until well mixed.
- Add the mayonnaise and the remaining ranch dressing mix. Toss again until well mixed. Add shredded cheddar cheese and toss well once again.
- Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
Nutritional information provided for this recipe is based on 1 serving. This information is an estimate and may vary based on several factors. If nutritional information is important to you and your diet, please verify this recipe with a Registered Dietitian.