Get out of the rut: make this yummy BLT pasta salad (& DIY ranch dressing)

A month ago our weekly menu needed a summer upgrade. I found two great pasta salads that appear bi-weekly on my menu plan. Both are “easily modifiable” for preschoolers (meaning I can leave the “yucky stuff” out and it’s still a decent meal for my kids).  Also, it can all be prepped ahead of time- just toss all the ingredients together before serving. Try it; it’s delicious. (Especially if you take the extra 7 minutes and make the ranch dressing yourself. Don’t be scared; I did it during the melting hour and we all made it to the table just fine.) Let me know if you try it!

BLT Pasta Salad


2 1/2 cups uncooked bow tie pasta (cook to package instructions)

4-6 cups washed spinach leaves

1 container of cherry tomatoes, halved

8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

“my” homemade ranch dressing recipe below (or a good 1/2 cup of store bought ranch)

optional: peas, pitted olives, garbanzo beans


Mix all the ingredients together (or leave out the “yucky” ingredients, dish up the kids and then add all the remaining goodness into the bowl).

FYI, I modified my BLT pasta recipe from the blog: Life in The Lofthouse.


ranch dressing
My homemade ranch dressing. Not pictured: the parsley because it is in the freezer. We can buy herbs frozen in France. Seriously, frozen and they taste great. Merci Picard (the store that sells all fabulous things frozen). 

Homemade Ranch Dressing


1 individual container of plain yogurt (keep the container to measure the milk)

milk: fill the empty yogurt container half way up with milk

2 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley

1/4-1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (use 1/2 teaspoon of salt if you use the dressing on the BLT pasta salad. It needs the extra boost)

1/4-1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper

1/8 teaspoon of dried dill

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

optional: a good squeeze of lemon juice (about 1 teaspoon)


Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Store in an airtight container or pour the whole thing over your BLT pasta salad. Miam Miam!

FYI, I modified my homemade ranch dressing from the blog: Better for You and So Delicious

Share with me some of your summer go-to recipes; I’d love some more inspiration!

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