Honestly, I can’t believe it is already mid-May. It seems like we just started 2016 yesterday and now it’s BBQ and picnic season. The bummer part is we experience this lovely phenomena called May Gray and June Gloom in California. Mornings are typically overcast until the sun eventually chases out those gloomy skies by Noon. It doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but it’s making me cranky. Dingy skies don’t put pep in my step the way bright blue skies do.
Still, I am definitely pleased we are entering our summer months. Even though SoCal experiences great weather year-round, there is something special about summer, no matter where you live. One thing I love is picnics because eating outdoors is just more fun. I don’t know why. It can be annoying with bugs and stuff, but it always feels like a celebration, even if you’re only munching on PB&J sandwiches.
Everyone I talk to has such busy summers planned, with plenty of outdoor gatherings, so this pasta salad seemed like the perfect dish to make. It’s full of both decadent goodies, like crisp bacon crumbles and shredded cheese, and good-for-you ingredients, like broccoli and tomatoes. It’s hearty, delicious and I licked my plate clean.
This salad does require refrigeration, so be mindful of that when you bring it to events. You don’t want anyone to wind-up getting ill. Otherwise, this gorgeous salad will be a welcome addition to any picnic, BBQ or potluck you attend this summer.
Also, a little programming note: We’ll be taking the next two weeks off and be back on June 6. However, I will still be blogging over at A Mindful Migration, so if you haven’t checked out my sister site, now would be a great time!
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- 2 cups broccoli florets cut into bite-size pieces and blanched
- 10 slices bacon cooked and chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup frozen sweet peas thawed
- 8 oz pasta shells cooked and cooled to room temperature
- 1/3 cup mayo
- 1/3 cup greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pepper to taste
- 1 or 2 tablespoons dry Ranch mix or to taste
- In a large bowl, add broccoli, bacon, cherry tomatoes, cheddar cheese, peas and cooked pasta shells.
- In a medium bowl, mix together, mayo, greek yogurt, milk, ranch dressing, garlic powder and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.
- Add dressing to salad mixture and combine gently. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.
See you in a couple of weeks!