If you love a macaroni salad as much as I do, I think you'll love this ranch macaroni salad too. This is a fun twist on a traditional macaroni salad with grilled corn, crispy bacon, tomatoes, peppers and the easiest mayo/yogurt dressing. Toss in a little spice from serrano pepper or use a jalapeño and it will light up your tastebuds, promise! This is a perfect side dish for the summer and one that I hope you'll come back to again and again.
If there is one dish that reminds me of my mom, it has to be her macaroni salad. She was known for it. And she pretty much had to make it for nearly every spring/summer and even fall occasion. We all loved it. As I got older, I remember watching her make it and seeing the copious amounts of mayo and Miracle Whip make its way into that big bowl of macaroni salad. And being someone who was always a little obsessed with food and my body, I swore I wouldn't eat it. It was too fattening I thought, after reading the nutrition info on the labels. But, I was pretty much impervious to her macaroni salad and I just had to eat it.
And I'm SO glad I did. My mom passed away when I was 26 and I miss her and that macaroni salad immensely. I'll never forget the first time I was responsible for making her macaroni salad for the first family gathering. I had zero idea how to cook, so my chopping skills needed work to say the least. And even though I followed her recipe, I couldn't get it to taste the same. I think that's the thing about recreating someone you loves recipe. No matter what, it won't taste the exact same. So I'm embracing that this version is different, but it still brings back all those memories and it tastes delicious in its own way.
And although, I have come close to making her classic macaroni salad, it's fun to switch things up sometimes too. And this is why I made this ranch macaroni salad version.
This recipe doesn't require a lot of ingredients. The dressing contains the most ingredients because we're making a ranch dressing after all and for that, you're going to need some dried spices and herbs.
First, you'll cook the bacon. I love making bacon in the oven because it's way easier to cook (no flipping required) and easier to clean up. Feel free to cook bacon however you like.
Preheat the oven to 400℉ and line a large baking sheet with foil. Place bacon strips on the baking sheet and cook for 16-20 minutes, until cooked to your liking. Let cool and then chop and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of avocado oil. Once hot, place the corn in the skillet and cook until charred all over, rotating every few minutes. This will take about ten minutes. Once cooled, remove the corn from the cob with a knife and set aside.
Cook the macaroni according to package directions and then rinse with cold water, drain well in a colander and then set aside in a large serving bowl to cool. Add the bacon, corn, peppers and serrano pepper.
Then make the dressing. In a bowl, mix together all ingredients. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper.
Add as much dressing as needed to coat the macaroni and toss very well to combine everything.
Garnish with dill and/or chives and store extra dressing in the fridge in a sealed container for leftovers.
Make this ranch macaroni salad work for you by making any of the following swaps.
This ranch macaroni salad makes enough for about 6-8 portions, depending on what else you're eating with it.
If you love a good salad, be sure to check these out!
Ready to make this deliciously easy ranch and bacon pasta salad? Let's go!
If you make this ranch macaroni salad, please let me know by tagging me on Instagram, or leave a comment and/or review below!
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This ranch macaroni salad with bacon and corn is made with a creamy Greek yogurt and mayo dressing for a fun twist on a classic side dish.
Macaroni salad will dry up in the fridge, so keep leftover dressing in a separate container and add as needed.