Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tri-Pepper Ranch Pasta Salad

I have finally found a pasta salad that everyone loves. That's the thing with pasta salads, you either like it or hate it and it's hard to find one that pleases even the pickiest eaters. This one does the trick though!

It features simple ingredients and has just a hint of ranch flavor without any of the cream. The dressing is very light but has enough flavor to nicely coat the noodles and compliment the peppers. Using the three different peppers makes this salad pretty while also adding some nice, crunchy elements. So if you're looking for a pot-luck dish or something to keep in the fridge as a side for a few lunches, give this one a try. You won't be disappointed!

Tri-Pepper Ranch Pasta Salad

 1/2 lb rotini noodles
 1/2 green pepper, diced into 1/4" pieces
 1/2 red pepper, diced into 1/4" pieces
 1/2 yellow pepper, diced into 1/4" pieces
 1/4 c diced onion
 3-5 pieces string cheese

 1 1/2 TB Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix (the one that gets mixed with sour cream)
 1/4 c + 1 TB oil (I used a combo of olive oil and canola)
 1 TB lemon juice
 3 TB white vinegar
 pinch sugar (optional - if you're peppers are bitter, this will help)

1. Mix dressing ingredients together and set aside.
2. Cook pasta to al dente according to directions. Drain and rinse under cold water until it's no longer warm. Let dry slightly so the dressing sticks to the noodles.
3. Slice the string cheese into 1/4" thick round pieces.
5. Mix everything together, cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

This recipe makes enough side dish for about 10 - 12 people.

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