Chunky Pasta Salad with Creamy Ranch Dressing

    • Makes4 to 4 servings
Chunky Pasta Salad with Creamy Ranch Dressing


  • 2 cups raw rotini, or other large-ish pasta

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

  • 3 cups mixed raw or cooked vegetables, cheese, ham, cooked chicken, salami, canned chickpeas or beans (whatever your child actually likes), diced

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt

  • 2 tsp cider vinegar, or plain vinegar

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • salt, to taste


  • Cook the pasta until just done, but not soggy. Rinse, drain thoroughly, and dump into a bowl. Add the vegetable oil and toss to coat evenly. This helps keep the pasta from sticking together.

  • Now add all the diced vegetables and whatever else you like. Try to keep the ingredients all about the same size as the pasta. If your young assistant can handle a knife, let her cut up the ingredients and add them to the bowl with the pasta. Toss everything together.

  • In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, garlic powder and salt. Stir until smooth.

  • Toss the pasta with the dressing right before serving. On a hot day, use an oil and vinegar dressing (like Italian) instead, or put an ice pack into the lunch box.

This article was originally published on Sep 01, 1997