Chunky Pasta Salad with Creamy Ranch Dressing

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4 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.