Cauliflower ranch pasta salad is a refreshing pasta salad loaded with cauliflower and veggies tossed in ranch dressing. Great for barbecues, potlucks, and parties.

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We’re excited to share one of our favorite pasta salad recipes with you! This dish is perfect for summertime gatherings and potlucks. We often serve it as a weeknight side dish with barbecue hamburgers and hot dogs.

It’s a family recipe our mom has made for years, and honestly, we’ve never seen it served this particular way anywhere else. We hope enjoy it as much as we do.

Cauliflower-Ranch-Cauliflower Ranch Pasta Salad in Stacked Bowls

Ingredients

This dish only requires six simple ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need.

Spiral Pasta, Tomato, Cucumber, Head of Cauliflower, Olives, and Ranch on White Marble Counter

Cauliflower – a head of cauliflower or a package of fresh cauliflower cut into bite-sized pieces.

Pasta – rotini (twists or spiral pasta), like Barilla.

Cucumber – one fresh cucumber.

Tomato – a large tomato, like Hothouse.

Black olives – black ripe olives. We like to buy the pre-sliced.

Ranch dressing – we use Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing.

Supplies & Favorite Tools for Pasta Salads

  • Cutting board and knife
  • Pot and colander
  • Large mixing bowl and spoon
Cauliflower Ranch Pasta Salad in Bowl

How to Make Cauliflower Ranch Pasta Salad

Follow these easy steps to make this yummy ranch pasta salad.

Step 1 | Boil water for pasta

Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil.

Step 2 | Wash and cut veggies

Wash and dry all produce. Chop the cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Dice the cucumber and tomato into chunks, as seen below. (If you didn’t buy sliced black olives, you’ll need to slice those as well.)

Chopping Cauliflower, Tomatoes, and Cucumbers

Step 3 | Cook pasta

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook as directed on the box. Rotini usually takes about 7 to 9 minutes (al dente).

What is al dente? The pasta should be cooked until tender but still firm when bitten into, not soft and overcooked.

Boil Rotini Pasta Noodles in Pot (left) Cooked (right)

Step 4 | Drain and rinse the pasta

Drain your pasta using a colander. Then rinse with cold water until cooled completely. Add the cooked pasta to a large mixing bowl.

Note: you don’t want the pasta to be warm when adding the ranch dressing!

Step 5 | Add veggies

Add the cauliflower, cucumber, tomato, and olives to the pasta.

Adding Chopped Veggies to Pasta
Pasta Salad Ingredients in Glass Bowl Before Mixing

Step 6 | Top with ranch dressing

Pour in the ranch dressing.

Adding Ranch to Pasta Salad in Glass Bowl

Step 7 | Stir until combined

Mix well until the salad is coated in ranch dressing.

Stirring Ranch Into Pasta

Step 8 | Chill in the refrigerator

Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Step 9 | Serve and enjoy!

Once chilled, the salad is ready to serve. Be sure to store any leftovers in the fridge.

Cauliflower Ranch Pasta Salad Finished in Serving Bowl

More About This Pasta Salad

  • This delicious salad comes together easily and quickly, making it an excellent option for busy weeknights or last-minute get-togethers.
  • The recipe is so easy to double or triple for larger gatherings like graduations, family reunions, or wedding rehearsal dinners.
  • It’s a refreshing alternative to the Italian summer salad (pasta, Italian dressing, cheese, olives, etc.). Plus, we love that it’s loaded with fresh veggies.

Variations

To mix things up, you can use a homemade ranch dressing, tri-color rotini pasta, or try different add-ins like more fresh vegetables, bacon crumbles, or chopped chicken breast.

  • Peppers
  • Brocolli
  • Baby carrots
  • Shredded carrots
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Green onions
  • Zucchini
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Chicken
  • Bacon
Print
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Cauliflower Ranch Pasta Salad

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Refreshing cauliflower pasta salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, and olives tossed in creamy ranch dressing. Great for barbecues, potlucks, and parties.

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 box rotini pasta (8 weighted ounces) – spiral/twists
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 can black olives, sliced (2.25 ounces)
  • Bottle Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing (16 ounces)

Instructions

  1. Boil water to cook the pasta.
  2. Wash and dry produce.
  3. Chop the cauliflower into bite-size pieces.
  4. Dice the cucumber and tomato into chunks.
  5. Slice the black olives (if not already pre-sliced out of the can).
  6. Cook pasta according to the directions on the box. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  7. Mix pasta, cauliflower, cucumber, tomato, and olives in a large bowl.
  8. Add the ranch dressing and mix well.
  9. Chill in the refrigerator.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • You can use any kind of pasta, but we like to use rotini.
  • Store any leftovers in the fridge.
  • Make sure your pasta is cool before adding the ranch dressing.
  • Author: Kelsey Restemayer
  • Prep Time: 16 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 214
  • Sugar: 3.4 g
  • Sodium: 333.7 mg
  • Fat: 14.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17.9 g
  • Protein: 3.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 7.8 mg
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Pasta Salad in Stacked Bowls (left) Closeup (right)

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoy this pasta salad. It’s one of our favorite side salads, especially in the summertime. Let us know what you think in the comments!

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