Crisp bacon pieces strewn throughout this delectable, creamy bacon balsamic macaroni salad that is loaded with crunchy celery, bright red grape tomatoes, sharp cheddar cheese and topped with a mouthwatering creamy balsamic ranch dressing.
Course: Salads and Dressings
Keyword: bacon, bacon balsamic macaroni salad, balsamic vinegar, pasta salad, side dish
1pintgrape tomatoeswashed and halved (sub. with 1 large tomato, chopped)
2stalks celeryfinely chopped
3green onionsfinely chopped (reserve a few as a garnish)
1-2teaspoonsfresh tarragonfinely chopped (optional) (1/2- 1 tsp dried may be substituted)
1cupgood quality mayonnaiseI love Chosen Foods Avocado mayo
1/4cupprepared ranch dressing
1/4teaspoonfreshly ground pepper
1lbcrisp cooked baconcrumbled
1cupsharp cheddar cheesegrated
Garnish with a few chopped green onions and a sprig of fresh tarragonif desired
Cook macaroni according to package instructions, be sure to add a couple teaspoons of salt to the boiling water.
While pasta is boiling, chop your tomatoes, celery, and green onions. Once the pasta is done, drain in a colander and rinse well under COLD water. Place cooked and drained pasta in a large bowl, mix in chopped tomatoes, onions, and celery.
In a small mixing bowl combine your mayonnaise, ranch dressing, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk well until combined and smooth. Pour dressing over pasta and stir gently to coat.
Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, up to overnight (or longer if needed). When ready to serve, add your crumbled crispy bacon, shredded cheddar cheese and optional fresh or dried tarragon. Stir to combine. Garnish with sprig of tarragon (or basil) and a few chopped green onions.
Tastes delicious after a couple of days as well. Keep covered and refrigerated, lasts up to 5-7 days in the fridge.