Pasta salad with ranch cottage cheese dressing.
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Cottage Cheese Ranch Pasta Salad

This cottage cheese ranch pasta ranch is a protein-packed version of a familiar favorite. It’s loaded with chicken and bacon, and wrapped up in a creamy, irresistible sauce.

Hey there, cottage cheese lovers! If you’re on the hunt for a pasta salad that’s creamy, satisfying, and downright addicting, this cottage cheese pasta salad is here to blow your mind. We’re bringing together the tangy goodness of ranch, the rich protein of cottage cheese, and our oh-so-beloved standby, pasta. It’s here just in time for your summertime parties and cookouts. Or, you know, eating directly out of the bowl.

Why We’re Obsessed with Cottage Cheese Ranch Pasta Salad

Let’s be honest, pasta salad is pretty much always a crowd-pleaser. It’s versatile, easy to make, and perfect for almost any occasion, whether it’s a family dinner, Memorial Day, or a picnic. Adding cottage cheese to the mix makes it even better, giving it a creamy texture and a boost of protein that turns it into a better-for-you life hack.

Pasta salad with ranch cottage cheese dressing.
Pasta salad with ranch cottage cheese dressing.

The Magic of Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese doesn’t always get the spotlight it deserves, but we’re here to change that. It’s creamy without being too heavy and has a mild flavor that goes right along with hot dogs, hamburgers, and all of the other cookout favorites. In this pasta salad, cottage cheese is a no-brainer. You just blend it up with with ranch seasoning and it turns into the perfect base for this dish.

Ranch, Forever Our Favorite <3

Ranch is a classic for a reason. It’s tangy and herby and almost everyone loves it. We’re loving the zesty punch that it adds to this pasta salad. When you mix it with cottage cheese, you have a dressing/sauce that’s dangerously tasty. It’s like a thicker, almost dip-able ranch dressing.

Pasta Salad, Grown Up

One of the best things about this pasta salad is how balanced it is. You’ve got your carbs from the pasta, protein from the cottage cheese, and a whole lot of flavor from the cottage cheese ranch. Plus, you can always add some extra toppings if you’re feeling inventive. It still feels . Plus, it’s super easy to customize based on what you have in the fridge or what’s in season.

Pasta salad with ranch cottage cheese dressing.

Customize Your Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is all about versatility. Here are a few ideas to make this dish your own:

  • Veggies: Cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and red onions add a refreshing crunch and vibrant color.
  • Proteins: Steak strips or hard-boiled eggs can make this pasta salad even more filling.
  • Fresh: Dill, parsley, or chives can crank these flavors up a notch and add a touch of summer brightness.

Mix and match to your heart’s desire to create your perfect version of this cottage cheese ranch pasta salad.

Easy to Make, Easy to Love

The key to a pasta salad that makes it a hit is how easy it is to make. When it’s summer, we’re not trying to spend too long in the kitchen prepping – this is crazy easy to throw together at the last minute for a cookout. It’s perfect for meal prepping, too. Make a big batch at the start of the week, and you’ve got a protein-packed meal ready to go whenever you need it.

Perfect for Any Occasion

This salad is a hit at gatherings. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, attending a potluck, or just enjoying a meal with family, this dish fits right in. It’s also a great way to get people on board with cottage cheese if they *think* they’re not fan. (Most people won’t even be able to tell there’s cottage cheese in it at all!)

Pasta salad with ranch cottage cheese dressing.

Let’s Get That Protein

Besides being delicious, this Cottage Cheese Ranch Pasta Salad is also pretty nutritious. Cottage cheese is packed with protein and essential nutrients, making this dish a smart choice for those looking to maintain a balanced diet. It’s satisfying without being too heavy, so you can enjoy it without any guilt.

Leave a Comment When You Make This!

This Cottage Cheese Ranch Pasta Salad is ready to rock your socks off all summer long. It’s going to be a hit at all of your parties and a life-saver for lunch prep too. Leave a comment and rating below and let us know what you think!


Cottage Cheese Ranch Pasta Salad

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5 from 2 reviews

This cottage cheese ranch pasta ranch is a protein-packed version of a familiar favorite. It’s loaded with chicken and bacon, and wrapped up in a creamy, irresistible sauce.

  • Author: cottagecheeserecipes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Side Dish




1 pound chicken breast
1/2 pound bacon
2 cups protein pasta (we like Barilla Protein +)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 cup romaine, chopped

Cottage Cheese Ranch Dressing
1 cup cottage cheese
2 Tablespoons ranch seasoning mix
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon dill pickle juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375º and line 2 baking sheets with foil. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread chicken onto one pan and season with salt, pepper, and paprika. On the other sheet pan, add bacon. Cook chicken for 12 minutes, then remove and allow to cool. The bacon should be done at around 15-17 minutes, but cook to your desired crispiness. Then remove, drain bacon grease, and allow to cool.
  2. Boil pasta and drain. Pro tip: add about ½ tablespoon of salt and a drizzle of oil to the pasta water. The oil keeps the pasta from sticking together.
  3. Chop the chicken and bacon into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Add cottage cheese, ranch seasoning, lemon juice, dill pickle juice, salt, and pepper to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, add cooked pasta, chicken, bacon, and cottage cheese “sauce.” Stir to combine until everything is coated. Refrigerate to let allllll the flavors mingle.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 153

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Pasta salad made with cottage cheese ranch dressing.

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  1. These look so yummy, would never have thought to use cottage cheese in this way. Will definitely be trying out on the family, especially my protein loving teenage son!

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