Creamy ranch dressing tossed with summer strawberries, baby spinach, cold penne pasta, fresh mozzarella cheese, grated parmesan cheese, sliced apples, and walnuts. Serve for barbecues, summer holidays, potlucks and as a side dish alongside any main star meal.
Summer days are here to stay, at least for the next few months. It seems like I always have an event to attend with graduation parties still going on, family reunions, summer birthdays, and summer holidays and that’s just covering the bases.
With Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and Father’s Day behind, it’s time to plan one of the most celebrated holidays of the summer. Since the 4th of July is just a few days away, it’s the perfect time to get a grocery list together to knock this Independence Day holiday out of the park.
Since the heat of summer is here to stay, a refreshing, creamy, and cold pasta salad packed with summer strawberries, and spinach with ranch dressing is the best way to bring a new side dish to a party.
If you love to entertain or find yourself wanting to bring a dish to pass to a summer party, then you’ll love that this ranch pasta salad captures the flavors of summer while being a hit among any menu.
I’ve been making this easy summer pasta salad for the past few years and It’s always a requested dish to bring to potlucks. It’s also perfect for the cottage lake house where I typically avoid turning on the stove top in the afternoon.
What’s even better about this strawberry ranch pasta salad is that it can be made ahead of time. Typically, I make the pasta the night before. This way, it’s cold and refreshing in time to serve for lunch. It also saves me some time in the kitchen to prepare this the night before as I usually am rushing from one thing to the next before a family event.
If making ahead of time, just be sure to toss the ranch dressing mixture with the pasta salad right before serving. Doing this step will ensure the pasta doesn’t absorb all the ranch dressing.
Looking for other pasta salad dishes to serve this summer? Try this easy Italian Pasta Salad, Caprese Pasta Salad or this fan favorite, BLT Pasta Salad. Of course, no summer is complete without my favorite Loaded Baked Potato Salad recipe!
Strawberry Spinach Ranch Pasta Salad
- 16 ounces penne pasta
- 1 pound strawberries, sliced
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 8 ounces mozzarella balls
- 1/3 cup walnuts
- 1 large red apple
- 1/2 cup ranch dressing
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain water then rinse under cold water; set aside.Slice strawberries and apple.In a medium bowl, combine ranch dressing, water, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.In a large serving bowl, toss together pasta, sliced strawberries and apples, mozzarella cheese balls, spinach, and walnuts. Pour ranch dressing mixture over top then toss together. Top with grated parmesan cheese.Ranch sauce should only be poured over pasta before serving. If making a day in advance, prepare ingredients separately then set sauce aside. Toss all ingredients together with dressing sauce before serving.