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Want to bring something a little different to your next potluck or picnic, but still is tasty and reachable enough for almost everybody to enjoy? This Rancharoni Macaroni Salad mashes up a classic macaroni dish with tasty Ranch goodness to drop this easy-to-make flavor explosion on your next party.

Rancharoni Macaroni in a large white dish and wooden spoon in it.

We are covering grilling in this series, but there is so much more to a good cookout than what is on the grill. Today, we are going to make of our favorite side dishes for picnics and potlucks, the Rancharoni Macaroni Salad. This is a slight twist on a traditional macaroni salad with the addition of, you guessed it, ranch dressing flavor. So, liven up your regular cookout and give this spectacular Rancharoni Macaroni Salad a try!

Use The Dry Ranch Packets For This Macaroni Salad

You might be tempted to try and do some replacement in this recipe for the bottled or jarred ranch dressing, but don’t. Pick up the one-ounce packets of dry ranch seasoning and use your normal (but real) mayonnaise. Even when I use ranch dressing for other things, I prefer the packets. I feel that it tastes better and allows you a bit more control over the amount of zing that is in your recipe. Heck, sometimes I even make a salad and toss it with just a bit of the powder and vinegar. As far as salads go, it maybe is about to as close as I can get to a ‘comfort salad’ and it is light on the calories.

But Ranch Dressing Isn’t Fancy Enough

Hey, we are talking cookouts here. Leave your fancy at the gate. Ranch Dressing tastes good and it belongs at a cookout.  I think I have come close to making my own ranch dressing from scratch, so I suppose that would be an artisanal ranch? HA.

At the end of the day, just know that it is ok to like ranch dressing.. When I order fries at a burger joint, I get ranch. We always have a bottle of ranch in the fridge and usually, have a packet or two in our pantry. It isn’t like I am making ranch bisque and eating it up like soup or anything, but I think ranch dressing is the bomb. Ranch dressing deserves a place in macaroni and this Rancharoni Macaroni Salad is a hit in our house.

How Long In The Fridge?

Optimally, this macaroni salad sits in the refrigerator overnight to allow all the flavors to meld nicely. I understand, however, sometimes you need to make something quick. I would give this a minimum of 4 hours in the fridge.

cutting board with ben myhre chopping pickles. There is diced cheese and chopped celery on the same chopping board.

This is a bowl of macaroni salad before adding mayo and before it is mixed.

Mixing the Macaroni Salad

Rancharoni Macaroni in a dish, but on a white and blue towel with a wooden spoon in the bowl.

This Rancharoni Macaroni is good and you will find people coming back for seconds on this dish. Even better, it is super easy to make and takes almost no active time.

Hey, give this Rancharoni Macaroni a whirl, check out the rest of our grilling series, and if you like what we are doing here, subscribe to get updates via email.

Products I Used In This Recipe

  1. Ranch Dressing Seasoning
  2. Glass Mixing Bowl
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Rancharoni Macaroni in a large white dish and wooden spoon in it.

Rancharoni Macaroni Salad

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Ben Myhre
  • Prep Time: 4 Hours 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta Salad
  • Method: Refrigerator
  • Cuisine: American
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Get your cookout and bbq right with this Rancharoni Macaroni Salad. It is a nice twist on the traditional macaroni salad and packs a whole lot of flavor.


  • 2 Cups macaroni, dry
  • 1/2 cup chopped pickles
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, cubed ½ inch
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 tablespoons mustard
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 packet ranch (1 ounce packet)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat large pot of water to cook 2 cups of macaroni pasta
  2. While water is heating, chop pickles, dice celery, and cube cheddar cheese
  3. Cook macaroni per package
  4. Run cold water over cooked macaroni to cool.
  5. Once cooled, add rest of ingredients and mix
  6. Add salt and pepper in, to taste, and mix.
  7. Cover and put in fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

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  1. This sounds absolutely fantastic. I’m more of a carbs guy than a meat guy, so I’d have this as my main course!

  2. Like all the extras that you have in your salad…far from the boring ones that appear throughout the summer.