My homemade, copycat version of Ruby Tuesday’s pasta salad. Perfect for a summer party!
Generally speaking, I’m not a “chain restaurant” kind of girl. I live for finding little hole in the wall cafes, family-run diners and restaurants that only use locally-grown ingredients. But I do have a couple exceptions, and the Ruby Tuesday salad bar is one of them.
Sweet mother, do I love their salad bar.
On my first pass, I pile my plate high with olives, egg, peas, peppers, carrots and a smidgen of lettuce underneath it all. But on my second pass I load it up with the fruit salad and the pasta salad. I can’t get enough of the pasta salad – I really don’t even know what it is about it that’s so addictive to me.
The Ruby Tuesday closest to me is… well, not close at all. I got a horrible craving for the pasta salad recently and my only mission was to come up with a copycat recipe (I know, you’re shocked). It’s still not 100% right, but this is pretty gosh darn close.
You only need 8 ingredients, most of which you probably have hanging around the house anyway. The hardest part about this recipe is waiting for it to chill before digging in. I HATE WAITING.
The good news is that it’s totally worth the wait. Plus, it’s so easy to make a giant batch to serve at a summer party and it can be prepared ahead of time so that you can worry about more important things the day of the party, like decorations, music and inflating pretzel-shaped pool floats.
… what? That’s just me? Fine.
Let me know in the comments if you find a way to tweak the ingredients to get the recipe juuuuust right. I’ll owe you!
- 1 lb rotini pasta
- 1 cup ranch dressing
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 cups ham, cooked and diced
- ½ cup frozen peas
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and rinse with cold water. Set aside until completely cooled.
- In a very large bowl, combine ranch dressing, mayonnaise, salt and pepper.
- Add green pepper, ham, peas and stir to combine. Add pasta and stir again to combine.
- Cover bowl and place in refrigerator to chill completely.
- Serve cold and enjoy!