I'm hoping to encourage some warmer weather by posting a perfect BBQ pasta salad. I cut corners by using a package of Oscar Mayer bacon bits instead of frying bacon. Happy cooking!
6 slices bacon
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 small red onion, diced very small
1/2 small green bell pepper, diced very small
1 (1 ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix
1 (8 ounce) package Cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
1. Cook bacon in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 10 minutes; drain on a plate lined with paper towels until cool. Crumble the bacon.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but firm to the bite, 8 minutes; drain.
3. Rinse macaroni with cold water until cool; drain.
4. Mix cooled macaroni, crumbled bacon, mayonnaise, red onion, green bell pepper, ranch salad dressing mix, and Cheddar cheese together in a large bowl.
5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.