Home Copycat Recipes Ruby Tuesday Pasta Salad

Ruby Tuesday Pasta Salad

Ruby Tuesday pasta salad is one of my all-time favorite pasta salad recipes. It’s creamy, tangy, and an absolute crowd-pleaser. It’s perfect for any potluck or backyard BBQ. 

With tender pasta, savory ham, sweet peas, and crunchy peppers, it’s truly divine. The creamy ranch dressing just makes it even better. 

Plate of salad and bowl of green peas.
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It’s such a great copycat recipe, everyone will think you brought it straight from Ruby Tuesday’s salad bar! 

Why You’ll Love This Ruby Tuesday Pasta Salad

Crowd-Pleasing Flavors: There’s a little something for everyone in this salad. The peas add sweetness, the peppers add crunch, and the ham adds heartiness.

Quick & Convenient: Other than boiling the pasta, there’s no cooking involved in this recipe. You simply mix everything together.

Customizable: You can leave out anything you don’t like and add as many extras as you want. Tailor it to suit your own specific tastes. 

Bowl of rotini pasta, diced ham, frozen peas, and diced green pepper covered in dressing.

Ingredients

  • Rotini Pasta: Though any shape will work, rotini will make it most like Ruby Tuesday’s salad. It’s also perfect for capturing the creamy dressing. 
  • Mayo: It adds richness and creaminess. It also helps hold everything together. 
  • Buttermilk: Its tanginess will help balance the mayo’s richness. It creates a nice, smooth consistency. 
  • Dry Ranch Dressing Mix: The secret ingredient! It provides a zesty, herby flavor punch to every bite. 
  • Garlic Salt & Black Pepper: Two classic seasonings that enhance all the other flavors. (While adding a hint of garlicky goodness. )
  • Diced Ham: Hearty bites of protein turn the salad into a real meal. 
  • Frozen Green Peas: For pops of sweet, fresh flavor and a splash of color to brighten the salad.
  • Diced Green Bell Pepper: Though optional, it provides a crisp texture and clean, earthy taste. 
Close up view of a plateful of salad with rotini pasta.

How to Make Ruby Tuesday Pasta Salad

Follow these steps to make Ruby Tuesday pasta salad: 

1. Cook the pasta. Cook it in salted water until al dente. Then, drain and rinse it under cold water until cool. 

2. Make the dressing. Whisk together the dressing ingredients until smooth and creamy. 

3. Add the ingredients. Add the cooled pasta, ham, peas, and peppers to the dressing bowl. Toss to coat. 

4. Chill. Cover and refrigerate the pasta salad for at least 2 hours to let the flavors meld. It will absorb some of the dressing. 

5. Stir and serve. Immediately before serving, stir the pasta and taste it. If needed, add more seasonings. Serve and enjoy! 

Pork scooping in a bowl of ruby Tuesday pasta salad.

Tips for the Best Ruby Tuesday Pasta Salad

I love pasta salad recipes because they’re so easy to customize. With that in mind, feel free to tweak this recipe however you like. As for tips, here are some of my favorites: 

  • Pick your favorite pasta. Rotini works best. However, you can use any short pasta with plenty of twists or nooks to hold the dressing. 
  • Don’t overcook! The pasta needs to be al dente. Anything more will become too mushy and not hold up well under the dressing. 
  • Give it a good rinse. Many people skip this step. After draining the pasta, they just toss it back into the pot. Unfortunately, that won’t stop it from cooking. Be sure to rinse it under cold water to prevent further cooking.
  • Resist the urge to thaw. Just toss the peas in while they’re still frozen. If you thaw them first, they can become too mushy in the salad. 
  • Give the veggies a boost. Marinate the veggies in the dressing before adding them to the salad for an extra flavor. Leave them submerged in the dressing for 30 minutes to an hour for the best results. 
Salad covered in creamy dressing served on a plate.

Variations

If you want to customize the recipe but don’t know where to start, here are a few ideas: 

  • Make it cheesy. Use 1/2 cup to a whole cup of shredded cheddar or mozzarella. 
  • Give it a creamy twist. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sour cream with the mayo. Together, they result in the creamiest dressing possible. 
  • Add more protein. Diced ham is a nice addition to the salad. However, you can also add crispy bacon, pepperoni, salami, etc. Fully cooked diced chicken is another excellent choice. 
  • Add extra veggies. Some examples include chopped red onions, sliced olives, shredded carrots, and diced cucumbers. 
  • Give it a garnish. Top the salad with fresh chopped parsley or cilantro for a finishing touch. 

How to Store

Unfortunately, I don’t recommend freezing leftover pasta salad. You can keep leftovers for a few days, though. 

To Store: Place the pasta salad in an air-tight container. Refrigerate it for 3 to 4 days. Before serving, stir gently to redistribute the dressing and other ingredients.

Ruby Tuesday Pasta Salad

This copycat recipe for Ruby Tuesday pasta salad is so spot-on! Featuring rotini pasta, peas, ham, and ranch dressing, it’s always a hit.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound rotini pasta

  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

  • 1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing mix

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 8 ounces diced ham

  • 1 cup frozen green peas

  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper (optional)

Instructions

  • Cook the rotini pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water until the pasta is completely cooled. Drain well.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the mayo, buttermilk, ranch dressing mix, garlic salt, and black pepper until smooth and well combined.
  • Add the cooled pasta, diced ham, frozen peas, and diced green pepper (if using) to the bowl with the dressing. Toss until everything is evenly coated.
  • Cover and refrigerate the pasta salad for at least 2 hours, or overnight. This will allow the flavors to meld together. The pasta will absorb some of the dressing as it chills.
  • Give the pasta salad a good stir before serving. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Allowing at least 2 hours for the pasta salad to chill is essential for the best flavor and texture. The flavors will be even better if made a day ahead.

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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