You need a break. You’ve been working hard, giving it your all, and you need to regroup. You deserve it, and self-care is so crucial to success. Wonderfully, PTO Pasta Salad (short for Paid Time Off Salad) is basically self-care in a bowl – an incredibly easy, astoundingly quick, and delightfully tasty side dish that mixes tender pasta, crispy fatty bacon, crisp lettuce, bright tomatoes, and a creamy, tangy sauce. Parmesan cheese and herbaceous dill encourages you to take off your shoes, nestle into the couch, and just enjoy. PTO Pasta Salad wants you to be your best self, and your tastebuds will certainly be feeling their best from the first bite to the last!

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  • 1 (12-ounce) package bacon
  • 1 (16-ounce) box fusilli or curly pasta
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 (1-ounce) packet ranch seasoning mix
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill or parsley, chopped


Step 1 –Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning as needed, until the fat has rendered and the bacon is golden and crispy, about 8-10 minutes. You may need to cook the bacon in two batches and drain the rendered fat between batches.

Step 2 –Let the bacon cool to room temperature before crumbling it into bite-sized pieces.

Step 3 –Cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions.

Step 4 –Drain the pasta and rinse it with cool water.

Also Read:  Hot Cheese Dip

Step 5 –In a large bowl, whisk together the mayo, the milk, the ranch seasoning, the lemon juice, the parmesan, and the black pepper.

Step 6 –Add the cooled pasta, the tomatoes, the lettuce, the onion, the dill, and 1/2 of the crumbled bacon to the bowl with the dressing mixture.

Step 7 –Gently fold the salad together to coat everything in the dressing.

Step 8 –Top with the remaining bacon and serve.