Get ready to dive into flavor town with our Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad! Imagine juicy chicken, crispy bacon, and perfectly cooked pasta all coated in creamy ranch dressing. It's like a party for your taste buds!
This chicken pasta salad recipe is perfect for backyard barbecues, potlucks and field meals.
Why you'll love this recipe
Here on the farm, pasta salads are a summertime staple.
- Comfort Food with a Twist: Comfort food doesn't have to be boring, and this pasta salad proves just that. It brings the familiar comfort of ranch flavors and hearty ingredients in a fun, family-friendly way.
- Crowd-Pleasing: If you're hosting a get-together, this pasta salad is a guaranteed hit. Its combination of flavors and textures is super appealing. Plus, my kids will basically eat anything that mentions ranch dressing.
- Easy Peasy: This recipe strikes the perfect balance between flavor and simplicity. You can find the ingredients at your local grocery store. Nothing fancy-pants to track down for this recipe.
This was inspired by my Amish pasta salad, and pairs well with this old fashioned baked beans.
You'll only need seven ingredients to make this chicken bacon ranch pasta salad.
- ranch dressing - Ranch dressing is known for its creamy, tangy, and herbaceous flavor. This versatile dressing that pairs well with a wide range of foods, from chicken bacon ranch sliders to chicken bacon ranch wraps. Hidden Valley is a classic for a reason!
- bacon - Ahhhh, who doesn't love salty and crispy bacon? Save yourself some time by making bacon ahead of time, plus you'll have some leftovers for breakfast.
- cooked chicken breast - You can cook chicken breasts on the grill or in the air fryer. You can also use cooked rotisserie chicken as an easy shortcut. Hello, Costco chicken!
- rotini pasta - I love the way this spiral shaped pasta pulls in allll the bits of creamy ranch dressing so the other ingredients can give it a foodie hug.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
If you prefer a spicier version, pepper jack cheese will give you some spice action. Cheddar cheese works, too.
It's easy to make a simple homemade ranch dressing, too! No judgement if you stick with the store bought ranch, either 😉
Play around with different types of bacon. Turkey bacon would likely work thought it may cook faster. This means your jalapeno halves may have a little crunch to them after cooking.
How to make chicken bacon ranch pasta salad
This recipe is really about assembling ingredients. Grab your kiddos and have them lend a hand!
Step #1: Cook pasta until it's al dente, which means it still has a little firmness.
Rinse in cold water and drain thoroughly.
Step #2: Transfer the cooled pasta to a large mixing bowl. Add the chicken, bacon, cheese, tomatoes and onions.
Step #3: Toss to combine before adding the ranch dressing.
Step #4: Drizzle the ranch dressing over the top. Use a rubbed spatula to fold it into all that pasta goodness!
Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours to chill.
Tip: I like to grill up chicken ahead of time, then place it into freezer safe bags in pound portions. It's perfect for using in recipes like this cold pasta salad.
Veggie loaded: Add a burst of color and nutrition by incorporating diced bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, or shredded carrots. These veggies will not only enhance the colors but also add a refreshing crunch.
Whole grain: Swap out regular pasta for whole wheat, chickpea pasta or a different type of pasta like penne, bowtie, or rotini. This can add a nuttier flavor and increase the fiber content, too.
For a fun variation, try this taco pasta salad, too!
The ranch dressing soaks into the pasta the longer it sits. If you're making this ahead of time for a potluck or gathering, you might want to add a little additional ranch dressing before serving.
Keep covered, in the refrigerator for up to four days. As a reminder, always use a clean spoon when portioning out to avoid contamination.
Yes, go for it! You can make this the day before without a problem. The pasta tends to soak up the ranch dressing, so you may want to freshen it up with a few tablespoons of ranch before serving.
If you tried this chicken bacon ranch pasta salad or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments. Hungry for more? Be sure to stay in touch on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
More side dish recipes
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- 1 pound chicken breast cooked, chopped and cooled
- 10 ounces rotini pasta
- ½ pound bacon cooked and chopped
- 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ¾ cup cherry tomatoes halved
- ½ of a small red onion diced
- 6 ounces ranch dressing
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions until just al dente. (Do not overcook) Strain in a colander and rinse with cold water to cool. Drain thoroughly.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked chicken, well drained rotini pasta, cooked bacon, shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes and onions. Stir gently to combine ingredients.
- Pour the ranch dressing over the salad, folding in the salad dressing with a rubbed spatula.
- Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.
- Veggie loaded: Add a burst of color and nutrition by incorporating diced bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, or shredded carrots. These veggies will not only enhance the colors but also add a refreshing crunch.
- Whole grain: Swap out regular pasta for whole wheat, chickpea pasta or a different type of pasta like penne, bowtie, or rotini. This can add a nuttier flavor and increase the fiber content, too.
- If you prefer a spicier version, pepper jack cheese will give you some spice action. Cheddar cheese works, too.
- It's easy to make a simple healthy ranch dressing, too!
- Play around with different types of bacon. Turkey bacon would likely work thought it may cook faster. This means your jalapeno halves may have a little crunch to them after cooking.