Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is the ULTIMATE summer pasta salad. So simple to make and absolutely bursting with flavour, after trying this recipe you won’t make pasta salad any other way!
The Ultimate Ranch Pasta Salad
Everybody needs a pasta salad recipe up their sleeve for entertaining purposes. Literally any BBQ, party or just food gathering, this is my go-to dish to bring.
The heart and soul of this pasta salad is the dressing. Whilst it’s tempting to just use solely ranch dressing, I highly recommend adding a few more goodies in there just to spruce it up. Here’s what you’ll need:
Ranch Pasta Salad Dressing
- Ranch Dressing
- Sour Cream
- Fresh Parsley
- Lemon Juice
- Salt & Black Pepper
I prefer a more creamy pasta salad sauce, and I believe this combo gives just the right amount of creaminess. I find that by using just straight ranch it’s just a bit too overpowering and heavy. A squeeze of lemon juice, a dollop of sour cream and some fresh parsley lighten things up perfectly.
Can I use ranch dip instead of ranch dressing?
Ranch dressing is far better suited for it’s thinner consistency. Depending on which brand you buy, I also find it slightly more tangy, as it’s often made with mayo. For this reason I find it better in a pasta salad context.
Chicken Bacon Pasta Salad
Alrighty, we’ve got the spruced up ranch dressing, let’s talk pasta salad.
For me it’s a no brainer to combine a chicken and bacon pasta salad with the ranch dressing. It’s a marriage made in heaven – one of which I am not here to interfere with. Here’s what you’ll need for the whole sh’bang:
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Ingredients
- Pasta – Short cut, here I use spiral/corkscrew.
- Ranch Dressing – As discussed.
- Chicken – Cooked, cooled and chopped. Make sure it’s seasoned!
- Bacon – Cooked, cooled and chopped. I prefer streaky bacon, but work to preference.
- Cheddar – Diced into small cubes. I like a nice strong cheddar, but just use your favourite.
- Celery – Adds a nice crunch, finely diced of course.
- Spring/Green Onion – could sub finely diced red onion and/or chives.
Really important to have seasoned chicken, or it’ll taste bland and lower the tone of the whole thing. It’s one of the main ingredients so let it shine. You can also sub shredded/rotisserie chicken!
Can this be made in advance?
Absolutely! I recommend saving a dollop of the dressing before mixing together. The sauce tends to dry out/get soaked up the longer it rests, so I like to stir through a dollop just before serving. Just tightly cover and leave in the fridge until needed (2-3days, longer at your discretion).
If you like the combo of chicken bacon and pasta then definitely make sure you check out my Sweet Chilli Chicken Bacon Pasta! For similar recipes to bring along to pot lucks/BBQs check these out too:
Mega Salad Recipes
- Creamy Bacon Potato Salad
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Creamy Broccoli Bacon Salad
- Watermelon and Mozzarella Salad
Alrighty, let’s tuck into this chicken bacon ranch pasta salad recipe shall we?!
How to make Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad (Full Recipe & Video)
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Large Mixing/Serving Bowl & Spatula
- Small Mixing Bowl (for dressing)
- Frying Pan & Tongs (for chicken & bacon)
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
Ingredients (check list):
- 9oz / 250g Short Cut Pasta
- 1 cup / 250ml Ranch Dressing
- 1/2 cup / 125ml Sour Cream
- handful of Fresh Parsley, finely diced (save some to garnish)
- good squeeze of Lemon Juice
- Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- 2 Chicken Breasts, cooked, cooled & chopped
- 8 rashers of Bacon, cooked, cooled & chopped
- 1/2 cup / 50g Cheddar Cheese, cubed (or more to preference)
- 2 Spring/Green Onions, finely diced
- 1 rib of Celery, finely diced
- Pop your pasta into salted boiling water and cook according to packet instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Meanwhile, combine your sauce ingredients in a bowl and taste test for seasoning.
- In a large bowl, add your pasta and mix in your fillings and sauce. Cover and pop in the fridge or enjoy straight away!
Quick 1 min demo!
- Spring Onion - Sub for very finely diced red onion, work to preference. Chives also work great in this recipe.
- Lemon Juice - Sub for Apple Cider Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar.
- Dijon Mustard - in the dressing for an extra kick, won't need more than 1-2 tsp.
- Baby Plum Tomatoes
If you loved this Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad then be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it or got a question? Give me a shout in the comments and pick up your free ecookbook along the way!