This Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad is cool and refreshing with a delicious, creamy Ranch flavored dressing, making it a summer staple for outdoor picnics and parties.
This post has been updated from 2014.
Pasta salad just screams summer to me. So fresh and cool and completely customizable – you can create a big batch as a base and your family can add the toppings they love. This Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad is a perfect example of a delicious and totally family friendly pasta salad!
My kids aren’t big veggie fans but they definitely prefer them cold and crunchy. It’s easy to get them to eat their veggies when they are mixed in to a yummy pasta salad. I added tomatoes (my daughter’s favorite) and peas (my son’s favorite) to this one.
For this remake I opted for crispy chicken strips instead of rotisserie chicken, but you could use any kind of pre-cooked chicken you like. The crispy chicken added a delicious element of crunch to this creamy salad.
The pasta is cooked separately and cooled, and the bacon is fried until nice and crispy. Everything is tossed together and then coated in the ranch dressing. For the remake I added some mayo and sour cream to the basic Ranch dressing to make it a little creamier. But you could just do the straight Ranch if you prefer.
This savory salad has made it into our weekly rotation. We love it for lunch or dinner. It’s will be a hit for your next party, especially Memorial Day and all through the summer!
Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad
- 2 cups small, dry pasta, cooked to al dente
- 2 cups diced or shredded chicken
- 1 cup frozen peas, cooked
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 6 slices bacon, cooked and diced
- 1/2 cup bottled ranch dressing
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Cook the pasta to al dente and allow to cool. Add chicken, bacon, peas and tomatoes and toss to combine.
- Combine Ranch dressing, sour cream and mayonnaise into a small bowl. Add salt and pepper and stir until combined.
- Pour dressing mixture over pasta mixture and gently stir to coat.
- Top with bacon crumbles for garnish, if desired.
* There is no right or wrong when it comes to the chicken. Use crispy chicken strips, boiled chicken, leftover rotisserie chicken or whatever you happen to have on hand.* Cheese makes a great addition to this pasta salad - we like cheddar or blue cheese.
For more delicious pasta salads, be sure to check these out: