Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is loaded with fresh ingredients, from tomatoes to cheese cubes, all smothered in a homemade ranch dressing. Bursting with flavor, this cold pasta salad with chicken is perfect for a summer BBQ or potluck!
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
This cold pasta salad with chicken, bacon, veggies, and cheese might be my new favorite side dish!
Everything is coated in a creamy, tangy ranch dressing that the whole family will love.
Ranch chicken pasta salad is perfect for picnics in the park, a potluck dinner with friends, or even a hearty weeknight meal.
The best part? This recipe for chicken bacon pasta salad can be made ahead of time — in fact, it tastes even better when you do.
Chicken and ranch are such a delicious pairing, which is why you’ll find the duo in so many of our recipes.
Whether it’s Ranch Chicken Kabobs with Bacon on the grill or a creamy casserole in the oven, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy these flavors.
We’ve even got a mouthwateringly Cheesy Barbecue Ranch Chicken Dip!
Tips for Making Cold Pasta Salad with Chicken
- Salt your pasta water. It’s an easy trick that really adds a lot of flavor to the noodles!
- Mess-free bacon. Cook bacon in the oven or in the air fryer. It will get perfectly crispy, and you’ll avoid grease splatters all over your stovetop.
- Swap the cheese. Instead of cheddar, add extra tang to your chicken bacon pasta salad with blue cheese. Or, try Pepper Jack for a spicy kick.
- Use a rotisserie bird. Grab one from the store or use up leftovers to save time and avoid food waste.
- Make it ahead of time! This chicken ranch pasta salad tastes best after sitting in the fridge overnight.
That extra time really allows the flavors to meld together, plus it makes it easier to grab and go for potlucks!
Chicken Bacon Pasta Salad FAQ
Veggies are the easiest way to truly make this recipe your own. Swap out what you don’t like or simply add your favorites to the mix! Some ideas include:
Avocado (add just before serving so it doesn’t brown)
Absolutely! Swap shells for penne, rotini, or even bowtie when making this chicken bacon ranch pasta salad.
You can make this recipe up to 2 days in advance. Store some of the dressing separately, then stir it into the bowl before serving to freshen everything up.Otherwise, leftover chicken bacon ranch pasta salad will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Pasta Salad Recipes
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- 16 ounces medium shell pasta
- 2 large chicken breasts, or about 2 cups previously cooked chicken
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons Ranch dressing mix, or 1 1oz ranch dressing mix packet
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup chopped Roma tomatoes
- 2 cups cubed cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup sliced green onions, about 4 stalks
- 2.25 ounce can sliced olives, drained
- 8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water when done.
- Meanwhile; saute chicken breasts in a pan over medium-high heat, seasoned with salt and pepper, flipping after about 5 minutes. Cook until internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before dicing.
- In a medium bowl (or mason jar), combine sour cream, mayonnaise, milk, ranch dressing mix and garlic powder. Stir together till smooth. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, chicken, diced tomato, cheese cubes, green onions, olives and bacon. Stir together to combine.
- Cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours (or more) before serving.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published May 2018, updated and republished June 2023
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