You’ll want to prepare the bacon ranch pasta salad over and over again in the summer.
Bacon ranch pasta salad serves as a complete dinner. Bacon, cheddar, chicken, and tomatoes are combined with a homemade ranch dressing that is so delicious I could drink it.
Keep this dish on hand for barbecues, potlucks, and hot summer nights when a chilled pasta salad is a perfect refreshment.
A complete meal in a bowl
- Although this salad is incredibly simple to make, we like to eat it as a main course because it is so filling.
- This filling dinner stores well in the refrigerator, making it ideal for weekday lunches.
- To make your own variation, combine leftover chicken with your preferred vegetables.
- My favorite component of this dish is the quick homemade ranch dressing, but if you choose, you may use bottled ranch dressing instead.
Ingredients for the Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
PASTA: Pick medium-sized pasta with ridges or holes so the sauce can adhere to them. Shells, penne, rotini, and bowtie pasta are the best to use.
Rotisserie chicken, tinned chicken, or leftover chicken all work well in this dish. Make sure it is skin- and bone-free. Turkey is still a fantastic choice.
BACON – Crispy bacon provides a savory, smokey flavor. Isn’t everything a little bit better with bacon? Lacking time? Use some precooked bacon bits from a packet, then crisp them up in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
CHEESE – Cheddar cheese cubes are delicious and vibrant. Feta, shaved parmesan, and crumbled bleu cheese are other suitable alternatives.
Salad dressing for pasta
This simple creamy dressing is so delicious that I wish I could just take a spoonful of it!
With fresh herbs, it ties the dish together. Fresh dill actually makes it fantastic so I’d recommend trying to pick some up at the store if you can’t get entirely fresh herbs.
Sour cream can be replaced with Greek yogurt for a tangier flavor and to slightly lighten the recipe.
Change it up!
Add chopped celery, sliced black olives, red onions, green peas, asparagus, sundried tomatoes, or even thinly sliced radishes for color, texture, and a nutritional boost!
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Recipe
This quick salad only requires a few simple steps to put together and is bursting with flavor.
- Make the dressing and reserve it.
- As directed on the package, cook the pasta. Rinse in cold water after draining.
- Place the ingredients in a bowl and stir in the dressing. To allow the flavors to meld, chill for a while.
Al dente pasta should be cooked in salted water. To halt the cooking and prevent the pasta from becoming mushy, rinse under cold water.
If you don’t have ranch seasoning or a packet of ranch mix, you can use ranch seasoning instead of the herbs and seasonings in this recipe’s homemade dressing.
How to Keep Leftovers Safe
Pasta salad with bacon and ranch can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Before serving, stir.
Make a wrap or scoop into homemade pita bread for a reviving lunch at work! Serve with homemade naan, breadsticks, crostini, and some cool lemon or cucumber water.
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Pasta with chicken, bacon, cheddar, avocado, and homemade ranch dressing—delicious!
|15 minutes to prepare
10 minutes for cooking
time period: 25 minutes
servings: Six portions
- 8 ounces medium pasta shells, rotini, penne
- 8 slices bacon
- 2 cups chicken cooked & chopped
- 2 green onions sliced, divided
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- ½ cup cheddar cheese cut into ¼-inch cubes
- ½ avocado for garnish, optional
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons milk or as needed
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons fresh chives or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 teaspoons fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley or 1 ½ teaspoon dried
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt & black pepper to taste
- In a dish, mix all the dressing ingredients; place aside.
- The bacon should be cooked until crispy in a big skillet. Remove from the pan and cool on a plate covered with paper towels. Whisk 1 tablespoon of bacon oil into the dressing if desired.
- In a sizable pot of salted water, cook pasta as directed on the package. Drain and then run a cold water rinse.
- 1 tablespoon of green onions and half the bacon should be set aside for garnish.
- In a big bowl, combine all the ingredients minus the dressing. dressing as desired (there may be leftover dressing).
The estimated nutritional information is subject to change depending on cooking techniques and the brands of ingredients used.
Serving: 1g | Calories: 413 | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 344mg | Potassium: 361mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 512IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 1mg