Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad

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Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad is packed with flavor, texture and color! While our favorite Italian pasta salad recipe is often served as a side, this hearty dish eats like a meal!

Loaded with chicken, pasta, bacon and veggies this dish is tossed in a rich ranch mayo dressing for the perfect meal to satisfy a crowd.

Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad ingredients mixed topped with herbs and onions and bacon

This chicken pasta salad is an easy way to stretch any leftover baked chicken breast or you can use rotisserie chicken or leftover roast chicken! You can serve it as a main dish, or as a side at a potluck (and it makes great lunches throughout the week).

What Goes in Pasta Salad

When making a cold pasta salad you can add in as many or as little ingredients are you want. A classic version will always start with a pasta base, meat, veggies and cheese.

  • Pasta: tri-color penne or rotini pasta but of course any medium pasta will work
  • Meat: diced cooked chicken, crumbled bacon… use leftover turkey or ham instead
  • Veggies: opt for a variety of colors and textures to make a pretty and flavorful pasta salad
  • Flavors: get a flavor boost from cheese, onions, fresh herbs or even add sliced olives (black or green)

You can use regular pasta, substitute cheeses according to your preference, and add in what you have on hand. Try some chopped red, yellow and orange bell pepper for a fresh flavor and crunch.

Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad ingredients and homemade dressing

Chicken Pasta Salad Dressing

For the tastiest pasta salad dressing, I create a delicious and easy ranch style dressing. Making chicken pasta salad with mayo makes it rich and creamy. The addition of fresh herbs adds extra flavor!

Creamy Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad with dressing on top

How to Make Chicken Pasta Salad

Chicken ranch pasta salad comes together quickly, once you’ve prepped your veggies and shredded the cheeses. Just follow these steps:

  1. Cook the pasta al dente, drain and rinse.
  2. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl, and mix in the dressing.
  3. Refrigerate for a minimum of one hour.

Before serving, sprinkle with fresh chopped green onion and extra bacon.

Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad ingredients mixed topped with herbs and onions

Can You Freeze It?

Unfortunately, chicken bacon ranch pasta salad is not a good candidate for the freezer. Too many of the ingredients just don’t hold up well. Mayonnaise separates, sour cream turns grainy and watery and fresh tomatoes turn to icky mush. But don’t worry. Everyone loves chicken pasta salad, and you probably won’t have to worry about leftovers!

Like most cold pasta salad recipes, this hold in the refrigerator for about three days, so if you need to make it in advance, plan accordingly.

Popular Pasta Salads

Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad ingredients in a bowl with bacon, herbs and green onions
4.89 from 17 votes
Review Recipe

Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8
Author Holly Nilsson
This pasta salad is packed with flavor and color! Rotini pasta, diced chicken, and a homemade ranch dressing make this tasty side dish!

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces tri-color rotini pasta cooked and cooled
  • 2 cups chicken cooked and diced
  • 6 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese diced
  • 3 green onions sliced
  • fresh parsley and dill for garnish optional
Dressing
  • cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 package ranch dressing mix
  • cup milk

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

Instructions

  • Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with dressing.
  • Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with green onions and serve.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 447, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 345mg, Potassium: 233mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 465IU, Vitamin C: 3.5mg, Calcium: 145mg, Iron: 0.9mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword ranch chicken pasta salad
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad ingredients mixed shown with a title
Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad ingredients in a bowl and mixed shown with a title
Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad with tomatoes shown with a title
About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. It’s a good recipe, but it does need some zip – red peppers, olives, something. And maybe a little extra crunch – like from celery. But my big complaint is that you’re supposed to be able to cook the chicken, make the pasta, chop all the ingredients, make dressing and combine in 20 minutes? That is crazy. I’m a decent cook, and move quickly, but all this will take at least an hour – probably more. That said, it’s worth it.4 stars

    1. So glad you loved it Tom! If using raw chicken, this recipe will definitely take longer, I most often use leftovers or rotisserie chicken. As for the rest of the ingredients, I do a lot of the chopping while the pasta is cooking. I hope that helps!

  2. Do you mix the green onions in with the pasta salad or do you just garnish the finished product with green onions?

    Can’t wait to try this!

  3. Delicious flavors! My husband said out loud three times as he was eating it, “Wow, this is really good!” Thanks for a great recipe!5 stars

  4. i haven’t made the recipe yet but i was wondering what do u mean by one package of ranch dressing mix. like the little packets u get from fast food places or like a bottle of ranch i’m just confused

    1. The powdered packets. You can use bottled ranch or just use the powdered ranch mix packets. If you do that it’ll come out great and you can adjust the mayo, sour cream, etc to your liking vs the bottled stuff.4 stars