Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

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Bacon ranch pasta salad is a hearty mealtime salad.

This pasta salad is filled with bacon, cheese, and chicken in an easy, creamy homemade dressing.

This pasta salad is perfect for picnics, potlucks, and hot summer evenings.

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad with tomatoes and avocado

A Main Dish Pasta Salad

  • This super easy salad is so hearty we enjoy it as a lunch or main dish.
  • It also makes a perfect side dish for barbecues and beyond!
  • It keeps up to 4 days in the fridge, perfect for quick weeknight meals.
  • Use leftover chicken and your favorite veggies to create your own version.
  • The quick homemade ranch dressing is my favorite part of this recipe but you can sub it for bottled dressing if you’d like.
ingredients to make Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad with labelsingredients to make Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad with labels

Ingredients for Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

  • Pasta – This salad is perfect for medium-sized pasta with ridges or holes such as rigatoni, bowties, or rotini pasta.
  • Chicken – Rotisserie or leftover chicken are both great in this recipe. Salmon is a great alternative.
  • Bacon – Crispy bacon adds a salty, smoky flavor. Short on time? Use a package of pre-cooked bacon bits and microwave them for about 30 seconds to crisp.
  • Cheese – Cubed (or shredded) cheddar cheese adds flavor.
  • Other – Tomatoes add a pop of fresh flavor, while avocado adds richness. If you plan for leftovers, add the avocado to each serving.
adding ingredients together for Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad dressingadding ingredients together for Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad dressing

An Easy Homemade Dressing

The dressing is a version of my favorite homemade ranch salad dressing, and it’s delicious! It’s quick combination of mayo and sour cream with herbs and seasonings.

Greek yogurt can be used instead of sour cream for a tangier flavor and to lighten the recipe a little bit.

Option: You can also use store-bought ranch mixed with a bit of sour cream in place of homemade dressing.

Variations

Try adding any of the following to this salad:

  • chopped celery, bell pepper, or red onions
  • sliced black olives
  • green peas
ingredients to make Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad and dressing in bowls before mixingingredients to make Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad and dressing in bowls before mixing

How to Make Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

  1. Prep the dressing and set aside (recipe below).
  2. Boil the pasta according to package directions.
  3. Toss all ingredients in a bowl and add dressing to taste. Chill for a bit to let the flavors blend.

Garnish with green onions and bacon or avocado slices.

Recipe Tips

  • Cook the pasta al dente in salted water. Rinsing under cold water helps stop the cooking so the pasta doesn’t get mushy.
  • The pasta will soak up the dressing as it sits, so dress generously.
  • The homemade dressing in this recipe is so good, sub the herbs/seasonings with ranch seasoning or a packet of ranch mix if it’s what you have.
adding sauce to Bacon Ranch Pasta Saladadding sauce to Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

Leftovers

Leftover bacon ranch pasta salad will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Stir before serving.

More Pasta Salad Recipes

Did you love this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

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5 from 47 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

A delicious combination of pasta, chicken, bacon, cheddar, avocado and homemade ranch dressing!

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Total Time 45 minutes

Servings 6 servings

  • In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, chives, dill, parsley, onion powder, and garlic powder.

  • In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to cool. If desired, whisk 1 tablespoon bacon grease into the dressing.

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook al dente according to package directions. Drain well and rinse under cold water.

  • Set aside 1 tablespoon of green onions and half of the bacon for garnish.

  • In a large bowl, combine drained pasta, half of the bacon, chicken, tomatoes, green onions, and cheese. Add dressing to taste (you may not use all of the dressing) and toss well to combine. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

  • Garnish with sliced avocado if using and remaining bacon and green onion.

  • Use rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken.
  • For a quick dressing, replace the seasonings and herbs with a packet of ranch dressing mix. The dressing can also be replaced with store-bought ranch dressing.
  • Leftover pasta salad can be kept in the fridge in a covered container for up to 4 days. Stir before re-serving. 

5 from 47 votes

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

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

Course Pasta, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
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Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad with tomatoes on a plate with a titleBacon Ranch Pasta Salad with tomatoes on a plate with a title
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