I love pasta salad in the summer, and THIS chicken & bacon pasta salad with ranch is filled with my favorites! I love how easy this recipe is to make, and everybody loves it!
It’s perfect for an easy lunch or dinner, it makes a colorful and flavorful side dish for a pot luck or get together with friends or family, and it’s super versatile- you can change up the ingredients based on what you’re in the mood for or what you have on hand. Don’t change them up too much though- because the combination of chicken, bacon, and ranch is perfection!
How to Make this Easy Chicken & Bacon Pasta Salad with Ranch
- First, cook pasta in salted water, rinse with cold water & drain. I used rotini for this recipe, but fusilli or penne would be great too! Just choose something bite sized with plenty of little places for the ranch dressing to settle into (:
- Slice your cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces (I like to use rotisserie chicken that has been pre-cooked for convenience)!
- Sautee broccoli florets (we used frozen) in a little olive oil until cooked through and still crisp. Add a little salt & pepper. Set aside.
- Next, fry up some bacon until crispy and place on paper towels to absorb the extra grease. Then crumble.
- In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, ranch dressing, chicken, and broccoli. Next, add in the bacon, cherry tomatoes, and grated parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper.
- Serve chilled (if you can wait that long)! I usually dive into this recipe as soon as I can but the flavors really develop even more as it sits in the refrigerator. SO good.
- *If you prefer more of any of these ingredients, go for it. You may like even more ranch. If you’d like more crunch, toss in some slivered almonds or red peppers, etc. Or, if you prefer cheddar cheese to parmesan, that works too! Some pasta salads call for green peas, but I love broccoli in pasta salad (:
I really think that you are going to love this EASY pasta salad recipe. We often make a double batch at our house so that we can have plenty of leftovers! It always disappears way too fast.
If you are looking for even more fresh deliciousness, don’t miss our Crunchy Ramen Broccoli Slaw Recipe or our Easy Roasted Vegetables! These recipes are all simple to make and have SO much flavor. Thanks so much for stopping by and make sure to scroll through all of my favorite recipes in the Recipes section! You can also find also follow my Pinterest page for even more fun ideas.
- 12 oz Box Rotini Pasta,
- 7 strips of bacon
- Approximately 4 cups broccoli florets (I use frozen)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup Ranch dressing (adjust amount to your liking)
- 2 T vegetable oil (or butter) for sautéing broccoli
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the pasta according to package instructions, and salt the water well. Once cooked, pour pasta into a colander to drain, rinsing with cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside once drained.
- Saute broccoli in a skillet with a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium high heat until cooked through (but still crispy). Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also saute fresh broccoli florets for a few minutes in the same way.
- Cook bacon in skillet at medium high heat. Cook evenly until brown and crispy. Set pieces on paper towels to drain. Then crumble.
- Slice the cooked chicken (I use pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store) into bite sized pieces.
- In a large bowl, combine pasta, broccoli, and ranch dressing. Add in crumbled bacon, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled.