There’s nothing like a good pasta salad on hot summer days. And this pasta salad is one of the best! The combination of chicken with ranch AND bacon? It’s a delicious pizza (highly recommend), and now it’s a delicious pasta salad! This creamy, dreamy chicken bacon ranch pasta salad recipe will be your new favorite summer dish. Besides the bacon, ranch, chicken, and pasta, this pasta salad is packed with fresh veggies for additional flavor.

For more cold pasta salad recipes, try my Greek Pasta Salad, Tuna Avocado Macaroni Salad, and Caprese Orzo Pasta Salad. They will all be on repeat in my house!

A brown bowl filled with Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Ranch dressing pasta salad. I love recipes with a shortcut, and using your favorite ranch dressing for the sauce is a great one! If you’re a ranch lover, this easy pasta salad recipe is for you.
  • Ranch pasta salad with BACON. Listen, this is a yummy pasta salad that would be delicious without bacon. But the combination of ranch and crispy bacon is kind of awesome. I mean, adding bacon to anything is kind of awesome, right?
  • High protein pasta salad. Between the chicken, bacon, and cheese in this pasta salad, it’s packed with protein. Almost 30 grams per serving! The high protein, along with carbs from pasta and fresh vegetables, will leave you feeling super satisfied.

Ingredient notes

  • Rotisserie chicken: Using a store-bought rotisserie chicken keeps this recipe quick and easy. This recipe uses about half of a rotisserie chicken, so you can use leftover chicken, or save half of a rotisserie chicken to use in another recipe like Cajun Chicken Orzo or Chicken Avocado Wraps.
  • Pasta: You can’t make pasta salad without pasta! I used rotini pasta, but you can use any kind of pasta. Just use half of the box and save the other half for another day. Maybe when you make this again because it’s so good!
  • Bacon: Adding crispy bacon to any recipe makes it a 10/10 for me.
  • Ranch dressing: Use your favorite store-bought ranch dressing to bring this pasta salad together. It’s creamy and oh so good.
  • Cheese: Oh, you thought the ranch and bacon were enough? No way! We’re also adding cubed cheese to this pasta salad for extra protein and deliciousness. I used Colby Jack here, but sharp cheddar cheese or any other kind of cheese you like would be great as well.
  • Fresh veggies: If this pasta salad was JUST bacon, ranch dressing, cheese, and chicken, it would be tasty, but a little heavy. Adding fresh vegetables like cucumbers, corn, and grape tomatoes makes this creamy chicken pasta salad more balanced and therefore satisfying.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad ingredients on a white background, each portioned into glass bowls.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Boil pasta. Cook half a box of pasta (half a pound or 8 ounces) to al dente according to package directions. Drain pasta and set it aside to cool for at least 10 minutes. 
  2. Prep other ingredients. While your pasta cooks and cools, prep your other ingredients. Chop or shred 1½ cups of rotisserie chicken, cook and crumble 6 slices of bacon, slice 1 cup of grape tomatoes, chop ½ a cup of cucumber, dice ⅛ a cup of red onion, cube a ½ cup of cheese, and prep ½ a cup of corn (raw or cooked any way you like). 
  3. Mix it all together. Add your cooled pasta to a large bowl. Then add your chicken, bacon, cheese, and veggies to the cooled pasta, along with ⅔ of a cup of your favorite creamy ranch dressing. Mix it all together, then taste and add kosher salt, ground black pepper, or additional ranch dressing according to your personal preference. 
  4. Chill. Allow your chicken ranch pasta salad to chill in the fridge for at least one hour before serving so it will be cold and refreshing, and the flavors have a little time to meld. Enjoy!
Four photos, top left is glass bowl with cooked rotini pasta in it, top right image is chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, cubed cheese, and bacon in a glass bowl, Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad in a glass bowl in both bottom photos.

Recipe Tips

This recipe can easily be doubled to feed a crowd, so it’s ideal for family gatherings or a potluck dinner!

Wondering what to serve with pasta salad? This makes a perfect side dish for a barbecue featuring Coca Cola Ribs or Steakhouse Burgers. If this ranch pasta salad with bacon is your main course, some additional fruits or veggies on the side like my Watermelon Feta Salad, Broccoli Caesar Salad, or Baked Zucchini Fries would all be delicious options.

You can adjust this recipe to your preference. Swap out the tomatoes, cucumber, and corn for your favorite vegetables. Broccoli, avocado, green onions, and bell peppers would all be tasty additions. You can also add more or less ranch, and use your favorite kind of cheese. 

For an extra protein boost, you can mix your favorite dry ranch dressing mix with Greek yogurt instead of using regular ranch dressing. Just make sure to add the right amount for ⅔ a cup of Greek yogurt, so it won’t be a full packet.

Make sure to salt your pasta water before cooking your pasta! This helps ensure flavorful, tender pasta, which adds to the overall flavor of the dish.

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

Make Ahead: Pasta salad can be tricky because while making it in advance helps it taste better, making it too far in advance can result in soggy pasta salad. Make this early in the morning to enjoy in the evening, or the night before to serve the next day. If you like, you can prep all of your ingredients (except the tomatoes, save those for last) several days in advance, then mix things together the day you plan to eat the pasta salad.

Storing: Store leftover pasta salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Remember, however, that pasta salad gets soggier as it sits. Wet vegetables like cucumbers and tomatoes may also start to get soggy. 

Freezing: I do not recommend freezing this pasta salad. Creamy dressings like ranch tend to separate when frozen, and the fresh vegetables in this salad would be soggy and gross once thawed. You can freeze cooked (or uncooked) bacon and rotisserie chicken, though, so you always have them on hand for this recipe!

Looking for a fuss-free way to make bacon? Check out my post on How to Cook Bacon in the Oven!

Close up photo of Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad in a glass bowl on a white background.

Recipe FAQs

Can you freeze pasta salad?

You can freeze some pasta salads, but not this one. The dairy in the ranch dressing and the fresh vegetables will not freeze well. However, pasta salads with oil-based dressings and hardier additions may be frozen.

What goes with pasta salad?

This pasta salad is a pretty complete meal on its own, or it can be a great side at a barbecue. If this is your main dish and you want to serve something else on the side, Fruit Salad Cocktail, Summer Citrus Salad, or Pretzel Jello Salad are all tasty options.

Is pasta salad healthy?

This pasta salad is packed with protein and fresh vegetables. That being said, this bacon cheddar ranch pasta salad is also high in fat. So it really depends on your personal idea of what makes a food healthy.

Can pasta salad be made the day before?

Absolutely! Pasta salad is one of those foods that often gets better as it sits and the flavors have time to blend. However, there is a sweet spot for pasta salad as it can get soggy after several days. Making this the day before you plan to serve it is great, but I wouldn’t make it much farther in advance.

More Summer Pasta Dishes

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Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad in a brown bowl on a white plate.
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Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

This easy pasta recipe can be served as a main dish or a side. I like to pull this out anytime I need a quick and easy weeknight meal.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 8 oz pasta noodles - I used rotini, you can use any noodle of similar size
  • 1 1/2 cups rotisserie chicken - chopped or shredded
  • 6 slices bacon - cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes - sliced
  • 1/2 cup corn - grilled, raw, or sauteed
  • 1/2 cup cucumber - chopped
  • 1/2 cup Colby Jack or cheddar cheese - cubed
  • 1/8 cup red onion - diced
  • 2/3 cup ranch dressing - or more if desired
  • kosher salt - to taste
  • black pepper - to taste


  • Fill a medium pot with water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling add some salt to the water, then add the pasta. Cook until al dente. Strain the water from the pasta and place the pasta in a large bowl. Let the pasta cool for 10 minutes prior to adding the other ingredients. 
  • Add the chicken, bacon, grape tomatoes, corn, cucumber, onion, and cheese to the pasta bowl. Drizzle the ranch dressing overtop. Toss to coat. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour prior to serving. 


This pasta salad can be made up to a day in advance. 
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.


Calories: 511kcal (26%)Carbohydrates: 34g (11%)Protein: 27g (54%)Fat: 29g (45%)Saturated Fat: 8g (40%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 88mg (29%)Sodium: 658mg (27%)Potassium: 264mg (8%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 4g (4%)Vitamin A: 350IU (7%)Vitamin C: 5mg (6%)Calcium: 88mg (9%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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