Coming up with sides for carry ins on the fly can be interesting, some of the recipes work and some of them just don’t. This is one recipe I keep making over and over, surprisingly it started out as a scrimmage through my pantry for a church carry in dish. This Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is a great dish to have for lunch or a side for dinner! The best part is many of these ingredients you may already have in your pantry or fridge. Plus it pairs great with the air fryer hamburgers I made for dinner!
I start out by frying up or to take the easy way microwaving both pieces of bacon to crumble. You can also use bacon bits or skip the bacon if you don’t have any on hand, but I find this really brings the dish together and adds in just a little extra flavor.
Then start boiling the water for the noodles. While I wait on the water to boil, I drain the canned chicken. Then pour out the canned chicken into a frying pan to cook with a small amount of water (about 1/8 of a cup). Even though the canned chicken is precooked, I still prefer to cook the chicken myself. This step could be skipped if you feel comfortable just dumping in the can of chicken. Once the chicken appears a white color and no longer pink, remove from heat to cool.
When the water is boiling dump in the noodles and cook them to the package directions. I prefer my noodles to be fully cooked so I generally cook them for the longer time listed on the package.
While the noodles are cooking it’s time to mix up your ranch dressing mix. I prefer to use the hidden valley dry mix and mix the dressing myself with milk and mayonnaise. Regular ranch dressing can be substituted.
Place the ranch mixture into the fridge to cool and drain your noodles when the time is up. Then make sure to cool your noodles with cold water, this will also stop the cooking process.
Once all your ingredients are cooked and ready it’s time to dump everything into a large mixing bowl together! The bacon, elbow noodles, chicken, and ranch are all mixed together to make this great Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad.
Serving your Ranch Pasta Salad
Once all ingredients are mixed together you will notice this pasta salad seems almost soupy, but after setting up for a few hours it will become firm and perfect. If you notice it becomes too dry you can always add a little ranch or milk to moisten it up. This recipe makes about 6 meal sized servings or 8-10 side sized servings.
This is a great meal to prep for lunches for the week, since it contains a good amount of protein. However I wouldn’t advise to freeze this dish. It will keep well for 1 week in the refrigerator.
2 pieces of thick cut bacon
1 cup elbow noodles
1 12.5 oz canned white meat chicken
3.5 Tablepoons Ranch Seasoning Mix
1 Cup Milk
1 1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- stove top
- 1 Cup Elbow Noodles
- 12.5 Oz Canned White Meat Chicken
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1.25 Cup Mayonnaise
- 3.5 Tablespoons Ranch Dressing Mix
- 2 pieces Thick Sliced Bacon
- 1. Cook bacon in the microwave or fry on the stove to crumble.
- 2. Boil water and cook the elbow macaroni to package directions, drain and cool with water.
- 3. Heat up chicken to cook completely on the stove in a frying pan. Set aside to let cool.
- 4. Combine Milk, Mayonnaise, and Ranch dressing mix. Stir well and place in the refrigerator to cool.
- 5. Combine all ingredients and place in air tight containers for storage. Wait at least 1 hour prior to enjoying.