Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

published May 26, 2022
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Recipe

Combining the flavors of ranch dressing with chicken and bacon in this creamy pasta dish gives you an over-the-top dinner all in one dish.

Serves6

Prep15 minutes

Cook25 minutes to 33 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
chicken bacon ranch pasta made with rotini and garnished with parsley
Credit: Meleyna Nomura

To me, ranch dressing is one of those classic flavors that just sort of goes with everything. (Yes, I am absolutely all for dipping pizza crusts in ranch dressing.) Combining those herby, tangy flavors with chicken and bacon in this creamy pasta dish gives you an over-the-top dinner all in one dish.

Is There Ranch Dressing in Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta?

No, as ranch dressing is better suited to cold preparations. Instead, the sauce for this creamy pasta is built on heavy cream and cream cheese for smooth tanginess. A sprinkling of dry ranch seasoning gives that classic zesty flavor, courtesy of buttermilk powder, herbs and spices, and a good dose of MSG for that irresistibly savory flavor.

How to Make Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

  • Cook the chicken, then crisp the bacon. Cooking the chicken first allows you to get a good sear without scorching the bottom of the pan.
  • Build the sauce. Melting cream cheese into heavy cream gives a thick and luxurious sauce without having to bother with a roux. Dry ranch flavoring makes seasoning things a snap.
  • Put it all together. Add the pasta and some grated sharp cheddar to round out the flavors.

What Do I Serve with Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta?

Chicken bacon ranch pasta is a hearty meal and would go well with any simple vegetable side dish. 

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Recipe

Combining the flavors of ranch dressing with chicken and bacon in this creamy pasta dish gives you an over-the-top dinner all in one dish.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes to 33 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 small)

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 2 ounces

    cream cheese

  • 4 ounces

    thick-cut bacon (about 4 slices)

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 4 ounces

    sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

  • 1 pound

    dried short pasta, such as fusilli

  • 1 1/4 cups

    heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons

    ranch seasoning (about 1/2 of a 1-ounce packet)

  • Chopped fresh chives, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, season 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 12-inch high-sided skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken and cook until well-browned on the bottom and it releases easily from the pan, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip the chicken and reduce the heat to medium. Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through, 7 to 12 minutes more.

  2. While the chicken cooks, cut 2 ounces cream cheese into small cubes. Cut 4 ounces thick-cut bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. Finely chop 2 garlic cloves. Grate 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 cup).

  3. When the chicken is ready, transfer to a clean cutting board. Remove the pan from the heat.

  4. Add 1 pound dried short pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add the bacon to the pan used to cook the chicken. Return the pan to medium heat and cook until the bacon is crisp, 4 to 7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate. Add the garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1 1/4 cups heavy cream and stir and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer. Add the cream cheese and 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning and whisk to combine. (Some lumps may remain, this is ok.)

  5. When the pasta is ready, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta. Cut the chicken crosswise into 1/2-inch thick pieces.

  6. Add the chicken, pasta, bacon, cheddar, and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the sauce. Toss over medium heat until the cheese is melted and everything is well combined, adding more pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to smooth out the sauce. Garnish with chopped fresh chives.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.