Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta is a delicious, comforting meal perfect for any night of the week. This chicken and bacon pasta is packed with crispy bacon, cheese, chicken and a ranch sauce to bind it all together.
This chicken bacon ranch penne is such a great meal for the family because there is all the great flavors that everyone enjoys. Making this chicken bacon ranch pasta recipe is so versatile, you can change up the pasta type or even swap out the meat selection for sausage if you want.
Creamy Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
You are going to love this pasta recipe! The flavors are subtle and wonderful, the ranch dressing infuses with the chicken making every bite of delicious goodness throughout the pasta. The melted cheese ensures that each bite is as cheesy as the last and because we use a short pasta, the sauce can coat every piece well. This is one family dinner you wont soon forget. You will love how easy it is to prepare too! Serve it up for dinner and watch how fast it disappears. This creamy pasta dish never lasts for long!
-Pasta: You will need 1 16-ounce box of cooked pasta made according to the package directions. I used Penne but you can use any short pasta shells like rotini, fusilli or farfalle.
-Pasta water: Reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water before you drain your pasta. If you forget to reserve pasta water you can also use 1 cup of chicken broth instead.
-Butter: Use 3 tablespoons of butter. You can use unsalted or salted depending on what you have on hand.
-Bacon bits: You will need ⅓ cup of bacon bits so there are plenty of bacon pieces in every serving.
-Chicken: Use 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts that have been diced into small bite-sized pieces.
-Ranch seasoning: You will need 1 envelop of ranch seasoning dressing, you can use the buttermilk version as well.
-Flour: Use 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour to help thicken the sauce.
-Salt and pepper: You will need to add salt and pepper to taste. Note that you may not want to add any in at all because the ranch packet really helps to give a lot of flavors.
-Mozzarella: You will need 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese. I like to use cheese blocks that I shred myself to get a smoother consistency because the store-bought pre-shredded cheese has anticaking ingredients on it.
-Bacon slices: This is optional but you can add 6 slices of cooked bacon on top for added garnish.
How to Make Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
Start by cooking your pasta according to the package directions. Be sure to reserve 1 cup of pasta water for a future step.
Heat a deep saucepan over medium heat. I used a 7-quart pot.
Then, dice the chicken breasts into small pieces to prepare for cooking.
If you are using fresh bacon for the bacon bits, fry your bacon or bake it in the oven.
If you are using packaged bacon bits, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot or pan. Add in the bacon bits and stir for up to 2 minutes. If you have made fresh bacon bits, hang tight on this step.
If desired, you can add in 1/3 cup of diced onions at this point and cook until translucent (about 2-3 minutes). This is optional.
Now, add the cut up chicken pieces to the heated pan and sprinkle in your ranch dressing mix.
Proceed to cook over medium heat while stirring, to cook the chicken evenly. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink in color, this should take 7-9 minutes for the small chunks.
Make the roux
Once the chicken is fully cooked, add 1 more tablespoon of butter and the flour to the pot and stir until incorporated.
Next, add in the 1 cup of reserved pasta water (or chicken broth). Mix until combined.
Now, stir in your cooked pasta and mix until evenly coated.
Then, add in the shredded cheese and mix until fully incorporated.
Lastly, add in the fresh made bacon bits and stir to thoroughly distribute throughout the entire pasta dish.
If desired you can crumble additional bacon over the top of your serving plates and sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese too.
Serve fresh and warm, enjoy!
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
- 16 oz penne pasta cooked
- 1 cup reserved pasta water
- 3 tablespoons butter divided
- ⅓ cup bacon bits
- 2 chicken breasts approximately 1 pound, boneless, skinless, diced bite size
- ⅓ cup diced onion
- 1 oz Ranch seasoning dressing
- 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 cups shredded Mozzarella
- Start by cooking your pasta according to the package directions. Be sure to reserve 1 cup of pasta water for a future step.
- Dice the chicken breasts into small pieces.
- Heat a deep saucepan over medium heat. I used a 7-quart pot. Add in chicken and onions, cooking until chicken is no longer pink and onions are soft. Add bacon and cook until crisp.
- Sprinkle the ranch dressing mix over the chicken, bacon and onions.
- Once the chicken is fully cooked, add 1 more tablespoon of butter and the flour to the pot and stir until incorporated.
- Next, add in the 1 cup of reserved pasta water (or chicken broth). Mix until combined.
- Add the cooked pasta and mix until evenly coated. Top with the shredded cheese and mix until fully incorporated.
- If desired you can crumble additional bacon over the top of your serving plates and sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese too. Serve fresh and warm, enjoy!
How long is this chicken pasta good for?
You can keep the leftovers from this pasta dish in an airtight or well covered container for up to 3 days in the fridge or for up to 3 months if stored in the freezer.
Can I make this chicken bacon ranch pasta recipe ahead?
Yes, you can prepare the recipe as directed above and then place it into a foil covered casserole dish. If desired you can even sprinkle another 1-2 cups of cheese on top to make it into a casserole. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes to heat it up when you’re ready to eat.
If you can’t get enough ranch then you are going to love these ranch flavored recipes!
- EASY RANCH SAUSAGE ROLLS
- SMOKY RANCH DIP & GAME DAY SNACK TRAY
- RANCH CHICKEN CHEESE DIP
- GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD WITH PESTO RANCH DRESSING
- RANCH CHICKEN BACON KABOBS
- RANCH PRETZELS
- FIESTA RANCH CHICKEN PASTA SALAD
- CHEESY RANCH CHICKEN DIP
- CHICKEN BACON RANCH ENCHILADAS
- EASY CHEDDAR RANCH FONDUE
- ROASTED RANCH POTATOES
For a delicious and comforting meal look no further than this chicken bacon ranch pasta. It’s such a delicious dish that the whole family an enjoy. Made with all the best flavors, this recipe is one you’ll look forward to often.