Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad: A Modern, Mayo-Free Delight. This pasta salad, tossed in a homemade creamy ranch sauce, is a crowd-pleaser that disappears quickly at gatherings. It’s a perfect choice for potlucks or family dinners. Pasta salads have evolved, moving away from heavy mayonnaise-based recipes to lighter, more flavorful versions.
While traditional mayo-filled pasta salads have their charm, this chicken bacon ranch pasta salad is a game-changer. Inspired by a BLT pasta salad I created a few summers back, I’ve now added a twist with succulent grilled chicken and a variety of colorful vegetables. This delightful salad features grilled chicken, crispy bacon, your favorite pasta, an array of summer vegetables, and an effortless, creamy homemade ranch dressing. It’s sure to be a hit at your next BBQ, so make sure it’s on your summer holiday menu!
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Talk about a perfect blend of flavors: this Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad might just become my go-to lunch prep! It’s a heavenly combination of savory bacon, ranch-seasoned chicken, and tender pasta, all brought together with a creamy ranch dressing. Toss in some roasted red onions for a touch of sweetness and you’ve got a dish that ticks all the boxes. Ideal for summer, but honestly great any time of the year, this salad is not only delicious but also fits well with various dietary plans, including macro counting and Weight Watchers. It’s a lighter take on a classic favorite and is bound to become a staple in your meal rotation!
This Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is not only scrumptious but also easy to whip up. Its rich flavor profile is sure to make it the star of any potluck. Garlic, a universally beloved kitchen staple, plays a key role in this recipe, adding depth and warmth to every bite. It’s a versatile ingredient that complements the other flavors beautifully, making this dish a must-try for any occasion.
We often incorporate a specific ingredient in our recipes because of its exceptional taste, and its health benefits are an added advantage. Our culinary experiences significantly improved after discovering a brand that offers fresh, frozen, portion-controlled garlic and herbs. This brand has quickly become our preferred choice in the kitchen. They cultivate their own garlic, basil, cilantro, parsley, chili, and ginger. When these are at their freshest, they are harvested, processed, and flash-frozen into easy-to-use trays within 90 minutes, ensuring peak freshness. These products have a two-year shelf life, allowing for year-round access to fresh garlic, onions, and herbs with just a simple “pop” of the tray, guaranteeing unparalleled freshness in our cooking.
Dorot simplifies cooking with its pre-portioned garlic, onions, and herbs, which take away the need for chopping and measuring, thus making seasoning and flavoring effortless. This convenience also allows my kids to assist in the kitchen safely, as they don’t need to handle knives. For a recent potluck event, we decided to make our Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad, enhanced with a cube of Dorot Crushed Garlic. The recipe is straightforward, and the addition of garlic not only made it easier to prepare but also tastier. It was a hit; everyone enjoyed it so much that there were no leftovers to bring back home! This pasta salad is a delightful mix of fresh and creamy flavors, combining chicken, bacon, ranch dressing, pasta, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. It’s an excellent choice for family gatherings and parties throughout the year, sure to be enjoyed by friends and family alike!
This recipe is considered “light” due to several modifications that reduce its calorie and fat content:
– Center cut bacon is used instead of traditional bacon. This type of bacon is leaner, containing less fat, yet it is still made from traditional pork.
– Yogurt is incorporated to extend the ranch dressing, adding creaminess without excess calories.
– The recipe avoids the use of oils.
– Pasta is portioned carefully. The recipe uses four servings of pasta, but these are distributed across six servings of the dish. This is possible because the addition of chicken and vegetables increases the volume. Each serving ends up being about 2 cups, which is substantial, yet contains only about two-thirds of a standard pasta serving.
This chicken pasta salad is an excellent choice for a lunch meal prep. It’s easy to divide into six generous servings (each containing 2 cups), providing a balanced mix of key macronutrients: protein, fiber, carbohydrates, and fats. Each serving contains less than 400 calories and scores 6 WW points, making it a convenient and healthy addition to your daily routine.
One of the great benefits of this salad is that it doesn’t require reheating. You can simply pack your portion in a lunch bag and it’s ready to eat when lunchtime rolls around, offering a hassle-free meal option.
Moreover, this recipe is highly customizable to suit various dietary preferences. For those who are dairy-free, there are alternative ingredients suggested in the linked recommendations. If dairy is not a concern, feel free to use your preferred ranch seasoning blend, dressing, and yogurt. Additionally, the pasta can be of any type that suits your taste or dietary needs, ensuring this chicken pasta salad caters to everyone’s preferences.
Keep any remaining food in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
It is advised not to freeze this dish.
- 16 oz of elbow macaroni
- 3 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cube Dorot Crushed Garlic
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- ¾ cup favorite ranch dressing
- 5 green onions, chopped
- 8 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
- 2 cups Colby Jack cheese, shredded
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
- Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain and allow to cool.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, chopped chicken breasts, and Dorot Crushed Garlic. Cook until the chicken is browned.
- Drain any excess grease from the chicken. Combine the chicken with the cooled noodles in a large mixing bowl.
- Add mayonnaise, ranch dressing, chopped green onions, cooked bacon, shredded Colby Jack cheese, and chopped cherry tomatoes to the bowl. Stir everything together until well mixed.
- If the mixture is not creamy enough, gradually add more mayonnaise and ranch dressing until the desired creaminess is achieved.
- Refrigerate the pasta salad for 1-2 hours.
- Serve chilled and enjoy!