This chicken bacon ranch pasta is total comfort food! The creamy sauce is addictive, and it's ready in only 30 minutes.
Chicken, bacon, and ranch is a well-loved combo, and I am happy to deliver another recipe with these flavors (you may also like my Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad). This recipe is perfect for busy weeknights and fussy eaters!
How to make chicken bacon ranch pasta
This pasta dish is fairly straightforward. You start by frying the bacon, and once it's cooked you take it out of the skillet and fry the chicken in the remaining bacon fat (this makes it extra flavorful). You then take the chicken out of the pan and make the sauce by adding the cream cheese, ranch seasoning, and some chicken broth. It'll thicken up fairly quickly. Toss the sauce with the drained pasta (I like to stir in some bacon and keep the rest for garnishing each bowl). Dish it up and top each bowl with the chicken, and dinner is done. (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
Recipe notes & tips:
- It's easy to overcook or undercook chicken when you're searing it in the pan, so I like to use an instant read meat thermometer so chicken is never overcooked (or undercooked). Chicken is safe to eat at 165F.
- This isn't the type of recipe that makes great leftovers. The sauce tends to dry out and can separate easily (especially if you're warming it up on high in a microwave). I recommend warming it up on a low heat.
- Can't find packaged ranch seasoning? You could try adding some bottled ranch dressing (I haven't tested this, but try a tablespoon or two to start with and add more if needed) or a homemade ranch seasoning.
- Use whatever shape of pasta you prefer, but I would say that the shorter shapes (penne etc.) are probably best for this particular recipe.
What to serve with chicken bacon ranch pasta:
Try a side salad (this recipe is quite decadent so something lighter goes well) or go all-out with some garlic bread. The portions for this recipe aren't huge, but it is filling. If you're not serving it with anything else and are feeding people with large appetites, I recommend keeping the chicken quantity the same but doubling the pasta and sauce.
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Questions about this chicken bacon ranch pasta? Made this recipe? Let me know in the comments below. Tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram so I can see your creations!
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
- 8 ounces uncooked pasta
- 2 chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 4 strips bacon cut into small pieces
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 8 ounces cream cheese (a block of Philly) softened
- 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese optional, to taste
- Boil a salted pot of water and cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. If you haven't had time to let the cream cheese soften on the counter prior to starting the recipe, microwave it for 20-30 seconds or until it's very soft.
- Meanwhile, cut the bacon into small pieces (kitchen shears make the job easy), and cook it over medium-high heat until crispy. Once it's done, spoon the bacon onto a paper towel lined plate. Leave the bacon fat in the pan.
- While the bacon is cooking, cut the chicken in half lengthwise so you've got 4 thinner pieces. Season the chicken with the garlic powder and some salt & pepper (but go easy on the salt since the ranch seasoning and bacon are fairly salty).
- Add the chicken to the skillet and cook it in the remaining bacon grease for 5-6 minutes/side or until golden and cooked through. Transfer cooked chicken to a plate and keep warm (cover loosely with foil).
- Add the chicken broth, cream cheese, and ranch seasoning to the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring until the cream cheese has melted in and the sauce thickens up a bit. Keep in mind that the sauce will thicken up quickly and thickens more after it cools a bit. You can always add a splash more chicken broth or hot pasta water if it gets too thick.
- Meanwhile, cut the cooked chicken into strips.
- Toss the drained pasta with the sauce (stir in some bacon and reserve some for topping each bowl if you want). Top each bowl with the cooked chicken and some freshly grated parmesan if desired.
- This recipe is quite rich, so I kept the portions fairly small. If you've got very hungry people to feed, I recommend either serving this with a side or keeping the chicken the same but doubling the sauce (and adding more pasta).
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.