The perfect easy pasta recipe for busy weeknight dinners!
Ranch Bacon Chicken Pasta has an incredible flavor combination with its juicy chicken, crispy bacon, and fresh bell peppers, all tossed in a light zesty cream sauce.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS CHEESY CHICKEN BACON RANCH PASTA
- It's a super quick and easy meal to make. With just a few simple ingredients, this recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes!
- It's the ultimate comfort food - It's lighter than a mac and cheese recipe and it, has so much flavor!
- I don't know about you, but I am a sucker for a creamy ranch sauce.
- It's simply a delicious pasta dish that has become a family favorite at my house.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE RANCH BACON CHICKEN PASTA
- Cooked skinless chicken breasts - Cooked diced chicken breast or rotisserie chicken works great. See below for the best way to cook chicken breasts in the oven!
- Bow tie pasta - Otherwise known as Farfalle. You could also use penne pasta, rigatoni noodles, or elbow macaroni.
- Diced red bell pepper - Diced up small is the way I like it in this dish.
- Bacon - Real bacon bits will give you the best flavor.
- Ranch dressing - Use liquid ranch salad dress, not the ranch dressing mix.
- Jalapeno cheddar cheese - I consistently find Kraft's version of Jalapeno cheddars Still, you could use another brand, or if you aren't crazy about spicy, sub Monterrey Jack cheese, Colby Jack cheese, or sharp cheddar cheese.
- Half & Half - If you don't have any on hand, heavy cream or milk will work as a substitute. I have even used skim milk.
- Green onions - Sprinkle over the top when serving.
- Salt and black pepper
- Fresh parsley - Optional
HOW TO COOK CHICKEN BREASTS IN THE OVEN
- Pound chicken breast to about ¼ inch thickness.
- Salt and pepper chicken breast.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165.
The high heat plus the short cook time make the chicken super juicy and tender.
HOW TO COOK BACON IN THE OVEN
- In an even layer, place bacon onto a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until it's as crispy as you like. Place cooked bacon on paper towels to drain any excess grease. Finish by crumbling bacon before adding to this chicken bacon ranch pasta recipe.
- Find more tips for cooking bacon in the oven here.
STEP-BY-STEP DIRECTIONS TO MAKE RANCH BACON CHICKEN PASTA
Cook pasta according to package directions. I usually cook my pasta just past al dente.
Toss the pasta into the sauce immediately after the pasta is finished cooking.
In a large skillet add diced red bell pepper over medium-high heat and saute for 3-5 minutes until they begin to soften.
Add diced chicken pieces, cooked bacon, ranch dressing, half and half, and cheese. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated, the cheese begins to melt, and you get a creamy cheese sauce.
Add cooked pasta to skillet and mix until pasta is coated with the sauce.
Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with green onion, and serve immediately.
WANT TO STORE THIS RECIPE FOR LATER? HERE'S HOW...
Fridge: Store leftover pasta in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. It's best to add 2 - 3 tablespoons of milk when reheating pasta.
Freezer: We don't recommend freezing leftover chicken pasta.
WHAT SHOULD I SERVE WITH CHICKEN PASTA?
Garlic toast and a simple garden salad is all you will need.
MORE MEMORABLE PASTA RECIPES
Ranch Bacon Chicken Pasta
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- In a skillet, add diced red bell pepper. Saute for 3-5 minutes until they begin to soften.
- Add chicken, bacon, ranch dressing, half and half and cheese. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated and the cheese begins to melt.
- Add hot pasta to skillet and mix until all pasta is coated with the sauce.
- Sprinkle with green onion and serve immediately.