This Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta is a well-balanced, one-pan meal full of lean protein and veggies! In less than 30 minutes, you can make this flavor-packed meal with just a few simple steps and common ingredients.
These days, it seems like every day is a busy day. This makes it even tougher to decide what to have for dinner. It always feels like there are only a few meals that usually come to mind that are quick, easy, and require minimal clean up.
This Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta is one of those special recipes that seems to check all the boxes. It has a great balance of lean protein and fresh vegetables, requires only one pot, and is ready in less than 30 minutes.
Any time we discover a new recipe that checks all these boxes it gets added to our rotation! Another great thing about this recipe, it freezes and reheats really well. This is a great choice for meal prepping, whether you plan to freeze it or store it in the refrigerator for a couple of days to serve later in the week!
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need for this recipe. For exact measurements, keep scrolling down to the printable recipe card below.
- Low-sodium chicken broth, Ranch seasoning, and half and half: This will form the base for this recipe’s pasta sauce.
- Dry pasta: We used rigatoni noodles for this recipe, but any dry noodle will work. Just make sure to use 8 oz of dry pasta.
- Cream cheese: Helps create the creamy texture and rich flavor
- Cooked chicken, diced or shredded: Any cut of chicken will work. We recommend chicken breast if you prefer white meat and chicken thighs if you prefer dark meat.
- Frozen peas and carrots: Frozen peas and carrots are needed for the recipe cooking time to be accurate. Fresh peas and carrots would cook faster.
- Bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled: save some of the crumbled bacon for the garnish
- Shredded cheddar cheese: Cheddar is our personal preference given this recipe’s flavor combos, but feel free to use the cheese of your choice.
How to Make Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
This recipe only requires a pot or dutch oven and a few simple steps. Below is a quick step-by-step guide to walk you through this delicious chicken pasta recipe.
Add Sauce and Pasta
First, you will make the sauce. In a large pot or Dutch oven, whisk together the chicken broth, Ranch seasoning, and half and half and bring the mixture to a boil. Once the liquid comes to a rolling boil, add the pasta and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid the pasta sticking to the bottom. REMEMBER: check the cooking time for your specific pasta. If you are using a different shape, brand or style (gluten free, chickpea, etc.) the cooking time will vary.
Add the Cream Cheese
Once the pasta is tender remove the lid. Don’t worry, it will seem like there is too much liquid left, but this is important, it aids in creating the perfect creamy, rich sauce. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted and completely incorporated.
Add Remaining Ingredients
Stir in the cooked chicken, peas, carrots, most of the bacon, and cheddar cheese. Stir over low heat until the cheese has melted and a thick, creamy sauce has formed. Then garnish with the remaining bacon and serve!
Storage and Reheating Instructions
- Reheating Instructions: This recipe does well reheating in the microwave. Reheat in 30-second increments at 50% until reheated to your desired level.
- Refrigerator Storage: Allow to cool completely. Then place in an airtight container. You can store this recipe in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freezer Storage: After allowing to cool completely, place in a freezer safe container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Tips & Tricks for the Best Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
- Don’t panic if it appears there is too much liquid after cooking the pasta. This will make a great sauce.
- Any kind of pasta will work, we used rigatoni. This recipe can also easily be made gluten free simply by choosing a gluten free pasta.
- Cooking time: remember, if using a different style, shape, or variety of pasta, the cooking time will vary. Gluten free, chickpea pasta, and smaller shapes will all have a shorter cooking time so you need to watch the dish closely and remove from heat when the pasta is al dente.
- Use thick cut or pepper bacon for a delicious flavor boost.
- For the best texture and flavor, use freshly shredded cheese. Pre-packaged shredded cheese is coated with anti-caking agents to prevent clumping which can negatively affect texture of the recipe. Freshly shredded cheese also has a better flavor.
- Use a rotisserie chicken or other leftover chicken to get the most bang for your buck! With a rotisserie chicken, you will have numerous servings of both dark and light meat that you can stretch into several meals!
- If you like spicy foods, add some heat with a little hot sauce.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta FAQ
This recipe can easily be made gluten free by using a gluten free pasta. Banza makes a gluten free rigatoni, or Barilla gluten free penne works nicely as well. Just remember the cooking time will likely be a few minutes less, so watch the dish and remove from heat when the pasta is tender.
Yes, this recipe can be stored in the freezer, in a freezer safe container, for up to 3 months.
Fresh will work, just be sure the carrots are cut very small to ensure they cook through.
No flour or cornstarch is needed because the liquid ingredients used make a lovely, creamy sauce that doesn’t need additional ingredients to make the sauce thick.
You can use the noodle of your choice. We chose rigatoni noodles for this recipe.
Other Great One Pan Chicken Recipes
- Chicken and Broccoli Skillet– A healthy, quick, and perfect one pan meal for a busy weekday! Frozen broccoli makes this easy chicken dinner fast and convenient.
- Blackened Chicken and Brussels Sprouts Skillet– This Blackened Chicken and Brussels Sprouts Skillet is a great one pan dinner! This keto recipe is ready in under 30 minutes and is under 7 net carbs!
- Buffalo Chicken Foil Packs– This recipe takes convenience to another level while providing that perfect tangy, spicy buffalo chicken flavor! It only requires a handful of common ingredients, 5 minutes of prep time, and nearly zero cleanup!
- Cheesy Jalapeno Chicken Soup– All the flavor of a jalapeno popper but in a creamy, hearty soup!
- Baked Chicken and Mushroom Pasta– An easy family-friendly dinner! You just need one baking dish and an hour for this creamy, cheesy pasta dish.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsp ranch seasoning
- 1 cup half and half
- 8 oz dry rigatoni pasta
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 2 cups cooked chicken diced or shredded
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
- ½ lb bacon cooked crisp and crumbled (reserve some for garnish)
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, whisk together the broth, ranch seasoning, and half n half. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, add the pasta and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid the pasta sticking to the bottom.
- Once the pasta is cooked, uncover (don’t worry, there will seem like there’s too much liquid left, it’ll make a great sauce), add the cream cheese and stir until melted.
- Stir in the chicken, peas and carrots, most of the bacon, and cheddar cheese. Heat until warmed through and the cheese is melted, then garnish with more bacon and serve!
- You can also make your own ranch seasoning if you prefer homemade.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.