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Enjoy a cheesy, creamy, and savory delight for dinner with our Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta recipe. This flavorful easy dinner idea combines tender chicken, crispy bacon, spiral pasta, and a creamy ranch sauce that’s sure to be loved by the entire family.

A skillet pan with the creamy ranch pasta in it with chicken.

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Skillet Dinner

This skillet pan dinner is a family favorite that’s loaded with those classic flavors of chicken, pasta, cheesy sauce, ranch seasoning, and bacon!

It’s a great dinner for using up leftover chicken or grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for ease and convenience.

The irresistible flavor combination of creamy ranch flavor + bacon + cheese and chicken is always a hit! Try these Crockpot Crack Chicken Sandwiches or try making Instant Pot Crack Chicken.

A wooden spoon holding some pasta on it from the skillet pan below.

Ingredients Needed & Substitution Ideas

  1. Rotini Pasta : I love this spiral pasta for this dish because the spirals soak up all that creamy cheesy ranch sauce. Other great options are medium shell pasta, penne pasta, or elbow pasta.
  2. Bacon : Cook the bacon in a skillet pan (reserve some bacon grease if wanted for when you cook the onions) or cook the bacon inside the oven, or use microwave bacon and crisp it up in the microwave. I love using the Costco Kirkland Signature brand microwaveable bacon because it crisps up perfectly in the microwave and it’s mess-free.
  3. Finely Diced Yellow Onion
  4. Garlic Cloves – Use fresh garlic cloves that have been minced or pressed, use chopped garlic from a jar, or use garlic paste.
  5. Butter – Salted or unsalted butter work fine. Either one. If you are sensitive to salt or you need to reduce salt intake for dietary reasons then I suggest using unsalted butter.
  6. All-Purpose Flour – This crates the ‘roux’ that thickens the creamy sauce.
  7. Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
  8. Ranch Seasoning Mix – You won’t use the entire packet of ranch seasoning mix, only about 2.5 tablespoons of it. So almost the entire packet but not quite.
  9. Half and Half
  10. Shredded White Cheddar Cheese Buy a block of cheese and use a cheese grater to shred it yourself for the best melt and smooth texture. You can also use mild, medium, or sharp cheddar cheese if wanted instead of white cheddar.
labeled ingredients

How To Make Skillet Pan Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta (Printable Recipe Card Below)

Cook the pasta according to the box directions. Don’t forget to add some salt into the boiling water along with the pasta. The salt will help flavor the pasta and make it not so bland. I add about 1-2 teaspoons of kosher salt. When the pasta is done, drain it in a colander (do not rinse it), and reserve it for later.

In a large skillet pan, over medium heat, add the butter and diced onion. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent and the butter has melted; about 5 minutes.

How to make this recipe with process images.

Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute until very fragrant.

Add the flour, ranch seasoning mix, salt and pepper into the skillet pan. Use a silicone coated whisk to whisk until it forms a smooth and a thick paste; it will be thick and that’s ok.

Slowly pour in the half and half, while whisking constantly, and mix well. Turn the heat up to medium-high and let the mixture simmer, while stirring frequently, until it starts to lightly boil around the edges of the pan and it has thickened. This takes about 10 minutes.

How to make this recipe with process images.

Once thickened, turn the heat off, and add in handfuls of the shredded cheese and mix thoroughly.

Stir in the cooked bacon (reserve some for the topping), cooked pasta, and cooked chicken until well combined.

How to make this recipe with process images.
How to make this recipe with process images.

Garnish the top with the reserved bacon. Drizzle with ranch dressing if wanted and serve!

How to make this recipe with process images.

How Store Leftovers

Allow the chicken bacon and ranch pasta to cool closer to room temperature before placing it inside an airtight container, one large one or several individual sized ones, and store it in the fridge for 3-5 days.

When reheating, it’s best to add a splash of milk to help moisten back up the leftovers and make the sauce creamy again. I reheat leftovers inside the microwave.

Square photos of the final dish
Square photos of the final dish

Tips For Success

  • Reserve Bacon Fat : If you are cooking the bacon in a skillet pan, reserve some of the bacon grease from the pan and use it instead of the butter when cooking the onion. The bacon fat will make the dish slightly greasier but it will give the dish a big bacon flavor as well. I recommend using half bacon fat + half butter.
  • Don’t Add The Cheese All At Once : Adding the cheese all at once can make the creamy saucy really gummy. Drop the cheese in by several smaller handfuls and mix after each one very well before adding in any additional cheese.
  • Ranch Seasoning : This can definitely be intensified if wanted. Use the entire packet for more ranch flavor. You could even try using a spicy ranch seasoning packet or fiesta ranch seasoning packet instead.
  • Cheese : Buy a block of cheese and use a cheese grater to shred it yourself. It will make a huge difference in how smooth and creamy it melts into the sauce. I don’t recommend using the bagged shredded cheese. Your favorite cheese can be used; cheddar cheese, white cheddar, Pepper Jack, or Monterey Jack are all great choices.
hero shot of the final dish
hero shot of the final dish
A wooden spoon holding some pasta on it from the skillet pan below.
Together As Family Logo

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta


Author Jessica – Together as Family
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8
Enjoy a cheesy, creamy, and savory delight for dinner with our Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta recipe. This flavorful easy dinner idea combines tender chicken, crispy bacon, spiral pasta, and a creamy ranch sauce that's sure to be loved by the entire family.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box (16 oz) rotini pasta
  • 6 strips bacon cooked & chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small yellow onion finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • tablespoons ranch seasoning mix (from a packet)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups half and half
  • 2 cups freshly shredded white cheddar cheese (or cheddar cheese)
  • 3 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken

Instructions

  • Prep : Cook and crumble the bacon. Set aside for later. Cook the pasta according to the box directions. When the pasta is done, drain it in a colander (do not rinse it), and reserve it for later.
    * I add about 1 teaspoon kosher salt in with the dried pasta to help flavor the bland pasta while cooking.
    1 box (16 oz) rotini pasta, 6 strips bacon
  • In a large skillet pan, over medium heat, add the butter and diced onion. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent and the butter has melted; about 5 minutes.
    4 tablespoons butter, 1 small yellow onion
  • Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute until very fragrant.
    2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Add the flour, ranch seasoning mix, salt and pepper into the skillet pan. Use a silicone coated whisk to whisk until it forms a smooth and a thick paste; it will be thick and that's ok.
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 2½ tablespoons ranch seasoning mix, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Slowly pour in the half and half, while whisking constantly, and mix well.
    Turn the heat up to medium-high and let the mixture simmer, while stirring frequently, until it starts to lightly boil around the edges of the pan and it has thickened. This takes about 10 minutes.
    3 cups half and half
  • Once thickened, turn the heat off, and add in handfuls of the shredded cheese and mix thoroughly after each one.
    2 cups freshly shredded white cheddar cheese
  • Stir in the cooked bacon (reserve some for the topping if wanted), cooked pasta, and cooked chicken until well combined.
    * You may not use all the cooked pasta. I use about 3 cups of it only.
    3 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken

Notes

Salt Note : There is a small amount of additional salt added into the recipe, but the salt content can be varied greatly depending on ingredients used. Use salted butter or unsalted butter, add some salt to the boiling water pasta or leave it unsalted, and remember that the ranch seasoning mix does have sodium/salt in it so keep that in mind. I like to use unsalted butter (If I have it) and then salt the pasta water (about 1.5 teaspoons of kosher salt to the boiling water along with the pasta) and add the salt as called for in the recipe.
Reserve Bacon Fat : If you are cooking the bacon in a skillet pan, reserve some of the bacon grease from the pan and use it instead of the butter when cooking the onion. The bacon fat will make the dish slightly greasier but it will give the dish a big bacon flavor as well. I recommend using half bacon fat + half butter.
Don’t Add The Cheese All At Once : Adding the cheese all at once can make the creamy saucy really gummy. Drop the cheese in by several smaller handfuls and mix after each one very well before adding in any additional cheese.
Ranch Seasoning : This can definitely be intensified if wanted. Use the entire packet for more ranch flavor. You could even try using a spicy ranch seasoning packet or fiesta ranch seasoning packet instead.
Cheese : Buy a block of cheese and use a cheese grater to shred it yourself. It will make a huge difference in how smooth and creamy it melts into the sauce. I don’t recommend using the bagged shredded cheese. Your favorite cheese can be used; cheddar cheese, white cheddar, Pepper Jack, or Monterey Jack are all great choices.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 683kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 935mg | Potassium: 443mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 807IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 322mg | Iron: 2mg

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