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Easy Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad Recipe

This chicken ranch pasta salad is a great main course or delicious side dish! It is perfect for summer – only 5 ingredients! It’s a great way to use leftover chicken and perfect for your next BBQ. 

chicken ranch pasta salad ready to be served

If you’re looking for an easy recipe, this ranch chicken pasta salad is it. With only five ingredients tossed together in a bowl, it is the perfect side dish to contribute to a potluck dinner. 

If you’re looking for simple dinner ideas, this really is a great option. Pasta salad recipes are filling and a delicious meal. Just mix everything together in a large bowl, and you’re ready to go.

If you’re like me, a gathering of 10 friends can easily blow up to over 50 people. I always want to invite everyone I know and their friends too. 

Chicken ranch pasta salad to the rescue. 

Whether using leftover chicken or chopping up a store-bought rotisserie chicken, don’t fret – this yummy pasta salad will save the day.

grilled chicken, parsley, pasta shells and diced tomatoes in a stainless steel bowl

Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad Ingredients

Cooked Medium Shell Pasta: My favorite type of pasta is shells for pasta salads. These pasta shells are the base of your salad, capturing the dressing flavors and other ingredients. They’re perfect for holding onto the creamy ranch dressing.

Chopped Grilled Chicken: Tender and juicy grilled chicken adds a delicious protein boost to the salad. Its smoky flavor complements the creamy ranch dressing and pasta, satisfying each bite.

Diced Tomato: Fresh and vibrant diced tomatoes bring a burst of color and juicy sweetness to the salad. They add a refreshing element and a hint of acidity that balances the creaminess of the ranch.

Chopped Flat-Leaf Parsley: This herb addition provides a fresh, bright flavor and a pop of green to the dish. It adds a subtle herbaceous note.

Ranch Dressing: The star of the show! Creamy, tangy, and loaded with herbs, ranch dressing coats the pasta, chicken, and veggies, tying all the flavors together. Its creamy texture binds the ingredients and adds a delightful richness.

ranch dressing poured on top of other ingredients for ranch chicken pasta salad

Additional Ingredient Suggestions

One of the reasons I like 5-ingredient recipes is that they offer the cook an opportunity to add their favorite ingredients and make this recipe their own.

Crunchy Vegetables: Sliced cucumbers add a refreshing crunch to the salad. Diced red, yellow, or green peppers offer vibrant color and a crisp texture. Chopped celery provides a subtle crunch and a mild, refreshing flavor.

Cheese: Sharp cheddar cheese or a mild variety, diced or shredded, adds richness and a savory element. Grated Parmesan cheese can provide a nutty flavor that complements the ranch dressing.

Additional Fresh Herbs: Finely chopped chives bring a mild onion flavor and a pop of color. Fresh dill adds a refreshing herbal note that pairs well with ranch dressing.

Nuts or Seeds: Chopped and toasted nuts add a delightful crunch and nutty flavor to the salad. Sunflower or pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, provide a lighter crunch and can add an earthy taste.

Sweet Additions: Sweet corn kernels, whether fresh or canned, add a pleasant sweetness and texture. Dried cranberries or raisins add a hint of sweetness and a chewy texture that contrasts with the other ingredients.

Spices or Seasonings: A garlic or onion powder sprinkle can enhance the overall flavor profile. Add paprika or cayenne pepper for a touch of heat and added flavor depth.

Additional Proteins: Sliced hard-boiled eggs offer a protein-rich addition to the salad. Crispy bacon bits can add a smoky, savory element.

Baby Spinach or Arugula: Toss in leafy greens like baby spinach or arugula for added freshness and color.

tossed chicken ranch pasta salad in a serving bowl on a wooden cutting board and a colorful napkin

How to Make Grilled Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad

This is my favorite chicken pasta salad with creamy ranch sauce. It could be the perfect last-minute dish for any party, but I especially like it for summer events.

Cook your pasta according to the package directions. You want al dente pasta, so read the package and set a timer.

Drain and rinse your cooked pasta under cold water until it is REALLY cold. This may be the only time-consuming part of this recipe’s cooking process. 

Chop up the cooked chicken while the pasta is cooling. Use this time to chop up the tomatoes and parsley, too.

If you’re wondering what kind of chicken to use, you have many options, but I always use chicken breast meat. I like using grilled chicken, but store-bought rotisserie chicken or any leftover chicken in your fridge can be used.

Once your pasta is cooled, add the chicken, tomatoes, parsley, and ranch dressing to a large bowl. 

We like our pasta salads to be light on the ranch. If you want your pasta and chicken to have a thick creamy ranch coating, add ½ cup of ranch dressing.

Toss everything together and season with kosher salt and black pepper.

And BAM.

This pasta salad is the perfect way to beef up a party menu.  

closeup photo of diced chicken tossed in ranch dressing

Can I use rotisserie chicken?

We have made this with rotisserie and baked and grilled chicken. I am a sucker for a store-bought rotisserie chicken, and every Friday, my favorite grocery store has a $5 chicken sale. You can bet I am there every week.

I strongly recommend going the rotisserie chicken route if you need more time. 

Storing leftover chicken ranch pasta salad

Transfer any leftovers into an airtight container so you can eat it the next day.

closeup of pasta shells and chicken tossed in ranch dressing

What can I serve with ranch pasta salad?

Some of my barbecue and party favorites:

Looking for more party side dishes?

Try these:

chicken ranch pasta salad ready to be served

Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad

This chicken ranch pasta salad is a great main course or delicious side dish! It is perfect for summer – only 5 ingredients! It’s a great way to use leftover chicken and perfect for your next BBQ.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Calories: 163kcal


  • 16 ounces medium shell pasta cooked
  • 1 ½ cups grilled chicken breast chopped
  • 1 ½ cup tomato diced
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley roughly chopped
  • ½ cup ranch dressing
  • kosher salt and blacker pepper to taste


  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.
  • Add kosher salt and black pepper to taste.


Add an additional ½ cup of ranch dressing if you want a thicker sauce.


Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.8g | Protein: 9.6g | Fat: 6.6g | Saturated Fat: 1.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1.4g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 126.9mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 1.4g | Vitamin A: 447.9IU | Vitamin C: 7.1mg | Calcium: 16.1mg | Iron: 1.1mg
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)
Recipe Rating

Jeanne Grunert

Tuesday 14th of June 2016

This looks like a great recipe! Thanks for sharing it on the party and I hope you come back again next week. #HomeMattersParty

Theresa @DearCreatives

Monday 13th of June 2016

My daughter would love this recipe! Can't wait to make it for her. Thanks for sharing at the #InspirationSpotlight party. Shared

Jana Seitzer

Monday 13th of June 2016

This looks like a really easy quick and delish dinner! Thanks for sharing on the Bets of the Blogosphere linky party!


Sunday 12th of June 2016

It's simply the best when someone take all of my favorite foods and puts them together into a dish I haven't seen before! Well done! I would be so happy if you would share this in my weekly link party with everyone I hope to see you there : )

Frugal Hausfrau

Friday 10th of June 2016

So simple and so gorgeous! What a great way to stretch a bit of chicken!! Thanks for sharing this with us at Throwback Thursday this week!