This grilled chicken ranch pasta salad is the perfect last minute side dish! It is perfect for parties and summer holidays like Memorial Day, the Fourth of July or Labor Day. It is also great if you have a lot of leftover grilled chicken – cut it up and toss it in this pasta salad!
We decided to host a party for Memorial Day this year – family mostly, and a few neighbors and friends. A nice small party.
What started out as a gathering of 10 has blown up to over 50 people being invited. There is a 50 percent chance of rain and while we have plenty of dry space, I am worrying now about whether we will have enough food.
Grilled chicken ranch pasta salad to the rescue.
Grilled Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad
This easy pasta salad could actually act as the perfect last minute dish for any party – it will serve as the additional food for my 50 guests, if everyone shows up.
Start with cooked chicken. We have made this with grilled chicken, baked chicken and even a rotiserie chicken. I am a sucker for a rotisserie chicken and every Friday my favorite grocery store has $5 chickens. You can bet I am there every week.
Chop up your chicken while your pasta is cooling. Use this time to chop up tomatoes and parsley too. Drain and rinse your pasta until it is REALLY cold. This may be the only time-consuming part of this recipe. Only very rarely do I want to eat this kind of pasta salad warm and this is not one of those times.
Once your pasta is cooled, add the chicken, tomatoes, parsley and ranch dressing. We like ours to be light on ranch – if you want your pasta and chicken to have a thick coating add an additional 1/2 cup. Toss everything together and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
And BAM. This pasta salad is the perfect side dish and the perfect way to beef up a party menu. I strongly recommend going the rotisserie chicken route if you are short on time or you can do what I do – grab my George Foreman grill and walk out of the room. BAM again. Thanks indoor grill.
- 16 ounces cooked medium shells
- 1 1/2 cups chopped grilled chicken
- 1 1/2 cup diced tomato
- 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup ranch dressing
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add an additional 1/2 cup of ranch if you want a thick sauce.
Looking for more easy party recipes? Try this potato egg salad
or this deviled egg dip!
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