Chicken and bacon pasta salad recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Chicken pasta

An easy salad, which is packed full of delicious flavours and textures. Pasta is tossed with bacon, chicken, asparagus, cranberries and almonds in a tangy dressing.

13 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 6 rashers streaky bacon
  • 10 spears asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 225g pasta
  • 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic salad dressing
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 125g marinated artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, cubed
  • 4 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 4 tablespoons toasted flaked almonds
  • salt and pepper to taste

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:20min ›Extra time:1hr chilling › Ready in:1hr40min

  1. Place bacon in a large, deep frying pan. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Add asparagus and cook until tender, about 1 minute. Strain asparagus out of water and immediately plunge into a bowl filled with ice water; let sit in ice water until completely cold, then cut into 2.5cm pieces. Next, add pasta to boiling water and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain, rinse with cold water until chilled, then drain well.
  3. Stir together mayonnaise, balsamic vinaigrette, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl. Toss in artichokes, chicken, cranberries, almonds, crumbled bacon and asparagus. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then mix in cooked pasta. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(16)

Reviews in English (12)

by hmack

This was delicious great for leftovers the next day as well! Didn't use as much dressing as the recipe called for, think if I had used the entire amount it would have been an overpowering taste.-25 Apr 2007

by jaynaleece

Always looking for different, creative and delicious recipes and this one is fabulous. Guests witih discriminating tastes raved about this salad at the recent graduation celebration celebration of my son. Bravo Laurie!!FYI - The flavor of the marinated artichoke hearts is key - found the very best ones at Costco.-27 May 2007

by joyfullycooking

The ingredients are all items we like, but the dressing needs to be changed. I don't know if it was the worchestershire, but did not care for it. It almost needs some type of sweetness or something. Any suggestions?-26 Jul 2007

Many pasta salads are made with mayo or with a mix of mayo and ranch dip dressing. This pasta salad is made with ranch dressing instead (even lite ranch tastes great in this recipe). This pasta salad is so easy and quick to make you’ll love adding it to your menus.

While this recipe is absolutely delicious cold, you can certainly microwave the bowl and serve it warm for dinner too. This recipe is not only for the bbq and summer. The cheddar cheese will melt and help meld all the flavors together.

The best part about this pasta salad is how incredibly easy it is to put together. Don’t question if that means it won’t be as delicious as a more difficult to make one. There really isn’t a weak link in this salad. Cream cheese? Cheddar Cheese? Chicken? Bacon? Pasta? Ranch?! It could only be better if served in a giant garlic bread boat (wow, I need to eat a vegetable to get these thoughts out of my head!).

Pasta salad dressing:

Pasta salad is often dressed with an Italian sort of dressing &ndash olive oil, vinegar, and some herbs.

Today, we use homemade ranch.

Well &ndash homemade in the sense that it doesn&rsquot come from a bottle, but I am totally using the little packet of seasoning, because I love it and it&rsquos easy.

I do have a homemade seasoning mix &ndash I should probably share that recipe with you guys soon. Would you use it do you think?

Anyway, this dressing is just mayonnaise, buttermilk, and ranch seasoning. Easy peasy.

And, if you don&rsquot want to buy buttermilk for this recipe, use this homemade buttermilk substitute.

AIP Pasta Salad Ingredients:

Sweet Potato Glass Noodles

If you’re not familiar with sweet potato glass noodles, they are a Korean noodle made from sweet potato starch and water. They are completely AIP compliant which makes them an awesome tool for pasta lovers doing AIP.

They are slightly chewier than regular spaghetti, but the taste is very neutral so they go great with pretty much anything. You can find this type of noodles in Asian grocery stores and on Amazon. I use these ones .

Just cook the noodles according to the package instructions. The ones I get just say to boil for 6 minutes. Depending on the brand and thickness of the noodles, cook times may vary a little bit.

Also, if you don't have glass noodles or prefer to use some other noodles, you can! This recipe will be good with pretty much any type of noodle.

Chicken Breasts

Go with organic if possible. I just bake these in the oven for about 40 minutes while I’m prepping the other ingredients.


Try to find nitrate-free, uncured, or naturally cured bacon, with no spices other than salt. I made a whole Guide on AIP/Paleo/Whole30 Bacon if you’re curious about what’s compliant and what products to use.

There are several ways to cook bacon and it’s fine to do whatever method you’re most comfortable with. I just chop it into small pieces first, then cook it in a frying pan over medium to medium-high heat for about 10-12 minutes. I drain off the grease then put the bacon on a plate lined with paper towels to let the extra grease drip off.


You can peel these or not. I generally don't. Then just dice into little cubes.

Purple Cabbage

Make sure the cabbage is very thinly sliced so it doesn’t overwhelm the overall texture of the dish.

Creamy Pasta Sauce

The dressing for this pasta salad is a simple mixture of coconut cream, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, dried dill, garlic powder, onion powder, salt.

It’s sometimes tough to make a creamy pasta dressing mayo-free, but this one worked out great! It’s almost a little bit ranch-tasting.

I recommend chilling the coconut cream first to make sure it’s extra thick. I also like to use the thickest part of the cream which sits at the top of the can when you first open it.

If you want to mix it first then use it, that fine it just won’t be quite as thick.

If you’re looking for more glass noodle recipes, I did a big roundup post of glass noodle recipe ideas here.

  • Allow the chicken to cool before adding it to the salad.
  • If the noodles sit for a few minutes, they may stick together a little bit but don't worry- this is easily fixed by adding a little bit of water (a tablespoon or two) and loosening the noodles with a fork.

This will keep in the fridge for about 3 days in an airtight container.

If you like this recipe, you may also like:

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. If you made it, leave a comment below and let me know what you thought. I'd love to hear from you!

What goes in my Chicken Pasta Salad

And here’s what I put in this pasta salad:

Chicken – Buy it cooked or poach your own. Then shred or finely chop into sort of baton shapes – see below for photo. It melds better with the pasta and eats more easily than having chunky cubes

Macaroni (also called elbow pasta) – The original pasta salad shape. But really, you can use any short pasta you want: penne, ziti, bow ties, spirals etc

Green onion – For freshness and nice bits of green colour

Carrot and celery – Standard creamy pasta salad vegetable add-ins

Capsicum/bell pepper – For lovely, crunchy little specks of red throughout

Avocado – Optional. I chose “yes”, but they were sadly far too firm to use. So they aren’t in the finished dish photos, or recipe video for that matter

Shredded cheese – Because I always have and always will and

Bacon – For great little pops of salty goodness. Ham also works really well (bonus: no need to cook it).

Are you tired of the dinner routine?

Stuck in a rut or looking for fun new recipes to try?

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You can ask for recipe ideas, talk about cooking techniques, or get help figuring out the right new pan set for you. If you’ve already joined, invite a friend along!

Ranch Chicken & Bacon Pasta Salad

Every summer, I am all about cold pasta salads for dinner. I serve one at least once a week while it was warm out. There are so many reasons why I love cold pasta salads – they are so versatile, they are super stolen moments friendly and my whole family loves them!

I tend to rotate my cold pasta salad dinners between meat-free options and chicken based salads, plus I throw in a taco salad here and there for good measure. I’ve found that once I get a basic sauce down and get the thumbs up from my family, it becomes super easy to take that sauce and mix it up, creating many new meals and tastes from the same basic sauce.

This recipe is one of those. I tend to use the sauce and meat combination together all the time, but I mix up the veggies and other add-ins. And we’ve yet to eat one meal from those basics that we haven’t all loved.

Ranch Chicken & Bacon Pasta Salad

  • 1 c. mayonnaise (lowfat or fat-free work just fine for this)
  • 1 c. Ranch salad dressing
  • 2 c. veggies of choice (I used peas this time. Tomatoes, peppers, olives, green onions and cucumbers, or any combination thereof, are also great options.)
  • 1/2 lb. shredded or diced fully cooked chicken
  • 1/2 lb. diced and cooked bacon
  • 1 lb. pasta of your choice, cooked and rinsed with cold water
  • 1 c. shredded cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and Ranch dressing. Add the veggies, chicken and bacon. Stir to combine.

2. Add the chilled pasta and toss to coat. Stir in the shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

It’s really as simple as that. The mayo/ranch combo mixed with the chicken and bacon is a surefire winner no matter what else you put with it. Experiment and have fun!

Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad

  • Yield: 12 Servings
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Course: Salad
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons relish , sweet or dill both work
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni , cooked and drained
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast , chopped
  • 4 stalks celery , chopped


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 12 Servings, Amount per serving: 273 calories, Calories: 273g, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 26mg, Sodium: 529mg, Potassium: 190mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 91g, Vitamin C: 1g, Calcium: 19g, Iron: 1g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

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Chicken, Green Bean, and Bacon Pasta

You can cook the pasta and green beans in one pot to make this fast dish.

  1. Cook pasta per package directions, adding green beans to the pot during the last minute. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water drain, then return pasta and green beans to pot.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet on medium, cook bacon until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel&ndashlined plate and break into pieces when cool. Discard all but 1 Tbsp bacon drippings and return pan to medium.
  3. Cook chicken until golden brown and cooked through, tossing once, 6 to 8 minutes remove from heat and toss with lemon juice. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk and half-and-half. Toss egg mixture with pasta and green beans, then fold in chicken, spinach, Parmesan, and 1/4 cup pasta water, tossing to coat and adding more pasta water if needed. Fold in scallions and top with bacon.


How to Make Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

This is a great recipe to prep ahead of time and assemble before serving. You’ll need to cook two chicken breasts. I did mine in the oven, but you could also grill them if you choose.

Cook the bowtie pasta noodles according to the package directions.

You can also make the bacon ahead of time or cheat like I did and use those ready-to-serve real bacon bits (not the fake ones!).

Once you’ve got all your prep work done, it’s time to assemble the pasta salad. Add the Romaine lettuce, garlic croutons, chicken, pasta, bacon, Parmesan cheese and Caesar dressing to a large bowl and stir until combined. Put it in the fridge to chill until you are ready to serve.

When you’re shopping for chicken to use in this recipe, make sure to look for the Raised by a Canadian Farmer mark. It will be on the chicken packaging. If your store doesn’t have it yet, ask them about it.

There is one store in my town that carries it and hopefully more will come on board. It matters! Chicken raised in Canada follows a nationally-set, mandatory food safety and animal care standards so you can count on getting only the best quality chicken to serve your family.

What’s on your backyard entertaining menu this year? I’d love more ideas!

Connect with the Chicken Farmers of Canada on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.