This Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad is ready in 30 minutes and makes the best side dish, quick lunch, or even dinner! Filled with cheesy, creamy goodness, bacon bits, a homemade sauce, and more, this pasta salad recipe is truly irresistible.
30-Minute Chicken Pasta Salad
This easy and extra creamy Chicken Pasta Salad is one of my go-to recipes when I need to get dinner on the table fast. It’s also an amazing dish to serve as a side for a bbq or summer party.
This creamy and cheesy salad is always a hit, so there’s no need to worry about picky-eater complaints! It is filled with cheesy, creamy goodness, bacon bits, a homemade sauce, and more, this pasta salad recipe is seriously irresistible.
You can whip this meal together within 30 minutes, and it’s totally customizable, too. Add in whatever veggies and meats that you like! Whether its the middle of summer, or a cold winter day when I’m looking for comfort food, this cheesy chicken pasta totally fits the bill.
Let’s get started! Here are the ingredients you will need to round up for this chicken pasta salad:
- Mayonnaise: Light or regular, whichever you prefer.
- Sour Cream
- Ranch Seasoning Packet: Use a 1 oz packet.
- Old Bay Seasoning
- Chicken Bouillon Paste: I used Better Than Bouillon.
- Lemon Juice
- Sriracha Sauce: Your favorite hot sauce will work too.
- Cooked Chicken: You can use any kind of cooked and shredded chicken. Rotisserie chicken or canned chicken can help speed up the recipe. Or you can make your own with this instant pot shredded chicken or on the stove top with this best shredded chicken recipe!
- Green and Red Onion
- Chopped Bacon
- Cheddar Cheese: You can use other kinds of cheese too, it just needs to be a variety that melts easily.
- Rotini Pasta: 1 16 oz box – cooked according to package directions, drained, and cooled.
- Parsley: For garnish, totally optional.
How to Make Chicken Pasta Salad
No need to preheat the oven today! Once you’ve cooked the pasta and drained the chicken, all that’s left to do is mix the rest of the ingredients together and enjoy.
Combine Ingredients for Sauce: In a medium mixing bowl whisk the following ingredients until well combined: mayonnaise, sour cream, ranch dip mix, old bay seasoning, chicken bouillon paste, lemon juice, and sriracha.
Prep Chicken: In a large mixing bowl use a fork to separate the canned chicken until it is shredded. Add green onion, red onion, bacon and cheese and mix well. Add cooked and fully cooled pasta and toss ingredients together.
Mix in Sauce: Fold in sauce and mix until all is combined.
Refrigerate: Garnish with parsley before serving, if you choose. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Tips for Success
As you can see, this pasta salad recipe is pretty straightforward. But if you’re looking for some tips, read through these:
- Make the Pasta Ahead: Since the salad is served cold, cooking the pasta ahead of time is totally fine. Plus, it cuts down on assembly time later.
- Use Leftover Chicken: If you’ve got leftover baked or grilled chicken breast, or something similar, use it in this pasta salad!
- What Pasta to Use: I used rotini, but any sturdy pasta will work. If you’ve got macaroni or bow ties, feel free to use those instead.
- For Vegetarian Pasta Salad: Omit the chicken and the bacon, and toss in some more vegetables like peas, broccoli, or peppers.
Wondering what to serve with your pasta salad? I’ve got some ideas!
- Grilled & Baked Meat: From steak to barbecue ribs, this pasta salad would complement it all. We love serving this pasta salad for get togethers with friends. We often make our favorite Pulled Pork and a big bowl of this pasta salad as well.
- Roasted Veggies: Roasted vegetables mix in perfectly with this cheesy pasta.
- A Green Salad: A light and fresh green salad is great too. An Italian or even Greek salad would be super with this recipe!
How to Store Leftover Pasta Salad
This Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad is best served fresh or within a few hours of making it. You can store any leftovers of this pasta salad in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days. It doesn’t freeze well.
If your pasta salad gets a little dry when in the fridge, you can always add a little more mayo or sour cream to refresh it! Start with a couple of tablespoons and taste it and see if you need more.
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 oz packet ranch seasoning packet
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon paste (like Better Than Bouillon)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce (your favorite hot sauce will work too)
- 2 large cups cooked chicken**
- ½ cup diced green onion
- ½ cup diced red onion
- 1 cup chopped bacon
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 16 oz box cooked rotini pasta, cooked, drained, and cooled
- parsley, garnish
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk the following ingredients until well combined: mayonnaise, sour cream, ranch dip mix, old bay seasoning, chicken bouillon paste, lemon juice, and sriracha.
- In a large mixing bowl use a fork to separate the canned chicken until it is shredded. Add green onion, red onion, bacon and cheese and mix well. Add cooked and fully cooled pasta and toss ingredients together.
- Fold in sauce and mix until all is combined.
- Garnish with parsley before serving, if you choose. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
** You can use any kind of cooked and shredded chicken you prefer. Rotisserie chicken or canned chicken (make sure to drain canned chicken) can help speed up the recipe. Or you can make your own with this instant pot shredded chicken or on the stove top with this best shredded chicken recipe!
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 749Total Fat: 53gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 33gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 1521mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 28g
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