What we love about this chicken bacon ranch pasta
- Normally, this pasta recipe is loaded with cream and cheese, but instead of substituting, we decided to go a little lighter for the dairy free version, making it a healthier option for weeknight dinners.
- Not only is this a great family-friendly dinner, it’s also as tasty leftover, which makes it a great option for meal planning. It’s even good served cold, like a pasta salad
Here’s what you’ll need to make it
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Ingredients you might need to pick up
- Dairy free milk – Use any unsweetened, plain dairy free milk alternative. We normally use almond or oat milk.
- Ranch dip mix – Make sure to check the labels. Most brands have dairy, but I’ve found my store brand dip mix to be dairy free, otherwise there is dairy free ranch seasoning available online.
- Vegan sour cream – This ingredient is optional, but helps mimic the tangy taste of buttermilk and adds a little bit of creaminess to the recipe. You can also use unsweetened, plain vegan yogurt, or leave it out completely.
How to make this chicken bacon ranch pasta
Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add your favorite pasta, with a generous amount of salt, and cook it according to the package directions for for al dente. Before draining, reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water.
Fry the bacon. Heat a large skillet to medium-high and fry up 4 slices of bacon until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
Sear the chicken. Make sure your chicken is pounded to an even thickness and liberally season it with salt & pepper. Add the chicken the hot pan (with the bacon grease still in there) and cook the chicken until golden brown for about 4 – 5 minutes per side.
When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and tent with foil to keep it warm.
Make ranch sauce. Add olive oil to the pan and allow it to heat up. To the same hot pan, add chopped onion and garlic. Sauté until the onion has softened. This usually takes about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with flour and ranch seasoning, and stir to coat the onions and garlic. Let the flour absorb the oils in the pan to create a roux, then slowly whisk in the dairy free milk.
Allow the sauce to cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to thicken a little. Then stir in lemon juice and vegan sour cream (you can also use unsweetened vegan yogurt).
Stir it all together. Slice the chicken and bacon before returning it to the pan. Then add the pasta, and stir to coat. Add pasta water, as needed to help the sauce adhere to the pasta. Garnish with chives before serving.
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- 1 16-ounce package rotini pasta
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded to an even thickness
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1-ounce packet ranch dip mix*
- 1 3/4 cup unsweetened dairy free milk
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons vegan sour cream (optional)
- Coarse salt
- Black pepper
- Fresh chives, for garnish
- Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Make sure water is salted and reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining.
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove from pan and set aside. Drain any excess grease into a bowl and save for later.
- Season chicken breast liberally with salt & pepper. Sauté over medium heat, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in the skillet. Add onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant (this should only take about 30 seconds).
- Next, add the flour and ranch seasoning, and whisk until a roux forms.
- Slowly whisk in milk and vegan sour cream until smooth.
- Whisk in lemon juice and allow the sauce to thicken.
- Slice chicken and crumble bacon.
- Return them to the pan with the cooked pasta. Toss to coat, adding pasta water, as needed.
- Garnish with fresh parsley before serving.
*Make sure you’re using a ranch packet that is dairy free. I usually pick up the store brand dip mix from my grocery store, but always read the labels to make sure the mix is dairy free.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Rotini
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
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