There are a few good recipes for this pasta salad online but this is my tweaked version. It is the perfect summer lunch or side dish. Yummy!
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
4-5 slices of bacon
1 large chicken breast
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups small pasta (I used small shells but large shells or that twisty pasta works well too!)
1 large carrot cut into small matchstick pieces
2 TBS Ranch seasoning (from the packet)
Onion powder to taste
2/3 cup mayo (I used olive oil mayo to make it more healthy)
3 TBS milk
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Cook according to package directions. Add carrots in the last 5 minutes. Drain pasta and carrots and run cold water over pasta for a few minutes.
While pasta is cooking, fry bacon. Drain on paper towels and drain majority of fat. Cook chicken (I butterflied my chicken breast so it would cook faster, about 4 minutes on each side) in the same skillet after seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove chicken and let cool.
In a serving bowl, wisk the last four ingredients together. Chop bacon and chicken into small pieces. Add pasta and carrots to ranch mixture and stir to coat. Add bacon and chicken. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours before serving (so the sauce can soak into the pasta and flavor it really well)
Other add ins:
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Or substitue bacon with low fat pepperoni or salami cut into small pieces
Serves 4-6 adult portions