This BLT Pasta Salad with Chicken will be on the table in less than half an hour! Rotisserie chicken makes this a quick and easy no-fuss salad that's delicious as an entrée or side salad. Perfect for your next family potluck!
WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- no fancy equipment needed
- different variations possible with favourite pasta and vegetables
- quick and easy! ready in less than 30 minutes!
- satisfying enough for a meal
INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- penne pasta - or you can use your favourite pasta shape!
- romaine lettuce - a good alternative is spinach which is also delicious in this recipe.
- cherry or grape tomatoes chopped in half. You can also use vine tomatoes or any type of tomatoes diced into 1 and ½-inch cubes
- bacon, cooked and chopped into 1 and ½-inch pieces. You want the bacon to be cooked but not too crispy.
- avocado, diced - this is optional but SO good in this salad!
- chopped red onion - or use sweet onion
- shredded cheddar cheese - or switch it up and use Monterey Jack cheese
- ranch salad dressing - you can use your favourite brand. We like the Hidden Valley brand.
- your favourite brand of bbq sauce
- hot pepper flakes (optional season to taste) I love the kick that these give to the flavour!
- salt and pepper to taste
- rotisserie chicken - I use both breasts which is about 3 to 4 cups. You could easily add in more chicken to taste.
- add in ½ cup sliced green or black olives.
- add in ½ cup diced or sliced cucumber.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Rinse, drain and set aside in large mixing bowl.
While the pasta is cooking, get started on the bacon. You want the bacon to be fully cooked but not too crispy. Drain the bacon and pat it dry with paper towelling to remove the grease.
Meanwhile, chop the onions, tomatoes, avocado (if using). Tear romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces.
Shred the cheese and the chicken (or you can chop the chicken).
In a small mixing bowl, combine ranch dressing, mayonnaise and bbq sauce. Stir well to combine. Set aside.
Place the shredded cheese, avocado, onions, tomatoes, romaine, chicken and bacon on top of the pasta in the large mixing bowl. Give it a gentle toss.
Pour the dressing over top and stir well (gently) to combine.
Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.
Transfer salad to serving dish. May be served immediately or chilled for 30 minutes or overnight.
If desired, keep a few pieces of bacon and shredded cheese aside to garnish the salad.
This salad is best on the day that it is made or the next day. If you're planning to have it the next day, toss the romaine lettuce in right before serving. Otherwise, it will be a little wilted. Store pasta immediately in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Pasta salad is usually best enjoyed the day that you make it. It will refrigerate well for one to two days. Keep in mind that some ingredients such as lettuce or spinach can wilt. You could toss these ingredients in the day that you serve it if you're not serving it on the same day.
Pasta salad can sometimes be served as a main course. Otherwise, pasta salad is a great side dish for barbecued hamburgers, hot dogs, or chicken.