This post may contain affiliate links, please see our privacy policy for details.

This BBQ Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad is that “salad” everyone really wants to EAT. It’s simple to throw together but packs in the flavor. Grilled BBQ chicken tossed together with a creamy homemade ranch dressing, fresh romaine lettuce, grilled corn, tomatoes, and fresh avocado. This pasta salad is flavorful, filling, and a great way to use up all that summer produce. Enjoy this for dinner and save the leftovers for lunch. Or serve this up at your next backyard dinner with friends. Perfect to enjoy from now through the fall months.

BBQ Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com

There’s nothing like a pasta salad in the summertime. I’ve told this story before, but pasta salad used to be one of my favorite summer dinners that my dad would make. He’d often make a pasta salad on random nights when my brothers had already eaten. Since anything with the word salad in it was not their kind of meal.

His pasta salad was super simple. Pasta, broccoli, cheese, olive oil, lots of herbs, and then whatever random items happened to be in the fridge.

BBQ Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com

I remember having a lot of fun on Saturday nights helping him toss things together while munching down on broccoli. I think it’s partly the memories that I really love so much.

Anyway, I’m always inspired to create pasta salad recipes throughout the summer. And today’s recipe is my newest…and my favorite.

It’s not fancy by any means. And it’s certainly not the prettiest salad I’ve ever tossed together. But the flavors, the textures, and the deliciousness are all spot on.

BBQ Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com

Making this pasta salad is easy, here are the steps

You need to gather up your ingredients…really good BBQ sauce, summer produce, your favorite short cut pasta, and a bit of homemade ranch dressing.

I always start with the chicken and toss it simply with my favorite homemade BBQ sauce. You can certainly use store-bought too. I recommend something lower in sugar so the chicken is not too sweet.

BBQ Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com

Grill the chicken, and while that’s cooking, I usually start assembling the salad.

You’ll of course need pasta. I love a fun short cut like these guys, or maybe these fun squiggles. Once the pasta is all cooked, I add it to my biggest salad bowl. To the bowl I add cubes of cheddar and pepper jack cheese, lettuce, grilled corn, tomatoes, and slices of jalapeño.

Then I throw in lots of fresh cilantro and basil and give it all a nice toss.

BBQ Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com

Now the ranch – the secret to this salad

I did a quick homemade ranch dressing that, if you ask me, is far superior to anything from the store…but I am of course, a bit biased.

It’s creamy, made with plenty of fresh garden herbs, and when tossed with the pasta? It makes for the very best pasta salad. BBQ and ranch is one of the best low-key, not fancy, but so delicious food combinations.

Once you have the salad all tossed, finish it off with avocado on top. Then serve with additional ranch and BBQ sauce.

I know it’s not your classic pasta salad, but try to trust me on this one. It’s really good and fully approved by every family member. This was a huge hit!

You can eat this warm or at room temperature. Though the longer the pasta sits, the more flavor it develops, so this is also perfect for making ahead. My only recommendation is to wait to add the avocado so that it doesn’t get brown.

BBQ Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other pasta salad recipes? Here are a few ideas:

Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Pasta Salad

Caprese Chicken Pasta Salad

Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken and Avocado Bacon Salad

Pesto Chicken, Corn, and Avocado Bacon Pasta Salad

Lastly, if you make this BBQ Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

BBQ Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories Per Serving: 448 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Save This Recipe To Your Recipe Box

You can now create an account on our site and save your favorite recipes and access them on any device! You can keep track of your favorite recipes and generate a shopping list for recipes in your collections.

Register & Save

Already Registered? Login Now

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite size chunks
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 pound short cut pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 ears grilled or steamed corn
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, if desired, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro and or basil, chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced

Creamy Ranch

Instructions

  • 1. Set your grill, grill pan, or skillet to medium-high heat.
    2. In a bowl, combine the chicken and BBQ sauce. Grill the chicken until lightly charred and cooked through, turning halfway through cooking. Cook about 8-10 minutes.
    3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain and add to a large salad bowl with the cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, corn, jalapeño, cilantro, and basil.
    4. To make the ranch. Combine all ingredients in a bowl or glass jar. Taste, adding salt and pepper as needed.
    5. Toss the pasta with half the ranch. Add the chicken and gently toss to combine.
    6. Top the pasta with avocado. Season with freshly cracked pepper and salt. Serve warm or cold with additional ranch as desired.

BBQ Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad | halfbakedharvest.com

You May Also Like

Add a Comment

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

    1. Hi Dani! I am so sorry to hear this recipe wasn’t enjoyed, is there anything that I can do to help? xTieghan

  1. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe! I made this for my family a couple of times and everyone loved it. The ranch dressing, in particular, got lots of impressed comments. We subbed in crispy cooked portabella mushrooms for the chicken on meatless Monday and still did the BBQ sauce. Even the carnivores were very happy with it. We’ll definitely be making this one again!!

    1. Hey Alyssa,
      Happy Sunday!! I am delighted to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, I truly appreciate you giving it a try! xTieghan

    2. 5 stars
      This dish was delicious! I made it kid friendly for my little ones who don’t like mixed flavors by keeping the pasta, chicken, and dressing separate but then mixed it together for the adults. I added more buttermilk to the ranch and that have now become a staple dressing in our house.

  2. We made this with frozen grilled corn (dumped it in with the pasta to cook), aged shredded cheddar & cubed roma tomatoes–just adapted for household preferences! It was delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    Easy, summer salad that the entire family enjoyed! Our 13 yo daughter summed it up with “Half Baked Harvest for the win!”

    1. Hey Angie,
      Awesome! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and appreciate you giving it a go! Have a wonderful week:) xTieghan

  4. This was delicious and came together easily. My only comment is that I feel the buttermilk in the dressing should be 1/4 to 1/2 cup, not tablespoon. (That may just be because I love buttermilk!) Thanks for creating this!

    1. Hey Windy,
      Happy Friday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a try! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    Another winner! Thanks so much Tieghan. It was absolutely delicious and such a fun change from the normal dinner recipes.

    1. Hey Katie,
      Wonderful! I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thank you so much for giving the recipe a try!! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    Ya know when you go to a regular American Summertime barbecue and you get all the best stuff at the potluck on your plate…and then Mix it together? That’s what this reminded me of. So delicious and everything really does work well together. After the pasta was cooked, I took about 2 cups out and reserved it for another use…it just seemed to be too much noodles for the rest of the dish, otherwise it was perfect. Thanks for another wonderful meal, Tieghan.

  7. 5 stars
    SOOOOO good, I added some basil pesto to the hot pasta and the veggie/cheese mixture before I tossed all together since I didn’t have fresh pasta. This will be a regular in our house! SO good!

    1. Hey Patricia,
      Fantastic, I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! xTieghan

  8. 4 stars
    This is a beautiful, showy salad. However I felt it was lacking in some type of flavor punch. I would increase the ranch or maybe cut the amount of pasta. It needs lots more for a pound of pasta noodles, they soak it up if you have made this beforehand and the ranch flavor isn’t as sharp. Maybe some bacon, too? If I cut back the pasta I would increase the romaine, add more cherry tomatoes and maybe 1/4-1/2 C parmesan for a bit more salty/cheesy flavor. I served this to company and it was beautiful to present! That being said Teigen’s recipe for ranch is extremely good-very thick but some of the best I’ve made!

  9. 5 stars
    Loved everything about this salad! The flavors all jived to well! The dressing!! OH MY – that is my new go to. Thank you for sharing your creativity!

    1. Hey Tanya,
      Happy Wednesday! Thanks a bunch for making this recipe, I am so glad to hear it was a winner:) xTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    This salad is delicious! Not the normal everyday boring salad. And I can see that it will make great leftovers next day. Another hit, Tieghan!

    1. Hey Sonia,
      Wonderful! I am thrilled to hear this recipe was enjoyed and truly appreciate you giving it a try. Have the best week! xTieghan

    1. Hey there,
      Wonderful! I am thrilled to hear this recipe was enjoyed and truly appreciate you giving it a try. Have the best week! xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    Loved this salad! It was the perfect dinner for a hot summer night with great friends! Even my meat and potatoes husband wants it again. Yay!!!

    1. Hey Kristin,
      Wonderful! I am thrilled to hear this recipe was enjoyed and truly appreciate you giving it a try. Have the best week! xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    I made this for a small dinner party and it was a smash. So flavorful and pretty. You always have the best recipes. Thanks!

    1. Hey Trish,
      Happy Sunday! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad that it was enjoyed!! ☀️xTieghan

  13. 5 stars
    Good flavor combos, satisfying and hits all the nutrition for the day! Used some chicken pieces we had in the fridge, so then used barbecue sauce as a topping. The beauty of this salad is: use the amounts you have available and make the recipe your guideline.

    1. Hey Mary Ann,
      Happy Sunday! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad that it was enjoyed!! ☀️xTieghan

  14. Is it really 1/4 – 1/2 tablespoon of buttermilk, or is that a typo? From your reel, it looked like 1/4 – 1/2 cup.

    1. Hey Jen,
      Yes, those measurements are correct, feel free to add more to your liking. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  15. Looks so good! It looks gorgeous and delicious! What homemade BBQ sauce do you use? Is there a recipe or resource that you can share that’s your fave?

  16. 5 stars
    Your recipes are always delicious. Thanks for sharing. Will take a picture when I make it. Trader Joe’s has a roasted corn in the freezer section. Wonder if that would be good.

    1. Just use 1 cup of milk, add one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice, wait for 5 minutes, and you have buttermilk!

    2. Hey Katie,
      I would at least use whole milk in its place. I hope the recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  17. Thank you so much for this salad snd all the links to the other salads, too! It’s really been too hot and these salads are just perfect!

  18. 5 stars
    Fantastic. I have a family of picky eaters young and old and this dinner was DEVOURED. Followed the recipe exactly except I didn’t have any cilantro. No matter. Fabulous!

    1. Hey Claire,
      Happy Friday! Thanks a bunch for making this recipe, I am delighted that it was enjoyed! Have a great weekend:) xTieghan

  19. Can you please include sodium content in your recipes? This is very important to me. Thank you 😊

    1. Hey Melanie,
      Sorry this is not something I am able to offer at this time. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Sandy,
      Happy Friday! Thanks a bunch for making this recipe, I am delighted that it was enjoyed! Have a great weekend:) xTieghan

  20. 5 stars
    I disagree about this not being one of your prettiest salads. This is so gorgeous with the beautiful contrasting colors.

  21. Hi Tieghan!
    Looks great as do all your recipes. Could you give me your homemade BBQ sauce recipe? I can’t seem to find it. Thank you!

    1. Hey Jessica,
      I would skip the cheese and purchase a dairy free ranch dressing from your local grocery store. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  22. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’m so glad you recommend avocado mayo. I’m trying to elimate PUFAs (mainly the processed liquid vegetable oils) from my diet, which is in everything! I will be trying this recipe this weekend. It looks delicious.

    1. Hey Robin,
      Awesome!! I am so glad this recipe was enjoyed, thank you so much for giving it a try! xTieghan