Say goodbye to the days of lunch that look like sliced turkey and American cheese slapped between two pieces of wonder bread. Instead try this Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad that turns plain chicken into the delicious lunch of your dreams. It's a great recipe that the whole family will love!
Table of Contents
About this Chicken Salad
I love chicken salad. Why? They’re easy to make, they hold up fabulously for meal prep, and they can be a healthy, fun lunch option. Plus, there’s so many ways you can customize chicken salad!
I have a handful of chicken salad recipes on my blog including Pesto Chicken Salad, Copycat Panera Napa Chicken Salad, Rainbow Chicken Salad, Cucumber Dill Chicken Salad… but this Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad may just be my new favorite. Some extra smokiness from the bacon and cooling flavors from the homemade ranch dressing. It’s a combo you won’t be able to get enough of.
If you’ve had the Chicken Bacon Ranch Subway sub, this recipe has a lot of similar flavors but is way healthier. It’s low carb and keto friendly and can be enjoyed in a variety of different ways. I bet it will be a favorite amongst your entire family. Plus, you can make this chicken at home for meal prep and enjoy it all week long!
- Cooked Chicken - Any type of chicken will do. You can buy pre-shredded chicken, use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, cook your own chicken breasts, or even canned chicken.
- Greek Yogurt - Yogurt gives this bacon ranch chicken salad that creamy ranch texture without loading it up with tons of mayo.
- Ranch Seasoning Mix - This is a Bacon RANCH Chicken Salad so the ranch flavor comes from the seasoning mix.
- Grape Tomatoes - Grape tomatoes are best for this recipe because the have the least amount of moisture.
- Bacon - Baked bacon is best in my opinion, but microwaved or bacon cooked on the griddle will also work. Check out this Smoky Bacon Chili if you're a bacon lover.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
How to Make This Recipe
1. Prepare the bacon: Baked bacon is best! With the oven at 400°, bake on a metal rack for 15 minutes until crispy. Remove from the oven, let cool, and break into small bits. Place in a mixing bowl or set aside.
2. Prepare the chicken: If you’re NOT starting with already prepared shredded chicken, preheat the oven to 400° F and bake for 10-15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165°. Then, shred each breast using two forks or a hand mixer (works like a charm!). If you’re using pre-shredded chicken, ensure there are no large chunks.
3. Make the Dressing: In a medium mixing bowl whisk together mayo, greek yogurt, sriracha, and ranch seasoning.
4. Add diced ingredients to the mixing bowl. Tip: Use grape tomatoes (the narrow longer ones) instead of cherry tomatoes. Grape tomatoes have less liquid and meal prepped chicken salad tends to need some stirring so the less liquid the better.
5. Mix: Add tomato, onion, chicken, and bacon into the bowl with the yogurt mixture and mix until well combined. Enjoy!
How to Serve Chicken Salad
There are a lot of different options on how to enjoy Bacon Chicken Salad. Here are a few ideas of how I like to serve my chicken salad.
- On a salad: Serve over a bed of fresh lettuce for a BLT chicken salad. My personal preference is served on a bed of shredded leaf lettuce.
- Stuffed: Hollow out a bell pepper or cucumber boats and stuff this Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad inside! It's a low carb chicken salad recipe, so serve it in a lettuce wrap.
- As a dip: Low carb crackers or fresh veggies (carrots, cucumbers, peppers, celery) work as great vessels to carry this chicken salad if you want to enjoy it as a dip.
- On a sandwich: Try it on your favorite bakery loaf, a croissant, in a pita pocket, or on a lavash wrap! Serve with a side of fresh fruit.
- On a rice cake: Looking for a low carb option with some crunch?! Try this BLT chicken salad on a rice cake! Lightly salted, everything, or white cheddar would all be delicious.
- Make it into a melt: Choose your vessel of choice (pita, bread, lavash, bell pepper, etc), top with a slice of cheddar cheese, and put under the broiler for 3-5 minutes until the cheese gets nice and bubbly. And there you have it a Bacon Cheddar Ranch Chicken Salad MELT.
Store in separate airtight containers for 4-5 days. This chicken salad is fabulous for meal prep. Make a big batch at the beginning of the week and enjoy all week long!
Nope! Feel free to buy pre-shredded chicken breasts, use rotisserie chicken, or even canned chicken will do. There is plenty of flavor in this recipe that the chicken does not have to be the star of the show.
Absolutely! To make dairy free Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad you’ll need to use a plant based mayo and plant based yogurt. The plain cashew yogurt from Trader Joe’s would work well for this with its neutral flavor. Also double check your ranch seasoning packet because some brands like to sneak in some dairy ingredients there. Here is a good dairy free ranch seasoning if you’re looking to order some.
I recommend baking the bacon. Baked bacon is best in my opinion and keeps in the most flavor and moisture. 15 minutes at 400°F works great. However, to quickly cook the bacon, instead of heating up the entire oven for just a few slices, you could also use the microwave. To cook bacon in the microwave, place slices on a microwave safe plate between paper towel. Microwave for 4-5 minutes or until the bacon is crisp.
This Ranch Chicken Salad Recipe can be customized to your liking. Try adding chopped red onion, celery, bell peppers, or even some jalapeño for some heat to contrast the cooling ranch flavors. If you do not like tomatoes, I HIGHLY recommend another crunchy, flavorful vegetable. It’s going to take this chicken salad to the next level.
More Recipes You'll Love
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Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad
- Mixing Bowl
- Cutting Board
- Rubber Spatula
- Handmixer optional
- 3 cups shredded chicken
- 3 tbsp light mayo
- 5.3 oz plain greek yogurt, 1 serving size cup
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 2 tbsp ranch seasoning mix
- ½ cup chopped cherry tomatoes
- 4 pieces cooked bacon
- 2 tbsp chopped green onion
- Prepare the chicken: If you’re NOT starting with already prepared shredded chicken, preheat the oven to 400° F and bake for 10-15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165°.
- Prepare the bacon: Baked bacon is best! With the oven at 400°, bake on a metal rack for 15 minutes until crispy. The bacon and chicken can go in at the same time if you are cooking both.
- While the chicken and bacon cook, in a mixing bowl whisk together mayo, greek yogurt, sriracha, and ranch seasoning.
- Finely dice tomatoes and slice green onion into small slivers.
- When the chicken is done cooking shred each breast using two forks or a hand mixer (works like a charm!). If you’re using pre-shredded chicken, ensure there are no large chunks. Then, break your cooled bacon into small bits.
- Add tomato, onion, chicken, and bacon into the bowl with the yogurt mixture and mix until well combined. Enjoy! See blog post above for some tasty serving options.
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