This ranch chicken salad with bacon uses a homemade seasoning blend for a zesty ranch flavor! This flavorful chicken salad is perfect for picnics or to meal prep easy lunches for the week!
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I’m never one to turn down a good chicken salad. It’s a great way to use up leftover grilled or rotisserie chicken, and there are so many unique flavor options! I love my lemon tarragon shredded chicken salad and sun-dried tomato basil chicken salad, and this bacon ranch chicken salad recipe is sure to be a new favorite too!
If you don’t often have leftover chicken to use, my favorite trick is cooking a large batch of chicken in advance to dice or shred and freezing it in portions for easy use in recipes later. You can see how I make easy diced or shredded chicken here.
When making chicken salad, you don’t want to add too much liquid or the consistency will be too loose. This can be a problem if you’re using prepared ranch dressing to flavor your chicken salad. Too little dressing means too little ranch flavor, but adding too much dressing gives you a loose or watery chicken salad.
Using a homemade ranch seasoning blend to flavor this chicken salad circumvents that issue altogether! And if you keep the herbs and spices in your pantry, you’ll always have the ingredients on hand to whip up a batch.
Bacon ranch chicken salad ingredients
How to make ranch chicken salad with bacon
One of the great things about chicken salad recipes is how quick and easy they are to make. You just dice your chicken, mix everything together, and go!
This recipe does require cooking some bacon too, but I assure you it’s worth it. However, I have made this before without bacon and it’s still delicious!
Start with cold or room temperature cooked chicken. Finely dice or chop the chicken for the best texture. I start by dicing the chicken fairly small (the middle pile in the image below), then further chop it with a kitchen knife until the pieces are very tiny (the bottom pile)
Mix up your herbs and spices in a small bowl to make the ranch seasoning blend.
Add the ranch blend to the chopped chicken, along with mayonnaise, sour cream, and fresh lemon juice, and mix until thoroughly combined.
Cook some bacon and chop it into small pieces, and slice the green parts of two green onions. Mix the bacon and green onion into the chicken salad. Cook a couple extra slices of bacon while you’re at it for snacking on (you know you want to), or to add to your chicken salad sandwiches or wraps.
Serve and enjoy!
Store your bacon ranch chicken salad refrigerated for up to a week. If using leftover chicken, store for up to a week from the date the chicken was originally made.
Tips & Tricks
- Refrigerate overnight to further infuse the ranch flavors into the chicken salad. Some extra time and moisture allows the spices to rehydrate a bit and marries the flavors.
- Cook and dice chicken in advance and freeze in 2-cup portions for an easy shortcut for making chicken salad on a whim!
- Double the batch of chicken salad for an easy meal prep option. Then you can make chicken salad sandwiches for the week! For an easy ingredient conversion, click the number of servings in the recipe card and increase it to 4 with the slider.
How to serve bacon ranch chicken salad
- Roll a ranch chicken salad wrap with bacon and avocado. This is my favorite way to eat this chicken salad!
- Serve atop a green salad. Grape tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, cheddar cheese, avocado, and bacon would make great salad toppings. Drizzle, of course, with ranch dressing.
- Use as a filling for tea sandwiches.
- Make bite-sized chicken salad pinwheel sandwiches by spreading a thin layer onto a large tortilla and rolling tightly from end to end. Slice like sushi to make the pinwheels and serve as is or garnish each piece with a grape tomato and a small piece of bacon.
- Spread on crackers for a snack.
More chicken salad recipes
Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad
For the Chicken Salad
- 6 slices bacon chopped or crumbled
- 2 cups cooked chicken finely chopped
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Homemade Ranch Seasoning below
- 1/4 cup green onions thinly sliced, green parts only (2-3 green onions)
For the Homemade Ranch Seasoning
- 2 tsp dried minced onion
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried chives
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
- Cook bacon until crisp and drain on a paper towel. Crumble or chop the bacon into fairly small pieces.6 slices bacon
- Dice cold or room temperature chicken, and then finely chop it with a chef's knife. You want to get the pieces quite small so the chicken salad has a more homogenous texture.2 cups cooked chicken
- In a small bowl, combine all seasonings in the homemade ranch seasoning blend (dried minced onion, dried parsley, dried chives, kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried dill weed).2 tsp dried minced onion, 2 tsp dried parsley, 1 tsp dried chives, 3/4 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
- In a medium mixing bowl, add chopped chicken, mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, and homemade ranch seasoning blend. Mix until thoroughly combined.2 cups cooked chicken, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Add bacon and green onions and mix again until thoroughly combined.1/4 cup green onions, 6 slices bacon
- Enjoy immediately or refrigerate overnight for even fuller flavor! Serve on a wrap, sandwich, green salad, or crackers.