Bacon Ranch Quinoa Chicken Salad

5 from 1 vote
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This flavor-packed Bacon Ranch Quinoa Chicken Salad combines your favorite savory flavors into a satisfying dish you can feel good about. Toss cooked and cooled quinoa and chicken in a simple Greek yogurt Ranch with bacon and tomatoes for a cool summer dinner or easy meal prep lunch. Plus, you can make it faster with some shortcuts and even customize it to your tastes!

A small bowl of creamy quinoa salad on top of a plaid cloth napkin.

Why You’ll Love This Bacon Ranch Quinoa Chicken Salad

  • Cuisine Inspiration: American
  • Primary Cooking Method: No-cook
  • Dietary Info: Gluten-free, Dairy-free option
  • Skill Level: Easy

Ah, summertime! Sun, fun, playing at the park, going to the beach, swimming in the pool, riding bikes, going for walks. It’s definitely the time of year when we are all trying to get outside and be more active. But when the temperature rises, we don’t want to spend a lot of time making a meal that will fuel us through all the fun.

That’s just part of what’s so great about this Bacon Ranch Quinoa Chicken Salad. Let’s see… Bacon… check! Ranch… check! Chicken… check! Quinoa… ??? OK, bear with me on this one. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of quinoa, once cooked and cooled, the quinoa takes on a chewy texture and even nuttier flavor that even my quinoa-resistant guys enjoy. Here’s why you’ll love it too…

  • So satisfying. Between the quinoa and the chicken, you get tons of fiber and protein. Plus the Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing adds an extra bit of fuel!
  • Flavorful but light. Since that dressing is made with Greek yogurt, it’s lighter than your usual Ranch. And there’s just enough bacon for flavor but not to make it super heavy or greasy. But these ingredients are so flavorful that you won’t miss out on any deliciousness.
  • Keep the kitchen cool. If you cook some quinoa before the temperature rises and use some help from the grocery store with a rotisserie chicken, you can assemble this quinoa chicken salad without turning on the stove.

And, of course, it’s naturally gluten free!

Top view of an orange bowl full of bacon ranch quinoa chicken salad with a sprig of parsley on top.

What You’ll Need

Here is a quick rundown of the ingredients needed to make this creamy quinoa salad. You can find the full amounts and detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

For the Ranch Dressing

  • Plain Greek yogurt. Whole milk yogurt adds a nice richness, but nonfat works great if you want something lighter.
  • Apple cider vinegar. I like to use raw apple cider vinegar, but any will do.
  • Olive oil. Gives it a creamier consistency.
  • Dried herbs. The classic Ranch blend of parsley and dill.
  • Spices. A mixture of salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper is all you need.

For the Quinoa Chicken Salad

  • Quinoa. Cooked and cooled. You can follow the package directions to cook it on the stove or check out my five ways to cook quinoa for alternative methods.
  • Shredded cooked chicken. You can use a grocery store rotisserie chicken or any leftovers.
  • Bacon. Cook it till crispy using one of the five ways to cook bacon and crumble it. If you want to lighten it up even more, feel free to use turkey bacon.
  • Tomatoes. Chop a tomato or cut grape or cherry tomatoes in half.

All you have to do is stir the dressing ingredients together, mix it with the quinoa and chicken, then stir in the bacon and tomatoes. Season it with salt and pepper if needed and you are done!

An orange bowl full of bacon ranch quinoa chicken salad with leaves of parsley on top.

Quick Tips

  • Use some shortcuts. While you can make cooked chicken, you can also grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. And if you don’t want to make the dressing, a bottle of ranch, or a packet mixed per the instructions will work just fine.
  • Make it with mayo. If you need a dairy-free version of this quinoa chicken salad or just prefer mayonnaise, you can use 1 cup instead of the yogurt/vinegar/oil combo.
  • Customize it. You can definitely add in some scallions or red onion, swap the chicken for steak, mix in cheddar cheese, or stir in extra veggies like shredded carrots or chopped pepper or cucumber.
  • Prep in advance. Letting the flavors blend together by making the dressing or the entire salad ahead of time is definitely a good idea. That makes this a great recipe for meal prep to have for lunches all week.
  • Store properly. The quinoa salad must be kept refrigerated in a sealed container. It will keep for up to 4-5 days. I do not recommend freezing it as it will get watery when it thaws due to the yogurt.
A closeup ot bacon ranch quinoa chicken salad piled up over the top edge of an orange bowl.

Make it a Meal

I love to enjoy this Bacon Ranch Quinoa Chicken Salad over a bed of greens or in lettuce wraps, but there are lots of other ways to serve it:

An orange bowl full of bacon ranch quinoa chicken salad with leaves of parsley on top.
5 from 1 vote

Bacon Ranch Quinoa Chicken Salad

This flavor-packed Bacon Ranch Quinoa Chicken Salad combines your favorite savory flavors into a satisfying dish you can feel good about. Perfect for a cool summer dinner or easy meal prep lunch and you can even customize it to your tastes!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

For the Ranch Dressing (see Note):

For the Quinoa Salad:

  • 2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa, previously prepared as per package instructions
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken, cooled
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes or halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Make the dressing by combining the Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, parsley, dill, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper in a small bowl. Stir until combined and smooth.
  • Combine the quinoa, chicken, and Ranch dressing in a large bowl and toss to coat evenly.
  • Add the bacon and tomatoes, and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve over salad greens or in a sandwich with additional Ranch dressing, if desired.

Notes

If you don’t want to make the Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing, you can use 1 cup of your favorite Ranch Dressing from a bottle or made from a powdered mix.
Nutrition Facts
Bacon Ranch Quinoa Chicken Salad
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup (approximately))
Calories 140 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Trans Fat 0.01g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 18mg6%
Sodium 293mg12%
Potassium 234mg7%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 65IU1%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 54mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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21 Comments
  1. Mike Urban

    5 stars
    I made this for dinner last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. Flavor was amazing and I will make this again. I added a little cilantro and a dash of lime juice to brighten the flavor.

  2. Whitney

    Made this tonight for lunch this week. So ao glad I did. The recipe is so simple to make and beyond amazing! Will make this again!

  3. This sounds the perfect dinner to me; we love summer as well. Sun – fun and summer feet 🙂 Love when the kids play outside all day and come in for a deliciously healthy dinner. Perfect!

5 from 1 vote

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