Chicken Ranch Pasta with Broccoli made with 6 simple ingredients for a cozy and comforting healthy dinner. Comes together in 30 minutes and perfect for a balanced easy weeknight meal or meal prep.
Cozy and comforting easy meal coming at you! Don’t get me wrong, pasta is good all year, but once the weather turns, it’s something that I want more and more.
I shared this chicken and broccoli pasta on Instagram and it was a hit so I figured it needs a home on Eat the Gains.
Life has been super busy lately and all we want are easy meals to keep us thriving and nourished. Enter this chicken broccoli ranch pasta. You only need 6 or so ingredients (depending on what herbs you want to add) and 30 minutes. Our kind of meal!
And the fact that my husband will always eat pasta doesn’t hurt 😋
While chicken and broccoli sound a little boring, never underestimate the power of ranch dressing! And pasta haha. Truth be told, I never loved ranch growing up, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been starting to dig ranch more and more. I love Tessemae’s brand.
So when we needed a quick dinner and had a handful of ingredients and some ranch dressing, I combined them all, and here we are! Easy to make, delicious, and a good balance of protein, carbs, and fat for a macro balanced meal.
This recipe makes a lot, so we always have leftovers for the next few days to grab for lunch – it turns into a pasta salad dish. Feel free to adjust the amount of ranch you use as well. The pasta is lightly coated as I just wanted a subtle taste of the ranch flavor, but if you are a ranch lover, pour it on!
Chicken ranch pasta
30-minute chicken ranch pasta for a healthy and comforting meal packed with protein, carbs, and fat. Make it for an easy weeknight meal the whole family will love or for meal prep for the week!
Here is what you need:
- pasta – I used fresh (from the refrigerated section at the store)
- chicken breast – I love ButcherBox
- your favorite ranch dressing (I used Tessemae’s)
- lemon juice
- fresh herbs (parsley, dill, chives…)
- salt and pepper
First, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta according to the package. The chicken and broccoli will take about 12 minutes, so you will want to time that with when your pasta is going to be done.
Next, heat a large (you will want to make sure it’s very large) nonstick pan over medium heat. Let it get hot and add your oil. When the oil is hot, add your chicken and saute for 5-6 minutes until browned on the outside the cooked through. Remove from the pan, leaving behind the juices.
Then, add your broccoli to the pan with the chicken juices. Saute for 4-5 minutes until slightly softened and al dente. Next, add your chicken and your cooked and strained pasta back to the pan. Pour in your ranch and mix well to combine. The pasta is lightly coated, but feel free to add more dressing if you like.
Finally, stir in lots of fresh herbs (I used parsley and dill) and mix well.
Additions to chicken ranch pasta
When I came up with this recipe we only had a handful of ingredients in the fridge, but it can totally be pumped up. Here are some good additions to add more flavor!
- bacon – cook the bacon first and then remove it from the pan. Cook the chicken in the bacon grease and then follow the remaining steps.
- grated cheese – sprinkle in some (or a lot!) of cheese when you add the pasta, chicken, and ranch to the pan. Stir it all together and let it melt for a few minutes. You can also follow the directions as written and sprinkle cheese on top and make it into a casserole. Place a lid on the place to allow it to melt for a few minutes.
- more veggies – any veggies you like will work! Mushrooms, zucchini, and peppers would be great additions!
Make it low carb
To make chicken ranch pasta low carb, simply switch out the pasta for your favorite low carb alternative. Here are some great low carb pasta options:
- zucchini noddles
- sweet potato noodles
- palmini pasta (hearts of palm pasta) – I recently tried this and it’s my new favorite low carb option
- spaghetti squash noodles
- chickpea or bean pasta – this will still have some carbs, but has more protein
If using a veggie pasta (besides spaghetti squash), add it to the pan when there are 2-5 minutes left depending on what kind you use (zucchini noodles cook much quicker than sweet potato noodles). If using spaghetti squash, you will need to cook it before and then add at the end to heat through.
Eat it hot or cold
The beauty of this dish is you can enjoy it hot or cold! We love making it for dinner and eating it warm, and then having the leftovers the next day cold. It turns into chicken bacon ranch pasta salad! Since it’s so versatile, it makes it a great dish for meal prep and taking it on-the-go.
More easy dinner recipes
Chicken Ranch Pasta with Broccoli
- 8-12 ounces pasta* (use gluten-free if necessary)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast (roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces)
- 6 heaping cups broccoli florets (about 1 pound/2 small heads)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup packed herbs, roughly chopped (parsley, dill, chives…)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook your pasta according to the instructions on the package.
- When the pasta has about 12 minutes left, heat up a large saute pan (make sure it is very large) or cast iron and let it get hot. Add oil and let it get hot, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 5-6 minutes until browned on the outside and cooked through.
- Remove chicken from the pan, leaving behind the juices. Add broccoli and a little more salt and pepper and sauté in chicken juices for 4-5 minutes until al dente. Add chicken and pasta back into the pan and mix well to combine. Add the ranch, lemon juice, and lots of chopped herbs and mix well to combine. Add more ranch if desired. Enjoy (can be eaten hot or cold)!
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