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+ servings
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5 from 12 votes

Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta

This Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta is loaded with a flavorful garlicky ranch cream sauce. It's easy to make on the stove top and is a popular family dinner idea!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt/Pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 6 strips bacon
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups uncooked pasta, rotini, penne, rigatoni, bow tie, all work!
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 cups half and half, can sub whole milk
  • 2 Tablespoons dry ranch dressing seasoning mix

Instructions

  • Shred the cheddar cheese and set it aside, allowing it to get to room temperature. This helps it melt so it's nice and creamy.
  • Take out your bacon and let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes prior to frying.
  • Use kitchen scissors to cut the bacon into smaller squares. Heat the it slowly on low heat, turn the it over as it begins to curl for even cooking. Leave 2 Tablespoons of bacon drippings in the pan.
  • Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle with desired amounts of salt and pepper, 1 tsp onion powder, and 2 tsp Italian seasoning. Toss in 3 tablespoons of flour.
  • Add the chicken to the pan and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside once cooked.
  • Meanwhile, being boiling your pasta water and cook pasta according to package instructions.
  • Add the garlic to the pan and saute for one minute.
  • Temper the half and half by heating in the microwave for 40 seconds. Gradually whisk it into the pan.
  • Slowly whisk in the cheese and ranch seasoning. Stir constantly.
  • Add the chicken back to the pan, and mix in the cooked pasta.
  • Turn heat to low. The sauce will continue to thicken upon standing.
  • Crumble the bacon into smaller pieces if desired and sprinkle over the pasta prior to serving.
  • Optional:
    -Add an additional 1.5 cups of cheddar to the top of your oven-safe skillet and bake at 400 degrees until the cheese begins to brown.
    -You can also transfer this to a 9 x 13 casserole dish, top with cheese, and bake at 400° F until crispy on top.

Notes

Make-Ahead Casserole Method

To make this recipe up to 2 days ahead of time, make these modifications:
  • Cook the pasta for 1 minute less than you normally would.
  • Follow all other instructions as indicated and transfer to a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  • Remove from the fridge and let it sit out for 30 minutes. Top with an additional 1.5 cups of cheddar cheese.
  • Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. 
  • Uncover, bake at 400 degrees until the top is crisp. About 5 minutes. Serve!

Nutrition

Calories: 675kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 43g, Saturated Fat: 22g, Cholesterol: 147mg, Sodium: 1162mg, Potassium: 540mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 870IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 453mg, Iron: 1mg