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!
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.
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!
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