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Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese

Chicken bacon ranch mac and cheese is everything you could possibly love about dinner, all wrapped up into one quick, easy, and tasty casserole.

I’m super excited about today’s chicken bacon ranch mac and cheese recipe for some very special reasons.  First and foremost, it involves bacon and cheese. If you haven’t heard, those are two of my very favorite foods in the food world.  Plus, I lightened it up so that it’s lower in carbs and fat, so enjoying it can come with a little less guilt. Awesome, right?

Disclosure: I’m part of the Dreamfields Pasta “Taste & Tell Team”.  Dreamfields sent me some free product coupons so that I could try their products. I wasn’t paid or required to post a recipe for them, they just asked that I mention them in exchange for the free product.

I adore carb-loaded recipes like pasta, potatoes, and rice. Especially macaroni and cheese. Oh. em. gee.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese - A quick, easy, kid-friendly dinner recipe - Get it at itsyummi.com

There is one small problem, though. I promised myself that I’d eat less carbs this year.  WHY do I torture myself like this?!

Oh yeah… it’s because I absolutely refuse to buy a larger pair of stretchy pants.

Crap-a-dap.

So I put on my thinking cap and then remembered that I’m part of the Dreamfields Pasta “Taste & Tell Team”.  They sent me some coupons so that I could try their products. I wasn’t paid or anything, they just asked that I mention them in exchange for the free product.

Dreamfields pasta products are excellent sources of fiber, have the same great taste and texture of regular pasta products, but they only have 5 grams of digestible carbs per serving!
This is perfect for those of us who are are watching our weight, or for those who count carbs for health related reasons like diabetes.  I grabbed one of the coupons they provided me with and off to the store I went.

They make 7 different varieties of pasta, so I was indecisive about what kind I wanted to put into my mac & cheese.  I passed over the spaghetti, linguine, angel hair, and lasagna noodles and narrowed the selection down to elbow, rotini, and penne pasta.  I decided to go with elbow for this batch.

Truth be told, this recipe isn’t too far off from Ina Garten’s Grown Up Mac and Cheese, but the added tang of ranch flavor boosted up the mac and cheese to a whole new, amazing taste level.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac & Cheese from ItsYummi.com #recipe

Please do your taste buds a favor and make yourself some of this comfort food.  You can thank me later 🙂

Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac & Cheese from ItsYummi.com #recipe

I’d love to know what you think of this chicken bacon ranch mac and cheese recipe.

Feel free to leave me a comment below. I love hearing from you!

Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese - A quick, easy, kid-friendly dinner recipe - Get it at itsyummi.com

Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese

Juicy pieces of chicken and crisp crumbled bacon are tossed with elbow macaroni and covered with creamy ranch flavored cheese sauce for a comforting dish the whole family will love!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 6 servings
Calories 956 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 16 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 lb sliced bacon (any variety)
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite sized pieces
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 24 ounces (3 liquid cups) milk (I used 1%)
  • 2.5 cups shredded cheese (I used 1 cup Grueyere 1 cup Colby Jack, and 1/2 cup sharp cheddar)
  • 2 tablespoons powdered ranch dressing mix
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain, but don't rinse; Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  • Use kitchen shears or a chef's knife to cut bacon into bite sized pieces. Cook in a large 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until crisp, then drain on paper towel and set aside. Reserving drippings in pan.
  • Add chicken to drippings in pan, sprinkle with pepper and salt and sauté for 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  • Melt butter into the same pan over medium heat and add flour. Stir to combine and cook 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in milk, then stir in ranch powder.
  • Bring to a slow boil; cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses. Once cheese has all melted, stir in pasta, chicken, and most of bacon. (Reserve some bacon to garnish the top of the dish)
  • Spoon mixture into a greased 9" x 13" baking dish. (A lasagna pan works well.) Sprinkle evenly with reserved bacon and bake for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 956kcalCarbohydrates: 69gProtein: 57gFat: 49gSaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 681mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8g
Tried this recipe? Mention @itsyummi or tag #itsyummirecipe!

Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese Recipe from ItsYummi.com is lightened up version of traditional macaroni and cheese. Comfort food with less guilt!

If you love mac and cheese recipes (and really, who doesn’t?), be sure to check out my Pinterest boards for more dinner recipe inspiration!

 

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15 Comments

  1. Flavors are wonderful. Mixing the sauce with the uncooked noodles perplexed me but, followed directions anyway. I had to cook for 1 hour and still the noodles were not soft enough. Also, I eventually put foil over top, added more milk as it was drying out. Next time I will cook noodles before I add to sauce.

    1. Suzanne, I’m so very sorry to hear that you had trouble. It seems that you missed the very first step in the recipe instructions. Step 1 says to cook the pasta according to package directions. I can imagine that trying to cook the noodles while baking the dish wouldn’t have turned out very well. I hope you’ll try the recipe again some time.

  2. Delish! I LOVE this!! Made it exactly as the recipe called for except I used different cheeses (what I had in the fridge). Colby/Jack, Mozzarella and parmesan (little bit), extra sharp cheddar and a little bit of feta. The kids and I scarfed it down!

      1. My entire family loved it, Becca! Thanks! Although I didn’t have the recommended cheeses, they still loved it! Next time, I will make sure I have everything I need!

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