Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chicken and Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese

You already know that I'm a huge mac and cheese fan. Look over there to the left - I have a whole tag full of variations, and though I definitely have my favorites, I'm always up for trying something new.

This Chicken and Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese was adapted from Cooking Light, but I'm not really sure what's so light about it. Sure, it could be a lot worse, but this doesn't really scream healthy dinner to me.

Anyway, fat content aside, this was a seriously delicious dinner that both of my children gobbled up. I doubled it, which left plenty for leftover lunches for a couple of days. I also took Danielle's suggestion and added broccoli.

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Chicken and Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese
adapted from Dinner with Danielle, who adapted from Cooking Light
  • 8 ounces uncooked Fusilli pasta
  • 3 slices pre-cooked bacon, cut into small pieces (reserve 1/3)
  • 8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 breast)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces skim milk
  • 1 can condensed 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup
  • 4oz shredded cheese
  • 3 teaspoons Ranch dressing mix
  • 1 steamer bag of broccoli florets, cooked
  • Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

Cook chicken in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bacon to the pan and warm through. Remove from heat and set aside.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Combine milk and soup, stirring with a whisk; gradually add milk mixture to saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until sauce cools to 155°. Add cheeses and dressing mix, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in broccoli, pasta and chicken.

Spoon mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake covered for 10-15 minutes; remove cover and bake for another 10.


  1. Ohh....yum. We are addicted to mac & cheese in our house and I'm always tossing various meats and vegetables in there, but I've never tried adding ranch! That sounds delicious!

  2. Making this tonight!
    The more I see you use that baking dish (Pampered Chef?) the more I WANT ONE!!

  3. This looks tasty! I am your newest follower :)

    Check out my blog and follow back if you like!


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