Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni & Cheese

Last time we were at the grocery store Dillon saw a magazine cover picture for a bacon ranch macaroni…. I’m not sure he saw much after the word “bacon,” but he asked me if I could make it lol.  I made it on Wednesday for dinner. You can’t have enough comfort food recipes in my books, especially based on macaroni and cheese lol!  So here is the recipe for the Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese I made that day!

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Sandie

Here are the ingredients that I started with.

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Before I started the sauce or anything else, I cooked the pasta according to the package directions.  I didn’t have any elbows so I just used some small shells I had in the cupboard instead.

I grated the cheese and then started the sauce.  I used a “white sauce” base for the cheese sauce.

To make the sauce, I melted margarine in the microwave and then whisked in the flour.

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Once  was well combined I added the milk and continued cooking it in the microwave on high heat for about 4 minutes, stirring every 60 seconds or so, until it started to thicken.

When the white sauce had thickened I whisked in the ranch dressing.

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Then added the 3 kinds of cheese, mixing until the cheese was melted and the sauce was smooth.

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I drained the cooked pasta and poured the sauce in, then gave it a good mix to evenly distribute the sauce.

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Next I added the cooked chopped bacon and the chopped chicken breast to the pot and mixed it until well combined.

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I poured this into a lightly greased baking pan, spreading it evenly.

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For the crumb topping, I melted the second amount of butter/ margarine in the microwave and then mixed in the panko crumbs until it was crumbly.

I sprinkled the crumb mixture evenly over the top of the macaroni and then sprinkled the second amount of grated parmesan and parsley over top before placing it in the oven…. uncovered.

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I baked it at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until heated through and crumb topping was nicely browned.

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And that’s it!  I served it with some nice garlic bread made with caraway rye bread!

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Recipe

Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni & Cheese

Preparation Time: 25 minutes  Cooking Time: 30 minutes  Servings: 6 – 8

Ingredients

  • 3 cups uncooked small shell pasta
  • 3 cups cooked chopped chicken breast
  • 1 lb. cooked chopped bacon
  • 3 tbsp. butter/ margarine
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups grated old cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated swiss cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup ranch dressing
  • 2 tbsp. butter/margarine
  • 3/4 cup panko crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tbsp. parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease 9 x 13 baking pan.
  2. Cook pasta shells according to package directions and then drain.
  3. To make sauce: melt butter/margarine in microwave and then whisk in flour.
  4. Add milk to mixture, whisking until smooth and return to microwave on high heat for about 4 minutes, whisking every 60 seconds until sauce is thickened.
  5. Whisk ranch dressing into mixture.
  6. Add cheese to sauce mixture and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.
  7. Add sauce to cooked and drained pasta and stir well.
  8. Add cooked chicken and bacon to pasta/sauce and mix until it is evenly distributed.
  9. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan.
  10. For crumb topping: melt margarine in microwave and then mix in panko crumbs.
  11. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over macaroni in pan.
  12. Sprinkle second amount of parmesan and then parsley over macaroni.
  13. Bake at 350 degrees until heated through and crumb topping starts to brown.
  14. Serve immediately.
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