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Chicken Bacon Ranch Baked Penne
Chicken bacon ranch baked penne is my newest recipe, and I have to say that it was a hit in my household! I will definitely be making this again, especially as we go through winter.
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This is a creamy, cheesy, protein-heavy, carb dish that is sure to stick to your ribs on a chilly night!
Chicken Bacon Ranch Baked Penne Recipe Inspiration
I am not a fast food person, but when I do go out, chicken bacon ranch is always my go-to sandwich. If I can add mushrooms to that, I’m even happier.
When I found this recipe that took my favorite sandwich combination and turned it into a delicious pasta, I was beyond excited!
Nathan ate three plates of it, and I ate twice the amount I usually do. Needless to say, I think this chicken bacon ranch baked penne was a hit! It will definitely become part of my recipe rotation in the winter from now on.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Baked Penne Ingredients
Ranch Dressing, 1 cup
Heavy Cream, 1 cup
Butter, 1 stick
Penne Pasta, 1 pound/1 box
Chicken Breast, 3, cubed into bite size pieces
Bacon, peppered, chopped into thin strips, 12 slices
Mushrooms, small container pre-sliced
Mozzarella Cheese, 2 cups
Parmesan Cheese, grated, 1 cup
Garlic salt and pepper, to taste
Thyme, fresh, to taste
Chicken Bacon Ranch Baked Penne Directions
Start by making the ranch dressing, so that it can chill in the refrigerator while everything else is being prepared. That will give all the flavors a chance to marry together and be delicious.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Next, render the chopped bacon slowly at a medium temperature. Doing this slowly will prevent the bacon from burning and help it cook more evenly and become perfectly crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the fat. Leave the fat in the pan and turn the heat up to medium high.
Once the temperature is up, season the chicken with salt, pepper, and a little chicken seasoning. Add the chicken to the pan and cook in the bacon fat. When the chicken is about halfway cooked, add in the mushrooms and keep cooking.
Once the chicken and mushrooms are cooked, use a strainer to drain the excess bacon grease from them and set aside.
In the same pan, heat up heavy cream and butter together over medium heat until gently simmering. I like to season my cream with some garlic salt and fresh thyme, but that is completely optional.
At this point, it is time to start the pasta. In a separate pan, boil the water and follow the directions on the box for how long to cook it. The pasta should be al dente and still have a little bite or chew to it. Be sure not to overcook it, because it will bake in the sauce.
Once the pasta is going and the cream is simmering, add in the parmesan cheese to the cream and butter. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce thickens up a bit.
Now it is time to start assembling everything! Add the ranch dressing into the sauce, and start stirring it to incorporate it.
Add the bacon back in, followed by the chicken and mushrooms. Taste and season again if necessary.
Once the pasta has cooked, drain it and put in a baking dish. Add the sauce in, and mix well. Sprinkle the top with mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes, until the cheese on top is melty and starting to brown. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes and enjoy!
Pair this delicious chicken bacon ranch baked penne meal with garlic bread and a salad, for the perfect meal.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Baked Penne Notes
This recipe was so simple to make. The original recipe I read called for pre-made alfredo sauce in a jar, and the same for the ranch dressing. I elected to make my own because it was so easy to do and cuts out the processed feel and taste to anything pre-made like that. It takes a bit longer to prepare, but not by much, and is totally worth the time!
Why I Love This Recipe
This is the ultimate comfort food meal, in my opinion. The alfredo sauce, pasta, and cheese all scream comfort to me, and that is perfect for a cold winter night!
This is a dish that can be made for any occasion. Perfect for a potluck because it will feed a lot of people! It is also a dish that can be made and dropped off with someone in need like a neighbor or a friend for whatever reason. This is a perfect dish for situations like that.
Have you ever made this chicken bacon ranch baked penne? Let me know what you think about it in the comments! Check out my other favorite chicken recipes while you’re here.
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