Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta

My older son is at an age now where he is extremely curious, and as a result he asks questions. He asks questions all the time. From the second he wakes up in the morning (“Mommy, where does the water that I brush my teeth with come from? What’s a water line? What’s a water company?”) to the second he goes to bed at night (“Can I sleep in my tent tonight? Why not? Can I have one more drink of water? Why not? What are we going to do when we wake up in the morning?”), he is asking questions. A lot of times, his questions leave me confounded, like when he asks me something like, “What does a machine do?” or “What’s freedom?” If you’ve never tried, let me just tell you: It’s nearly impossible to describe those things in a general way that a preschooler will understand. But I do my best.

I made this for dinner one night back in February, when the light for pictures still wasn’t great. As a result, before I ate my dinner, I carried my plate into the room we use for an office and put it on a small table in that room, right underneath the window, so I could get the maximum amount of natural light (which is also where I have my library books, which is why you can sort-of see a couple of them in the background). The whole time I was snapping photos, this chorus was going on in the background: “Hey Mommy, why you eating your dinner in there? Why you taking a picture? What’s a blog, Mommy? Can I have some pudding?”

Thankfully, as soon as he tried this dinner, all he had to say was: “This is yummy food, Mommy.” And after that, his only question was, “Can I have some more, please?”

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta: Quieting Children’s Questions Since 2012.

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta

1 pound mostaccioli or other short pasta
6 strips of bacon, diced
1 tablespoon butter
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 packet ranch dressing mix
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water; drain, return to pot, and keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Drain all but one tablespoon of bacon drippings from the pan.

3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the butter to the reserved bacon drippings, then add the chicken to the same skillet. Cook until tender, no longer pink, and slightly browned.

4. Sprinkle the flour and ranch dressing mix over the chicken, stirring to coat evenly. Stir in the milk, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in the cheddar cheese and half of the reserved bacon; cook and stir until the cheese is melted. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

5. Add the cheese sauce to the reserved pasta and stir to combine. Serve each plate of pasta with more bacon sprinkled over the top. Green onions would also be a delicious topping.


Jaida said...

Yum...more chicken bacon ranch goodness!

Aarthi said...



Stephanie said...

Your post made me laugh. My son also asks me those confounding questions. I have to remind myself that I don't have to have all the answers.I'm often getting frustrated with him when I am unable to answer him properly.

Stephanie said...

cute post! and omg, yum- looks delicious.

Avril said...

D'lish Cassie!! I have all the ingredients except for bacon - guess I know what I need to get at the grocery store ASAP! YUMMMMY!!!

Melanie said...

I made this for dinner tonight & it was amazing! Even my husband loved it, & he is the pickiest eater I know!

Anonymous said...

This was delicious, any chance
you know the amount of calories per serving?

Monica H said...

Sounds like you have a curious one. And cute to boot!

Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious Cassie. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Where would I find ranch dressing mix in nz lol I'm sure it only comes in the sauce type!

Sue S. said...

In my grocery store the ranch mix packets are on the top shelf over the salad dressings (actually above the ranch dressing bottles). This recipe looks delicious and has everything my husband likes. Will be making this soon.

Anonymous said...

I made this tonight for dinner and it was delicious!! I didn't have the right pasta, so I used spaghetti and broke it up into threes and it worked fine! I will definitly make this again!! Thank you for a great recipe!! Lynn

Anonymous said...

My daughter made this for our family tonight and it was great! Even the picky ten year old boy in the house said it was yummy. It was very easy to make and that makes it even better!

Anonymous said...

I'm making this as I type, and I don't even have to wait to taste it, I already know it is going to be amazing. I'd like to take a big loaf of bread and dip it in this base sauce that's thickening up!! Yumm!!

Anonymous said...

This is to die for! Thanks for sharing!

Whitney said...

Trying this recipe tomorrow! I am cooking for my husband, his two friends & myself.. should I double this recipe or does this make quite a bit? Thanks!

Cassie said...

Hi Whitney:

Wow, three grown men?! I'd almost tell you to double it. The recipe does make a pound of pasta, but my husband and two little guys and I very rarely have leftovers. It's just THAT GOOD. Go ahead and double it, and even if you have leftovers, they'll surely get eaten. :) I hope you enjoy it!

Anth said...

I made this last night and it was a hit with the adults. My kids are annoyingly picky. Miss E said one bite made her feel like she was going to throw up. *eyeroll* Even Ace, upon whom I can usually count to at least try new foods, refused to partake. Shrug - more for me & Dh!!

Anonymous said...

This may seem self explanatory, but between steps 4 and 5, do you pour the chicken mixture over the pasta and mix the noodles in? Or simply pour the Chicken mixture over the pasta more like a gravy topping? Just curious how people did that final touch. Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! I made this for dinner tonight. Not only was it super easy and delicious, but my three year old ate more than three bites! An absolute must try! I will be doing this again for sure.

Anonymous said...

Cooking this tonight for my picky pants boyfriend, but with the words, bacon, ranch and cheddar, it's sure to please him. Hope mine turns out as great as everyone else's!

Kayla said...

How many people does it serve

Becky's Exploration of the Wide World said...

Any idea on servings per recipe/serving size and calories? It looks DELISH!

Jennie said...

If it serves 4 people, it's 776 calories per serving and 24g of fat.

Rae in Honduras said...

Just want to say thanks for this dish! I used some Mozzarella that I had on hand and it turned out great!

Unknown said...

my boyfriend and i made this for dinner one night and it was pretty easy. we were questionable about how it was going to taste because it didnt look too appetizing-after adding milk- but it ended up being really yummy. definitely going to make it again :D

Anonymous said...

I am curious if anyone has tried this the following day as a cold salad. Making this for dinner tonight and was thinking it might be good for a potluck at work. Don't know if a crockpot would dry it out.

maisymumkins said...

i juat made this tonight and even my faddy beyond belief autistic son wolfed it down ! also didnt have ranch seasoning but googled how to make and made my own was yummy !!!

Dleung said...

Just made this..DELICIOUS ! Next time will probably add 1 more chicken breast...

Anonymous said...

Made this tonight....absolutely delicious!! My boyfriend said out of all the recipes that I've tried from pinterest, this is definitely the best one (and I've tried A LOT). Thanks for a great dinner :)

Unknown said...

Oh this looks devine! And your son sounds soo cute! Pinning it now for future menu making, and I'm also a new follower!
Sarah :)

Crystal said...

This looks super yummy! It also is saving me from the dilemma of oh no it's almost 5:30 and my husband is going home in half an hour and I don't know what to make panic!"
Thank you for your cute post and awesome recipe! :)

Renee said...

My family loves this! The first time I made it my husband asked me DURING DINNER to please make it again. Needless to say, we're having it tonight! Thanks for sharing a great recipe. It's a keeper!!

Anonymous said...

Just made this tonight and my husband went nuts he said this is something je would order at a restaurant. It was very very good

Anonymous said...

When does the pasta get stirred in with the other ingredients? Cooking and preparation times would be helpful as well. Thanks!

Mike said...

Tried this today, it's amazing, I initially decided I was going to try and be healthy so I cooked a spaghetti squash in the oven, rubbed it down with some butter, sprinkled salt and garlic powder over it and baked.. Poured this sauce, chicken, bacon, mixture over it, omg, delicious, will try to make some adjustments to make it a little healthier, but as is, it is AMAZING, than,s for sharing this recipe!

Anonymous said...

I cooked my chicken ahead of time in the crock pot (which I often do for chicken dishes). So, the dish was done by the time the pasta cooked. One post says it's four servings, but I think you can have 5-6 servings easily. I served it along with brocoli on the side. Very good!!

Jessica Desarro said...

DELICIOUS!!! I made this for dinner tonight and my husband gave it a 9.5 on the 1-10 scale. Will definately keep this in the recipe box. So easy and super yummy!!

Anonymous said...

Made this for dinner. Its amazing!!! One of my favorites!

Anonymous said...

will it still be good without the ranch mix or have you not tryed it yet?

Unknown said...

Do you mix the chicken/sauce with the noodles or just put it on top?

Anonymous said...

when do you put in the pasta?

Shannon Whitely Otts said...

Holy Crap was this goooood (and easy)! I made a few minor changes like the addition of a large chopped onion and I used more like 3/4 lb of bacon. I didn't reserve any of the bacon just kept it with the onions when I made the sauce. I also boiled the chicken the day before and added it to the bacon onion mixture. This is a "do-over", meaning it will become a regular in my repertoire! Thanks!

Mary said...

Looks yummy. Do you know if I can use real bacon pieces that come in a bag instead of actually frying the bacon?

Anonymous said...

Made this last night and everyone loved it!! I doubled the recipe but had too many noodles so I just took some out before I added the sauce. So now I have leftover noodles to use for something else! It was a big hit here and I live with some picky eaters. My boyfriend took some to work and Im eating some now. Great recipe and very easy!

Kelly said...

we did this tonight and oh my goooosh it was yummy!! I am a advid cooker from finding meals on pinterest }where I found you} and this was one of the best I have tried! THUMBS UP

JDesarro said...

LOVE this. Whenever I ask my husband what he wants for dinner, it's always "The chicken bacon ranch pasta." Thanks Cassie for making dinner easier!

Anonymous said...

Do you know how many tsps/tblsps are in the ranch mix? Going to try to make my own mix.

Angie said...

Made this tonight and the family loved it! I have to admit I had doubts, but it really was so delicious. This is going into dinner rotation. Thanks very much!

Anonymous said...

Will this freeze ok? I like to make meals once a month. Has anyone froze then reheated?

Anonymous said...

Made this for the second time last night and everyone loved it! I used a couple different cheeses and it worked great. I blogged about it with proper credit: http://hodgepodgecook.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/cheesy-ranch-pasta/ Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

Why is this recipe so yummy? Answer...because it was made with love!:) I bought the ingredients a month ago! Gonna try to make it tonight for me and my daughter. Perfect for this cold and rainy day we're having in S.C!

VinGirl said...

I made this for dinner last night, and it was delicious! Thanks so much for the recipe! :)

Anonymous said...

I made this last night and my little family LOVED it!!! I am so happy I foud your post. :) My picky 4 year old even ate it and I don't think Ill have a problem serving it as left overs. Thank you so much for sharing! It was the perfext mix of different, easy and delish! :)

Unknown said...

Made this today and it was a big hit! Delicious!Thanks for the recipe!

Unknown said...

I am now living in Singapore with my husband for a couple of years and am growing tired of Asian food! I am sometimes limited with ingredients but I had all of these so I decided to try this and what a dish! So yummy! It definitely will go in my cookbook! Thanks for sharing some "comfort" food with those who are far from home!

Anonymous said...

This was delicious..when served to my family the dinning room was completly quite. ♥ it!!

Cyn said...

This was absolutely delicious, different, but very good. Fed my family of 5 and we have some leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend loved this !!!! Thanks for the recipe !

Eric said...

Its Delicious. My family and friends like it. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Anonymous said...

I made this about a week ago and my husband called it "crack in a pan"...it was so delicious! My one and a half year old scarfed it down as well. She's not a picky eater by any means but it's rare that she eats things that fast. I just wrote it into my recipe book so that I can continue to make this in the future!

Unknown said...

Made this tonight and my boyfriend and I loved it! The only thing that I ran into was the fact that there was a lot more pasta then the chicken/sauce. Other than that, it was great! Thanks for the recipe.

Unknown said...

So I'm the only one on here that sortof disagrees. It was good, just not perfect. I think it needed way more flavor, especially garlic. I'm come from a family that puts garlic in everything I cook. Next time I'm going to use cream cheese melted and mix the flour and ranch dressing into it then mix onto chicken. I also think there isn't enough sauce for the amount of pasta ... just my two cents

Unknown said...

I just tried this and tweeked it a little for my own liking. I used southwest ranch and I used cheddar and pepperjack cheese (half and half). Also put a dollop of Daisy! It's very yummy!!!! Glad I found this recipe thanks much.

Unknown said...

Oh, and I didn't let my noodles drain dry and added about a half cup of the pasta water so it was a little more moist (for those that thought there wasn't enough sauce).

Anonymous said...

I made this tonight for dinner. My husband hates pasta dishes. He said he'd be willing to have this every other week. Huge. It was great. And so easy. We had broccoli with it. Yum addition. Thank you from four happy tummies.

Anonymous said...

Sounds good that way too. Will have to try next time.

carolyn said...


Anonymous said...

Looks really good! I was wondering if anyone tried it with the bottled Ranch dressing instead of packets. I have a couple bottles of the HVR dressing that's about to go bad, so thought maybe the recipe could be modified somewhat to use it. I may try to. Thanks for the recipe! :-)

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Anonymous said...

Made this tonight and used Rotisserie chicken and grated the cheddar fresh. Was quick and wonderful! Definitely a keeper!

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Unknown said...

Oh My Goodness, cheddar bacon ranch chicken ranch is the best even my 6year old Grandson loves it too. Very delicious easy dinner.😃

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