“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” – Julia Child
Bacon. Ranch. Chicken. Those flavors combined would have to yield delicious results, right? I have to admit though, I was a bit hesitant about this recipe at first for two reasons. There were two ingredients I was unsure about: dill and cream of mushroom soup. I thought “why would soup be an ingredient for mac & cheese?” “dill? what is that? dill pickles?” So silly…and eventually I decided to take a chance and see how this recipe would turn out. Let me tell you – it did not disappoint!
Mac & Cheese is a great recipe on its own but I love experimenting with different kinds because there are so many options. This recipe tasted great! Of course any dish topped with applewood-smoked bacon is going to be delicious but aside from that I loved the seasoning & the added chicken. This dish is healthy, easy to prepare & perfect for a comfort food craving on a weekend!
Once the cheese sauce is prepared; add in all the spices and mix well.
Then add in the cooked elbow macaroni and chicken.
Once the chicken is evenly distributed; pour the mixture into a baking dish. Top the mixture with the colby-jack cheese and bacon & broil for a few minutes until cheese is crispy. I added a little extra bacon (I couldn’t resist!)
Serve & enjoy!
Adapted from, Cooking Light Comfort Food
- Yield : 4 servings
- Elbow Macaroni - 8 oz, uncooked
- Applewood-Smoked Bacon - 1 slice
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast - 8 oz, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Canola Oil - 1 tablespoon
- All-Purpose Flour - 1 tablespoon
- Fat-Free Milk - 1 & 1/2 cups
- Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (45% reduced-sodium, 98% fat-free) - 1/3 cup
- Shredded Six-Cheese Italian Blend - 3/4 cup
- Onion Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- Garlic Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- **Fresh Dill - 1/2 teaspoon, chopped
- Salt - 1/8 teaspoon
- Cooking Spray
- Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
- Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Finely chop bacon; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper (as desired) and add chicken to drippings in pan; saute 6 minutes or until done.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. Cook 2 minutes, stirring 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. Add Italian cheese blend, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, and salt, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in pasta and chicken.
- Preheat broiler and spoon mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with reserved bacon and colby-jack cheese. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts.
- **Note: dill weed can be used in place of fresh dill.