Bacon, Ranch and Chicken Mac & Cheese

“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!

Bacon, Ranch and Chicken Mac & Cheese

By October 2, 2012

Adapted from, Cooking Light Comfort Food

  • Yield : 4 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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.
NUTRITION FACTS (From CookingLight): Yield 4 servings, serving size - about 2 cups. Per serving: CALORIES 497, FAT 17g (SAT 7.4g, MONO 4.7g, POLY 1.4g) PROTEIN 33g, CARBOHYDRATES 51g, FIBER 2g, CHOLESTEROL 74mg, SODIUM 545mg
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