Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac

Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese. Homemade macaroni and cheese with a twist and shout! Small Town Girl BlogI love mac and cheese! I have been on the hunt for a very long time for a good homemade mac and cheese that didn’t break the calorie bank but still had some good flavor. This is my tried and true recipe. I usually make it once a month. The leftovers stay creamy and delicious even after microwaving. It’s good cold too!!

Sounds horribly unhealthy right? Well don’t run away just yet. It’s a hell of a lot better than Velveeta shells and cheese. And you don’t walk away from this feeling like total garbage.  Let me share some points that make this a bigger better mac and cheese:

  • Velveta shells and cheese 2 cups = 1000 calories
  • Chicken bacon ranch mac 2 cups = 675 calories??????????DSCN0489
  • The chicken adds protein and breaks up the monotony of the pasta
  • I use smart taste spiral pasta which has lots of fiber but still tastes like white pasta. I love this brand! If you haven’t tried it and you love pasta, go get some now!
  • Bacon – that’s 8 slices for 6 servings….not so bad huh?
  • Healthy choice cream of mushroom helps it stick together. Don’t worry, it doesn’t taste mushroomy at all when it’s done
  • Low fat milk
  • Fat free sour cream
  • Real cheese – sharp cheddar and parmesan pack a flavorful punch.

Intrigued? I thought you might be. It takes some time (about an hour), but it’s worth it and you have lunch for a few days too!

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts – seasoned, grilled, and chopped
  • Montreal steak seasoning or Johnny’s seasoning
  • 8-10 rashers of cooked bacon (reserve grease!)
  • Smart Taste Spiral pasta – 1 box
  • 3 tbsp bacon grease
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of mushroom
  • 1/2 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1 tbsp Onion powder
  • 1 tbsp Garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp Dill
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 2  cup sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
  • Panko bread crumbs  (optional)

Time: 1 hour

Servings: 6

Instructions:

Cook pasta as directed.

Prep chicken – Here’s what I do:  I use Montreal steak seasoning, it give a great kick. I’m sure Johnny’s would be good too. Slice chicken breast lengthwise, season both sides, grill in the George Foreman, and chop up.

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Chop bacon – I use my food processor for great results but a knife works too.

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In mixing bowl: whisk milk, chicken broth, sour cream, cream of mush, a couple dashes of garlic powder, pepper, onion powder, and 2 tbsp. dill.

Preheat the oven to 350⁰

Put bacon grease, and flour in a skillet on med high. Whisk together and cook for one minute
Gradually pour in liquid mixture while whisking.

Once it starts to boil, add cheeses and continuously whisk (about 5 minutes)until the cheese is melted and the whisk comes out of the sauce cheese free. It will be a light creamy color.

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IMG_2960

Layer ½ pasta, then meat, then sauce. Repeat with the other ½ of the pasta,meat, and sauce.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese. Homemade macaroni and cheese with a twist and shout! Small Town Girl Blog

Bake for 20 minutes uncovered

 Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese. Homemade macaroni and cheese with a twist and shout! Small Town Girl Blog

Pull out of the oven and sprinkle with Panko (optional)

Place back in oven for 10 minutes. If it’s not browned, broil on low for a couple minutes.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese. Homemade macaroni and cheese with a twist and shout! Small Town Girl Blog

10 thoughts on “Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac

  1. Pingback: C is for…. | The Ramblings of an Aspiring Small Town Girl

  2. Pingback: A Year in Food 2014 | The Ramblings of an Aspiring Small Town Girl

  3. This dish is making my mouth water, how delicious! Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!! Laura@Baking in Pyjamas

  4. Pingback: 10 Epic Cheese Recipes for National Cheese Day! | The Ramblings of an Aspiring Small Town Girl

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