Bacon, Ranch and Chicken Mac and Cheese

Fancy comfort food is on the menu tonight!  Bacon and ranch dressing-inspired seasonings are added to this classic family favorite for a twist your children will love.  Recipe serves 4.

What you’ll need:

  • 8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 slice applewood-smoked bacon
  • 8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/3 cup condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4 cup shredded six-cheese Italian blend (such as Sargento)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese

What you’ll do:

  • Cook pasta according to package direction (omitting added salt and fat); drain.
  • Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp.
  • Remove bacon and reserve the drippings.
  • Finely chop the bacon and set aside.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high.
  • Add the chicken to the pan with bacon drippings; saute 6 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Sprinkle the flour evenly into the pan.  Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  • Combine the milk and condensed soup, stirring with a whisk and gradually add to the saucepan, continuing to stir with a whisk.
  • Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes or until thick.
  • Remove from heat and let stand 4 minutes.
  • Add the Italian cheese blend, onion powder, garlic powder, dill and salt and stir until cheese melts.
  • Stir in the cooked pasta and chicken.
  • Preheat broiler.
  • Spoon the mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  • Sprinkle with bacon and colby-jack cheese.
  • Broil for 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Recipe and image from Cooking Light.

So what are you waiting for…Get dinner on the table!

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