Recipe: Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese
16 oz. dried pasta, I prefer whole wheat elbow macaroni or shells
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 package of bacon
1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 c. milk, any fat content
1 pkg. Italian blend shredded cheese; divided
1 c. Monterey Jack shredded cheese or Colby-Jack blend, divided
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dill
1 tsp. salt
pepper, to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, leaving some drippings in the pan. Drain bacon on a paper towel. Add chicken to drippings, increase heat to medium-high and saute for until no longer pink. Set aside.
Melt butter in the same pot you made the pasta in. Whisk in flour. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Add milk to saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil for 2 minutes. Stir in most of the cheese. (Reserve a handful of each cheese blend to sprinkle on top of casserole.) Add spices and chicken and stir to combine.
Spray 9×13″ baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer pasta to baking pan. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon