Monday, September 19, 2011

Bacon Ranch Mac & Cheese

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

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