I had seen recipes all over Pinterest for chicken bacon ranch pasta, but they all included making your own ranch sauce or using salad dressing.
Well, I don’t have time to make my own sauce. And using oily salad dressing for sauce didn’t sound great. I wanted something with more depth that was still easy to prepare.
So I created my own concoction. It’s still an easy-to-make recipe (especially if you take the shortcuts I mention!), and it’s SO good. I made it for a friend who had surgery, and they loved it. We love it too.
You can eat it right off the stove, or cook it in the oven for more of a casserole presentation.
Easy Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
- 16 ounces chopped, cooked chicken breasts (you can use the grilled chicken in the deli section in bags…2 small bags or 1 large bag)
- 6 slices of bacon (or one bag of real bacon pieces)
- 1 box pasta (you can use spirals, penne, bowties…anything that has nooks and crannies for the sauce. You can use gluten free, too)
- 2 packets ranch seasoning or 4 tablespoons (if you have the bulk shaker)
- 1 jar Alfredo sauce (I use light Alfredo)
- 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- Optional: diced onion and mushroom (1 cup of each)
Start by cooking the bacon (if you’re using raw bacon). Meanwhile, boil the water and cook your pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the chicken (and onions and mushrooms if you’re using them) in either the bacon fat or a bit of oil or butter. Cook the chicken and veggies with 2 tbsp ranch seasoning (or 1 ranch packet) until heated through and veggies (if you’re using them) are soft.
Drain the pasta, and mix it with the chicken, bacon pieces (or chop your bacon slices), Alfredo sauce, diced tomatoes, the remaining 2 tbsp ranch (or the other ranch packet). If you want to serve the pasta right away, mix all the cheese into it and serve.
Or if you want more of a casserole, mix in 1 cup of the cheese into the pasta then spread it in a greased casserole dish and top with the remaining 2 cups cheese and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
This gets gobbled up in my house!