Delicious combo of chicken, bacon, ranch, and a mac and cheese made with three cheeses!  Family-friendly, make-ahead friendly, and perfect for a weeknight dinner! #macandcheese #chickenbaconranch #crackchicken #bakedmac #macaroniandcheese #easyrecipe #weeknightdinner #casserole
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5 from 9 votes

Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese Casserole

Classic baked mac and cheese gets a comforting and family-friendly chicken bacon ranch flavor twist
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken bacon ranch, mac and cheese
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 884kcal

Ingredients

  • 10 slices bacon, diced
  • 3 cups shredded chicken (see recipe notes for substitutions)
  • 1 oz package dried ranch dressing seasoning
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. dry large elbow pasta

Instructions

  • Boil pasta 1 minute shy of al dente (see package for approximate time), drain.  Stir with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking.  Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F degrees and butter a 3 quart baking dish.  Set aside.
  • To a large, deep skillet, or dutch oven, add bacon and cook over MED-LOW heat until crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate, then drain all but 1 Tbsp of the bacon fat.
  • Increase heat to MED, and add shredded chicken and ranch seasoning, and cook, stirring to coat.  Cook 2-3 minutes.  Remove to a plate.
  • Add butter and garlic, cooking about 30 seconds, until garlic is fragrant.  Add flour and whisk together to form a paste.  Slowly add in heavy cream and half and half, whisking vigorously as you add the liquids.  Once all liquids are in the pot, cook, whisking often, for 3-5 minutes, until thickened.
  • Stir in all of the Parmesan cheese, half of the mozzarella and half of the cheddar.  Melt cheese completely, then stir in cooked pasta, chicken, and half of the bacon pieces.
  • Transfer to prepared baking dish and top with remaining mozzarella, cheddar, and bacon.  Bake 25-30 minutes, until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Video

Notes

Shredded chicken can be substituted with 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 4-5 boneless skinless chicken thighs.  In step 4, add chicken and ranch, then cook until golden brown and cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 F degrees.

Nutrition

Calories: 884kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Cholesterol: 207mg | Sodium: 959mg | Potassium: 471mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1545IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 461mg | Iron: 1.5mg