Nothing says “comfort food” to me more than a big pan of homemade macaroni and cheese. And this Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese is loaded with so much goodness, it’s destined to become a family favorite!
When you take a creamy, three-cheese sauce, infuse it with Ranch seasoning, then throw in chicken and crispy bacon, you know you’re going to a have a winning recipe. Oh, and don’t forget about the crunchy bread crumb topping!
To say my family loved this mac and cheese would be a huge understatement. They devoured it!
I was hoping I could enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day, but there wasn’t a bite left. I’d say it was a smashing success. Of course, I’m feeding several hungry teenagers over here. If you need to feed fewer (or less hungry) people and you don’t want leftovers, you can always cut the recipe in half.
I like to use traditional elbow macaroni in this recipe, but shells, or even rotini would work well too–any kind of pasta that will trap all that delicious, cheesy sauce.
I was a little worried about using so much Ranch seasoning in this dish, but it turned out great. The mac and cheese was perfectly seasoned, but without an overwhelming Ranch dressing taste. But you can always taste and add more or less before you bake the finished dish.
One thing is for sure, everyone will love this amazing twist on traditional mac and cheese!
Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese
Elbow macaroni baked in a three cheese sauce, with chicken and bacon, and topped with crispy bread crumbs.
- 16 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Fontina cheese
- 1 (1 oz.) package Ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix
- 2 cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 6 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large stockpot, cook macaroni according to package directions, drain and return to pot.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour. Gradually whisk in milk and chicken broth.
- Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in cheeses until melted and smooth.
- Whisk in Ranch seasoning. Add cheese sauce, along with chicken, to cooked macaroni. Stir to combine. season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
- Toss bread crumbs with melted butter; sprinkle over macaroni. Top with crumbled bacon. Bake, uncovered, 30-35 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving.
Don’t forget to save this crowd-pleasing pasta recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
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Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from Taste of Home