Look at that ooey gooey cheesy goodness! It probably goes without saying that if you’re looking for something healthy, you should go right on looking. This is a dinner of epic proportions. Starring…Two kinds of cheese! Bacon! Ranch! Chicken! And nary a vegetable in sight!
I knew my husband would absolutely love this, but I also knew it would be a diet disaster for me to eat this (and all the leftovers it makes). So I did something kindof sneaky – I made a big batch of this right as I was leaving town for the week for him to heat up and enjoy. I had a little taste before I bailed, and it’s an excellent thing I did bail, because I could have kept eating that ooey gooey pasta until my stomach exploded. Now there’s a nice visual for you.
CHICKEN BACON RANCH PASTA BAKE (adapted from Mommy I’m Hungry)
2 12-ounce cans evaporated milk
1 1-ounce package Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix
3 cups cubed, cooked chicken
6 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 pound penne pasta, cooked to al dente
1 1/2 to 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 to 2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
- Combine evaporated milk, Ranch dressing and pepper in heavy saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring frequently until dry ingredients are dissolved. Simmer, uncovered, 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently. Sauce will thicken slightly.
- While sauce simmers, fry bacon in small frying pan until crispy, 6-8 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on plate lined with paper towels.
- Combine cooked pasta, chicken, bacon, and most of the cheese (reserving some to top the casserole). Add ranch sauce and mix well. Spread pasta in 9×13 glass baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Top with remaining cheese.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until hot and bubbly, removing foil for last 5 minutes of baking. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
I think the proper word to describe this pasta is: “omggggggggggg.”