He liked. The boys liked. I liked.
It was saucy, and cheesey, and carb-o-licious. Lauren added steamed broccoli to hers, but we both said it would be good with some more mushrooms. The original recipe used dried spice, but Lauren cleverly used dried ranch dressing mix (I had no idea such a thing existed, but how brilliant!). I used some sharp cheddar and some monterey jack cheese in this; I think any mild cheese you like would work well.
Chicken and Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese by Cooking Light, via Lauren's Kitchen
- 8 ounces uncooked Fusilli pasta
- 3 slices pre-cooked bacon, cut into small pieces (reserve 1/3)
- 8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 breast)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 12 ounces skim milk
- 1 can condensed 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup
- 4oz shredded cheese
- 3 teaspoons Ranch dressing mix
- Cooking spray
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
Cook chicken in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bacon to the pan and warm through. Remove from heat and set aside.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Combine milk and soup, stirring with a whisk; gradually add milk mixture to saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until sauce cools to 155°. Add cheeses and dressing mix, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in broccoli, pasta and chicken.
Spoon mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake covered for 10-15 minutes; remove cover and bake for another 10.