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Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake

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Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake is a hearty and flavorful dish that combines tender chicken, crispy bacon, and creamy ranch Alfredo sauce with perfectly cooked pasta. This recipe is perfect for a comforting family dinner or a special gathering. Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making this delicious pasta bake.

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Ingredients

  • 1 jar (about 15 ounces) Alfredo sauce
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1.25 lbs chicken breast, cubed and sautéed
  • 1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta, cooked according to package instructions
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley or chives for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

  1. Cook the Bacon:
    • In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet, drain on paper towels, and crumble when cool. Set aside.
  2. Sauté the Chicken:
    • In the same skillet, add the cubed chicken breast. Sauté over medium-high heat until the chicken is cooked through and lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Cook the Pasta:
    • Cook the penne pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Sauce

  1. Combine Alfredo Sauce and Ranch Dressing:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the jar of Alfredo sauce and the cup of ranch dressing. Stir until well combined.

Step 3: Assemble the Pasta Bake

  1. Mix Pasta, Chicken, and Bacon:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, sautéed chicken, and crumbled bacon. Pour the Alfredo ranch sauce over the mixture and stir until everything is evenly coated.
  2. Transfer to Baking Dish:
    • Transfer the pasta mixture to a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread it out evenly.
  3. Add Cheese:
    • Sprinkle the grated mozzarella cheese evenly over the top of the pasta mixture.

Step 4: Bake

  1. Bake the Pasta:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake the pasta for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the top is lightly golden.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Garnish and Serve:
    • Remove the pasta bake from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or chives if desired. Serve hot and enjoy!

Cook Notes and Variations

Cook Notes:

  • Chicken: Ensure the chicken is cooked thoroughly before combining it with the other ingredients.
  • Pasta: Cook the pasta until al dente to prevent it from becoming too soft during baking.

Variations:

  • Vegetable Addition:
    • Add sautéed spinach, mushrooms, or broccoli to the pasta bake for added nutrition and flavor.
  • Spicy Kick:
    • Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the Alfredo ranch sauce for a spicy variation.
  • Cheese Variations:
    • Substitute or add other cheeses like cheddar, Parmesan, or Monterey Jack for a different flavor profile.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the pasta bake ahead of time, cover it with aluminum foil, and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking. When ready to bake, remove the foil and bake as directed.

2. How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover pasta bake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven before serving.

3. Can I freeze Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake?

Yes, you can freeze this pasta bake. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat before serving.

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4. What can I serve with Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake?

This dish pairs well with a fresh green salad, garlic bread, or steamed vegetables.

5. Can I use a different type of pasta?

Yes, you can use any pasta shape you prefer, such as rotini, farfalle, or rigatoni.

The Comfort of Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake is a comforting and flavorful dish that brings warmth and satisfaction with every bite. The combination of tender chicken, crispy bacon, and creamy sauce creates a dish that is both hearty and delicious. This recipe is perfect for family dinners, gatherings, or anytime you crave a comforting and flavorful meal.

Tips for Success

  1. Cook Ingredients Properly: Ensure the chicken is fully cooked and the bacon is crispy for the best texture and flavor.
  2. Use Quality Ingredients: High-quality Alfredo sauce and ranch dressing will enhance the overall flavor of the dish.
  3. Don’t Overcook the Pasta: Cooking the pasta until al dente ensures it holds up well during baking.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake is a delicious and comforting dish that is perfect for any occasion. With its combination of tender chicken, crispy bacon, and creamy sauce, this recipe is sure to be a hit with family and friends. Whether you’re making it for a cozy dinner or a special gathering, this dish is simple to prepare and full of delicious flavors. Give this Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake recipe a try and enjoy a satisfying and hearty meal. Happy cooking!