Serve your family a big bowl of comfort with this Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake! Packed full of fresh veggies, crispy chicken, bacon & cheesy goodness, even your pickiest of eaters will ask for seconds!
What makes this Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake a great dinner idea?
There's not much out there more comforting than a big bowl of pasta. It's one of those ingredients that you just really can't go wrong with. It works in salads, casseroles, soups plus it's definitely budget friendly and makes it easy to feed a crowd.
So today we're making up a perfect Spring time casserole. Who doesn't love the bacon and ranch combo and then with the addition of the fresh vegetables in this pasta bake, I'm willing to bet it will become an instant family favorite!
So let's start cooking!
- Asparagus cut in 1 inch pieces
- Grape tomatoes
- Fresh or frozen corn
- Butter divided
- Chicken broth
- Half and half
- Minced garlic divided
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Dry ranch dressing mix
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Finely shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- Cooked and shredded chicken
How to make Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake
First thing's first, you've got to fry up some bacon. Delicious crispy bacon. And then you've got to try to not eat it all while you put together the rest of the components of this bake.
And while you're frying up the bacon, go ahead and cook the pasta according to the package directions.
Once the bacon is all nice & crisp and you've got it draining on some paper towels, pour out all of the grease but about a tablespoon or two from your frying pan. To that grease, you're going to add some butter & some minced garlic and then you are going to saute those veggies. They have now lost all aspects of being healthy, but they taste magnificent.
While you're sauteing your veggies, you're going to want to go ahead and make up the ranch sauce in a separate medium saucepan.
Then it's a simple as combining all of the ingredients in your baking dish, pouring the ranch sauce over everything and then just piling on the cheese. Then you bake it.
And then you end up with this deliciousness for dinner!
Tips and Tricks:
- Cook the bacon until crispy: To get the most flavor out of the bacon, cook it until it's crispy. This will give it a nice texture and a smoky flavor that complements the other ingredients.
- Use fresh vegetables: Fresh vegetables like asparagus and grape tomatoes add a lot of flavor and texture to the pasta bake. Be sure to use fresh, ripe vegetables for the best taste.
- Use a good quality ranch dressing mix: The ranch dressing mix is a key ingredient in this recipe, so be sure to use a good quality mix. Look for one that uses high-quality herbs and spices for the best flavor.
- Use chicken broth for extra flavor: Using chicken broth instead of water to cook the pasta will give it an extra boost of flavor. Be sure to use low-sodium chicken broth if you're concerned about the salt content.
- Don't overcook the pasta: Cook the pasta until it's al dente, or just tender. Overcooked pasta can become mushy and ruin the texture of the dish.
- Let the sauce thicken before adding the cheese: To ensure that the sauce thickens properly, be sure to stir it constantly over low heat until it's thick and creamy. Once it's thickened, you can stir in the parmesan cheese.
- Add the mozzarella cheese at the end: Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over the top of the pasta bake just before baking. This will give it a nice cheesy crust without making the dish too heavy.
- Let it rest before serving: Once the pasta bake is done baking, let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld together and the cheese to set, making it easier to slice and serve.
I hope you're family enjoys this delicious dinner! You can also make this recipe using leftover chicken! Just throw it in there when you mix up all of the ingredients in the baking dish!
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Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake Recipe
- ½ lb bacon
- 1 bunch asparagus cut in 1 inch pieces
- ½ cup grape tomatoes
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
- 4 tbsp butter divided
- 1 lb pasta
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 pint half and half
- 5 cloves minced garlic divided
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 oz dry ranch dressing mix
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet & drain all but 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the skillet.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet with the bacon grease and allow to melt. Add the asparagus pieces, grape tomatoes, and 2 cloves of minced garlic to the skillet. Saute until asparagus is crisp-tender.
- While you are frying the bacon & sauteing the vegetables, prepare the pasta according to package directions. Rinse and drain. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the remaining 3 cloves minced garlic and crushed red pepper. Add the flour and stir in with the butter. Add the half & half and chicken broth and continue stirring until thickened. Stir in the package of the ranch salad dressing mix. Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.
- Add the cooked and shredded chicken to the skillet with the bacon and vegetables, and stir to combine.
- Place pasta in the bottom of 9x13 baking dish. Top with the chicken, bacon, vegetable mixture, and corn. Pour the sauce over the top. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Serve hot.
What is chicken bacon ranch made of?
Chicken bacon ranch typically consists of cooked and shredded chicken, crispy bacon pieces, and a ranch dressing sauce or seasoning mix.
It's often used as a topping or filling for sandwiches, wraps, salads, and pasta dishes. Some variations may include additional ingredients such as cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, or avocado.
Is the chicken bacon ranch good?
Chicken bacon ranch is a popular flavor combination and is enjoyed by many people. It's a savory and satisfying combination of flavors that can be enjoyed in various ways, such as in sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and pasta dishes.
The taste can vary based on the specific ingredients and recipe used.
What does chicken bacon ranch taste like?
Chicken bacon ranch has a savory, creamy, and slightly tangy flavor. The chicken provides a mild flavor while the bacon adds a salty and smoky taste.
The ranch dressing or seasoning mix provides a tangy and herby flavor, which balances out the richness of the chicken and bacon. The combination of these flavors creates a delicious and satisfying taste that is loved by many people.
What is ranch made up of?
Ranch dressing is typically made of a base of mayonnaise and/or sour cream, combined with buttermilk or milk, and various herbs and spices.
Common herbs used in ranch dressing include parsley, chives, dill, and garlic. Other common ingredients in ranch dressing may include onion powder, black pepper, salt, and vinegar.