Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta Bake –Soooo good you’ll want seconds – and thirds! Everything goes together fairly quickly. While you are preparing the pasta, you can also cook the bacon and then the chicken. I prefer to use thinner chicken breast cuts because they cook quickly and can be more easily cut into uniform pieces. Cut the bacon before browning, either with a knife on a cutting board or with a pair of kitchen shears. I always burn my fingers trying to cut bacon after it is browned! Roux is melted butter (or other fat) and flour mixed together. When the flour has been incorporated into the fat, cook just long enough for the mixture to turn slightly golden before adding the liquid. Cooking too long or over too high a heat will make the sauce lumpy. Better to prevent lumps than try to whisk them out! I had a bottle of Bacon Ranch dressing in the refrigerator when I made this for dinner. Using it added a nice depth to the bacon flavor.
- 2 cups chicken, cooked and diced
- 2 ½ cups (8 ounces) rigatoni
- 8 slices bacon, chopped and browned
- 3 teaspoons garlic, chopped
- 3 tbsp of butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 cup of Milk
- ¾ cup of Ranch Dressing
- 2 cups cheese
- Bring pot of water to boil and cook rigatoni according to package directions.
- Cut bacon into one inch pieces and place in skillet to brown.
- Dice chicken.
- When bacon is done, remove from skillet with slotted spoon or spatula and drain on paper towel.
- Add diced chicken to bacon fat. Cover and cook until done.
- When rigatoni is done cooking, drain. Melt butter in bottom of pan, adding minced garlic.
- Add flour to melted butter and stir to make roux. Add milk and ranch dressing to roux and whisk over medium heat until slightly thickened and smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of cheese to white sauce and mix thoroughly. Fold in rigatoni, bacon and diced chicken.
- Pour into greased 8x8 pan or equivalent sized casserole. Distribute remaining cup of cheese over top of casserole.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and casserole is hot through.
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