Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Recipe

David Dial | Spiced Blog Updated

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta is such an easy dinner. Grab all the staples, and you've got a meal!

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Photo

Do you guys ever have those nights where you just don’t know what to make for dinner? We’re lucky enough that we typically have some sort of leftovers hanging out in our fridge. (And we’ve become experts at turning leftovers into tacos. Anything can be put into tacos!)

So the other night, I was at a complete loss for dinner. We didn’t have any leftovers, and I had been baking up desserts like crazy. As tempting as it might be to eat lemon coconut cake for dinner, I do have some limits when it comes to dessert. So I opened the fridge to see what I could cobble together for dinner.

I had a couple of chicken breasts hanging out in the freezer, so I figured I could start there. I grabbed a box of pasta off the shelf. (My wife is part-Italian, so we always have a supply of pasta in our pantry.) I also found a half pound of bacon left over from a previous recipe. Ok, so my dish was coming together. Chicken bacon pasta.

Wait, that sounds like chicken bacon ranch… which just so happens to be one of my favorite pizzas from our local pizza shop. I did have some ranch dressing in the fridge, but the thought of dumping ranch dressing into a skillet of pasta just didn’t sound so hot.

But then it hit me. Ranch seasoning. Please tell me I had a packet of ranch seasoning left… and I did! I mixed that packet with milk and let it simmer in the pan for a bit. The result was this chicken bacon ranch pasta. Given that I had no idea what to make for dinner, I was pretty darned pleased with how this turned out! In fact, I think this may become a go-to weeknight meal for those nights when we don’t know what to cook.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Picture

I’ve mentioned before how we often head out to trivia at a local brewery on Thursday nights. Trivia starts at 6:30, so quick and easy dinners are a must on those nights. It just so happened that I made this pasta on a Thursday evening. I didn’t have time to be doing loads of dishes.

I mean, I had trivia questions to answer! (Ok, maybe try to answer is more accurate. Ok, maybe try to answer and miss completely is even more accurate.) This easy dinner is cooked entirely in one skillet, and it’s one heck of an epic weeknight meal.

For the record, we made it to trivia on time that night… and we finished in 2nd place. The question that ended it all was, "in what year did three members of Lynyrd Skynyrd die in a plane crash?". We guessed 1974. The correct answer was 1977. Did you know that?

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Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Recipe

    6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Penne
  • 1/2 pound Thick Sliced Bacon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Garlic, Diced
  • 1/2 cup Onion, Diced
  • 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 1 oz packet Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 14.5 ounce can Diced Tomatoes, Drained
  • 3/4 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 1/2 cups Pepper Jack Cheese, Shredded
  • Green Onions, Optional garnish

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Once cooked, rinse pasta in a colander and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy.
  3. Remove bacon and pat dry with paper towels. Drain most of the bacon grease from the pan, but leave about 1 tablespoon of grease in the pan.
  4. Add garlic, onion and diced chicken to the skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until chicken is fully cooked (~9-10 minutes).
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the ranch dressing mix and milk. Add milk and diced tomatoes to the skillet; stir until well combined.
  6. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture has reduced in volume and thickened noticeably (~18-20 minutes).
  7. Add the cooked pasta, sour cream, pepper jack cheese and bacon; stir until cheese has fully melted.
  8. Garnish with sliced green onions before serving (optional).

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Published:
Modified:
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Cooking Method:
Simmered
Cuisine:
Cast Iron Cooking
Category:
Sauces
Tags:
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Related Recipes:
Cast Iron Cooking Recipes, Pasta Recipes, Chicken Recipes, Bacon Recipes, Simmered Recipes, Sauce Recipes, Easy Dinner Recipes, Dinner Recipes, One Pot Meal Recipes
Recipe Yields:
6 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Related Post:
Published:
Author: David Dial
Recipe Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 140
Calories 555

% Daily Value*
27%
Total Fat 18g
48%
  Saturated Fat 10g
39%
Sodium 946mg
22%
Total Carbohydrate 65g
4%
  Dietary Fiber 3g
  Sugars 6g
58%
Protein 29g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
David Dial

About David

David is bringing up the guy quotient here on Food Fanatic, representing all things Grilling in a big way. On his own site, Spiced, David covers every kind of culinary adventure.