Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese

As Autumn is approaching, I have contracted a new virus. A virus however that does not involve the need of medication; just time, ingredients, and willing guinea pigs! I developed this deep desire last week to break OUTSIDE the humdrum box of cooking the same things over and over and instead trying new recipes out for the sake of well, trying a new recipe! This is not normal in my nature, but as the "head chef" for this family, they deserve the chance to expand their palate some. While I love getting take out or going out to eat from time to time, I long for that day when my family says "Yay! Mom's cooking, and we don't have to eat fast food!". (As a side note, we only have fast food once a week at MOST.)

Phone photo: Please excuse the deliciousness that it misses!

Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese

8 slices of bacon cooked to crisp and drained
3 small to medium chicken breasts
1lb box of Rotini pasta cooked and drained
6 to 8 oz of Velveeta cut into cubes
4 oz Cream cheese cut into cubes
2/3 cup of milk
1 package of Ranch Seasoning mix
Salt and Pepper
2 cups shredded Cheddar/Jack mixture ( I recommend regular shred, not finely shred)

Cut chicken into bite sized chunks and cook in a skillet with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper while cooking. Set aside. In a sauce pot heat milk, Velveeta, and cream cheese over medium heat until smooth and creamy. Be sure to stir it continuously. When it is finished, pour ranch seasoning packet into cheese and whisk well. Add salt and pepper to taste. In a 13x9 casserole dish dump pasta, chicken and crumbled bacon. Mix together well. Pour on cheese sauce and mix well again. Top with shredded cheese. Bake in a 375* oven for about 30 minutes or until cheese has melted and the casserole is heated through.

The next time I make this, I am going to try to remember to add an extra packet of ranch seasoning. It was hidden, and I would like to see what it is like when it is in the forefront!

This was served to my family with 30 minute rolls and a fresh salad. Comfort food at it's best, and a busy momma's excellent way to bring a comforting meal on a Monday night to the dinner table in record time. This would be great taken to a potluck, or to serve to a crowd!


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