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Ranch chicken, crisp bacon, and pasta meet cheesy goodness in this easy dish the whole family will love! Low in fat and high protein; great for meal prep as well! You can omit cauliflower if you wish, or replace with more pasta.
If you been around here for a while, you know that ranch is one of my favorite seasonings! I add it to pretty much everything I can think to. I just freaking love the flavor of it! So as soon as I knew I wanted to make some Mac and cheese with chicken in it, my first thought on flavor was RANCH (are we surprised?) And then of course we had to add add bacon because chicken + bacon + ranch = heaven.
I wanted this dish to be cheesy too. Like cheesy explosions with each bite level. And I knew I needed something more than just shredded cheese to do that. That is where the cheddar soup comes into play. I know it sounds odd, but it does allow for more cheesiness throughout. It is also easy to come by at just about every grocery store. Although you could always order off Amazon too, like everything else. 😂
- Chicken – Here’s a thought: cook chicken in air fryer instead of the skillet! This idea came to me later on. I mean how amazing does crispy ranch chicken and Mac and cheese sound? Even better right?! Especially if we throw some bread crumbs in there, okay, okay. 😍 the skillet version below is easy though, and still so delicious!
- Elbow macaroni – I just used normal elbow macaroni! Which is one of my favorite pastas. Nothing beats classic elbow macaroni noodles and cheese.
- Ranch seasoning – to season it, of course.
- Cauliflower – again optional, but for me, I love it and it adds volume so I love including it! I just used the frozen because it is easy. Using fresh would work fine, I would just recommend cooking it before using it for this recipe.
- Bacon – I cooked beforehand. Extra crispy just how I like it! The kind I used had 2.5g of fat per slice.
- Campbell’s Condensed Healthy Request Cheddar Cheese Soup – again, kind of random I know. But is an easy way to add a lot of cheesy flavor and I have seen it at practically ever grocery store, so it is easy to come by.
- Shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheeses – you can use any cheese you want! The options are limitless here 😉
Why You’ll Love this Mac and Cheese
- Ummm do we need to spell the title out?! Chicken. Bacon. Ranch. Mac and Cheese… YUM!
- Lower in fat than traditional mac and cheese
- Only 4g of fat and 215 calories per serving
- There is cheesy goodness in each bite
- High in protein to keep you feeling satisfied
- Amazing recipe to meal prep!
- The whole family will love it, even your most pickiest of eaters!
What to Eat With
I mean really, is there a wrong way to eat Mac and Cheese? I think not. Still, here are some of the ways I have been eating this Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese to help give you ideas:
- With a a huge salad – red onions, feta or goat cheese, pickled red onions and honey mustard. My go-to!
- With a piece of toasted sour dough bread. I like to dip my bread in the Mac and Cheese. It is pretty much the best thing ever.
- With skinny noodles. Lol. Sounds weird, but it just adds more “noodles” to the mix. And with the elbow pasta and flavors of this dish, it’s basically a more voluminous version of the already yumminess.
- With a side of Upside Down Egg White Pizza. Yep. Life is good when combo happens.
As always, if you try, tag me on Instagram (@LaurenFitFoodie), because I love seeing your yummy recreations!
- 1.25 lb. 20 oz chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
- 1/2 packet 15g ranch seasoning
- cooking spray
Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese
- 1 + ½ cup 168g elbow macaroni
- 10.8 oz bag frozen cauliflower microwaved and cut into bite size pieces (I used Birds Eye Steamfresh)
- 1/2 packet 15g ranch seasoning
- 2 bacon slices crumbled (I used thick sliced uncured smoked bacon with 2.5g of fat per slice)
- 10.75 oz can Campbell’s Condensed Healthy Request Cheddar Cheese Soup
- ¼ cup 28g 2% shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup 28g 2% shredded cheddar cheese
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- Preheat oven to 400 °F.
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta. When done, drain and set aside.
- Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and set to medium-high heat. Add the chicken and ranch seasoning. Toss/stir until the chicken is evenly coated, about 7-8 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower, pasta and other half of the ranch seasoning. Toss to combine.
- Then, add the bacon and cheddar cheese soup to the skillet and stir until until everything is mixed evenly.
- Transfer the mac and cheese mixture to a 13×9" baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the shredded cheeses.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is to desired brownness.
Nutrition is hand-calculated and accurate. No autocalulations! However, note that values can vary based on the brands you use and if you substitute ingredients.