Dinner

Chicken Cheddar Ranch Pasta

Hey Everyone! Thanks for stopping in for this delicious recipe. This dish is an easy and simple meal that you can throw together in about 15 minutes. Once you have prepped your ingredients it does not take long at all. I love making this dish all the time. It is such a hit in our home. You can serve this as a single meal or you can add any side dish that you like. I like to go on the lighter side with a side dish like a salad.  I am pleased to share this delicious meal with you. Here is what you will need.

INGREDIENTS:

1 LB OF NOODLES (I use spiral noodles)
2 CHICKEN BREASTS (dice them into cubes)
SALT AND PEPPER
4 TO 6 SLICES OF BACON (cubed)
1 PCKT OF RANCH POWDER
3 TBSP FLOUR
2 CUPS OF MILK
1 CUP CHEDDAR CHEESE (grated)
1 CUP PACKED SPINACH
2 CUPS OF CUT BROCCOLI
1/2 TSP SMOKED PAPRIKA
1/2 TSP GARLIC POWDER
1/2 TSP ONION POWDER

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large pot bring water to a boil. Add about 1 tbsp of salt and add the pasta. Stir. Let cook for about 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and set aside. The pasta should be slightly undercooked as it will go into the sauce later.
  2. In a large pan with high sides ( medium heat) add the bacon and cook until the bacon is crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  3. In the same pan add in the chicken (medium heat) and season with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. Toss to coat evenly with the seasoning and cook until all of the chicken is cooked through.
  4. In a small bowl combine the ranch powder and flour and add this to the chicken. Toss to coat evenly. Cook for about 1 minute just to coat the chicken and remove that raw flour flavor.
  5. Slowly add in the milk and stir to prevent lumps. Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow to cook until the sauce is thickened. this should take about 5 to 10 minutes. Add in the cheddar cheese and stir to combine well.
  6. Add the broccoli and spinach and stir in to coat the broccoli and heat through and to wilt the spinach. At this point, you can taste to see if the sauce needs more salt and pepper and add more if you like.
  7. Now you can add in the pasta and carefully toss to coat the pasta in the sauce. Sprinkle in half of the bacon and toss in with the mixture. When you are ready to serve top the dish with the remaining bacon.

 

  • if you want a richer flavor in the sauce you can add 1 tbsp of butter ( Kerry Gold) To the pan before adding the milk. I do not usually add any oil to the pan because I use the fat from the bacon to flavor the dish and coat the pan.
  • You can use fresh or frozen vegetables for this dish. They both work equally as well. If you use fresh broccoli, Blanch them for about 5 minutes. you can toss them into the pasta water 5 minutes before draining the pasta.
  • Instead of spinach, you can also add in some kale. massage the kale before putting it into the dish.  You can add it in at the same time as you would the spinach.

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