Chicken Ranch Mac & Cheese
Total TimePrep: 15 min. Bake: 30 min.
- 3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
- 3/4 cup ranch salad dressing
- 1 cup coarsely chopped cooked chicken
- 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a 6-qt. stockpot, cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente; drain and return to pot.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth; gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Stir in cheeses until blended. Stir in dressing.
- Add chicken and sauce to macaroni, tossing to combine. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
- Toss bread crumbs with melted butter; sprinkle over macaroni. Top with bacon. Bake, uncovered, 30-35 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley. Freeze option: Prepare recipe as directed, increasing milk to 1-1/3 cups. Cool unbaked casserole; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Cover casserole with foil; bake 30 minutes. Uncover; continue baking as directed or until heated through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°.
Nutrition Facts1 cup: 586 calories, 37g fat (15g saturated fat), 84mg cholesterol, 889mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 25g protein.
Jun 26, 2018
We really liked this. The ranch flavor seemed pretty subtle. That may have been because, like other reviewers suggested, I added in some milk at the end of cooking the cheese sauce, so that it wouldn't be so thick. Maybe nearly 1/4C of milk. I also tossed some fresh chopped yellow bell pepper into the mix. It cooked up in the oven, and it made the meal more rounded out with some veggies. Next time I think I might do 1.5x the sauce and add in broccoli. The topping was delicious, and I think it actually brought out the ranch flavor more. I made no other changes except to cut it in half and put it in an 8x8 dish. It did seem like about 4 servings. I will definitely make this again.
Apr 10, 2018
My husband and I really loved this recipe. I added a packet of dry ranch dressing as well... Yummy! I'm thinking next time I might add some diced tomatoes. Only complaint is that it doesn't heat up as well, kinda dry. Hoping the tomatoes would help or adding a little more ranch to the reheated portion before microwaving.
Mar 26, 2018
I made this tonight for supper and it was AMAZING! The only change I made was using mozzarella cheese instead of Swiss. Will definitely be making it again!
Mar 8, 2018
This is delicious,and I will make it again soon. Lots of ideas one could do with this but it's great as is!
Feb 9, 2018
I'm always trying new recipes. My family is very picky. FINALLY! Something they all loved. Not a complaint out of the lot.
Jan 28, 2018
I made this for my husband and our neighbors and everyone loved it. My neighbors asked for the recipe. I love it when I find myself a winning recipe. Thank you Angela and Taste of Home
Jan 11, 2018
My boys LOVE this - it has everything they love. Very rich, but very flavorful. I made this for a family get together and it was a big hit.
Mar 24, 2017
Hi Cedarvalley6452,The last ingredient before the Topping list is 1 cup coarsely chopped cooked chicken.Hope that helps!Sue StetzelTaste of Home Magazine
Mar 23, 2017
it calls for chicken but is not in the recipe, ?
Jan 25, 2017
I made this for meals-on-wheels and the reason for only 3 stars is that there is no way this recipe, as written, makes 8 "good sized" portions -- but I did substitute small tri-colored spiral pasta for the elbow. I used 5 cups of raw pasta, 4 cups of chicken and 2 cups of milk. Also, substituted crushed Ritz crackers for the bread crumbs. I used the measurements for cheese sauce as written using an Italian blend instead of Swiss because that is what I had. The next time I make this I will probably make more sauce but it was well received and my husband and I liked it as well!
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