As casseroles go, this one is pretty special, and if you’ve never heard of “crack chicken” you’re in for a treat. Take some cheese, some bacon and some ranch and put it all together with some chicken and some pasta and you’ve got a pretty spectacular dish that will please everyone. Also known as Crack Chicken Pasta.
Casseroles and One pot meals are a fantastic way to get dinner on the table fast. All the ingredients go in the same pot and simmer together for about 20 minutes. The starch in the pasta and the added cheese make the sauce thick and cheesy. It’s easy to serve right out of the pan so no extra dishes to wash. This whole meal is a win-win-win!
How to Make One Pot Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta
Start with some prep. Mix together the liquid base of chicken broth, milk and ranch seasoning. Set it aside until you need it.
Throw some chicken in a big skillet and brown it in for several minutes. Don’t cook it all the way through; a little pink at this point is ok.
Add the broth mixture, some cooked bacon and uncooked pasta. Bring it all to a simmer, give it a good stir, then cover the skillet with the lid. Turn down the heat and let it simmer and steam. As it steams the pasta will absorb the liquid as it cooks and creates a thick liquid for the sauce.
Once the pasta is cooked and the sauce is reduced, add some shredded cheese. Cheddar is best.
If you save a little and managed not to eat it, sprinkle some bacon on top of the Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta and add some sliced green onions for garnish.
Recipe Notes and Tips
Always use freshly grated cheese off the block. The packaged cheese doesn’t melt as well or taste as good.
If ]there is still some liquid in the pan, that’s ok. If it seems like a lot, you can spoon a little out, but once the cheese is added the liquid blends into a sauce.
Instead of cooking and then chopping your bacon, use kitchen scissors to cut the raw bacon right into the pan to cook. Or, try cooking bacon in the oven.
Leftover Crack Chicken Chicken Pasta can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave. Freezing is also an option for up to 3 months. Reheat after thawing.
1 ½poundsbonelessskinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
16ouncesRotini or Penne pasta
2cupsshredded Cheddar cheese
½poundbaconcooked crisp and chopped (reserve some for garnish)
In a small bowl, whisk together ranch seasoning mix, chicken broth and milk. Set aside.
Heat a large, deep skillet or saute pan (4-5 quart) over medium heat. Add olive oil and when shimmering, add chicken and minced garlic to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 3-4 minutes, turning once to brown evenly, until nearly cooked through.
Stir in broth mixture, pasta and bacon. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until pasta is tender. (stir once about halfway through to avoid pasta sticking to the bottom of the pan). If pasta starts to look dry, add another 1/4-½ cup of warm broth.
Stir in shredded cheddar cheese until melted. Garnish with reserved bacon and minced chives.
Nutrition information is approximate and is dependent on the ingredients and brands used.
Always use freshly grated cheese off the block. The packaged cheese doesn't melt as well or taste as good.
If ]there is still some liquid in the pan, that's ok. If it seems like a lot, you can spoon a little out, but once the cheese is added the liquid blends into a sauce.
Keyword bacon ranch chicken, bacon ranch chicken pasta, one pot meals
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.