With the uncertainty of everything going on in the world lately, I’ve really found myself seeking comfort in the familiar. It’s meant a lot of revisiting old recipes – things I know everyone will like and that I can practically make with my eyes closed they’re so familiar.
With a husband who isn’t a fan of traditional potato salad, this version – which mashes up potato salad with the flavors of a loaded baked potato – became a favorite in the early days of the blog (and our marriage). As grilling season kicks off, I thought it was the perfect time to give this recipe a refresh.
Chicken + Bacon + Ranch + Pasta = My Kids’ Dream Meal.
For real though, this dish is a total crowd-pleaser. Pasta and chicken are covered in a creamy, ranch sauce and the whole thing is topped off with bacon and a generous helping of cheese. What’s not to love?
If you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal, this is a great option.
It’s fast as it is, but there’s two ways to really speed this up. You can grab a rotisserie chicken, pre-cook the pasta, and opt for microwavable bacon. Those three elements will speed up prep considerably.
The other option to to prep the whole thing beforehand, cover, and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake. This can be made a day or two in advance, just add a few minutes onto the cook time.
I’m always a little meh on pastas with red sauce while the weather is still warm, but this sauce felt lighter, even when warm. It’s going to be my new go-to for bringing a meal to friends during the summer months!
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
1 lb. penne pasta, cooked and drained
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
15 oz. jar Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup ranch dressing
6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×11″ pan with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, shredded chicken, Alfredo sauce, and ranch dressing. Pour into prepared pan. Top evenly with chopped bacon and cheese.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until hot throughout and bubbly. Let cook for 5 minutes before serving.
We have three weeks left of school and I honestly couldn’t be more excited for this summer to start. Our last summer was crazy with the move, so I’m purposely leaving as much time wide open this summer as possible so we can all just play.
Lazy backyard days capped off with dinner on the deck? That is totally my idea of a perfect summer.
This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.
Does it get better than brunch? I really don’t think so. There’s so much joy in a low-key, mid-morning get together than includes everything from breakfast to dessert – and of course, cocktails.
Welcome to #BrunchWeek 2019 hosted by Love and Confections and A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures! This is our 7th year of #BrunchWeek and we have 35 bloggers from around the country sharing over 140 of their best Brunch recipes. We have so many delicious recipes for you to enjoy throughout the week including cocktails, appetizers, casseroles, cinnamon rolls, breakfast pizzas, coffee cakes, plenty of desserts, and more! Our BrunchWeek Sponsors are helping us give away some great prizes. Thank you so much, Sponsors, for your generosity. We have an incredible giveaway below and we’d love if you would take a moment to read about it and what you can win!
Note: I received complimentary products for this post. All opinions are my own.
One of my favorite parts of #Choctoberfest is getting a chance to show how versatile chocolate can be. Everyone always jumps to cakes and brownies, but there’s so much more than that – how about some chocolate for dinner?
This delicious chili uses a full bar of Forte chocolate but if you’re thinking “chocolate with meat? gross!”, you’ve got it all wrong. The chocolate isn’t going to be obvious when you dig in, but it add a great depth of flavor and an amazing smoothness to the chili.
Forte’s motto is “Celebrate Life through Chocolate”, which I’m totally on board with. This chili is simple enough that you can celebrate any day.
8 slices of bacon, chopped
2 lbs. ground beef
1 red onion, diced
2 red peppers, diced
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. cumin
1/4 cup whiskey
2 oz. dark chocolate (I used Forte 64% dark)
Green onions, chopped
In a large pot, crisp the chopped bacon over medium high heat. When cooked, remove the bacon to a bowl with a slotted spoon but leave the drippings. Add the ground beef and brown, breaking up the chunks as you go. When it’s about halfway cooked, add in the onion and peppers. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and the onion is soft.
Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, chili powder, cayenne, paprika and cumin. Bring to a boil. Stir in the whisky and half of the bacon. Reduce to low and simmer for an hour.
Stir in the dark chocolate until melted and evenly combined. Serve topped with chopped green onions and remaining bacon.
It’s National Pizza Month – a holiday my kids can really get behind. Even as “good eaters”, they’re not immune to the lures of a good pie, and when tasked with picking dinner, they’ll pick pizza 99% of the time.
But, they rarely want anything other than cheese pizza, which is why I got excited for this linkup – an excuse to make a blog worthy pizza? Sold.
This pie is delicious, but the onions are what really sold me. Hitting them with the balsamic vinegar at the end add such a great depth of flavor – and they pair brilliantly with the bacon and spinach. This is easily one of the best pizzas I’ve ever made!
And if you want more reasons to celebrate this month, here are a few from my fellow blogger friends:
Caramelized Onion, Bacon & Spinach Pizza (adapted from Cooking Classy) Makes 1 12″ Pizza
1 lb. pizza dough or a prepared crust
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large red onion
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup frozen spinach, thawed and rung out well
2 Tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp. flour
3/4 cup milk
6 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Put your pizza stone in the oven, if you have one.
In a skillet over medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Slice the onion thinly and add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is soft then stir in the sugar. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, until caramelized. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and cook another minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
Roll out the pizza dough into a 12″ round.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in garlic and flour and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper. While stirring constantly, bring to a boil.
Spread the garlic sauce over the prepared dough. Top with half the mozzarella and half the Parmesan. Sprinkle bacon, onions, and spinach evenly over the pizza. Top with remaining cheese.
Bake for 8-12 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.
I have been on a total de-cluttering binge lately. Cook all the things forgotten in the freezer! Clean out the cedar closet! Get rid of all the sippy cups that don’t get used! Purge old purses!
The other night I was watching TV and playing on the laptop and decided to start deleting old, unneeded blog photos from the computer. Buried in the blog folder where the shots of this casserole – and I realized I never actually blogged it! I’m sorry. I was holding out on you guys.
This is amazing – hands down my favorite breakfast casserole. I made this for a Mother’s Day brunch and it was so amazingly well received. It’s easy to see why, though – everything bagels, bacon, melty cream cheese – what’s not to love? And the fact that you can prep it ahead is an added bonus.
If you’re looking for a great, filling brunch dish, this is it. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Everything Bagel Casserole (adapted from Well Plated) Serves 8
6 everything bagels, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped, divided
8 oz. cream cheese
Spray a 9×11″ casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spread the bagel pieces evenly in the bottom of the dish and top evenly with bacon crumbles, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, and Monterey Jack cheese.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, and pepper until well combined and pour over the bagel pieces. Press down lightly on the bagel pieces to make sure they all absorb some of the liquid.
Cut the cream cheese into small chunks and sprinkle over the bagels.
Top evenly with half of the fresh chives and the remaining cheddar. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least two hours – overnight is perfect!
Preheat the oven to 350 when ready to bake – let the casserole stand at room temperature during preheating. Cover lightly with foil sprayed with non-stick spray and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the center is set. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
So far, Jake is not a picky eater. I know we’re just getting into toddler-battle territory so it may change but for now we’re still happily surprised every time he tries and loves a new food. One of our recent finds is pomegranate. I bought one to make this salad and tossed him a few arils while I was prepping things. He devoured them and screamed for me.
At this point, the kid would probably eat his weight in pomegranates if we let him. I’ve bought more pomegranates in the last few weeks than I have in all my previous years of grocery shopping combined.
While the pomegranate was the standout for Jacob, he did eat some of the bacon, goat cheese and avocado too. The adults happily ate everything, of course! This salad is going to make a repeat appearance at our Thanksgiving table this year.
I’ve got these filed under “easy enough to throw together with a super fussy baby in tow”. Because that’s totally a file in our house right now. Teething, man.
As simple as these are, they took all day to make. I caramelized the onions during the first (30 minute) nap. Fried up the bacon during the second (20 minute) nap. Assembled and wrapped them in foil while I wore him on my back and then threw them in the fridge until ready to bake. It was just one of those days.
On another note, every time I make caramelized onions I have an oh-goodness-I love-these-so-much moment. I’m thinking I need to start just keeping caramelized onions in the fridge so I can put them on, like, everything.
Baked Ham and Cheese Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Bacon (slightly adapted from Pinch of Yum) Serves 3
1 large yellow onion, sliced into thin rings
4 Tbsp. butter, divided
6 slices of bacon
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 package of King’s Hawaiian sub rolls (6 rolls)
1 lb. deli-sliced ham
6 slices Swiss cheese
In a frying pan over medium-low heat, melt 1 Tbsp. of butter and then add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized. When done, transfer to a bowl and wipe out the pan. Cook the bacon in the same pan, removing to a paper-towel lined plate when done.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the remaining butter. Whisk in the mustard and Worcestershire.
To assemble the sandwiches, brush some of the mustard mixture on the cut side of each roll. Divide ham between rolls and top with caramelized onions, a slice of bacon and a slice of cheese.
Wrap assembled sandwiches in foil. Bake at 350F degrees for 10 minutes or until warm and melty.