Does anyone else feel like February went by at warp speed? I don’t know what happened, but I feel like I blinked and it was over. I feel like so many nights I was scrambling at dinner time – where did my day go?! – so quick and easy was definitely the name of the game.
This easy casserole is just perfect for busy nights – and a really kid-pleaser.
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 a few more weeks of summer here, so I haven’t quite wrapped my head around back-to-school. We’re entering a brave new world this year – Kindergarten! – and I’m not ready to give up our relaxed summer schedule.
I know a lot of our friends are starting to head back, though, and I’ve gotten quite a few requests for easy back-to-school dinners. This dinner is perfect – easy, but still full of the fresh flavors of the season.
This dump-and-bake pasta couldn’t be easier – you don’t even have to pre-cook the pasta! We used leftover grilled chicken, but you could use a rotisserie chicken too. This is also easily made vegetarian by skipping the chicken and using vegetable broth instead.
A few minutes to chop and assemble and then your hands are free to help with homework or spend some quality time with the little ones who have been at school all day!
The winter can be a tricky time to eat healthy. Coming off the holidays, I know my body wants things that will actually fuel it, but I’m still craving all the cold-weather comfort foods. This dish is a fantastic compromise.
These spaghetti squash boats are warm and comforting like a casserole, but chock full of veggies and lean meat instead. And if you’re looking for healthy barbecue sauce to use, I’ve linked an easy recipe for one below.
This post is sponsored in conjunction with AppleWeek . I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the AppleWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.
For me, it is so, so easy to go into these event weeks and make all sweet dishes. The desserts are always a treat and while #appleweek is a great excuse to try out some really fun ones, I always try to make a conscious effort to work in some savory things too. Getting to try out this Swiss Diamond XD Nonstick Roasting Pan was a great reason to make this gorgeous chicken for our dinner one night and it was so, so good.
Because you’re starting with a whole, fresh chicken, it does take longer to cook – but the time is largely hands off. I threw potatoes, onions, and apples in the pan too, so this was pretty much a on-dish meal for us – I just added a simple side salad.
Also, this pan is totally dreamy. I never knew a roasting pan could cook so evenly! Or clean up so easily! While I’ve typically only used my roasting pan for holiday turkeys, this pan will surely be in heavy rotation around here.
You can enter to win a cookware set from Swiss Diamond, and lots of other great prizes from #appleweek sponsors, here: a Rafflecopter giveaway
3-4 lb. whole chicken
1 lb. new potatoes
1 onion, cut into wedges
2 apples, cored
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 sprig rosemary, removed from the stem and roughly chopped
1 cup apple cider
1 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. sherry cooking wine
1 tsp. grainy mustard
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In the bottom of the roasting pan, combine the potatoes, onion, apples, and 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Toss to evenly coat and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top. Rub with remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and liberally sprinkle with rosemary.
Cook the chicken for approximately 1 hour 20 minutes, until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.
About a half hour before the chicken is done, combine the cider, brown sugar, sherry cooking wine, and mustard in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
When the chicken is done, pour the cider glaze evenly over everything, and tent the pan with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Want to see what other apple dishes are cooking up today? Here are Thursday’s Recipes:
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