Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

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?

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta 2

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.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

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 3

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

Serves 8

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.

adapted from Pilisbury

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

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Summer Vegetable Pasta Bake

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.

Summer Pasta 3

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!

Summer Pasta 1

Thanks Ellen from Family Around the Table and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting our Farmer’s Market Event!

Wednesday Farmer’s Market Week Recipes

 

Summer Pasta 2

Summer Vegetable Pasta Bake

Serves 6-8

2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
12 oz. uncooked uncooked penne pasta
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, divided
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9×11″ pan with nonstick spray.

Set aside 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup basil.

Pour the rest of the ingredients into the pan and stir to combine. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes.

Uncover and stir. If pasta is not al dente, cover and cook for a few more minutes.

When pasta is al dente, sprinkle remaining mozzarella over the top and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with basil, and stir.

Summer Vegetable Pasta Bake

The Best Grilled Chicken

If there’s one thing you need in your wheelhouse for grilling season, it’s a great grilled chicken. Something easy, but delicious; flavorful, but versatile.

Grilled Chicken 1

Luckily, I’ve got you covered. This grilled chicken is the best.

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Chicken Fajita Burgers

This post is part of a kick-butt burger grill giveaway hosted by GirlCarnivore but the burger epicness is all my own.

‘Tis the season for burgers, which is why I’m so excited to be participating in GirlCarnivore‘s #BurgerMonth and sharing this awesome Chicken Fajita Burger.

Chicken Fajita Burgers 2

A mashup of your favorite tex-mex and the cookout classic, these burgers pack a big flavor punch!

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Wine and Herb Grilled Chicken

Happy Valentine’s Day, readers! I hope you’re all feeling the love from people in your life today!

Wine Herb Chicken 1

I’ll be spending a good chunk of the day in bed – but not in the sexy way.  I’ve been hit by the plague.

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Barbecue Chicken Spaghetti Squash Boats

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.

bbq chicken spaghetti squash 2

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.

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Cider-Glazed Roasted Chicken #appleweek

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

AppleCiderChicken2

Cider-Glazed Roasted Chicken
(adapted from The Comfort of Cooking)
Serves 4-6

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.

Fresh Corn Salsa (9)

Want to see what other apple dishes are cooking up today? Here are Thursday’s Recipes:

Disclaimer: Thank you AppleWeek Sponsors: Swiss Diamond, Nordic Ware, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, The Spice House, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan’s Irish Oats and Nairn’s  for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for AppleWeek  recipes. All opinions are my own. The AppleWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Seven (7) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The AppleWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the AppleWeek posts or entry.

 

Freezer-Friendly Chicken Fried Rice

I love a good freezer recipe – and I love that this one isn’t your typical casserole or soup. Now, don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of casseroles and soups in my freezer – but this is a great choice for nights when you just want something different.

I generally make these in batches of 4-5 dinners. You can swap out the protein, too – pork, beef, and shrimp all work well here! It’s also a great one to get the kids to help with. Jake can help with the measuring and dumping; Julie helps shake all the ingredients up!

ChickenFriedRice

Freezer-Friendly Chicken Fried Rice
(A Kate’s Recipe Box Original)
Serves 4

5 cups cooked rice
1 ½ cups peas and carrots
½ cup diced onions
2 cups chicken– cooked and diced
2 Tbsp. fried rice seasoning

2 Tbsp. oil
4 eggs
6 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 dashes pepper

In a gallon zipper bag, toss together the rice, peas and carrots, onions, chicken, and seasoning. Shake well to combine. Seal, label, and freeze.

Thaw in refrigerator overnight.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet. Dump rice mixture into the skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat, breaking up any chunks of rice, until hot – about five minutes. Push rice mixture to the side of the skillet. Add 1 Tbsp. oil to the empty side of the skillet and add eggs. Cook and stir until eggs are thickened but still moist. Combine eggs with the rice mixture. Turn off the heat. Stir in soy sauce and pepper. Serve.

Fried Rice Seasoning

¼ cup garlic powder
4 tsp. ginger powder
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper

Whisk together and stir in an airtight container.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sliders with Dill Pickle Slaw #Crocktober

Fall always seems like the perfect time for slow cooker recipes. It seems like we’re squeezing more and more into these shortening days, and being able to have a warm meal minutes within walking through the door is both convenient and comforting.

Today, I’m linking up with a few other bloggers for #Crocktober! You can check out their perfect-for-fall meals here:

 

BBQ chicken in the slow cooker is nothing new – but a few extra steps and this makes a really special meal. After you pull the chicken, it gets added to slider rolls, covered in glaze, and baked. A quick pickle slaw tops it off.

My pickle-loving crew loved this – a perfect little meal for a busy night or a perfect tailgate dish!

DillPickleSliders

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sliders with Dill Pickle Slaw
(slightly adapted from Southern Bite)
Makes 12 sliders

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup barbecue sauce
12 sweet Hawaiian rolls
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. barbecue seasoning
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1/2 head cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup finely chopped dill pickles
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. pickle juice
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Add the chicken to the slow cooker and cover with barbecue sauce. Turn to coat. Cook on low for 4 hours. Remove chicken and shred.

Preheat the oven for 350 and spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.

Leaving the rolls together, cut in half. Place the bottom half in the greased pan. Top with chicken. Add the top half of the rolls.

In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, barbecue seasoning, Worcestershire, brown sugar, and yellow mustard. Brush evenly over all of the sliders.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the mayonnaise, pickle juice, sugar, salt, and garlic powder.

Toss the cabbage and chopped dill pickle with enough of the dressing to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

When the sliders are done, serve with the dill pickle slaw.

Chicken Ranchiladas

Mark and I love Tex-Mex. I used to cook it at home a lot, but then kids happened. We’re lucky that neither of ours are overly-picky eaters, but they’re not into spicy and that nixes a lot of my go-to Tex-Mex.

These were a great in-between. They’re spiced enough that Mark and I enjoyed them, but the kids didn’t find them spicy. (And, served with extra ranch for dipping, they were a huge hit.)

I sped up the prep time by using cooked, shredded chicken (rotisserie works great!), but you could also cook chicken breasts in a pot or slow cooker with the broth and seasoning and shred once cooked.

ChickenRanchiladas

Chicken Ranchiladas
(A Kate’s Recipe Box Original)
Serves 4-6

5 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp. taco-ranch seasoning
3/4 cup salsa
3/4 cup ranch dressing + additional for topping
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar, divided
10 tortillas
Shredded lettuce, for serving, optional
Chopped tomato, for serving, optional

Taco-ranch seasoning:
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. black pepper
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix

Mix all seasonings together and store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×11″ pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a large pot, add chicken, broth and 2 Tbsp. taco-ranch seasoning and heat over low heat until well combined. Remove from heat.

Stir together the salsa and ranch dressing. Pour 1/2 cup into the bottom of the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Mix the remaining salsa-ranch mixture into the chicken, along with 1 cup of shredded cheese. Stir to combine evenly.

Divide chicken mixture between tortillas and wrap up tightly. Place in the pan seam-side down. Top with additional cheese.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Top with lettuce and tomatoes before serving.