Disclaimer: I recieved free product in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.
What is it about kids and dip? I swear, when my kids see dip on the dinner table, they go all starry-eyed. I’ve been making it more of a point to make dips to go with our meals – it always means more enthusiastic eating for us!
When we got a chance to try out Bar-B-Que Beast’s sauces, I knew I wanted to make a dip – and this came out perfect! The cream cheese was the perfect balance to the sauce sauce – and a nice foil to the smoky bacon on the chicken!
Lettuce has been in our CSA share every week. And it’s not a little bit – it’s always a big ‘ole head. We’ve also got some in our own garden. As such, salads are a staple. We have side salads nearly every night with dinner – and big, bountiful salads for lunch.
This salad was one I whipped up for dinner one night. Full of produce from our farm share and topped with a homemade dressing, it’s summer in a bowl.
You know that everything-but-the-bagel seasoning that’s all the rage? I’d had it in my cabinet forever and finally broke it open one night when I was trying to throw together dinner last minute.
This chicken was the result, and the kids happily ate it and I patted myself on the back for a successful dinner and moved on.
The kids didn’t, though. They kept asking for it again. And again. And then one night, Jake asked, “Mom, don’t you want to blog this one?” So, here it is. If you like this one, you can thank Jake for kicking my butt into gear.
You’d think the fact that we’re all home with no real schedule would make lunch easier, but we’re finding that is so not the case. By the time lunch rolls around, I’m always scrambling and, of course, going out to grab something just isn’t an option right now.
To remedy the chaos, I’m trying to prep my lunches ahead. Salad jars are my favorite lunch prep – and these buffalo chicken ones are my current obsession.
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!