Ranch-Infused Chicken Mac ‘n’ Cheese Delight

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This dish boasts a mound of ranch-seasoned cheesy elbow macaroni crowned with succulent ranch-seasoned chicken and crisp bacon crumbles. Every mouthful promises an explosion of ranch flavor, making it a pasta delight for enthusiasts of this zesty dressing!

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Ranch-Infused Chicken Mac 'n' Cheese Delight

Crafted with my signature homemade ranch seasoning mix and a dash of homemade ranch dressing, this recipe elevates the classic mac ‘n’ cheese to a whole new level. The delightful marriage of ranch and chicken, combined with the cheesy pasta, ensures a dish that will leave ranch lovers craving more.

Ranch-Infused Chicken Mac ‘n’ Cheese Recipe

Embark on a culinary journey with the two distinct components of this recipe – the seasoned chicken and the macaroni and cheese.

Before you start, ensure your pasta is cooked al dente and your bacon is crisply cooked and crumbled in advance.

Pro Tip: For optimal flavor, avoid mixing the chicken and bacon directly into the macaroni and cheese. Instead, follow our recommended serving method, allowing each family member to customize their bowl.

Ranch-Infused Chicken Mac 'n' Cheese Delight

How to Make Ranch-Infused Chicken Mac ‘n’ Cheese

  1. Begin by wiping the skillet used for cooking the chicken, as it will be employed for this part of the recipe. Melt butter over medium heat and add flour, whisking constantly for 1-2 minutes until the mixture turns golden brown.
  2. Remove the skillet from heat and slowly pour in warm milk, whisking continuously. Return the skillet to heat and whisk for an additional 3-5 minutes until the mixture thickens.
  3. Incorporate salt, garlic powder, and ranch seasoning mix, stirring to combine. Remove from heat.
  4. Add both types of grated cheeses and stir until melted. Introduce the cooked noodles into the sauce, stirring further.
  5. Top the mixture with cooked chicken, crumbled bacon, and chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ranch-Infused Chicken Mac 'n' Cheese Delight

How to Cook the Chicken

  1. Cut chicken breasts into cubes and combine with ranch seasoning in a large bowl.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken cubes in batches, cooking 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown and reaching an internal temperature of 165°F.
  3. Transfer cooked chicken to a plate and tent with aluminum foil to keep it warm while preparing the macaroni and cheese.

Can I Make Ranch-Infused Chicken Mac ‘n’ Cheese Ahead of Time?

Absolutely! This delectable mac ‘n’ cheese can be made in advance and frozen, even in individual containers for convenient grab-and-go lunches or dinners. Allow the cooked dish to cool completely before freezing.

To freeze, double-wrap the macaroni and cheese in plastic wrap and then cover it in aluminum foil. Label and date the packaging, ensuring it remains freezer-fresh for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating in the microwave or oven until warmed through.

Ranch-Infused Chicken Mac 'n' Cheese Delight

Ingredients

Ranch Chicken

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 1 package (about 2 tablespoons) dry ranch seasoning

Macaroni and Cheese

  • ¼ cup (60 g) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup (30 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups (355 ml) whole milk, warmed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dry ranch seasoning
  • ½ cup (56 g) white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • ¼ cup (28 g) mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
  • 8 ounces (227 g or 2 cups uncooked) elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions

Ranch Chicken

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken and ranch seasoning. Toss to coat evenly.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken in batches and cook 1-2 minutes on each side.
  3. Remove from heat and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Macaroni and Cheese

  1. In the skillet, melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Add flour and whisk constantly for 1-2 minutes until the mixture turns light brown.
  3. Remove from heat and gradually pour in warm milk, whisking constantly.
  4. Return the pan to heat and whisk another 3-5 minutes until thickened.
  5. Add salt, garlic powder, and ranch seasoning. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
  6. Add cheeses, stirring to melt.
  7. Pour cooked noodles over the sauce. Stir to combine.
  8. Season with salt and pepper, and top with chicken, bacon, and chopped parsley.

Notes

Pro Tip: Avoid mixing chicken and bacon into the macaroni and cheese; serve as shown to preserve optimal flavor. Allow family members to mix ingredients in their bowls if preferred.

Ranch-Infused Chicken Mac 'n' Cheese Delight

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