Next time I make this version (and I do plan on making it) I'm going to add some broccoli to the mix as well so I don't have to serve a veggie on the side. It's always easier to make a complete meal in one dish. And it makes the broccoli taste that much better... cheese will do that to a veggie!
Inspiration: Cooking Light, March 2010 issue
Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Mac & Cheese
- 8 ounces uncooked Fusilli pasta
- 3 slices pre-cooked bacon, cut into small pieces (reserve 1/3)
- 8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 breast)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 12 ounces 1% milk
- 1 can condensed 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup
- 1 ounce Trader Joe's light shredded 3 cheese blend
- 1 ounce Trader Joe's organic shredded mozzarella
- 2 ounces Trader Joe's shredded pepper jack cheese blend, plus 1/8 cup to reserve
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Cooking spray
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
Cook chicken in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bacon to the pan and warm through. Remove from heat and set aside.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Combine milk and soup, stirring with a whisk; gradually add milk mixture to saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until sauce cools to 155°. Add cheese blend, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, salt and pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in pasta and chicken.
Spoon mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with reserved bacon and Pepper Jack cheese blend. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts.
Serves 6 | 10 WW+ Points