Mac and Cheese: Bacon, Ranch, and Chicken

Mac and Cheese: Bacon, Ranch, and Chicken

Photo by Ashlee H.

  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • ◦8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni

  • ◦1 slice applewood-smoked bacon

  • ◦8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into ½-inch pieces

  • ◦1 tablespoon butter

  • ◦1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • ◦1½ cups fat-free milk

  • ◦⅓ cup condensed 45% reduced-sodium 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

  • ◦¾ cup (3 ounces) shredded six-cheese Italian blend (such as Sargento)

  • ◦½ teaspoon onion powder

  • ◦½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ◦½ teaspoon chopped fresh dill

  • ◦½ teaspoon salt

  • ◦Cooking spray

  • ◦½ cup (2 ounces) shredded colby-Jack cheese


Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Finely chop bacon; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to drippings in pan; sauté 6 minutes or until done. 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 Italian cheese blend, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, and salt, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in pasta and chicken. Preheat broiler. Spoon mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with reserved bacon and colby-Jack cheese. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts.


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