I love this time of year. The weather is perfect for keeping the windows wide open, post-dinner walks around the neighborhood, and … I think I am almost done rearranging furniture and shelves and I might only have 7 or 8 boxes left to unpack. Three of which contain books that I have run out of room for. It might be time for another shelf…somewhere… I keep putting off those last few boxes in place of going for an evening walk, or sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee. I’m pretty sure those boxes will still be here in August when its 375 degrees outside. But for right now, all I want to do is be outside, smell the air and drink up the sun.
I also don’t really feel like spending forever in the kitchen. I want to be outside, not standing over the stove, so I’ve been looking for meals to cook pretty fast. We all liked this pasta dish. It was fairly quick to prepare, it was healthy for a pasta dish with cheese and bacon in it (my favorite kind of pasta dish, by the way, haha). And it tasted great! Leftovers the next day were great, too! It was a nice spin on homemade mac and cheese, but it took a quarter of the time to do it!
|“Mom, how about you stop taking pictures so we can eat?”
Bacon Ranch Chicken Mac and Cheese
by The Gingered WhiskPrep Time: 10 minutesCook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (6 servings)
- 8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1 slice applewood smoked bacon
- 8 ounces chicken breast, cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 1 TBSP canola oil
- 1 TBSP flour
- 1 1/2 cups fat free milk (I did use whole, because thats what I had)
- 1/3 cup fat free cream of mushroom soup
- 3/4 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp fresh chopped dill
- 1/8 tsp salt
- cooking spray
- 1/2 cup shredded colby jack cheese
InstructionsCook pasta according to directions.In a large non-stick skillet, cook the bacon until crisp.Remove from pan (reserve the drippings) and chop. Set aside.Add chicken to the pan and saute for 6 minutes or until done. Set aside.In a large saucepan over medium heat, pour in the oil and then sprinkle in the flour.Cook evenly for two minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk.Whisk the milk and soup together and slowly add the milk to the saucepan, whisking as you add so you don’t get any clumps.Bring to a low boil and cook for 2 minutes, or until thick.Remove from heat and let stand for 4 minutes.Add the cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, and salt, and stir until the cheese melts.Stir in the pasta and chicken.Preheat your broiler.Spoon the mixture into an 8″ square baking dish coated with cooking spray.Sprinkle the bacon and colby jack cheese evenly over the top.Broil, for 3 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
(Cooking Light, March 2010)