This meal is ideal for those busy weekdays when you barely have anytime to make anything in the kitchen. Skip the drive-thru and grab these few ingredients instead. Your family will think you spent all day cooking, when it really only takes a few minutes to put together. Check out what they are saying about this recipe over at Dinner, then Dessert:
“This is a perfect Sunday dinner! Everyone in my family loves pasta! But baked pasta is the best!”
Your family will stick around when they smell this coming from the oven.
8 slices of Hormel bacon
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons of canola oil
2 tablespoons Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
12 ounces rotini pasta
1 cup Kraft shredded cheddar
1 cup shredded jack cheese
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon ranch dressing mix
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk or additional heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded jack cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and set your pasta water to boil (make sure to salt your pasta water).
Cook your bacon in a skillet to an almost done stage, about 20 seconds before it would actually be done, it will also bake in the oven.
Drain most of the fat from the pan and chop the bacon into small pieces and set aside.
Cut 1/2 inch deep criss cross patterns into the chicken to score it so the flavors can have more ridges to settle into.
Coat the chicken with the canola oil and ranch dressing powder. In the same pan you made the bacon in, brown the chicken on both sides until it is almost done (again we are going to bake this so it will continue to cook in the oven).
Cut the chicken into one inch cubes. and set aside. Cook your pasta according to package directions minus one minute. The pasta will finish in the oven too.
To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in the pan and add in the chopped garlic. Cook for 30-40 seconds or until you start to smell the garlic becoming very fragrant, but not browning.
Add in the heavy cream and the milk and whisk. Add in the jack cheese, salt and pepper and whisk again, cooking for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
Add the pasta to your pan, top with chicken. Add half the jack and cheddar cheese, then pour on the sauce and top with the remaining cheese and bacon.
Cook uncovered in your oven for 20-25 minutes.
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Quick Tip: Use all of your favorite cheeses…the more the merrier!
Thanks again to Dinner, then Dessert for this hearty and tasty recipe.