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Chicken, Bacon, and Ranch Mac & Cheese

by Courtney on March 27, 2011

Tonight’s dinner was a REAL treat!

There are only a handful of meals that can really get my husband excited; anything that includes beef, and he’s a happy camper. But as soon there’s mention of “mac & cheese,” then I’ve really got his attention.

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Throw in the words “chicken,” “bacon,” and “ranch” and I’ve got him hooked.

Tonight, he was definitely hooked, thanks to this recipe! Smile

    First, cook your pasta, drain it, and set aside.

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    Next, cook your one, lonely strip of bacon. Just don’t overcook it like I do. Winking smile

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    Using the same pan, cook your chicken in the remaining bacon drippings.

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    Once the chicken and bacon are cooked, start prepping your cheese sauce. Heat up the oil in the bottom of your pasta saucepot…no sense in dirtying more dishes, right? Add the flour and stir continuously for about 2 minutes.

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    Next, whisk together your cream of chicken soup and milk…

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    …and add it to the saucepan.

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    Once the sauce has been heated and brought to a boil, remove from heat and allow to cool to about 155 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, just wait about 5 minutes, and you should be good to go!

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    Next, add in your cheese & spices.

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    Whisk everything together until the cheese is all melty and smells incredible. Winking smile

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    Now, go ahead and add in your pasta and chicken, and let everything get nice and acquainted.

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    Mmmmm, so cheesy!

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    Pour the mac & cheese into an 8-inch square baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

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    Then go ahead and add some MORE cheese! Open-mouthed smile

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    Oh yeah, and the bacon, too. Winking smile

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    Place the mac & cheese under your preheated broiler for about 3 minutes, and before you know it, you’ve got yourself one amazing, cheesy dish of mac & cheese!

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    Ready to dig in!!

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    Does that not look tasty or what??

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    While I finished up the mac & cheese, I had a little help from hubby preparing some side salads.

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    I figured it would be a good idea to add some veggies to curb myself from OD’ing on mac & cheese, and it worked. Talk about delicious! Open-mouthed smile

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    Our salads consisted of some mixed greens, cukes, tomato, red pepper, & onion, drizzles with some roasted red pepper vinaigrette.

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    The mac & cheese was probably one of my favorite to date; it had all the flavor of the full-fat version, but thanks to the use of skim milk and a smaller amount of cheese, you’ve only got half the guilt!

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    Apparently, this dish is even feline-friendly, too? Winking smile

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    He’s such a little sneak!

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    Time to get ready to get back to the grind tomorrow…hey, at least it was a great weekend! Smile

    Hopefully yours was just as fun!

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    { 17 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 kate@ahealthypassion March 27, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    ahaha I love all of the foods that get your husbands attention, its funny how they hear meat and all the sudden interested! glad you had a great weekend :)
    kate@ahealthypassion recently posted..Spring Cleaning Juice

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    2 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 27, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Mac n cheese is one of my favorites! That looks delicious.
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey recently posted..the crazy thing i she did

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    3 cait March 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    i love this girl :) i love finding new things to add to mac n cheese because i realized after 24 years of eating it all the time, i want to add a bit more flavor to the classic dish! going to get on this asap! have a great sunday! xo
    cait recently posted..new blog award

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    4 fsugirl! March 27, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Mmmm….. love mac’n’cheese! Since I don’t eat meat, do you think I’d be able to sub something else in? :D

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    5 Courtney March 27, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Definitely! I’m sure tofu would work, or maybe some chickpeas???

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    6 Tara @ The Game of Life March 27, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    My brother in law would love this!!! I can’t wait to make it for him!! :) Thanks for the recipe!
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    7 Laura March 27, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    My husband loves mac and cheese too. Thanks for sharing. We’ll definitely try this recipe soon.
    Laura recently posted..Bacon Pierogi Bake

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    8 Mama Kelly aka Jia March 27, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Oh I bet the family would enjoy every bite of this. Any suggestions for a substitution for the canned condensed soup?
    Mama Kelly aka Jia recently posted..Creamy Casserole With Ham &amp Peas

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    9 Courtney March 27, 2011 at 9:54 pm
    10 michelle March 28, 2011 at 3:30 am

    oh YUM! I’m always hesitant about making mac&cheese dishes, but this recipe doesn’t seem too fatty
    Thanks for sharing!
    michelle recently posted..Baci di Dama cookies Italian for “ladies’ kiss”

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    11 Sarah May C March 28, 2011 at 4:35 am

    Lovely! Cody is sooo cute – he makes me laugh, licking that bowl! We are going to be adopting a cat soon ourselves – sooo excited but I can’t say too much yet as I don’t know for sure when or who it will be… fingers crossed as we have our hopes on one particular little cat we saw but waiting to hear. I would love to hear any advice for us as first time cat owners. He won’t be a kitten as we’re going for a rescue – we thought we’d provide a good home for an older guy to settle down in! x

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    12 Courtney March 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Awwww, that’s so exciting!! Oh gosh, advice…well, let’s see. For one, I’d have to say to definitely get him acquainted with the litter box. Lead him to it, stick his paws in it, make sure he knows where it is. Definitely pay LOTS of attention to him/her and try to get him/her to play with you. We also let Cody do a little exploring on his own when he first came around, but he was also just a little guy! Luckily, cats are pretty easy, so as you long as you feed it, love it, and change its litter box, you’ll be all set. Good luck! :)

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    13 Taryn March 29, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Do you actually put RANCH in it? Or did I miss that on the ingredient list?

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    14 Courtney March 29, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    The dill is supposed to give it a bit of a ranch flavor :)

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    15 Kaitlyn March 30, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Hi Courtney!!
    thanks so sharing, this looks awesome…
    i am going to make this tomorrow night for my boyfriend. cooking for him for the first time (its a recent thing ;) ) and he eats like that of an 8 year old boy so i think this would be perfect!!!! gourmet but still simple.

    what kind of wine did u pair it with? he’s a fan of chard and i think that would be a pretty good match?

    thanks!

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    16 Courtney March 30, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Awesome…I bet he’ll love it!

    I paired mine with a pinot grigio, since that’s all I had on hand. But I’m sure a chardonnay would taste just as delicious. ENJOY! :)

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    17 e @thisnotedlife August 24, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    perfect! I was desperately searching for a new recipe for tonight and this is what we’re makin!

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