Friday, October 18, 2013

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

Comfort Casserole...

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
Who doesn't love some warm creamy comfort after a long hard day?  This Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole is the perfect recipe to help melt the stress away at the end of the day.  Served up with a side salad or green vegetable it is the perfect "comfort casserole".

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
3 large chicken breast
6 slices bacon
1 16 oz. box spiral pasta
2 cups of shredded cheese of your choice
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix
1 can cream of chicken soup (I use fat free)
1 cup sour cream (I use reduced fat)
pinch of pepper

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook 6 slices of bacon (I use my kitchen scissors to cut the bacon up before I fry it) in a skillet on med/hi heat.  When crisp, remove and drain on paper towel.  Cook your chicken breasts right in the bacon fat, this will add a lot of flavor to the chicken and save you from having to wash another pan!  While chicken is cooking cook a box of spiral pasta until tender.  In separate bowl, mix soup, sour cream, 1 cup of shredded cheese, ranch dressing mix, and a pinch of pepper.  Drain pasta and add to the soup mixture in the bowl.  When chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, let rest for a few minutes, then cube and add to the soup and pasta mixture.  Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan (or 2 smaller casserole dishes if you want to freeze some), and add the chicken mixture to the pan.  Spread the last cup of shredded cheese on top of casserole in dish and sprinkle with cooked bacon pieces.  Bake for about 30 min. in 350 degree oven until heated through and cheese is melty!  Serve with a salad or green vegetable as a side.  Relax and enjoy this comforting dish!

Cut up the bacon in small pieces and brown in skillet

Cook the pasta according to package directions

Cook the meat in bacon grease until no longer pink

Add soup, sour cream, cheese and ranch dressing mix and pepper to bowl and stir

Drain cooked pasta

Cut up cooked chicken into cubes

Add chicken and pasta too soup mixture in bowl

Spoon mixture into a 9 x 13 casserole dish or divide into two smaller dishes 
so you have one to freeze.  Since John and I are empty nesters 
I often do this otherwise we would be eating it for a week!

Place the other 1 cup of cheese on top of casserole in dish 
(I used slices of cheese since I ran out of shredded) 
and sprinkle the bacon on top of the cheese. 
 Bake in a 350 degree oven until warm through and cheese is melty

I wrapped and marked my extra casserole to put in the freezer for a rainy day
(you know one of those days where you are too busy... or too lazy to cook)

Big John gave it a 2 thumbs up!  He loves to take leftovers for lunch, 
so he will be a happy camper tomorrow!

Hope you give it a try!

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