HomeDinnerChicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

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Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese is a delicious and comforting twist on classic mac and cheese, featuring tender pieces of chicken breast seasoned with ranch seasoning mix and tossed with creamy cheddar cheese sauce and elbow macaroni. In this article, we’ll explore how to make this flavorful and satisfying dish step by step.

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1. Introduction to Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese

Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese combines the creamy goodness of traditional mac and cheese with the savory flavors of ranch seasoning and tender chicken breast. This hearty and flavorful dish is perfect for a cozy family dinner or potluck gathering, and it’s sure to become a new favorite in your recipe rotation.

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2. Ingredients Needed

To make Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese, you’ll need the following ingredients:

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Elbow Macaroni

Chicken Breast (cooked and shredded)

Ranch Seasoning Mix

Butter

All-Purpose Flour

Milk

Cheddar Cheese (shredded)

Parmesan Cheese (grated)

Bread Crumbs

Salt and Pepper

3. Preparing the Ingredients

Start by cooking the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside. Season the chicken breast with ranch seasoning mix and cook until fully cooked through. Shred the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, then whisk in flour to create a roux. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly, until smooth and thickened. Stir in shredded cheddar cheese and grated Parmesan cheese until melted and creamy.

4. Assembling the Dish

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked macaroni and shredded chicken. Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni and chicken mixture, tossing gently to coat evenly. Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs and additional shredded cheese over the top for added texture and flavor.

5. Baking Instructions

Bake the Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese in a preheated oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the top is golden brown and crispy, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.

6. Serving Suggestions

Serve Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese hot, garnished with fresh herbs such as chopped parsley or chives for a pop of color and freshness. This dish pairs well with a variety of side dishes, such as steamed vegetables, garlic bread, or a crisp green salad.

7. Variations and Customizations

Feel free to customize this recipe to suit your taste preferences. You can add diced vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, or broccoli to the macaroni and chicken mixture for added flavor and nutrition. Experiment with different cheese varieties, such as Monterey Jack, Gouda, or Swiss, for unique taste combinations. For extra indulgence, you can also add crispy cooked bacon to the dish for a delicious bacon ranch flavor.

8. Tips for Success

To ensure that your Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese turns out perfectly every time, follow these tips:

  • Cook the pasta al dente, as it will continue to cook slightly in the oven.
  • Shred the cheese fresh from a block for best melting and flavor.
  • Taste the cheese sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt, pepper, and additional ranch seasoning mix to suit your taste preferences.

9. Health Benefits of Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese

While Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese is a rich and indulgent dish, it does offer some nutritional benefits. Chicken breast is a good source of lean protein, while milk and cheese provide calcium and other essential nutrients. Enjoying this dish in moderation as part of a balanced diet can contribute to overall health and well-being.

10. Conclusion

In conclusion, Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese is a delicious and comforting dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With its creamy cheese sauce, tender chicken breast, and flavorful ranch seasoning, it’s sure to become a family favorite. Whether you’re serving it for a weeknight dinner or a special gathering, Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese is sure to please everyone at the table.

Source: iamhomesteader.com

Yield: 4

Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Chicken Ranch Macaroni and Cheese is a delicious and comforting twist on classic mac and cheese, featuring tender pieces of chicken breast seasoned with ranch seasoning mix and tossed with creamy cheddar cheese sauce and elbow macaroni. In this article, we'll explore how to make this flavorful and satisfying dish step by step.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • Ranch Chicken
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 1 package (about 2 tablespoons) dry ranch seasoning
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk, warmed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dry ranch seasoning
  • ½ cup white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
  • 8 ounces (2 cups uncooked) elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions

Ranch Chicken

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken and ranch seasoning. Toss to coat evenly.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken in batches. Cook 1-2 minutes on each side (or until golden brown and internal temperature is 165°F). Remove from heat and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  • Wipe out the skillet to use for the macaroni and cheese.

Macaroni and Cheese

  • In the skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Add the flour and whisk constantly for 1-2 minutes (or until the mixture turns light brown).
  • Remove from heat and gradually pour in the warm milk, whisking constantly.
  • Return the pan to the heat and whisk another 3-5 minutes, or until thickened.
  • Add the salt, garlic powder, and ranch seasoning. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
  • Add the cheeses, stirring to melt.
  • Pour the cooked noodles over the top of the sauce. Stir to combine.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and top with the chicken, bacon, and chopped parsley.
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