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Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

Dive into Comfort with Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole: A Flavorful Feast for the Senses

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Are you craving a comforting meal that’s both indulgent and satisfying? Look no further than this Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole! Packed with hearty rigatoni pasta, succulent chicken, crispy bacon, and creamy Alfredo sauce, this casserole is a one-dish wonder that will please the whole family. With the added kick of ranch seasoning and the gooey goodness of melted cheese, it’s a dish that’s sure to become a staple in your recipe collection. Let’s embark on a culinary journey and discover the magic of this irresistible casserole.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces rigatoni pasta
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin bite-size pieces or 5 chicken thighs
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5 ounce jar Alfredo Sauce or homemade Alfredo sauce
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Ranch Seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • Parsley for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside.
  2. Cook the Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the rigatoni pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. Cook the Bacon: In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Once cooled, crumble the bacon into small pieces and set aside.
  4. Cook the Chicken: In the same skillet with the bacon drippings, add the chopped chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the chicken is browned and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
  5. Sauté the Onion and Garlic: In the same skillet, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until softened and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
  6. Combine the Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, cooked chicken, sautéed onion and garlic, crumbled bacon, Alfredo sauce, sour cream, and ranch seasoning. Mix until everything is well combined.
  7. Assemble the Casserole: Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Spread it out evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese over the top.
  8. Bake Until Golden and Bubbly: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the casserole is heated through.
  9. Garnish and Serve: Remove the casserole from the oven and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve hot and enjoy the comforting flavors!

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Make-Ahead Option: You can prepare the casserole up to the point of baking, cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. Bake as directed when ready to serve.
  • Vegetarian Option: Omit the chicken and bacon for a delicious vegetarian version of this casserole. You can add extra vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, or bell peppers for added flavor and texture.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free pasta and ensure that the Alfredo sauce and ranch seasoning are gluten-free certified for a gluten-free version of this casserole.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

Q: Can I use a different type of pasta? A: Absolutely! While rigatoni works well for this casserole, you can use any type of pasta you prefer, such as penne, farfalle, or even spaghetti.

Q: Can I make my own Alfredo sauce? A: Yes, you can definitely make homemade Alfredo sauce if you prefer. Simply combine butter, heavy cream, and grated Parmesan cheese in a saucepan over low heat until smooth and creamy.

Q: Can I use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream? A: Yes, Greek yogurt can be used as a substitute for sour cream in this recipe. It will provide a similar tanginess and creaminess to the dish.

Q: Is this casserole suitable for a keto diet? A: While this casserole contains pasta and some dairy products that may not be suitable for a strict keto diet, you can create a keto-friendly version by using low-carb pasta alternatives like shirataki noodles or zucchini noodles, and opting for a low-carb Alfredo sauce.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

For those following a keto or low-carb lifestyle, here’s how you can modify the recipe:

  • Use Low-Carb Pasta: Substitute the rigatoni pasta with shirataki noodles or spiralized zucchini for a low-carb option.
  • Choose Keto-Friendly Sauces: Make your own Alfredo sauce using keto-friendly ingredients like heavy cream, butter, and Parmesan cheese, or look for store-bought options with minimal added sugars and carbs.
  • Increase Fat Content: Add extra sources of healthy fats like diced avocado or a drizzle of olive oil to boost the fat content of the dish and keep you feeling satisfied.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole is the epitome of comfort food, offering a harmonious blend of pasta, chicken, bacon, and creamy sauce, all topped off with a generous layer of melted cheese. Whether you’re serving it for a cozy family dinner or bringing it to a potluck gathering, this casserole is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. With its versatility and crowd-pleasing flavors, it’s a dish that will have everyone coming back for seconds. So indulge in the warmth and richness of this comforting casserole, and let its deliciousness bring joy to your table!

Do you have any questions or suggestions about this recipe? Feel free to leave a comment below!

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healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

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