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Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake

This scrumptious Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake, is the ultimate comfort food that combines savory flavors and a creamy, cheesy texture for an unforgettable meal. Perfect for weeknight dinners or gatherings, this simple, mouthwatering dish is sure to become a family favorite.

plate of penne pasta with ranch and bacon topping

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Easy to prepare: With a total time of just 35 minutes and simple ingredients, this dish is perfect for busy weeknights or last-minute gatherings.
  • Crowd-pleaser: The combination of chicken, bacon, ranch, and cheese creates a universally appealing flavor profile that’s sure to satisfy everyone at the table.
  • Customizable: You can easily swap out the pasta type, cheese, or even the sauce base to create a unique variation that suits your taste buds.
  • Comfort food: This warm, cheesy, and hearty pasta bake is the ultimate comfort food, perfect for cozy family dinners or potlucks with friends.

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

ingredients on wooden surface

You’ll need the following for this simple dinner recipe:

  • penne pasta 
  • cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken or poached chicken breast is perfect)
  • jarred alfredo sauce
  • ranch seasoning
  • sour cream
  • bacon 
  • mozzarella cheese 
  • green onion 

🍴Instructions

Step One: Combine base ingredients

mixing bowl with pasta and cream sauce

Begin by preheating your oven to 350℉ (175℃). Lightly coat a 13×9 inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray to prevent the pasta bake from sticking.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked penne pasta, cooked and shredded chicken breast, alfredo sauce, ranch seasoning, and sour cream. Stir the mixture thoroughly to ensure all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Step Two: assemble

baking. dish with pasta and cream sauce, showing layers before baking.

Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared casserole dish, using a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread it out evenly. Ensure that the pasta is distributed in a uniform layer for consistent cooking.

Evenly sprinkle the cooked and chopped bacon pieces over the pasta mixture. Follow this by generously spreading the shredded mozzarella cheese on top, covering the bacon and pasta layer completely.

Step three: bake

fully baked pasta bake

Place the casserole dish in the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted, bubbly, and golden brown. Keep an eye on the dish to avoid overcooking or burning the cheese.

Remove the pasta bake from the oven and let it rest for about 5 minutes to allow the ingredients to set and the flavors to meld together. Before serving, garnish the dish with freshly sliced green onions, adding a pop of color and a subtle, fresh flavor.

🥫 Storage instructions

Place the cooled pasta bake in an airtight container, or divide it into individual portions using smaller containers. This will help preserve the dish’s freshness and flavors. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

It’s important to note that this particular recipe may not freeze well due to the alfredo sauce and sour cream. Cream-based sauces tend to separate and become grainy when frozen and then thawed. If you still want to try freezing the dish, store it in an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag to protect it from freezer burn.

🔍 FAQs

Can I make this recipe vegetarian?

Yes, you can make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the chicken and bacon. Consider adding vegetables like mushrooms, spinach, or bell peppers for additional flavor and texture.

Can I use homemade alfredo sauce instead of store-bought?

Absolutely! Homemade alfredo sauce will likely taste even better than the store-bought version. Simply replace the jarred alfredo sauce with your favorite homemade recipe.

Can I use a different kind of meat instead of chicken?

Yes, you can substitute the chicken with other cooked meats like turkey or ham. You can even try using cooked and crumbled Italian sausage or ground beef for a totally different flavor.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Cook pasta al dente: To avoid overcooking the pasta, make sure to cook it al dente according to the package instructions. It will continue to cook and absorb the sauce when baked, so slightly undercooking it initially will help maintain the right texture.
  • Use rotisserie chicken: For a time-saving option, use a store-bought rotisserie chicken to provide the shredded chicken for the recipe. It will add extra flavor and help cut down on preparation time.
  • Season to taste: Although the ranch seasoning and alfredo sauce already provide plenty of flavor, you can adjust the seasoning to your preference by adding salt, pepper, or other herbs and spices to taste.
  • Monitor baking time: Keep a close eye on the pasta bake during the final stages of baking, as oven temperatures may vary. The cheese should be melted, bubbly, and golden brown, but not burned.

📘 Related Recipes

🍽 Serve it with

This is almost a complete meal on it’s own!

A broccoli salad or a green side salad would be fresh and lovely.

Homemade bread such as soft potato rolls or crusty sourdough rolls would be nice on the side as well.

📖 Here’s the recipe

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Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake

Print Recipe
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes
Total Time:35 minutes
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Equipment

  • 13 x 9 baking dish

Ingredients

  • 1 pound penne pasta cooked according to package instructions and drained
  • 2 cups chicken breast cooked and shredded
  • 1 16 ounce jar alfredo sauce
  • 1 (1 ounce) packet ranch seasoning
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 6 slices bacon cooked and chopped
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 green onions sliced for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉, and prepare a 13×9 inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the pasta, shredded chicken, alfredo sauce, ranch seasoning and sour cream.
  • Transfer the mixture to the casserole dish and spread evenly.
  • Sprinkle on the chopped bacon and mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Let rest for 5 minutes, garnish with sliced green onion and serve. Enjoy!

Notes

A rotisserie chicken is a great option to use for the shredded chicken.
Cheddar cheese can be used in place of the mozzarella or a mixture of both.
Fusilli, rotini or elbow pasta can be used in place of the penne.
¾ cup of ranch dressing can be used in place of the sour cream.
Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Reheat in the oven or portions in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 89mg | Potassium: 390mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 196IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken bacon ranch pasta bake, chicken pasta bake, dinners to make with rotisserie chicken
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 405kcal
Author: Katie Shaw
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