Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake

This Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake is the ultimate comfort food: warm, creamy, cheesy, and includes BACON!

With 35 minutes of total time and simple ingredients, this dish is perfect for busy weeknights or last-minute gatherings.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Serving Size 6 servings

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 

  • Prep. Preheat the oven to 350℉, and prepare a 13×9 inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Mix base. In a large bowl, mix together the pasta, shredded chicken, alfredo sauce, ranch seasoning and sour cream.
  • Assemble. Transfer the mixture to the casserole dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle on the chopped bacon and mozzarella cheese.
    baking. dish with pasta and cream sauce, showing layers before baking.
  • Bake. 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.
    fully baked pasta bake

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 and reheat in the oven or portions in the microwave.

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 

🥫 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

plate of penne pasta with ranch and bacon topping

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.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta BakeChicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake

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