Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake is a delicious pasta bake that combines creamy ranch cheese sauce, pasta, chicken, and bacon in this hearty dinner recipe.
Lunch is usually the most difficult meal in our house. My husband lives close enough to come home for lunch every day, so we try to eat together each afternoon.
However, he doesn’t have a lot of time while he’s here, and there’s usually a lot going on in the afternoons. So, lunch needs to be fast, easy, and filling.
That’s why I like to make things like this Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake. This recipe makes a big pan of pasta.
We have it for dinner the first night, and then, since the leftovers re-heat so well, we have lunch for the next few days.
I used ranch seasoning in this recipe. It works well in a lot of recipes because it goes with a lot of ingredients, and it’s something that I know my whole family will like it.
One note – I only used half of the bag of spinach because that’s all I could use without having some meltdowns over the amount of spinach. So, feel free to use the entire bag if you prefer.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake
- 12 ounce package medium shells (penne, or other similar dry pasta)
- 4.5 ounces fresh spinach
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 ounce packet ranch seasoning mix
- 2 cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream
- 1 ½ pounds chicken (cooked and shredded)
- 4 strips bacon (cooked and crumbled)
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (plus more for sprinkling)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Cook pasta to almost al dente (about 1 minute less than the package calls for).
- Remove pasta, reserving boiling water.
- Add spinach to boiling water, and let cook for 30 seconds.
- Remove spinach with a slotted spoon, and place in cold water.
- Squeeze moisture out of spinach; set aside.
- Meanwhile in a large pot, melt butter; whisk in flour until smooth.
- Whisk in milk and ranch seasoning.
- Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
- Reduce heat to low; fold in Greek yogurt until blended.
- Remove sauce from heat.
- Stir in 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese until melted and combined.
- Add chicken, bacon, cooked pasta, and cooked spinach; toss to coat in cheese sauce.
- Pour pasta mixture into a casserole dish.
- Top with remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese.
- Bake until hot and bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.
- Serve sprinkled with additional Parmesan if desired.