WEIGHT WATCHERS – CHICKEN RANCH PASTA

This cheesy baked pasta comes together so effortlessly in ONE PAN, topped with crisp bacon. It just doesn’t get any better!
I hope you are all staying cool by the pool this weekend.

I believe I created my family’s favorite new dinner with this Chicken Ranch Pasta Bake recipe! This amazing pasta casserole is bursting with flavor from the chicken, bacon, ranch seasoning and mozzarella cheese!

My kids adore a good pasta dish and this one knocked their socks right off.

My kids adore a good pasta dish and this one knocked their socks right off. 😉 This pasta bake comes together quickly, so it is great for those busy weeknights when we need something simple yet delicious on the dinner table.

The homemade creamy Ranch sauce coats the pasta perfectly and ensures lots of flavor in every single bite. While the creamy ranch sauce was cooking, I coated the chicken pieces in ranch seasoning and sautéed them in a non-stick skillet. I let them get really golden-brown and it added lots of extra flavor. It ends up leaving this pasta dish all the more delicious.

I served our Chicken Ranch Pasta Bake with a green side salad and we all enjoyed every single bite. There was only one serving left for dinner the next night, so Kelsey and I had to fight over who got it. haha. Since I’m a nice Momma I let her have it, and she was pretty grateful.

INGREDIENTS
  • ½ lb whole wheat penne pasta
  • 4 slice bacon, diced
  • ½ Tbsp light butter
  • 1 large chicken breast, boneless & skinless, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • ½ pkg ranch dressing mix ( ½ oz)
  • 1 c fat free milk
  • ½ c fat free shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water; drain, return to pot, and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Drain all but ½ tablespoon of bacon drippings from the pan.
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the butter to the reserved bacon drippings, then add the chicken to the same skillet. Cook until tender, no longer pink, and slightly browned.
  4. Sprinkle the flour and ranch dressing mix over the chicken, stirring to coat evenly. Stir in the milk, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in the cheddar cheese and half of the reserved bacon; cook and stir until the cheese is melted. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
  5. Serve each plate of pasta with more bacon sprinkled over the top.
NOTES
Smart Points: 7
Makes 6 servings
NUTRITION INFORMATION
Serving size: 6 Calories: 284 Saturated fat: 2 Sugar: 2 Fiber: 4 Protein: 24