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Chicken Ranch Mac & Cheese

Prep once and feed the family twice when you double this chicken mac and cheese and freeze half of it. I created it for the people I love most, using ingredients they love most. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 3/4 cup ranch salad dressing
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cooked chicken
  • TOPPING:
  • 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a 6-qt. stockpot, cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente; drain and return to pot.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth; gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Stir in cheeses until blended. Stir in dressing.
  • Add chicken and sauce to macaroni, tossing to combine. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
  • Toss bread crumbs with melted butter; sprinkle over macaroni. Top with bacon. Bake, uncovered, 30-35 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley.
    Freeze option: Prepare recipe as directed, increasing milk to 1-1/3 cups. Cool unbaked casserole; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Cover casserole with foil; bake 30 minutes. Uncover; continue baking as directed or until heated through and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 586 calories, 37g fat (15g saturated fat), 84mg cholesterol, 889mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 25g protein.

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