Crack Chicken Pasta – Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

Crack Chicken Pasta – chicken and bacon tossed in a quick homemade cheesy ranch sauce! Ready to eat in under 15 minutes. Such an easy weeknight meal!! Cooked chicken, bacon, butter, flour, milk, cheddar cheese, ranch dressing mix, and pasta. Everyone in the family loves this! Serve with a salad and some crusty garlic bread – so delicious! We make this all the time!

bowl of chicken and bacon pasta

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Chicken Pasta with Cheddar, Bacon & Ranch

This Crack Chicken Pasta is a weeknight favorite. Chicken and bacon tossed in a quick cheddar ranch sauce. OMG! SO good. The best part about this recipe is that it is super easy to make. I boiled the pasta and then used the same pot to make the cheese sauce and toss everything together. I took a shortcut and used half of a rotisserie chicken and this was done in minutes.  We both loved it.  How could we not since it has all the flavors of our beloved “Crack” Dip in it!  Serve this with a salad and some bread for a delicious weeknight meal!

What does Crack mean?  If a recipe has crack in the title it means that it has cheddar, bacon, and ranch in the recipe. It all started with my Crack Dip way back in 2007. I made the dip for a Titans football game. Everyone went crazy over it. We couldn’t stop eating it and said it was like crack. The name stuck. The flavor combination is amazing. This chicken pasta is no exception.

bowl of chicken and bacon pasta

How to Make Crack Chicken Pasta

As I said, this dish is super simple to make. In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. In the same pot melt butter. Add flour and stir. Cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk. Continue cooking until the sauce thickens. Stir in ranch dressing mix and cheese. Stir until cheese melts. Add chicken, bacon, and pasta. Stir to coat and enjoy!

bowl of chicken and bacon pasta

What to Serve with Chicken Mac & Cheese with Bacon

This quick pasta is one of our all-time favorite recipes. I always have the ingredients on hand to whip up a batch at a moment’s notice. We usually serve the pasta with some broccoli or a salad and some rolls. Give this a try the next time you need a quick and easy meal to please the whole family!

Need more side dish ideas? Here are a few of our favorite recipes from the blog that go great with this stovetop mac & cheese:

Crunchy Romaine Toss

Crunchy Romaine Toss – CRAZY GOOD!!! Had this at a dinner party and everyone raved about it. I had to…

bowl of chicken and bacon pasta

Crack Chicken Pasta – Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

Yield: 4 people
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Crack Chicken Pasta – chicken and bacon tossed in a quick homemade cheesy ranch sauce! Ready to eat in under 15 minutes. Such an easy weeknight meal!! Cooked chicken, bacon, butter, flour, milk, cheddar cheese, ranch dressing mix, and pasta. Everyone in the family loves this! Serve with a salad and some crusty garlic bread – so delicious! We make this all the time!

Equipment:

Ingredients:

  • 8- ounces penne pasta
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp ranch dressing mix
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • cup cooked chopped bacon
  • 2 cups cooked chopped chicken

Instructions:

  • In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • In the same pot melt butter. Add flour and stir. Cook flour for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk. Continue cooking until the sauce thickens.
  • Stir in ranch dressing mix and cheese. Stir until cheese melts. Add chicken, bacon, and cooked pasta. Stir to coat.

Notes:

Steph

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bowl of chicken and bacon pasta

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Comments

  1. Made this tonight. Very good! I added garlic, smoked paprika and pepper. I also increased the roux. We like sauce!

  2. I made this for lunch today. It was good, creamy and flavorful. We did not think it too salty. The only change I had to make was using less chicken. I didn't have as much leftover chicken as I thought I had. It turned out more like a jazzed up mac & cheese, but very good non the less.

  3. Hey we made this tonight and the flavor was awesome, but the sauce came out gritty. Can't figure out what went wrong. Thoughts?

  4. Made this tonight and it was a hit! I used spiral noodles instead of penne, and my kids loved it. Thanks!

  5. Oh my! Made this tonight for supper and it was delicious!!! I added white onion and sautéed with the melted butter and used the 'Fiesta' ranch mix. We can't wait to make it again!!! So creamy and yummy!

  6. I followed the recipe exactly the way it was written, and it turned out perfect. It was very good and we well definately make this again. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Made this for dinner and ended up doing a double batch for me, my boyfriend and his family. He had 4 HUGE bowls and then the left overs the next day. I must say this was a very good dish and with bee one to put in the books 🙂

  8. I've made this before and my fiancée and I really enjoyed it. I'm making it again tonight for friends but instead of chicken I plan on using chorizo. I'm crossing my fingers that all turns out well.

  9. I just love pasta! Always tastes best with wine, specially if you chose the best quality! I'll try this soon. Thank you!

    – Lilly Rason

  10. Thanks for the wonderful recipes, time and time again. I've been cooking some dishes for my date lately and it's going on pretty well. You're a life-saver!

    Best,
    Mischna Ong

  11. This was a no go with my bunch. Too bad it looked very promising.It was eaten but will not be requested again.

  12. Made this recipe last night and it was delicious! I doubled the recipe and I didn't have enough cheese so I added cream cheese and sour cream. I also added spicy mustard. Certainly a new favorite!

  13. I made this for dinner tonight for my family and they loved it. I added mustard to it for taste and it came out awesome.

  14. The pasta looks so yummy! I think this will match up best to the hibiscus flavored tea I'm currently addicted in drinking. Perhaps I should try eating this ranch pasta together with it.

    Luisa Williams

  15. That would make a nice option for Friday pasta dinners around here. I'd add a few more greens like spring onion, celery, and diced or shredded carrots so it would at least help teach my son about children nutrition.

  16. Made this tonight. It was amazing! Added the mustard (very little) and poured the whole packet of organic ranch dressing seasoning, and used about 3/4 block of mild cheddar cheese (8oz). Delicious! Salad and bread made it a perfect full meal. Thank you!

  17. This wasn't bad. I did have to add a squirt of liquid ranch to add a little more flavor & creaminess. My husband & 2 children LOVED it and said they would want me to make it again. So it's a keeper! Thanks!**I used a generic dry ranch seasoning packet (Surefine)- Anyone try the Hidden Valley packet, and have great success with this recipe?**

  18. I just made this tonight, I added some button mushrooms to the mix and mixed mild and sharp cheddar cheese. It was delicious!

    The only thing I noticed, however, was that the sauce was a little clumpy, even after letting the flour cook a little bit and whisking everything pretty well… Wonder how to fix that?

    Great recipe, thanks so much!

  19. I made this tonight, substituting Chicken Chipotle Ranch brats from my local (awesome) meat market and bowtie pasta – YUM. Going on the repeat list! 🙂

  20. I used this as the starting point for our dinner tonight. Followed the recipe, but used egg noodles cuz that's all I had. I added a bunch of spinach, upped the sauce amount slightly, and mixed it all together in a 9×13 pan. Popped it in the oven because I like crispy food, and holy smokes, this was so tasty!

    One thing I've noticed, sauces like these only thicken if you use something other than skim milk. I cheated and added some half-and-half to my skim to simulate whole milk…

  21. I just made this for dinner and it was delicious!!!! I used elbow macaroni and it turned out great! Thank you for a great recipe!!!!!

  22. How wuld you make this recipe if you had the packit off ranch all redy make. I want to make it but I dont have the dri ranch.

  23. Do you think this would be ok with canned chicken? I have some in the pantry and need to use it in something. Want to use chicken breast with other recipes on your blog.

  24. About how many does this recipe feed? I'm making dinner for 6 and was wondering if I should double the recipe or not. Thanks!

  25. Another great dish!!!
    I took a shortcut and used "Real Bacon" bits. I've fixed this twice and shared it also.
    Thanks for sharing it.

  26. Try marinating the chicken in fajita seasoning. Someone suggested this to me in version that puts these ingredients on a pizza using ranch as the sauce and I though it sounded nasty but I took her at her word and there just are no tasty adjectives I could use to describe how even more over the top delicious I thought chicken, ranch and bacon could be.

  27. Denise – if you want to freeze it, I would make it and then put it in a 9×13 pan. Reheat it in the oven at about 350.

  28. I am looking to make sympathy meals. The widow likes pasta. Do you think this would freeze well? If so, how would you cook it afterwards? I need to make these meals tomorrow (Sunday 10/1).

    Thank you in advance for your help.

  29. Amberly – I think you might just need to cook it a little longer – it takes a few minutes to feel it thicken up. you could also add a little more flour.

  30. Made this last night and OMG GOOD! Husband loved it too. Only thing I may change WHEN I make it again, is cut back on the ranch seasoning. Maybe it was the brand I used but it seemed a bit too salty. Having said that, we both cleaned our plates – delicious!

  31. Made this lastnight using bowtie pasta (WackyMac brand) and LOVED IT!!!
    Next time I'll add a little mustard to the sauce to kick up the flavor just a tad.

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. A keeper for sure.

  32. I have to admit that I've used leftover "Crack dip" on pasta before — just cooked and drained the past and stirred in the dip. It's not so bad!

  33. Pinned! Oh my son would love this dish! I will be making this soon. If you get a chance come visit my blog and follow back. Have a great week.

    Thanks
    ~Rina

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