This chicken bacon ranch pasta bake is a healthier take on a traditional version. It’s the perfect weeknight pasta with a healthy twist.
Chicken bacon ranch pasta is made with a homemade cauliflower alfredo sauce full of vegetables. It’s jazzed up with some ranch seasoning, rotisserie chicken, bacon and gooey melted cheese.
Try this pasta dish the next time you need an easy family friendly weeknight dinner. Or when you want to sneak some veggies into your kids! I promise no one will be able to tell that the sauce is made from cauliflower.
Can’t wait for you to try this recipe out! If you make it, I would love to see and hear how you like it. Rate the recipe in the recipe card portion or tag me in your Instagram posts.
Now let’s get started!
Ingredients For Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta:
Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
Here are the ingredients you will need to make the sauce.
Cauliflower: Use fresh cauliflower. I find that frozen absorbs much more water when cooking and can mess with the consistency of the sauce. Make sure your cauliflower is cut into very small pieces as well to cook quickly.
Milk: You can use any milk you want for this recipe. I used 1% for a little bit of a healthier option.
Garlic Cloves: My favorite convenient item is frozen garlic cubes. You can find them in most grocery stores in the freezer section. One cube is equal to one clove of garlic.
Salt: I like to use kosher salt for this recipe.
Pepper: Fresh cracked pepper is my favorite.
Nutmeg: Nutmeg is a traditional ingredient in béchamel sauces and in Alfredo. It brings a nuttiness to the sauce and is the secret ingredient that most people can’t put their finger on, but adds a delicious flavor.
Parmesan Cheese: I like to use grated parmesan cheese for this recipe as it melts quickly and easily into the sauce.
For The Pasta
Rotini Pasta: You can use any pasta that you like, but I especially love rotini for this recipe because the sauce gets into all those crevasses.
Ranch Mix: Any dry ranch seasoning packet will do.
Rotisserie Chicken: This is such a great convenience item but you can also use grilled chicken or leftover chicken from a previous night’s meal.
Bacon: Use a good quality bacon, it will add such a great smoky flavor to your dish.
Quattro Formaggio Cheese: This is an Italian cheese blend you can find at Trader Joe’s. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near by you can use any Italian 5 cheese blend.
How To Make Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake:
Make It Ahead:
Make this dish ahead of time and save yourself when you really don’t want to cook. You can make and freeze the sauce ahead of time and store in these plastic soup containers.
Or make the whole dish ahead of time and keep in the freezer until you are ready to serve. I love making double of this recipe and serving half for dinner that night and freezing the other half for a later use. It also makes a great meal to give to someone in need or a new mom.
Storage and Freezing:
When freezing this pasta dish I like to use foil tins like these. Place a layer of saran wrap over the pasta before freezing to prevent freezer burn.
If you need some delicious sides to go with this easy chicken bacon ranch pasta recipe try out my Easy, Crispy Air Fryer Broccoli or serve it up with some crusty garlic bread.
Other Delicious Family Friendly Dinner Ideas:
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Recipe:
- 4 cups cauliflower (1 large head), cut very small
- 2 cups milk
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (I like to use the frozen cubes)
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch of nutmeg
- 2 cups parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 pound rotini pasta
- 2 teaspoons ranch seasoning mix
- 2 cups rotisserie chicken, cubed
- 1/2 cup bacon, cooked until crispy
- 1 1/2 cups + 1/4 cup to top quattro formaggio cheese (Trader Joe's) or 5 cheese Italian blend
- Preheat a large pot of water on medium heat (for cooking pasta).
- Place the cauliflower in a saucepan and cover the cauliflower with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for 10 minutes or until very tender.
- Drain the cauliflower and place back into the saucepan.
- Add the milk, garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg and bring to a simmer over medium heat (be careful not to boil).
- Place the head of an immersion blender into the pan (making sure the head is completely submerged in the liquid). Blend until very smooth.
- Add the cheese and stir until melted completely. Add the ranch seasoning mix.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions.
- Preheat the oven to 420 F.
- Drain the pasta and combine with sauce, chicken, 1/4 cup bacon and 1 1/2 cups of cheese. Stir to combine.
- Place in a greased baking dish and top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until the top is golden. Carefully remove from the oven and top with the remaining bacon.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 578Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 1359mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 46g