One pan bacon chicken ranch mac & cheese
2 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices
1 lb chicken tenderloins, patted dry and sliced thin
1 TBSP Garlic Ranch Seasoning (such as McCormick’s), plus more for seasoning the chicken
8 oz elbow macaroni
2½ cups lower-salt chicken broth
8 oz broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces
½ cup cream
1¼ cups shredded cheddar cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. In a large nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
2. While the bacon is cooking, season the chicken with ranch seasoning. Add chicken to bacon fat in the now empty skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until almost cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to a bowl; cover to keep warm.
3. Add 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning and pasta to now empty skillet. Stir to coat pasta with the seasoning. Add the broth, bring to a boil, cover pan and reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is almost tender, about 5 minutes.
4. Uncover pan, place broccoli on top of pasta and cover pan. Cook until broccoli is tender and bright green, about 4 minutes.
5. Stir in the cream. Take the pan off the heat and stir in cheese and cooked chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowls and top with bacon.
Note: Want to make you own ranch spice blend? 1 TBSP each dried parsley, dried chives, garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill, 1½ tsp kosher salt, and ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper