Ranch dressing has quickly become the dressing of the moment and it’s moved on from just being that little tub next to your raw carrots and celery. These days it goes on everything, and that includes this delicious pasta dish. First, the chicken goes into the slow cooker and bubbles away in a sauce made of chicken soup and Ranch dressing. Then cooked noodles and crisp bacon are added, cheese is melted over top, and you’ve got a delicious supper that took only a few minutes to pull together.
I’ve made this before, using both Ranch flavor packets and the actual dressing on separate occasions. I find that the flavor packets don’t really bring that ultra Ranch flavor you’re probably craving when sitting down to this dish, and so I opt for a cup of the actual dressing instead. And I have to say, it may just be Ranch’s finest hour.
1 pound (450 grams) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 10-ounce (295 ml) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup (250 ml) Ranch dressing
½ cup (125 ml) water
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1 pound (450 grams) penne pasta, cooked
1 cup (250 ml) sharp Cheddar cheese
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Spray a 6-quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and place chicken breasts inside.
In a large bowl mix together the cream of chicken soup, Ranch dressing, water, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, stir, and pour over chicken breasts.
Cover slow cooker, set slow cooker to low and cook for 6 hours. Shred the chicken with two forks inside the slow cooker.
Add the bacon, green onions and cooked penne pasta to the slow cooker. Stir to mix and then top with the Cheddar cheese.
Place lid back on the slow cooker and cook just until the cheese has melted, about 15 minutes or so.