If this recipe seems like it’s gone too far — bacon + chicken + ranch seasoning + pasta, together in one bowl! — it’s because it has. It’s crossed the line, and it’s all “whatever, whatever, I do what I want.”
And you know what? It has such a bacon-y, savory-yet-slightly-tangy flavor, it totally pulls off being so many things at once. It’s like no other pasta dish you’ve tried before. It’s kind of like carbonara, with way more flavor in every bite. In fact, while cooking, I started referring to it as “Redneck Carbonara.” There’s a hearty, down-home-goodness to it, like something your mom would serve you to lift your spirits after a terrible, horrible, no good, and-I-locked-my-keys-in-my-car day.
It’s a classic slow cooker recipe: You cook the bacon, stir it in with all of the other ingredients minus the pasta, then put everything into the Crock Pot to make your home smell like everything that’s right in the world. And cook. Can’t forget the cooking part.
If you’re the type who puts Ranch dressing on everything, you will LOVE this dish. The ranch seasoning makes the sauce over-the-top flavorful, so a little sauce goes a long way.
The shredded chicken is also phenomenal on top of a salad, which is how I served the leftovers the next day. It actually made me salivate at the thought of salad, which for someone who adores junk food as much as I do, is a feat.
We made a few modifications to this Betty Crocker recipe. Here’s what we did:
- 5 slices of bacon
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 can reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup (10.75 ounces)
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 package Cavatappi pasta
- 1 bundle chives, chopped
- Chop the bacon and cook in a frying pan until it's no longer translucent but not totally crispy. Set on a plate lined with paper towels to drain off excess grease.
- In a mixing bowl, combine garlic, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, water and pepper. Add in bacon, stirring to combine everything, then add in the chicken breasts, so they're coated in the mixture. Pour everything into the slow cooker, and place on low heat for 6-8 hours.
- Once it's ready, use two forks to shred the chicken. Serve the chicken and sauce atop the pasta, and garnish with chives.