30-minute Skillet Chicken Ranch Mac ‘n’ Cheese
This Skillet Chicken Ranch Mac ‘n’ Cheese is full of creamy alfredo-like ranch sauce, delicious grilled chicken and ready in under 30 minutes.
This easy, cheesy 30-Minute Skillet Chicken Ranch Mac ‘n’ Cheese is a quick and easy, delicious dinner for any night. It’s full of penne pasta, a creamy, cheesy alfredo-like ranch sauce, and packed with delicious grilled chicken. It’s made in ONE skillet, start to finish and is ready in under 30 minutes. It’s kid-tested (and approved) and will leave everyone happy and satisfied. If you’re a ranch lover and enjoy creamy, cheesy mac ‘n’ cheese, you’ll love this skillet chicken ranch mac ‘n’ cheese.
My 3 little ladies LOVE macaroni and cheese. They would eat it 3 times a day if I’d let them. They loved this dish but that was really no surprise to me.
This recipe came about a couple weeks ago when we had cousins over to play. We had grilled chicken the night before and had a couple pieces leftover in the fridge. I figured pasta would be a “no picky eaters here” safe choice for the kids. Why not add the grilled chicken in with it, right?! A little extra protein and flavor. No argument here.
I’ll be perfectly honest with you. I’ve never made mac ‘n’ cheese in one pan before this. I’ve always boiled the pasta, made the sauce, then added them together. I wasn’t feeling like creating a lot of dishes when I made this for lunch that day, so I decided to try it in one skillet… and it was AWESOME! This mac and cheese recipe is quick and easy to prepare (in ONE skillet) AND soooo delicious. The kids gobbled it up and even asked for a little more! But then again, who wouldn’t. With all those yummy ingredients, you really can’t go wrong.
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This white sauce pasta dish can be a speedy choice for lunch or dinner and everyone will love it (unless they’re like Ryan 😉 ). I started by cooking the pasta right in the skillet. You can find the full printable recipe here.
I simmered the penne pasta for about 14 minutes until the pasta was al dente. At that point, almost all of the water was absorbed into the pasta and the pasta was cooked almost all the way through.
Over medium-high heat, I added the cream. You could lighten this dish by adding milk instead of cream but this will make your sauce a little runnier. I gave the pasta a quick toss before adding the next ingredients.
The ranch dressing, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese were next to go in. I heated these over medium heat until the cheeses were melted and the sauce began to thicken. It only took a few minutes for that to happen.
Last but not least, in went the delicious, moist grilled chicken. I will try to post the recipe for my grilled chicken and marinade soon. It’s the BEST! My grilled chicken tasted almost like bacon in this. It totally made this dish!
Once the cubed chicken was in, I gave it a toss. That was it! A sprinkle of salt and a dash of pepper and this delicious chicken ranch mac ‘n’ cheese was done. Just look at it. Doesn’t it look so yummy?!
We all loved it so much. It’s become a frequent flyer on our kitchen table (except for Ryan my husband who can’t stand anything cheese :'( ).
What’s your favorite kind of mac ‘n’ cheese or pasta?
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**Original post: 4.5.17 Updated: 1.31.18