Bacon Chicken Ranch Casserole

Maybe it was the whole Stay Home ordeal that make Casseroles come back in such a big, big way. Families gathered ’round the supper table just like the good old days. It sure has been fun. Personally, I’me glad that the Casserole is once again taking center stage. At my table, it never left.

Casseroles are so great for so many reasons. Make a salad, maybe some fresh bread and you have a complete meal. Clean up is a snap. Left overs reheat easily, making for lunches or another supper later in the week. Yeah, casseroles are the perfect family meal. This one is especially delicious. All white and creamy and darn good. With a few modifications, you could make it with Tuna for a new spin on the Tuna Casserole. As a matter of fact, I plan to do just that very soon.

In the meantime, hope you enjoy this simple yet delicious Ranch Casserole. Perfect for a Wild Card Wednesday Supper, don’t you think?

Bacon Chicken Ranch Casserole
1 lb Penne Pasta
6 slices Bacon
2 cups shredded cooked Chicken
1 (15 oz) jar Alfredo Sauce
1/2 cup Ranch Dressing
2 cups Mozzarella Cheese
Italian Parsley, chopped for garnish if desired

Note: The cooked chicken can come from a Deli Rotisserie Chicken, the refrigerated section of the grocery store, the frozen food section or by cooking up a couple of chicken breasts. Personally, I like the stuff already shredded in the bag. Less work.

Heat oven to 350-degrees. Spray a 13-inch by 9-inch casserole dish with cooking spray, set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, cook al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

While the pasta cooks, fry bacon. Drain, crumble and set aside. If using chicken that needs to be shredded, now would be the perfect time to do so.

In large bowl, mixt the shredded chicken, Alfredo sauce and ranch dressing. Stir to combine. Once the pasta has drained completely, add it to the chicken mixture. Stir well to combine, then pour mixture into the prepared pan; spread evenly.

Sprinkle crumbled bacon evenly over top, then top with Mozzarella Cheese.

Place casserole in the heated oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes. Chop parsley, sprinkle over casserole and serve.

For a great, light yet satisfying supper, just add a salad.

Stick a Feather in Your Cap

And call it Macaroni. Yep, today is National Macaroni Day. When most Americans think Macaroni, we think Thomas Jefferson and the French Delicacy Macaroni and Cheese. Okay, maybe not everyone is aware the Thomas Jefferson served Macaroni and Cheese at a State’s Dinner in 1802, but we do think Mac and Cheese.

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Yum, It’s Fried Chicken Day!

There is a lot of bantering that abound regarding the roots of Southern Fried Chicken. One thing that most agree upon is that frying chicken is Scottish, dating back long before the Highland Clearance of the 1700s. Highland Clearance is exactly what it sounds like – a mass eviction and relocation to the 13 colonies. Most of the Scots and the Irish settled in South Carolina and Virginia. Some came as indentured workers, others as Plantation owners.

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Today is National Hawaii Day. It’s also National Bikini Day. Hum, how fitting is that? While I don’t know how today was chosen for Hawaii Day, I do know that on July 5, 1946 the two-piece bathing suit hit the beaches for the first time. I’m just tossing that little tidbit out there. I can’t exactly build a recipe around a Bikini Theme, but I sure can for Hawaii.

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Happy Birthday America

Everyone knows that today in Independence Day – America’s Birthday. I’d like to think there will be backyard barbecues and families celebrating together. I hope children will write their names in the air with sparklers and that night sky will be filled with bursts of color. Happy Birthday! And after this year’s insanity, we deserve a celebration of our Nation’s Independence.

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Have You Had Your Beans Today?

Today is National Eat Your Beans Day. All things considered, it’s a fair question – have you had your beans today? I don’t know about the rest of the world, but one of the first things that vanished from the grocery store shelves, besides toilet paper, were beans. Canned beans in particular, but dried beans as well.

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Deep Fried Goat Cheese Balls

Are you a fan of Mozzarella Sticks? Silly question, right? I mean, the only people who aren’t fans are those strange people who don’t like cheese. I don’t mean lactose intolerant people – it’s not their fault. I mean those people who simply do not like cheese. My darling Hubby is one of these people. Thankfully, Kiddo is like me – a fan of just about any kind of cheese.

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Summertime Chicken Cordon Bleu Stromboli

Kiddo is a fan of Chicken Cordon Bleu, as am I. Hubby, not so much. He’d rather eat thighs than breasts. He’s not a fan of cheese stuffed into chicken, but he does like a ham and cheese sandwich. Go figure.

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Spicy Crescent Enchiladas

Some things are just so ingrained in American Cooking that we take them for granted, not realizing the rest of the world might not have the same convenience of commercially marketed short cuts. Rarely do we bake a cake from scratch, although the boxed variety often needs a helping hand. Pie crusts and Dinner Rolls can come in a box, from the freezer or even in a tube. Wow!

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It’s National Waffle Iron Day

Waffle lovers rejoice for today is your day. Today we celebrate the Waffle Iron. And let’s face it, without a waffle iron, all you’ve got are pancakes. It’s only fitting that a kitchen tool that has been around since the 14th Century get it’s own day of recognition.

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