Crack Chicken Penne – Crack Chicken Penne is more, than a meal; it’s a combination of flavors that will satisfy your taste buds. Loaded with thick-cut bacon, tender chicken, scrumptious cheeses, and savory ranch seasoning this dish exemplifies the essence of comforting American cooking.
The first time I tried this recipe it was an experiment. I had some leftover ingredients, a craving for something cheesy, and an idea to bring them all together. My husband took a bite. His face lit up with excitement. “This is remarkable!” he exclaimed. Even our picky little one couldn’t get enough of it. Since then this dish has become our family’s cherished secret.
What makes this Crack Chicken Penne truly stand out?
In a world filled with pasta dishes, our Crack Chicken Penne stands out from the crowd. It not only saves the day during hectic weeknights with its quick and easy preparation but also offers the versatility to be paired with any type of pasta you desire. However what truly distinguishes it is the creaminess, in every bite, a result of the perfect blend of cream cheese and cheddar—making it an irresistible dish that no one can resist indulging in.
What You Need To Make This Crack Chicken Penne Recipe?
Thick Sliced Bacon: This isn’t the regular bacon you find every day. The slices are thick offering a bite and infusing the dish with a smoky flavor. Think of it as the foundation on which our dish is built.
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast: Opting for boneless and skinless ensures that each piece is succulent meat. Not only does it simplify the cooking process. It guarantees a tender bite every time allowing the chicken to truly shine.
Ranch Seasoning: The flavor enhancer. Whether you’re using a store-bought packet or a homemade blend this seasoning takes the dish to another level by introducing a zest that perfectly harmonizes with the ingredients.
Pasta: The beauty of this dish lies in its versatility. While penne is an option that cradles the sauce beautifully don’t hesitate to swap it for your favorite pasta shape. Let your culinary creativity soar!
Low-Sodium Chicken Broth: Choosing low-sodium allows you to control the salt levels and ensures that the dish remains flavorful without becoming excessively salty. Moreover, it provides a base that blends all the flavors together seamlessly.
Philadelphia Cream Cheese: A nod, to the texture found in our Crack Chicken Penne recipe. The sauce’s smooth texture adds depth and a touch of luxury reminding us that classics can’t be surpassed.
Shredded Cheddar Cheese: This cheese speaks for itself. Its melt, in your mouth texture, and flavorful taste, bring the warmth we all crave in a pasta dish.
Parsley: It’s more than a touch. Parsley brings a contrast cutting through the richness and adding a burst of color.
Steps To Make Crack Chicken Penne:
Step 1: Start with cooking your bacon in a sizable Dutch oven until it achieves that perfect crispness. Then, give it a chop and set it aside, but remember to save about a tablespoon of that precious bacon fat.
Step 2: Next, it’s chicken time. Using the same pot, cook your chicken pieces just until they get a hint of golden color. Don’t worry if they’re still pinkish, they’ll cook more later. Coat them lovingly with the ranch seasoning.
Step 3: Toss in the penne and chicken broth, and patiently wait for a boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat, cover, and let the magic happen for around 15 to 20 minutes. Tip: Don’t forget to stir occasionally to prevent any sticky situations.
Step 4: When the pasta is just right, add your cream cheese and stir until it’s beautifully creamy. You chopped bacon and most of the cheddar then join the party. Mix until it’s a cheesy wonderland.
Step 5: Lastly, add a sprinkle of the remaining cheddar on top, cover for a mere 30 seconds, and voila! Alternatively, if you’re craving a golden cheese crust, pop it in the oven under the broiler.
For an even creamier and richer flavor profile, try lightly sautéing a finely chopped shallot and a couple of minced garlic cloves in the retained bacon fat before adding the chicken. This will infuse the dish with an added depth of savory notes, making your Crack Chicken Penne not just delicious but irresistibly gourmet.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I make this dish ahead and reheat it later?
Absolutely! If you’re getting ready ahead of time go ahead. Cook everything except, for the sprinkle of cheese on top. When you’re ready to serve simply reheat it on the stovetop, add the cheese sprinkle, and follow the instructions for melting. It still tastes just as delicious when enjoyed the day.
I’m trying to cut down on carbs. Can I use an alternative to penne?
Of course! Zucchini noodles (zoodles) or spaghetti squash are low-carb substitutes. Just remember to adjust the cooking time since these alternatives tend to cook faster than pasta.
Is there a vegetarian version of this recipe?
Yes, you can easily make a version of this dish. Instead of chicken, you can substitute with a plant-based protein, like tofu or tempeh. Additionally using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth would be ideal. If you’d like to maintain that smokiness flavor that bacon provides consider adding smoked paprika or liquid smoke for a hint of smokiness.
My name is Natasha and I am the owner of nodashofgluten.com, a blog dedicated to all kinds of recipes. On my website, you can find classic dishes, vegetarian delights, creative snacks, Gluten-free recipes, and desserts – all proving that cooking isn’t as hard as it seems! With easy-to-follow instructions and tips on how to make your meals even better, I strive to help everyone become master chefs in their own kitchen. Come join me at nodashofgluten.com for some delicious fun!