Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
Makes 6 to 8 servings

Enjoy pure comfort with this all-in-one meal.

  • 1 (16-ounce) package thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 (1-ounce) packages ranch seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 (16-ounce) package large elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Garnish: ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In a large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove bacon using a slotted spoon, and let drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in pan.
3. Add garlic to pan; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in cream; bring to a low boil, and cook until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Whisk in Parmesan, ranch seasoning, salt, and pepper until cheese is melted. Remove from heat; stir in half of bacon, chicken, pasta, and parsley. Spoon mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella, Cheddar, and remaining bacon.
4. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with pepper, if desired.

Kitchen Tip
Any short tubular pasta you already have on hand will work for this recipe.

Chocolate Chess Pie
Makes 1 (9-inch) pie

Don’t forget dessert! 

  • Old-Fashioned Piecrust (recipe below)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons yellow cornmeal
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ (4-ounce) bars semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Garnish: sweetened whipped cream, chocolate shavings

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Let Old-Fashioned Piecrust stand at room temperature until slightly softened, about 15 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll piecrust into a 12-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate, pressing into bottom and up sides. Trim excess dough. Fold edges under, and crimp as desired. Top with a piece of parchment paper, letting ends extend over edges of plate. Add pie weights.
3. Bake for 10 minutes. Carefully remove paper and weights, and bake for 10 minutes more. Let cool completely.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cornmeal, and salt. Set aside.
5. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter. Heat on high in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth; let cool slightly. Add cream, eggs, and vanilla, whisking to combine. Add chocolate mixture to sugar mixture, stirring until well combined. Spoon into prepared crust.
6. Bake until center is set, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, if desired.

Old-Fashioned Piecrust
Makes 1 (9-inch) deep-dish crust
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cold unsalted butter
  • 4½ tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cold water

1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture is crumbly. Add 4½ tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cold water, stirring just until moistened. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 8 to 10 times. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.