Lighter Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake

Quick and delicious dinners are on my mind lately. The family is becoming tired of my yearly Back to School casserole rotation so I’m coming up with a completely new set of recipes to rely on during our busiest week nights. I now have four children in school and while this opens up my midday hours it has turned the after school hours into a whirlwind of havoc. From the second they get off the bus we are tackling homework, changing into football clothes and dance uniforms, driving through rush hour traffic and hoping to be home before 8 pm when it’s all said and done. This means I have a whopping 45 minutes from the time they get home to when we leave the house to complete dinner and have it ready for devouring as soon as we get home from practices.

There is no time for trying to get kids to eat some new strange looking dish when dinner comes so late so I’m working on making healthier casseroles with classic flavors! My Light and Easy Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake was an instant hit and there was not a bite left after feeding time. Right before my eyes my sweet family transformed into bears right out of hibernation, gobbling up pasta by the platefuls then polishing off the rest with forks stuck right into the baking dish. I didn’t fight it, I just wanted to get everyone filled up, showered, and then tucked tightly into bed!

I really lightened up the calorie load of this popular flavor combination by using lean turkey bacon andOpadipity by Litehouse Greek Yogurt Dip in Creamy Ranch. The sauce couldn’t be simpler to make and since I used skim milk in the creation it is insanely low in calories per serving yet remains creamy as a full fat cream sauce! This Greek Yogurt Dip was so zesty and flavorful I didn’t even need to add salt and pepper, just a quick dump and stir and this dish is ready for baking.

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Since this is now a family favorite the recipe is a new member of my freezer cooking recipe club. Whole wheat pasta holds up really well when frozen making this a great low calorie freezer cooking recipe to rely on for the hectic weekdays. Being busy comes with the territory when becoming the parent of students but it doesn’t have to mean that we hit drive thru more often. Thanks to healthy casseroles such as this one we are healthier and our wallets are fuller!

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Lighter Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake Recipe

Serves 8 | Finish in 40 Minutes


  • 2 chicken breast cut into bite sized chunks
  • 12 oz. whole wheat Penne pasta
  • 8 strips cooked and crumbled turkey bacon
  • 12 oz. Opadipity by Litehouse Greek Yogurt Creamy Ranch Dip
  • 1 c. skim milk
  • 1/2 c. low fat grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c. Panko bread crumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions then drain.
  3. Meanwhile heat a skillet over medium high heat with just a bit of olive oil.
  4. Add the chicken chunks and cook until golden brown on the outside.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a plate then return the pan to the heat.
  6. In the skillet combine the Cream Ranch Dip and the milk.
  7. Bring to a simmer then remove from the heat.
  8. Toss together the cooked pasta, chicken, ranch sauce, and half of the turkey bacon.
  9. Pour the mixture into a 13X9 inch baking dish.
  10. Top with the grated cheddar, panko bread crumbs, and remaining turkey bacon.
  11. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until topping is golden and crispy.
  12. Serve garnished with parsley if desired.

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