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SKINNY CHEESY BACON RANCH CHICKEN PASTA

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INGREDIENTS Chicken Marinade 1 pound chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces 1/4 cup ranch dressing (low fat if you have it) 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard (mustard powder) 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) Pasta 1 pound cellentani, rigatoni or penne pasta 3 cups broccoli, cut into bite size pieces Chicken 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 shallot, diced Salt and pepper to taste 1 red bell pepper, chopped 3-4 garlic cloves, minced Cheese Sauce 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon butter 1/4 cup flour 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk 1 teaspoon ground mustard 2 tablespoons dry ranch dressing seasoning mix 1 teaspoon dried basil 1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional) Salt and pepper to taste 1 cup grated cheddar cheese Topping Crumbled bacon – we like a lot! INSTRUCTIONS

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  • Marinate chicken for 30 minutes up to overnight. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add broccoli and cook 3-5 minutes, depending on how tender you like your broccoli. Using a slotted spoon or strainer, remove the broccoli and rinse with very cold water. Strain and remove to a plate. In the same pot, proceed to cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Meanwhile, In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken (including marinade) and shallots; season with salt and pepper. Saute until the outside of the chicken is no longer pink, then add red bell pepper and garlic; cook an additional 1-2 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through and bell peppers are crisp-tender. Remove to the plate with broccoli. To the same skillet, melt 1 tablespoon olive oil in 1 tablespoon butter. When butter is completely melted, whisk in flour. Cook, while stirring, for 2 minutes, then turn heat to low. Slowly whisk in chicken broth, then milk, stirring constantly until smooth. Turn heat to medium high and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add red pepper flakes, mustard, ranch seasoning, basil and season with salt and pepper. When sauce has thickened, remove from heat and stir in cheese. Add more milk if needed to reach desired consistency. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired. Add broccoli, chicken mixture and pasta to the sauce, stirring to combine. Heat through. Top with bacon and serve!

Servings: 4-6 credit: carlsbadcravings

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