Buttermilk Ranch Mac and Cheese

 This cheesy baked pasta has lots of tangy buttermilk, chicken, bacon and a perfectly crunchy topping!


A creamy baked pasta with lots tangy buttermilk ranch flavor! www.lemonsforlulu.com

As I was prepping this pasta dish the other day, my daughter asked for a picture of me to bring in to school for a Mother’s Day project.  I searched high a low for a decent picture of myself.  Sadly, there weren’t many to choose from.  I realized as I flipped through album after album that I am hardly in any family pictures!  Sure there’s a few with me and the kids where their smiles look much like the Joker in the first Batman Movie…forced.   Meanwhile, there are about 947,362 pictures of my husband and my kids!  If you were to scroll through our photographic timeline as a family, you would assume my husband raised our kids alone.

A creamy baked pasta with lots tangy buttermilk ranch flavor! www.lemonsforlulu.com

While having my mug photographed is not necessarily my favorite thing, I would like to have actual documentation that I existed and that I had fun with my family.  Is that too much to ask?    I’d like to think that in the distant future, my kids  would like to look back and see pictures of me, the woman who gave birth to them.

A creamy baked pasta with lots tangy buttermilk ranch flavor! www.lemonsforlulu.com

I suppose this is exactly why the camera flips on my phone.  Time to take some selfies!    The only flaw in taking an onslought of selfies is I’ll be stuck in a time warp.  I will be 41 forever.  Ah, no matter.  Being 41 forever is better than being non-existent!   Of course if I were non-existent, I couldn’t have created this insane mac and cheese now could I?  Oh man this mac and cheese takes pasta to a whole new level!  It  has a lot of buttermilk ranch flavor with chunks of chicken and crispy bacon.  BUT that’s not all, oh no.  Instead of your typical breadcrumbs, I topped this mac and cheese with Kettle Chips!

A creamy baked pasta with lots tangy buttermilk ranch flavor! www.lemonsforlulu.com

I’ll try not to take too many selfies of me devouring this creamy, tangy buttermilk pasta!  I don’t want anyone remembering me with cheese hanging off my chin!



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Creamy mac and cheese with jalapeño pesto! www.lemonsforlulu.com Mexican Mac and Cheese





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Buttermilk Ranch Mac and Cheese
  • 1 lb spiral pasta
  • 2 cup cooked chicken, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons Ranch seasoning
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Gouda cheese
  • 3 strips of bacon
  • 1 cup Kettle chips, crushed
  1. Prepare Pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Carefully add buttermilk and milk, whisk constantly. Stir in Ranch seasoning. Reduce heat to low. Whisk in cheeses and stir until smooth. Combine pasta and cheese sauce, stirring until pasta is completely coated. Pour pasta into a 9 x 13 buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle bacon and Kettle chips over pasta.
  3. Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned on top.



I may be linking this up to these parties and to The Weekend Potluck!







26 Responses

  1. Your photos of this Mac and cheese are gorgeous! Looks delicious !

  2. I love that you used smoked gouda (one of my faves!) and topped this with kettle chips! YUM!!

    • The Kettle Chips make this dish!! Thanks Jessica!

  3. If there’s one food that I have a seemingly bottomless pit stomach with, it’s mac and cheese! (Okay, and pizza. And donuts. But that’s it!) This buttermilk ranch version looks INSANE, Tanya! I love that you added chicken and bacon, because let’s face it, bacon makes everything better. And your photography is gorgeous!

  4. Your mac and cheese looks so good!!! Sounds so flavorful and looks so creamy!!! YUM!!

  5. I JUST had this same convo with my husband! There are hardly any pictures of me with my kids – they’re all my husband and kids! It wouldn’t bother me a bit if I had a giant bowl of this mac and cheese in front of me – holy amazing!!! Pinned!

  6. I am so, so excited about this recipe, Tanya! The tangy Ranch sauce plus bacon on top looks out of this world good!

  7. This makes Mac and Cheese into a gourmet meal. Thanks so much for the recipe. I’m pinning it for later.

    • I have a think for kicked up mac and cheese! Thanks Julie!

  8. OMG I’m literally in no family photos….and the ones I am in are awful because my husband is such a terrible photographer! I just can’t win. Selfies are a great idea…..and so is this amazing mac & cheese!!!

  9. Stephanie

    I see chicken in the ingredients, but it is not listed in the instructions for this recipe. Do you cook chicken separately then cut up and add to mixture before baking? Looks like the chicken step is missing all together.

    • Sorry, I’ve amended the ingredients. I used precooked chicken for this recipe.

  10. REALLY? as if mac n cheese wasn’t tempting enough, you go and add kettle chips and bacon. That is just not fair! Pinning this amazing dish right now! YUM


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