Cheesy Bacon Chicken Casserole – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Cheesy Bacon Chicken Casserole. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The original recipe can be found over at The Coers Family.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was submitted by Jai. (We have so many reader-submitted recipes in the queue that for the time being we’re going to do reader-submitted recipes every week. That might change in the future, we’ll see how it goes.)

Your ingredientses:

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake 1

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, bacon, cream of chicken soup, Monterey Jack cheese, spiral pasta, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.

The first thing you need to do is make your bacon. Luckily, there’s a simple step-by-step instructional post on the easiest way to make bacon in the oven. You don’t have to make your bacon like that, if you don’t mind walking around with spatters of bacon all over your shirt front and tiny little burned-oil spots on your hands and arms, then you go on with your bad self and make your bacon on the stovetop. You could also make it in the microwave. Whatever works for you works for me. You do what you feel is right (even if it’s wrong.) No judgement here! Who am I, Amanda? As long as you don’t make me clean up the grease spatters, I don’t care how you make your bacon.

(But if you’re making your bacon in the oven, these cooling racks are perfect. I actually got that cooling rack as part of a package – a “value pack” – but I like that cooling rack way more than the stackable ones I’ve had forever and which are kind of flimsy. Also, what’s the point of having stackable cooling racks when you never actually stack them?)

While the bacon is cooking, chop your chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake 2

Raw chicken! Is there anything less appetizing? I don’t think so.

Also, at some point, make your pasta using the directions on the back of the box. I think I waited ’til the bacon was done to put the pot on, but then I was stuck waiting for the pasta to be done cooking. Kitchen timing: I suck at it.

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake 3

When your bacon is done, put it on paper towels to cool so that you don’t burn your fingers when you crumble it, and then dump all (or at least some) of the bacon fat from the cookie sheet you baked the bacon on, into a large skillet. Let it heat, and then toss your chicken in there.

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake 4

While the chicken is cooking, once your bacon has cooled, crumble it into smallish pieces. Try not to cram it all in your face instead, because then you won’t have it for the casserole and then everyone will be very very sad.

When the chicken is cooked through and your pasta is cooked and drained, then throw everything (chicken, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, cream of chicken soup, pasta) except the bacon and 1 cup of the Monterey Jack into the pot you used to make your pasta. Mix it together well.

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake 6

Once it’s well mixed, dump it into a 9×13″ baking dish, which you have already sprayed with cooking spray.

Sprinkle the top evenly with your crumbled bacon, and then top with your remaining 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese.

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake 7

Bake until the cheese is melted and starting to brown on the top. I might have let mine bake a little too long.

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake 8

While it’s cooling enough to be eaten, go snuggle with your resident ham-hog kitty.

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake 9
“I know you gots bacon in there.”

Annnnd then eat it.

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake 10

The verdict? I wasn’t crazy about it, and I don’t know why. I like all the components that went into it, but just didn’t really care for it all together. IT IS A MYSTERY. Fred said it best when he said that it was “Edible, but not memorable.” In other words, he’ll eat it if it’s put in front of him, but he’d never ever ask for it.

I won’t be making it again (and the way things usually go around here, Nance will be all “OMG BEST THING EVER, A++++!” Damn her.)

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Nance’s Take:

Everybody in the house loved this recipe.  Oops…Spoiler!

Come on. We knew this recipe would not be a fail since it had bacon, cheese, chicken and pasta in it. My bitch was not with the taste, but the fact that your ass will be stuck in the kitchen for a while making it.  Casseroles are suppose to be EASY.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

You have to fry the bacon in a skillet. I didn’t do it because Shirley is the queen of frying bacon. Had Shirley not been around I would have used Robyn’s baken method. And if it would have messed up my stove I would have made Robyn fly up here and clean it. She needs to come visit anyway.  We’ve got things to talk about. Like how to avoid the fucking Food Blogging Illuminati and shit.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

This part upset me because I am trying to watch what I eat and damn, frying chicken up in bacon grease just got to me. Shirley didn’t drain the bacon grease out before she did this so those motherfuckers were deep fried in bacon grease. If I have a heart attack, MOM.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

My mother drives me ape-shit because she never uses the right tools when she’s cooking. Here she is frying chicken with a bowl scraper/spatula that you use for cake mixing and such. I have no idea how I learned to cook when I have a mother like this. Thank God for cable and cooking shows.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

Shirley was handling the casserole because I was busy doing other things. Rick came home from a work trip with goodies! A massive amount of pretzels from a pretzel factory in Reading, Pa.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

I don’t have a banana for scale, but I do have the husband. That’s a lot of motherfucking pretzels, man! And oh my God, so freaking good.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

I suppose it should be noted that I once again over-cooked the pasta. Remember that kitchen trick where people say to throw spaghetti at the wall? WTF? I never understood it. If I threw food at the wall, Shirley would kick my ass. No throwing food, dammit.

I know those aren’t Rotini. I have 10,000 boxes of pasta back on my shelf and not one of them was Rotini (we call them springs).  I made an executive decision to USE WHAT I HAVE because The Beagle killed my money tree* this summer.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

Here’s a little secret nobody knows about me. I have never crumbled bacon in my life. I have always used kitchen scissors. I cannot even fathom what crumbling bacon is like and I don’t want to find out.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

Uh-oh, a cat creeping up on my bacon!  KILL IT.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

You throw everything into a bowl and mix it together. Shirley used her bowl scraper/spatula again. GAWD.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

And then you throw it into the casserole dish. That’s not hard at all.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

Bacon and another freaking cup of cheese go on top.  Now toss that bad boy in the oven for 20 minutes.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

Beagle is always appalled at how much bacon is wasted on The Humans. This picture was snapped while she was trying to get that bacon-creeping cat to play with her.  It did not end well and feelings were hurt.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

Everybody got really excited when this came out of the oven. Rick was especially excited because he loves it when the cheese gets brown. Yes, those are more bags of pretzels back there.  I wonder when I’ll start craving potato chips.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

It’s not a pretty dish, but it tasted really good (of course!). My problem is that this reminds me of a dish Pioneer Woman would make and that pretty much sums up why it’s not going into our rotation. It’s just too much for me to be comfortable serving on the regular.  My family drives me crazy, but I wanna keep them around for at least a little while longer.

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* Vet bills are a bitch so I’ve been staying at home and window shopping via the Internet.  As I come across things that I think are interesting or unique, I’ll post them as an affiliate link here.  Robyn and I want beach mansions so feel free to shop till you drop, baby!  

Flexible measuring cups – They’re microwaveable (melting butter or cheese). And I love the idea of having control when I’m pouring something.  Okay, honestly.  I want these because I think they’ll be perfect to drizzle butter all over my popcorn. I really like popcorn.

This Breakfast Sandwich Maker is the shits!  I would totally get this for Trey if he would ever decide what he wants to do with his life.  Trade school, college…COME ON, man!  Perfect gift for that male (or female) that doesn’t have much of a clue in the kitchen.  I just think it’s neat.

If you’re making a sandwich without a spreader, you’re doing it wrong.  Look, I spent 40 years making sandwiches and smearing butter all over my toast with a butter knife and dammit, they are useless.  Get one of these and you’ll realize how pathetic your life really was before I told you what to do.  Make sure you buy two because you’re going to be pissed if one’s in the dishwasher when you’re wanting to make a sandwich.

Chop and Drop Silicone Cutting Boards.  Where have you been all of my life? God, I’ve had Shirley dropping raw chicken all over my hands while trying to put it in freezer bags for years.  I had no idea, but you can bet your ass I’m asking Santa for this.

Bwahaha.  The Squatty Potty.  Robyn told me about this one because we both listen to Keith and the Girl and The Girl talks about how she uses a waste basket to lift her feet up when she goes to the bathroom.  And this is where you have to ask yourself the most important question of all.  Do you throw your pride out the window in order to take a better shit?   Hmm.  What Would DCEP Do?

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Cheesy Bacon Chicken Casserole - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
: Entree
Cuisine: Casserolandia
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 4 - 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 16 oz dried spiral pasta
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon. While the bacon is cooking, cut chicken into small bite-sized pieces.
  2. When the bacon is done cooking, set aside to cool. When bacon is cool, crumble it into small pieces.
  3. Cook the cut-up chicken in bacon drippings (if you made your bacon in the oven, just dump the grease from the baking pan into a large skillet.)
  4. Add garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, prepare pasta according to the directions on the back of the box.
  6. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot you cooked it in.
  7. Add chicken, both cans of cream of chicken soup, 1 cup of cheese. Stir together well.
  8. Spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray; pour chicken mixture into dish. Top with crumbled bacon and then with remaining 1 cup of cheese.
  9. Bake at 400 for 15 - 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and beginning to brown on top.

 


Comments

Cheesy Bacon Chicken Casserole – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe — 25 Comments

  1. Wahahaha! I haven’t made it past the 3rd paragraph yet, so I reserve the right to more comments, but Robyn – you make your oven in the bacon?!? 🙂 (2nd paragraph below ingredients – starts with a parentheses) 🙂

  2. I’m betting that Robyn and Fred’s problem with it is too little flavor. Hence – the edible but not crave worthy. If I were to make it (that’s a big if – I’m not a big fan of chicken and my kid is not a big fan of casseroles) I would probably change it up a little to give it some more flavor, unless the point was to have a nice creamy comfort food that was bland and wouldn’t upset anyone’s tummy. (ways to change: herb flavored pasta; marinate the chicken in italian dressing before cooking, throw some italian herbs of some sort in there (dried or fresh), use a different cheese that has more flavor) Other than that – no matter what I’d probably put more bacon just cause I love it and you can’t have too much of it!

      • You and Shirley would get along great – she never thinks of adding flavor when she cooks. I suppose she thinks it’s just MAGIC.

    • I do not understand how Robyn would not like this dish when she eats squash on the regular. If you like something like squash how can you complain about this dish. Robyn = nutbag.

  3. This sounds pretty good, maybe I’ll give it a try. But I’ll change the cheese to mozzarella as I’m not a big fan of any other kind of cheese. And maybe do what Sherry B. says and add some flavor to it. Maybe some garlic. We love some garlic in our house. Maybe I can say maybe some more.

    Is that huge bag of pretzels chocolate covered? Those are my downfall. I’ve been known to dip pretzels in nutella just to get some chocolate covering going.

    • I meant to say that if those pretzels aren’t chocolate covered, they need to be! I’m not a big fan of pretzels usually (yeah, I know, weird), but seeing that huge bag of them is giving me a craving!

    • The huge bag was a special order – they were cooked a little dryer with a little more salt or some shit. They’re not hard, they’re just right, but I can’t explain it. There is a smaller bag of chocolate covered pretzels in the background of one of the pictures, but they’re already gone (Thanks to my kid).

      I’m really surprised I liked it because I hate chicken mixed with cheese normally. No Chicken Cordon Bleu for me! Blech.

      • Well the huge bag would work for me too. I like pretzels without chocolate so that’d still suit me. And add in more salt, yeah, I’m definitely sold. 🙂

        I’m thinking of trying this dish out this weekend. We shall see.

  4. Robyn, you are KILLING me with the “make your bacon” versus “fry or cook” your bacon! It reminds me too much of the tacky t-shirts you use to see at the beach (yes, and that would be Myrtle Beach for me) that pictured two piggies humping and said “Makin bacon”! 🙂

  5. Robyn, when I saw you writing about bacon last week, I wondered if you were doing this recipe.

    My stepdad loved the stuff but I did amend the recipe using:
    I hate cutting up onions so I found frozen diced onions w/garlic
    Added paprika to the chicken
    Added McCormick Spicy 5 Pepper seasoning
    Used Habanero Pepper cheese
    Added peas

    • I’ma kill you, Jai. Next time, tell us about the changes you made, because (well, except for the Habanero pepper cheese, because I’m kind of a wimp) those sound like good changes to me!

      (I love peas, but my friend Liz considers them an insult to her very existence, so every time I add peas to anything, I think of her and laugh!)

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