Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese

In spite of it being peak soup season, I’m currently obsessed with healthy mac and cheese recipes. Soups, stews, and chili are great, but it’s tough to compete with cheese. If you’re with me, I think you’ll appreciate the return of the mac and the addition of this chicken bacon ranch mac and cheese to the growing collection.

I’ve dubbed it a lower carb mac and cheese since once serving only has 21 grams of carbs and more protein than carbs. You read that correctly, mac and cheese with more protein than carbs. Need I say more about the nutritional breakdown for this recipe?

This high protein, low carb chicken bacon ranch mac and cheese is loaded with pan fried ranch chicken, cheddar cheese, and bacon. What's not to love?

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This high protein, low carb chicken bacon ranch mac and cheese is loaded with pan fried ranch chicken, cheddar cheese, and bacon. What's not to love?

Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese Ingredients

Like I said in my garlic parmesan mac and cheese with chicken recipe, this recipe seems a bit lengthier than what you’re accustomed to from my site. But don’t worry, it’s as simple as adding everything to pan and stirring after you’ve cooked the chicken.

Pan Fried Ranch Chicken

If you’ve tried the garlic parmesan mac and cheese or my naked chicken tenders, this recipe calls for a similar pan frying method. If you’ve been searching for an easy way to make tender, juicy chicken that doesn’t suck, check that out next. The only difference with this chicken bacon ranch mac and cheese will be cutting them into pieces prior to pan frying.

Bacon Ranch Mac & Cheese

For the cheese sauce, you’ll be using a blend of reduced fat cheddar, light butter, and Greek yogurt. That, combined with some sliced bacon and ranch dip seasoning is a simple, low calorie cheese sauce recipe.

low carb chicken bacon ranch mac and cheese recipe

Banza: The Key to Lower Carb Mac and Cheese

Similar to my easy taco pasta bake and green chile mac and cheese, I went with Banza’s pasta shells for this recipe. Banza makes a chickpea pasta that’s lower carb and higher protein than traditional pasta. It tastes great so don’t even think about calling it an IMPASTA. 

Here’s a quick macro comparison between Banza and my time-saving recommendation, Barilla Ready Pasta Elbows. The servings are equal to what you’d use in this recipe. 

Banza: 760 calories, 128 grams of carbs, and 56 grams of protein

Ready Pasta: 840 calories, 168 grams of carbs, and 28 grams of protein

Not a huge difference, but it definitely helps if you’re on a lower carb diet. I’d like to add that I’m not affiliated with Banza. There are comparable products with similar nutrition profiles, Banza is just what I find in stores near me and I love the product.

low carb mac and cheese recipe

The MVP: Crispy Topping 

If you’d like to save a few calories (and time in the oven), you could always leave the crispy topping off. But you’d be making a huge mistake. On a per serving basis, the topping only adds about 30 calories.

And if you try this chicken bacon ranch mac and cheese with and without the topping, you’ll kick yourself for skipping the topping.

After I posted my extra cheesy hash brown casserole that also has a Corn Flakes topping, I received some questions about swapping Corn Flakes for other cereals like Rice Krispies. I can’t say for sure since I’ve yet to test any, but I would imagine most crispy cereals would work. You may need to add a bit more butter, though.

chicken bacon ranch mac and cheese in a skillet

You could also use breadcrumbs or other comparable ingredients to create the crispy topping.

Are You Ready for a Grate Time? 

Sorry, that was a cheesy dad joke. You’ll find the printable recipe card is below. In case you’re looking for more mac and cheese recipes, check out my 20-minute bacon mac and cheese, queso mac and cheese with ground beef or low fat cajun mac and cheese recipes next! 

And when you make this chicken bacon ranch mac and cheese, the world needs to know about it. Take a photo and tag me on Instagram @mason_woodruff or join my free Facebook group and share it with the posse!

lower carb chicken bacon ranch mac and cheese

Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Lower carb chicken bacon ranch mac and cheese with pan fried ranch chicken.


Ranch Chicken

  • 1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Tenderloins, or chicken breast
  • 1 Tbsp (16g) Olive Oil
  • 1/2 packet (15g) Ranch Dip Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder

Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese

  • 1 box (8oz) Banza Pasta Shells
  • 1 1/2 C (168g) Reduced Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 C (56g) Light Butter, I used Land O' Lakes
  • 1 C (227g) Fat Free Greek Yogurt, plain
  • 1/2 packet (15g) Ranch Dip Seasoning
  • 6 slices Precooked Bacon, cut into small strips

Cripsy Topping

  • 2 Tbsp (28g) Light Butter
  • 2 C (56g) Corn Flakes Cereal


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta. If you're using Ready Pasta, skip this step. 
  3. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and add to a bowl with the olive oil, half a packet of ranch seasoning, and chili powder. Toss/stir until the chicken is evenly coated. 
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes untouched (until the bottoms have a slightly crispy layer) before flipping and cooking for another 2-3 minutes. 
  5. When the chicken is fully cooked, add the cheese sauce ingredients (except the pasta) to the skillet and stir until the cheese melts and everything is mixed evenly. 
  6. Once the cheese sauce is evenly mixed, add the cooked pasta and stir once more. Transfer the mac and cheese to a baking dish or continue to the next step if you're using an oven safe skillet. 
  7. Microwave the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 seconds before mixing with the Corn Flakes. Fold the melted butter into the cereal until it's evenly coated. Top the mac and cheese with the Corn Flakes mixture.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. 


Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Servings Serving Size: 150 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 280Total Fat: 13gCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 22g

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This high protein, low carb chicken bacon ranch mac and cheese is loaded with pan fried ranch chicken, cheddar cheese, and bacon. What's not to love?
This high protein, low carb chicken bacon ranch mac and cheese is loaded with pan fried ranch chicken, cheddar cheese, and bacon. What's not to love?

29 thoughts on “Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese”

  • I used the cheese sauce from the hamburger helper recipe because it’s what I had on hand and it turned out faaantastic

  • This recipe was DELICIOUS. The addition of the chickpea pasta made it fit perfectly into my macros for the day! I loved that the cornflake topping was light and crispy, and the Mac and Cheese overall was easy to make.

  • Oh my gosh, the crispy cornflake topping is a game changer! Who would’ve thought of that? I actually brought this to a family get together and it was gone within 20 minutes 😂 I highly recommend and clearly so does everyone in my family!

  • i prepped this last week for my meals and it was sooo good! the chicken was not dry at all and it was still good by the end of the week! and i made half with the topping and it’s definitely better that way!

  • This was delicious! This was the first recipie I have tried and I will definitely be trying more. I was a little nervous about using Greek yogurt and the chickpea pasta but i followed the exact recipe anyway and it was so good! My boyfriend doesn’t typically like healthy recipes and he loved this one!

  • Love this recipe! I made it for my husband and I, and while he didnt like it as much as I did, he still cleared his plate! I have been having leftovers everyday since I made it, and I still am not sick of it. My mom doesnt believe I am on a diet when I showed her this recipe!

  • This is soo good! For me it was a just little too much ranch flavor, so I will probably only use half a packet next time, but definitely an easy tweak. Also, I think I might use shredded chicken next time just because that’s a personal preference. But the fact that it’s delicious, super easy to make, AND gives me lunch for the whole week is clutch!

    • I tried this for the first time a couple weeks ago and OMG it’s delicious. So easy to make. I had to stop myself fron eating it all in one sitting. Can’t wait to try more recipes.

  • This low carb Mac n cheese is sensational! I have made it 3 times so far for my family and it I such a big hit! I’m axthally planning to double it and take it to a family party this March. Thank you!!

  • Awesome recipe, I left out the bacon and crunchy topping for some friendlier macro’s and it’s still AMAZING!!! 40g of protein per serving = WIN

  • This is my favorite recipe that I have tried from Mason. The only thing that I did differently was I didn’t add the bacon until I went to have a serving of the dish. I did this because one day I would need more fat macros and I would be able to add 2 pieces of bacon instead of one. Yummy! With each serving I would crumble up one slice of bacon and mix it in just before I ate it. This dish is the best on the first day that I made it, but still was delicious reheated. The first time I made it I used regular pasta noodles, but ordered the Banza noodles from Amazon after that day and have used those ever since then. Love, Love, Love!!!

  • I couldn’t find the pasta used at my local store, so I used the Barilla Legume Pasta Red Lentil Rotini. Oh my heavens, my boyfriend and I were nearly fighting over the leftovers. Ha! Ready to make it again. I would say add a splash (or two) of almond milk to thin out the sauce so it covers the pasta more fully. 10/10!!

  • Nvm I said Cajun was my favorite, this one goes hand to hand. It’s perfect for someone trying to be healthier while eating soul food.

  • Awesome. Husband loved it which was a first. I didn’t go with cornflakes but would 100% so it next time. It doesn’t need it but I think it would add so much to it.

  • This was so yummy!! Lots of flavor. I’m not a cornflake fan so I toasted up some cut da carb wraps, crumbled and mixed with the butter and a little parm… delicious!

  • I just made this for the second time. The first time I followed the recipe exactly (minus bacon) and it was amazing! I couldn’t find reduced fat cheese this time though so I chose mozzarella cheese. I also left out the corn flakes. It tasted amazing still. I have yet to find a Mason recipe that doesn’t exceed my expectations. Everything he creates is great and super simple. I love how he also makes notes. I never have questions because he always answers them first.

  • All time fave. I make this without the cornflakes usually and my whole family… toddlers included.. gobble it up.

  • this is SO GOOD! I made the recipe with a few tweaks and it turned out perfectly. I seasoned the chicken with chipotle seasoning and ranch like the naked chicken tender recipe instead of chili powder as stated here. I also used the ready elbow noodles rather than banza because I didn’t need as much protein and the ready pasta is SO DARN EASY!! I didn’t have any bacon unfortunately so I omitted it but it was still so good. I also used panko instead of corn flakes since I didn’t have any and I threw some spices into the topping! Going to have to make it again but with bacon!

  • This was SO GOOD AND EASY. I needed a recipe a 12 year old could help cook and would enjoy but also fit my macros. I went with this and it did not disappoint. We both loved it and made the recipe exactly as is. Would highly recommend this!

  • Delicious and easy! Love taking traditional comfort foods and making them macro-friendly. Made this with my mom and she had no idea it was a healthier option!

  • This is one of my FAVORITES. I’ve used left over pulled pork from his insta pot/crock pot recipe and it elevates it even more. 10/10

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