Taste Testing: Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

Move over, cat videos. Tasty videos are the new online obsession.

We’ve all seen these posted on Facebook from Buzzfeed Food and others. These videos feature a person making a recipe, all filmed from his or her point of view. Some are narrated and others just feature catchy music and captions to go along with the video. The end result is often a delicious and mouthwatering dish that we’re lead to believe (because we just saw whole the process) is a cinch to make.

Tasty videos are always entertaining to watch, but there are some recipes I see and my immediate reaction is, Really? Looks like a hot mess to me…

About a month ago, one really caught my eye as something that could just be crazy enough to work: Chicken Bacon Ranch pasta, posted by Twisted Food on Facebook.

For any of you that are grossed out by the idea of putting ranch dressing in your pasta, don’t be — that’s not what they’re doing here, which was my initial thought when I saw the video. If you watch, you’ll see that they use the spices found in ranch dressing to create that flavor of ranch.

Once I was relieved to see that it wasn’t just pasta with ranch dressing, I decided to give it a try. And, of course, since I can never leave well enough alone, I cooked the pasta before combining it with the sauce, effectively making this a two-pot and not a one-pot meal. (I never trust pasta to cook in one pot with other ingredients. With the exception of throwing orzo into a pot of tomato or chicken soup from time to time, I almost-always cook pasta separately, then add it to whatever I’m making.)

Either way you prefer to make your pasta, it came out great. I was shocked that the taste is pretty much spot-on with the flavor of ranch, but thought it could be a little ranchier (yes, that’s a word I just made up.)

I’ve since made it several times, tweaking it each time to get more ranch flavor by adding chives, onion powder, and a little smoked paprika. I also omitted the lemon juice used in the video, added green onions, used light cream to cut back calories and low sodium chicken stock to cut back salt. Ultimately, I was also able to use less liquid, since I didn’t need it in the pan to cook the pasta.

Want to try the recipe? See the step-by-step video from Twisted Food on Facebook.