If Megan Mendoza cooks for you, then you know you are special. Megan grew up in a family of cooks. Her MawMaw made huge meals for the whole family and cooked every meal for PawPaw until she physically could no longer. To Megan, cooking is a way of life and a way to destress and unwind. When she is creating a dish in her kitchen, nothing else matters except the ingredients in front of her.

Half Cajun and half Texan, cooking runs deep in Megan’s blood and there’s no such thing as small in her world. She has even turned her passion into a business for cooking and baking.

Her favorite dishes to cook are stews and gumbos. But if she tells you she’s making “just a little pot of gumbo,” rest assured nothing about it will be small. Megan will spend hours in the kitchen, stirring the roux from scratch, watching the meat fall off the bone, and waiting in anticipation for the dish to come together.

When Megan isn’t eating her own creations, you might find her indulging in her guilty pleasure: Dominos. Find Megan and her recipes on Facebook @lovemegan.

Megan shares a family favorite, and bonus: it doesn’t use many dishes!

Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Pasta

For chicken:

- 1 pound diced chicken breasts

- 2 packets dry ranch seasoning

- salt to taste

- black pepper to taste

For Alfredo sauce:

- salt to taste

- black pepper to taste

- 2.5 cups heavy whipping cream

- ½ stick butter

- 1 teaspoon minced garlic

- ½ cup grated Parmesan

Rest of Dish:

- 1 package bacon (cooked and chopped)

- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

- 1 package of your favorite pasta (I like to use bowtie or rotini)

Instructions:

1. Boil, drain, and set aside your preferred pasta.

2. Season the diced chicken with both packets of ranch seasoning, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

3. Chop bacon into small pieces and cook in a large casserole pan. Reserve some of the bacon fat.

4. Cook chicken in the pan with the bacon fat until browned. Set Chicken aside.

5. Add ½ stick of butter to the same pan on medium heat. Add minced garlic and stir, 1-2 minutes.

6. Stir in heavy whipping cream. Season to taste. Lower heat, return chicken, and cover. Cook for 15 minutes.

7. Add grated Parmesan cheese and stir until creamy. Add more seasoning if you wish.

8. Add mozzarella and cheddar cheese, stir well until completely melted and mixed. Add in pasta and bacon. Stir carefully, but well to combine.

9. Enjoy! I’d pair with smothered

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