If you want a delicious that you can easily meal prep for the week, you’re going to want to make this right away.
This dish is incredibly creamy and decadent, but we’re giving it a little twist to make it a little bit healthier.
Most recipes out there will utilize ranch dressing or , but we’re going to accomplish the same tangy flavors by using Greek yogurt and some ranch seasoning instead!
Along with some other simple changes like using reduced fat and lean , this becomes absolutely packed with protein without being too high in calories.
Ingredients Needed for This
This , penne , and . contains three components:
For the , I made a very simple pulled using my Ninja Foodi pressure cooker. I had always been very intimidated by the idea of pressure cooking, but I’ve found that it could not be any easier.
Simply add 2 boneless skinless breasts to the pressure cooker, add a little bit of salt and pepper, and then pour in of . Pressure cook for 10 minutes, and then once all the steam releases, you will have fully !
Use 2 forks to shred the and you’ll be ready to rock. This is very customizable, so if you do not want to make pressure cooker , you can use any other variety of . Whether you prefer thighs, want to dice up leftover grilled you have in the fridge, or prefer pre-cooked , it will all work in this dish.
For the chickpea because it’s a simple way to add more protein to recipes, but you don’t have to go that route. in my recipes, you can use any you like. Personally, I love using Banza
I love the taste of this chickpea penne , but regular will work just the same.
The star of this dish is the , and the ingredients needed should be very easy to find:
- Reduced Fat (any type of works)
- Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- Frank’s RedHot (or any )
- Ranch Seasoning
- Shredded (not pictured)
This is a pretty forgiving , so you can certainly make substitutions if needed. Here’s a quick list of possible substitutions you can make for this dish.
1) Substitute the Greek yogurt for .
2) Swap the for (this will give you even more protein per serving, too).
3) Replace the with your favorite local .
4) Use different ratios of , swap cheddar for , or use fat-free to save some calories.
As you can see, there are plenty of substitutions you can make, so don’t be afraid to experiment with this one if it’s absolutely necessary. Like all my recipes, I recommend you stick with the way it’s written, but I know that sometimes that just isn’t realistic.
When we assemble our , we’re using and , so we don’t have to worry about any raw ingredients cooking through.
However, we do still need to bake this dish to allow the to fully melt and for the flavors to combine into one incredible dish.
First, mix up all of the ingredients for the . We’re going to leave off half of the shredded mozzarella to add as a topping, but everything else will go into the bowl.
The may need to soften at room temperature before mixing, but it’s okay if it doesn’t mix 100% with the rest of the ingredients. Since we’re baking this dish, the will all melt along with the other ingredients.
Add the into the bowl of and give it a good mix.
Add the to the bowl and give everything one more mix.
Spray a 9×16 casserole dish with , then add the contents of the bowl to the dish. Use a spatula to evenly spread the mixture to cover the entire dish, then top with the remaining .
Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven to let cool for a few minutes before serving.
Rather than pairing this dish with Ranch dressing, I mixed some nonfat Greek yogurt with ranch dressing to drizzle on top, and it ended up being the perfect finishing touch! I highly recommend adding some on top as well, I just happened to run out when I made this .
For meal prep purposes, this recipe can easily be pe portioned out to enjoy throughout the week.
The entire casserole should yield 6 servings, but that obviously depends on how large (or small) you’d like each serving to be. When I portioned it out, 6 servings made the most sense to me.
Portion your servings out into separate containers and keep the leftovers stored in the fridge for up to one week.
When ready to enjoy, reheat in the microwave or oven and you’ll have a quick & easy protein-packed meal!
More Protein-Packed Recipes
I love cooking with because it makes for a high-protein, incredibly filling . If you’re looking for some to help you get your protein in, here are some great ones for you:
Protein-Packed Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake
This buffalo chicken pasta bake is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner or for meal prep lunches throughout the week! With 34g of protein per serving, this is an extremely filling (and delicious) meal.
- 2 Chicken Breasts (about 16oz total) OR the same amount of rotisserie chicken
- 8oz (1 Box) Banza Chickpea Pasa, or any penne pasta you like. I just use Banza for the extra protein.
- 8oz Reduced Fat Cream Cheese (any cream cheese will work great)
- 1/2 Cup Frank's RedHot or comparable hot sauce
- 1/2 Cup Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- 2 Tbsp Ranch Seasoning
- 56g (1/2 Cup) Lite Shredded Mozzarella
- 28g (1/4 Cup) Shredded Cheddar
- If you want to make a quick shredded chicken, here's how I make mine: add 2 chicken breasts to a pressure cooker with 1 cup of chicken broth and a little bit of salt and pepper, then pressure cook for 10 minutes. Once it's done, you should be able to easily shred the chicken and you'll be good to go! Otherwise, you can shred any leftover chicken you have or use rotisserie chicken to save some time.
- Bring water to a boil and cook your pasta al dente (the directions call for 7-9 minutes on my pasta, so I went with 7 minutes). If you're making your own quick shredded chicken, I recommend making it while the pasta cooks to make the most of your time!
- While the pasta cooks, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Prep your buffalo cheese sauce. Combine the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, hot sauce, ranch seasoning, cheddar cheese, and HALF of the mozzarella (the rest will be added on top). You may need to allow the cream cheese to soften a little bit before mixing, or use an electric mixer to easily break it up.
- Drain your pasta and mix directly into the cheese mixture, then mix in your shredded chicken.
- Lightly spray a 9x16 casserole dish with cooking spray and empty the contents of the bowl into the dish. Top with the rest of the mozzarella cheese.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Let cook for a few minutes, then enjoy! If you want to make a healthier ranch sauce for a topping, mix some nonfat Greek yogurt with a little bit of ranch seasoning and drizzle on top.
- For meal prep, portion out your servings and leave in a sealed container in the fridge, then reheat in the oven or microwave when ready to eat.
- You can bring the calories & fat down by using fat-free cheese, but I prefer the flavor and meltiness you get from regular shredded cheese.
- I did not try this recipe with fat-free cream cheese, but it should work just the same.
- Since all of the elements in this are pre-cooked before adding to the oven, you have plenty of room to experiment. Adjust the amount of chicken, add more cheese, throw some veggies in, etc.
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Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1/6 of Recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 375Total Fat 14.5gCarbohydrates 27gProtein 34g
Wednesday 19th of October 2022
I made this for my meal prep and it was SO GOOD! I will definitely be making it again. Also, Day 5 was just as delicious as Day !
Monday 17th of October 2022
I made this for myself and was going to have some and divide for meal prep. But then my family ate it! Normally they aren’t fans of food I prep for myself … so I’m not sure if I should be mad at you or say thank you…. Because I still have to meal prep!! Great delicious yummy Buffalo chicken pasta :-)
Sunday 16th of October 2022
I love Buffalo chicken dip & eating buffalo chicken dip for dinner made me soooo happy. Rich flavor & made great leftovers. 10/10! Thank you for sharing!!
Monday 17th of October 2022
Thank you so much!! I'm very glad you enjoyed it :)