Monday nights have become quite routine around here. Close friends. Cackling laughter. Playing cards being shuffled back and forth. A mouthwatering spread of snacks; including my famous Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe, cookies, and fruit and veggies with an array of dipping sauces. We certainly don’t let a bad case of the Mondays get us down!
Our Monday game night with friends has become one of my favorite nights of the week! I have always been a big gamer, no, not the video game kind, but the board game kind! In fact, unlike many kids who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, we didn’t have video games in the house (well, not until my baby brother became a teenager). Playing games where you had to stack blocks into a leaning tower, buy lavish property with fake money, or get lost in a magical land of candy… well that was more my style.
Luckily, my good friend “A” loves board games just as much as I do. Unfortunately for us, our men don’t. That’s why playing cards, every Monday night, has become our thing! It was a compromise. The girls love board games and the guys like card games. Spades, Gin Rummy and a lesson or two in Blackjack or Hold ‘Em to name a few.
Since we usually host our weekly game night (our place is much bigger than their’s), I am always trying to think of new snacks and treats to share. Our normal ‘go-to’ is a veggie platter with some sort of dip, cheese and crackers, fresh fruit and of course some cookies or brownies.
For our last game night, I decided I wanted something more to serve to my friends. I was at the grocery store picking up our game night snacks and as I strolled down the aisles and through the produce department, with our ‘go-to’ veggies and ranch dressing staring back at me… “A ranch flavored appetizer?” I pondered? Boom! There I had it!
Inspired by some of our favorite flavors and foods, I came up with this Chicken Bacon Ranch Stuffed French Bread. It was the perfect snack to share with friends at our weekly game night; but since the filling can be made in advance, it would also be fantastic for a party or say, football watching! Or, you could even pair this stuffed French bread with a simple side salad and you have a family friendly meal everyone will love!
- ½ pound bacon
- 2 large chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large tomato halved, seeds removed and diced
- 2 whole green onions, sliced and divided
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup ranch dressing, plus more for serving
- 1 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 cup grated white cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 loaf French bread, cut in half lengthwise
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Dice raw bacon into bite-sized pieces. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add diced bacon and cook until crispy, about 5-6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Pour off some of the bacon grease, leaving a small amount in the pan. Return saute pan to burner and heat pan to medium-high heat. Season chicken with ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper. Add seasoned chicken to saute pan and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until cooked through.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked chicken, tomatoes, and half of the green onions, bacon pieces, and both cheeses.
In a small bowl stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, ranch dressing, ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper. Pour ranch mixture over chicken mixture and stir to combine.
Place both halves of the French bread on a large baking sheet lined with foil. Spread chicken ranch mixture evenly on top of both pieces of French bread. Bake for 15 minutes in preheated 375 degree oven. Remove from oven and top with remaining bacon and cheese. Return to oven an bake for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until cheese is melted and edges are lightly browned.
For serving, top with remaining green onions and chopped parsley. Serve immediately with additional ranch dressing for dipping.
Note: Filling mixture can be made 2-3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Leftover cooked French bread keeps well and can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in foil. To reheat, bake French bread in foil at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until heated through.
In you like this Chicken Bacon Ranch Stuffed French Bread recipe, then you’ll love these other recipes: