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Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole Recipe

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a close up shot of a spoon grabbing a piece of Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
This easy chicken bacon ranch casserole is a delicious, homemade meal your whole family will love!
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Table of Contents
  1. WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS CHICKEN BACON RANCH CASSEROLE
  2. RANCH CHICKEN BACON CASSEROLE INGREDIENTS
  3. SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
  4. HOW TO MAKE THIS CHICKEN BACON RANCH CASSEROLE RECIPE
  5. HOW TO SERVE
  6. HOW TO STORE BACON CHICKEN RANCH CASSEROLE
  7. HOW TO REHEAT THIS CHICKEN BACON RANCH CASSEROLE RECIPE
  8. CHICKEN BACON CASSEROLE FAQs
  9. More Recipes You’ll Love
  10. JUMP TO RECIPE

Chicken bacon ranch casserole proves that pasta is better when it has loads of cheese, crispy bacon, and zesty ranch seasoning to top it off. Best of all, this creamy pasta casserole is a quick and easy dinner meal for those busy nights at home.

close up shot of Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole in a baking dish

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS CHICKEN BACON RANCH CASSEROLE

Chicken bacon ranch casserole is loaded with crispy bacon, melted cheese, tender pasta, and chicken and baked until bubbling to create the ultimate comfort food meal.

RANCH CHICKEN BACON CASSEROLE INGREDIENTS

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 3 or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1½ teaspoons of salt (divided)
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • 3 tablespoons ranch seasoning mix (divided)
  • 8 tablespoons of butter (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (divided)
  • ⅔ cup onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • 12 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped (divided)
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes patted dry (if oil-packed) and chopped
  • 6 cups of penne pasta (about 4 cups dry), cooked and drained
  • 3 cups of Italian-style cheese
  • ¼ cup of chopped fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons of dried parsley (optional)

PRO TIP:

Be sure NOT to use pre-shredded cheeses. They have additives added in the bags to prevent clumping, and they do not melt as well as a block of cheese that you shred yourself.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

PASTA: You can use any style of noodle that’s similar to penne pasta in this cheesy casserole. Stay away from long noodles like spaghetti or linguine. Some other great options include bowties, shells, rigatoni, cavatappi, or rotini pasta.

PROTEIN: It technically wouldn’t be chicken bacon ranch casserole without the chicken and bacon, but if you prefer, you can swap out the protein. For example, you could try using turkey in place of the chicken. You could also use store-bought bacon bits instead of fresh bacon if desired.

CHEESE: Shaved parmesan and Italian-style cheese work best for this recipe. Italian blend cheese has Parmigiano-Reggiano and pecorino romano. Some blends also include mozzarella and provolone, so you get a really nice flavor mix. However, if you prefer, you could also use just mozzarella or provolone instead. Or, you can create your own cheese mix.

HOW TO MAKE THIS CHICKEN BACON RANCH CASSEROLE RECIPE

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

You can prepare this casserole the night before and keep it covered in the fridge until you are ready to bake it.

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish.

STEP TWO: In a medium bowl, combine chicken with ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and 2 tablespoons of ranch dressing mix.

chicken, salt, pepper and ranch dressing mixed in a bowl

STEP THREE: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add a single layer of chicken. Cook the chicken until it is golden brown on each side (usually about 4 to 5 minutes per side), then remove with a slotted spoon.

melted butter, oil chicken stirred in a pot

STEP FOUR: Repeat step 3 with the remaining chicken, using 2 more tablespoons of butter and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

STEP FIVE: Reduce the oven heat to medium. Saute the onions in the pan drippings until soft. Add garlic and saute for 1 more minute.

garlic and saute onion added to the melted butter mixture in a pot

STEP SIX: To the same pan (with the onion and garlic), add 3 tablespoons of butter. When the butter is melted, add the flour, Italian seasoning, basil, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon of ranch dressing mix. Stir.

butter, flour, Italian seasoning, basil, salt, ranch dressing mix folded in a pot

STEP SEVEN: Using a whisk, gradually add the chicken broth (¼ to ½ cup at a time), stirring to combine well with the flour mixture. Add in the heavy cream. Continue to stir, heating until bubbly. Add parmesan and stir until the cheese is melted. Remove from the heat.

chicken broth, cream, cream of chicken soup, and parmesan stirred in a pot

STEP EIGHT: Add 8 slices of chopped bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, chicken, and pasta to the sauce, and combine.

bacon, sun dried tomatoes, chicnken and pasta added to the sauce in a pot

STEP NINE: Pour mixture into the greased pan. Sprinkle with the remaining 4 pieces of chopped bacon. Top with the Italian blend cheese. Then, sprinkle with dried parsley or fresh chopped parsley if desired.

bacon, Italian cheese and parsley sprinkled on top of the pasta mixture in a baking dish

STEP TEN: Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges are bubbly.

PRO TIP:

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your casserole as the suggested baking time approaches.

HOW TO SERVE

This creamy and cheesy casserole is sure to be a new family favorite. Serve it alongside a Caesar salad and dinner rolls for a hearty and comforting meal on a busy weeknight.

We have quite a collection of casserole dishes. If you’re looking for some other easy meals to try out, then look no further. Pizza casserole, cheeseburger casserole, and Mexican casserole are three of our favorites.

HOW TO STORE BACON CHICKEN RANCH CASSEROLE

IN THE FRIDGE: Storing this pasta dish in the fridge is so simple! I usually make it in a dish that comes with a lid. Then, when we are finished with dinner, all I have to do is pop the lid on and put it in the fridge. You can also cover it with plastic wrap if your dish doesn’t have a lid. Reheating leftovers is easy, and I actually think this casserole is even better leftover and reheated.

IN THE FREEZER: This chicken casserole recipe is totally freezable and makes for a great freezer meal. To do so, follow the instructions up to the point when you would be baking the casserole. At this point, cover your pan with tin foil and in the freezer. When ready to bake, simply let the pan thaw in the fridge overnight and bake at 350°F for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and edges are bubbly.

close up shot of a spoon with a piece of Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

HOW TO REHEAT THIS CHICKEN BACON RANCH CASSEROLE RECIPE

You can reheat individual portions in the microwave by adding a tablespoon of milk and heating on high until heated through.

This comforting chicken bacon ranch casserole is always a huge hit for family dinners. The melted cheese sauce, mixed with crunchy bacon and ranch dressing, makes for the ultimate pasta casserole. It’s a quick and easy meal that everyone loves!

CHICKEN BACON CASSEROLE FAQs

What is the best kind of chicken to use for this recipe?

Either chicken breasts or chicken thighs would give you tender pieces of chicken in your cheesy casserole.

Can I add additional veggies to the casserole?

If you would like to add extra vegetables, green peppers or mushrooms would be a great option.

Can I make this casserole ahead of time?

You can prepare the casserole the night before and store it covered in the fridge until you are ready to bake.

What goes with a chicken casserole?

Great side dishes to serve with this chicken casserole include Caesar salad, tomato cucumber salad, or cucumber salad, and dinner rolls to mop up the creamy sauce in the bowl.

Is it OK to put raw chicken in a casserole?

For this casserole, the chicken should be cooked as the heating time is not long enough to cook the chicken through.

How do you keep chicken from drying out in a casserole?

Salting the chicken before cooking it and adding it to the casserole will help to keep it moist in the oven while baking the casserole.

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a close up shot of a spoon grabbing a piece of Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

5 from 3 votes
This easy chicken bacon ranch casserole is a delicious, homemade meal your whole family will love!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 3 to 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds), cut into bite-size pieces
  • teaspoons salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons ranch seasoning mix, divided
  • 8 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • cup onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • 12 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (divided)
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, patted dry (if oil-packed) and chopped
  • 6 cups penne pasta, about 4 cups dry, cooked and drained
  • 3 cups Italian-style cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons of dried parsley, optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish.
  • In a medium bowl, combine chicken with ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and 2 tablespoons ranch dressing mix.
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • Add a single layer of chicken. Cook until golden on each side, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Repeat with the remaining chicken, using 2 more tablespoons butter and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Saute onion in pan drippings until soft. Add garlic and saute for 1 more minute.
  • To the same pan (with the onion and garlic), add 3 tablespoons butter. When butter is melted, add flour, Italian seasoning, basil, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon ranch dressing mix. Stir.
  • Using a whisk, gradually add chicken broth (¼ to ½ cup at a time), stirring to combine well with the flour mixture.
  • Add heavy cream. Continue to stir, heating until bubbly.
  • Add parmesan and stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
  • To the sauce, add 8 slices of chopped bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, chicken, and pasta.
  • Combine the pasta with the sauce.
  • Pour the pasta mixture into the greased dish.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining 4 pieces of chopped bacon. Top with Italian cheese. Sprinkle with dried or fresh chopped parsley, if desired.
  • Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and the edges are bubbly.

Video

Notes

  • Be sure NOT to use pre-shredded cheeses. They have additives added in the bags to prevent clumping, and they do not melt as well as a block of cheese that you shred yourself.
  • You can prepare this casserole the night before and keep it covered in the fridge until you are ready to bake it.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your casserole as the suggested baking time approaches.

Nutrition

Calories: 638kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 1161mg | Potassium: 421mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 705IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 2mg
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  1. TG says

    5 stars
    This was very delicious! But I have to say it was a lot of work lol My 2 year old loves it, so in the end it was worth it. Took me about 1 hour and half total with prep and baking time. My 5 year old said the bacon was her favorite part lol

  2. Janice says

    My question is about the ranch dressing mix …. are you talking the dry ranch dressing mix or the ranch dressing out of the bottle like for salads ?