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Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

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!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 638 kcal

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 9x13-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.

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: 638kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 27gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 1161mgPotassium: 421mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 705IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 150mgIron: 2mg