Why you’ll love this recipe:
Chicken bacon ranch is a classic American flavor combination found in a variety of dishes like sandwiches and bakes. However, this chicken bacon ranch casserole recipe is one of my favorite variations and is often requested for dinner in my home.
Savory, creamy, and cheesy, it’s the ultimate comfort food!
- Easy – This casserole recipe is super easy. The ingredients are all combined in a large pot, transferred to a casserole dish to bake, and ready to eat in less than an hour.
- Meal prep – One batch makes up to 8 servings and stores well, meaning you can cook once and enjoy quick meals throughout the week.
- Kid-friendly – I’ve yet to meet someone who didn’t love this casserole. Even the pickiest eaters will be pleased!
This chicken bacon ranch casserole is perfect for potlucks and weeknight dinners!
Key Ingredient Notes:
- Bacon – Bacon adds a sweet, savory, smokey flavor no one can resist.
- Cream cheese – This helps thicken the cheese sauce without the need for condensed soup which is excessively salty and full of processed ingredients!
- Heavy cream – To enhance the creaminess of the cheese sauce. Half & half or whole milk can be used in its place.
- Ranch seasoning – To season the dish. Use a store-bought Ranch packet, or make homemade Ranch seasoning yourself.
- Cheese – I use Mozzarella, but Cheddar cheese or a combination of the two works great. For the best results, I highly recommend grating a block of cheese, because it melts easier than the bagged kind. However, if you’re in a pinch, pre-shredded cheese will still taste great.
- Rotini pasta – Shells or penne can be used, too. Whatever you choose, cook your pasta to al dente according to the package instructions.
- Chicken – Make shredded chicken in the pressure cooker or crockpot, or use up any leftovers from the fridge. Alternatively, for a quick option, use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken instead.
How to make this chicken bacon ranch casserole recipe:
Before you begin, preheat the oven to 375℉ and prepare a 9×13” casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Dinner will be ready in no time!
1. Cook the bacon
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and cook the bacon until it’s crispy. Stir it frequently so it doesn’t burn or stick to the pot!
- Remove the pieces with a slotted spoon, and set them aside.
- Leave 3 tablespoons of the drippings in the pan. This helps flavor the remaining ingredients.
2. Add the remaining ingredients
- Add the onion to the pan with the bacon drippings, and cook until it is softened and fragrant. This part goes by quick!
- Add the cream cheese, heavy cream, and ranch seasoning.
- Whisk over medium heat until the ingredients are smooth.
- Add 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese, whisking again until smooth, and remove the pan from the heat.
- Stir in the pasta, chicken, and green onions.
- Transfer the mixture to a prepared casserole dish.
- Sprinkle the cooked bacon and remaining cheese on top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown and crisp.
- Let the casserole cool for at least 5 minutes.
- Garnish with more sliced green onion, if desired.
- Enjoy warm!
- Shred your own cheese, if possible. This will not only help it taste better but makes it melt better, too. Pre-shredded cheese contains additives that prevent it from sticking in the package, which also means it doesn’t melt as smoothly as freshly grated cheese.
- Use rotisserie chicken. To save time, buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the store, and shred it with two forks.
- Add veggies. For extra nutrients, try stirring frozen broccoli in with the chicken, pasta, and green onions. Your kids won’t even realize it’s there!
- You can make this chicken bacon ranch casserole recipe in advance and store it uncooked in the fridge or freezer.
- Transfer it to a casserole dish, and allow it to cool. Then, cover it tightly with aluminum foil or saran wrap, and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Bake at 375℉ for 25-30 minutes until the top is lightly golden brown and crisp.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Reheat individual-sized portions in the microwave until warmed through. Or, warm the entire casserole in the oven at 350℉ until your desired temperature is reached.
- If the top begins to burn, cover it with foil, and continue to bake.
- Freeze the casserole for up to 3 months. Let it cool completely, and cover it tightly with plastic wrap and foil. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Sure! Just adjust the ratios and baking time as needed so the casserole isn’t too liquidy.
No, this casserole is not spicy as it is, but you can easily kick up the heat with a dash of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes!
Made with protein, carbs, and fiber, if you add the broccoli, this casserole is a complete, well-rounded meal on its own. However, I also like to pair it with sides like creamy cucumber salad and freshly baked biscuits.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
- 1 9x13in casserole dish
- 1 dutch oven
- 1 small onion sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 8 ounces cream cheese cubed
- 2 cups heavy cream Note 1
- 1 (1 Ounce) Ranch seasoning packet
- 3 cups Mozzarella cheese shredded
- 12 ounces rotini pasta cooked according to package directions Note 2
- 4 cups chicken shredded and cooked Note 3
- 2 green onions chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375℉ and prepare a 9×13” casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat, cook the bacon, stirring often until crispy. Remove using a slotted spoon and set a side. Leave 3 tablespoons of the drippings int the pan.
- Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. To the pan, add the cream cheese, heavy cream and ranch seasoning. Whisk over medium heat until smooth. Whisk in 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese until smooth. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the pasta, chicken and green onions. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish, sprinkle on the cooked bacon and the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
- Bake at 375℉ for 25-30 minutes until the top is lightly golden brown and crisp . Let cook for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with more sliced green onion if desired. Enjoy!
– Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
– Reheat individual-sized portions on a heatproof plate in the microwave until warmed through. You can also reheat in the oven at 350 degrees.
– Freeze the casserole for up to three months. Let the casserole cool completely, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and bake as directed.
* Disclaimer: All nutrition information are estimates only. Read full nutrition disclosure.
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