Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole Recipe: A Comfort Food Classic

Welcome to my kitchen! Today, I’m excited to share one of my all-time favorite comfort food recipes: Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole. This hearty and delicious dish is perfect for a family dinner, gathering with friends, or meal prep for the week. Packed with juicy chicken, crispy bacon, and creamy ranch sauce, this casserole is sure to become a staple in your home.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole combines all the flavors you love in a single dish. It’s creamy, cheesy, and packed with protein. Plus, it’s easy to prepare and can be made ahead of time. Here are a few reasons why this recipe will become a favorite in your household:

  • Family-Friendly: Kids and adults alike will enjoy this flavorful casserole.
  • Versatile: You can customize it with your favorite ingredients or what you have on hand.
  • Perfect for Meal Prep: Make it ahead and enjoy leftovers throughout the week.
  • Comforting: It’s the perfect dish for a cozy night in or a potluck with friends.

Ingredients

To make this delicious Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 3 cups cooked pasta (rotini, penne, or your favorite)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step-by-Step Directions

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter.

Step 2: Cook the Pasta

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Step 3: Prepare the Chicken and Bacon

If you haven’t already, cook the chicken and bacon. Shred or dice the chicken and crumble the bacon.

Step 4: Make the Creamy Sauce

In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, sour cream, and ranch dressing. Mix until smooth. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Step 5: Assemble the Casserole

In the same bowl, add the cooked pasta, shredded chicken, crumbled bacon, chopped green onions, and half of the shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Mix everything together until well combined.

Step 6: Bake the Casserole

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Spread it out evenly. Top with the remaining cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses.

Step 7: Bake to Perfection

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. If you like a golden-brown top, you can broil for the last 2-3 minutes, keeping a close eye to prevent burning.

Step 8: Serve and Enjoy

Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with additional chopped green onions if desired. Enjoy your creamy, cheesy Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole!

Tips for the Best Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

  • Use Rotisserie Chicken: For convenience, use rotisserie chicken to save time.
  • Quality Bacon: Opt for thick-cut bacon for a more substantial and crispy bite.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Freshly grated cheeses melt better and have a superior flavor compared to pre-shredded varieties.
  • Customize: Feel free to add vegetables like broccoli, peas, or spinach for extra nutrition.

Variations and Substitutions

This recipe is highly adaptable. Here are a few ideas to make it your own:

  • Spicy Kick: Add diced jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce to the sauce for some heat.
  • Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free pasta to make this dish gluten-free.
  • Low-Carb: Substitute the pasta with cauliflower florets or zoodles for a low-carb version.
  • Different Cheeses: Experiment with different cheese combinations like gouda, pepper jack, or Swiss.

Serving Suggestions

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole is a complete meal on its own, but you can serve it with:

  • Side Salad: A fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette balances the richness of the casserole.
  • Garlic Bread: Perfect for soaking up any extra creamy sauce.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Try roasted broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or carrots for a healthy side.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I make this casserole ahead of time?

Yes! You can assemble the casserole up to 24 hours in advance and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, add an extra 5-10 minutes to the baking time to ensure it’s heated through.

Can I freeze Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole?

Absolutely. You can freeze the assembled (but unbaked) casserole for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking as directed.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until warmed through.

What other meats can I use?

You can substitute the chicken with turkey, ham, or even ground beef. Adjust the cooking time as needed for different proteins.

Can I make it vegetarian?

Yes! Omit the chicken and bacon, and add more vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini. Use vegetarian bacon or a meat substitute if desired.

Conclusion

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole is a delightful and comforting dish that’s sure to please everyone at the table. With its creamy sauce, crispy bacon, and cheesy goodness, it’s the ultimate comfort food. Whether you’re making it for a weeknight dinner or a special gathering, this casserole is a guaranteed hit. Enjoy this delicious recipe and feel free to get creative with your variations!

5 from 1 vote

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole Recipe

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole is a delightful, creamy dish perfect for family dinners or meal prep. Combining juicy chicken, crispy bacon, and a rich ranch sauce, this casserole is sure to become a favorite. Easy to make and versatile, it’s a comfort food classic that everyone will love.

Prep Time 20 mins Cook Time 25 mins Total Time 45 mins Difficulty: Beginner Best Season: Winter

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  1. Cook chicken and bacon if not done already. Shred or dice chicken and crumble bacon.
  1. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream, ranch dressing, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper until smooth.
  1. Add cooked pasta, chicken, bacon, green onions, and half of the shredded cheeses. Mix well.
  1. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining cheeses.
  1. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Broil for the last 2-3 minutes for a golden top.
  1. Let cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with additional green onions if desired.
Keywords: Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole, easy casserole recipe, family dinner ideas, comfort food recipes, creamy chicken casserole

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