Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole is the ultimate comfort food! This is a creamy, cheesy easy to make pasta casserole that’s bursting with flavor.
Easy Chicken Casserole with Ranch and Bacon
You can’t go wrong by combining chicken, bacon, and ranch. Whether it’s in a sandwich, wrap, or a casserole like this recipe, it’s always so delicious. My kids are so in for any recipe that calls for these three ingredients.
I love this casserole for more than just it’s delicious flavor. I love it because it is so easy to make.
It’s as simple as prepping the ingredients, tossing everything together, and throwing it in the oven. It also makes for a great freezer meal, so that I have something ready for the busy nights at home.
This comforting chicken casserole is always a huge hit for family dinner. 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!
Why We Love This Recipe
- Great make-ahead meal
- Quick and easy to make (15 minutes prep time)
- Old fashioned comfort food
- Bursting with creamy flavor
Ingredients / Shopping List
- Penne pasta
- Skinless chicken breasts
- Salt & Pepper
- Ranch dressing mix
- Olive oil
- Minced garlic
- Italian seasoning
- Dried basil
- Chicken broth
- Heavy cream
- Shaved parmesan cheese
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Italian style cheese
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How to Make the Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
This recipe will come together in about 15 minutes!
In a medium bowl, combine chicken with ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and 2 tablespoons of Ranch dressing mix.
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.
Repeat step 3 with the remaining chicken, using 2 more tablespoons of butter and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Reduce the oven heat to medium. Saute the onions in the pan drippings until soft. Add garlic and saute for 1 more minute.
To the same pan (with the onion and garlic) add 3 tablespoons of butter.
When the butter is melted, add flour, Italian seasoning, basil, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon of 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 in the heavy cream. Continue to stir, heating until bubbly.
Add parmesan and stir until the cheese is melted. Remove from the heat.
To the sauce, add 8 slices of chopped bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, chicken, and pasta. Combine.
Pour pasta mixture into a greased 9×13 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.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges are bubbly.
Variations / Options / Add-In’s
Pasta: You can use any style of noodle that’s similar to penne pasta. Stay away from long noodles like spaghetti or linguine. Some other great options include rotini, bow tie, shells, rigatoni, or cavatappi.
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 Store Leftovers
In the fridge: Storing this casserole 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. Reheating leftovers is easy, and I actually think this casserole is even better leftover and reheated!
In the freezer: Chicken bacon ranch casserole 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 for about 30-40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges are bubbly.
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 it’s a quick and easy dinner meal for those busy nights at home. This creamy pasta casserole makes the ultimate comfort food that everyone will enjoy.
More Great Casserole Recipes
Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
- 12 slices bacon cooked and chopped, divided
- 6 cups penne pasta cooked and drained
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
- 1½ tsp salt divided
- ½ tsp pepper
- 3 tbsp Ranch dressing mix divided
- 8 tbsp butter divided
- 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- ⅔ cup onion chopped
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- ½ cup flour
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese
- ¼ dried tomatoes patted dry (if oil packed) and chopped
- 3 cups Italian style cheese
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried parsley, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 9×13 in pan.
- In a medium bowl, combine chicken with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, 1⁄2 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 1⁄2 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 chopped bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, chicken, and pasta. Combine.
- Pour pasta mixture into a greased 9×13 pan. Sprinkle with the remaining 4 pieces of chopped bacon. Top with Italian cheese. Sprinkle with dried or fresh chopped parsley, if desired.
- Bake uncovered at 350° for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and edges are bubbly.
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