Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole is a comforting and cheesy dish made with ground chicken, ranch seasonings, pasta, bacon, and cheese. It’s quick and easy, and on the table in 35 minutes. It’s the perfect weeknight dish when you want to have a delicious meal but don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen.
This pasta-filled dish will be your new favorite dinner to throw together when you’re in the mood for cheesy goodness and don’t have a ton of time to cook. The kids will love it too with the classic flavors of ranch, bacon, and chicken all baked together into one hot dish. You’ll be adding this casserole into your monthly rotation, just like we did!
- What is Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole?
- Video Recipe
- How to make Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole :
- Tips for success:
- Can I make this dish in an instant pot?
- How can I make this casserole healthy?
- How can I cook this chicken bacon ranch casserole in a crockpot?
- Can I make this dish keto?
- How to store:
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
What is Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole?
This dish is made by cooking the pasta in a pot and the bacon, and chicken in a saute pan. Then you’ll combine these with the cream, cream cheese, and seasonings and cook until bubbly. Finally, you’ll pour the mixture into a large baking dish, top with cheese, and bake until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this bacon chicken ranch dish.
- 2 ⅓ cup Penne pasta: Pasta makes this dish filling and delicious.
- 4 slices Bacon: Crumbled bacon is an amazing addition to this casserole.
- ¾ cup Heavy cream and cream cheese: A touch of cream and cream cheese are used to give a rich and creamy flavor.
- ¾ cup Parmesan and 1 cup mozzarella cheese: Some shredded cheese makes this dish cheesy and comforting.
- 2 tablespoons Ranch seasoning mix: Seasoning mix is used instead of dressing to add the flavor directly to the casserole.
- 1 pound Ground chicken: Cooked and crumbled ground chicken is perfect for getting some chicken in every bite.
How to make Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole :
Here’s a brief look at how to make this dish. For the full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Preheat the oven.
2. Cook the pasta half of the time marked on the package.
3. Cook the bacon in a saute pan.
4. Remove bacon onto a plate and cook ground chicken with seasonings.
5. Pour in the cream and add cream cheese. Stir and cook until bubbly.
6. Mix in pasta and pasta water.
7. Bring the mixture to a boil.
8. Then carefully transfer into a baking dish.
9. Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
10. Bake until golden and bubbly.
Tips for success:
Here are a few tips for success and variations you can try to make this the best chicken bacon ranch casserole you've ever had.
- Be sure to saute the chicken and bacon before adding them to the dish so you can really bring out their flavors.
- Cook the pasta only halfway through before adding it in so that it doesn’t over or undercook in the oven.
- Remove the pasta and top the casserole with uncooked biscuits for a fun take on this dish.
- You can also substitute white rice or potatoes for pasta.
Can I make this dish in an instant pot?
Yes, you can make this in an instant pot instead of in the oven. You’ll want to cook the bacon and chicken using the saute function first and there’s no need to cook the pasta. Then follow the directions as normal. Place the lid on the pot, set the pressure cooker to high for 5 minutes, and then do a quick release of the pressure.
How can I make this casserole healthy?
It’s easy to make this dish healthier! The biggest factors to making this happen are substituting the pasta or rice, spinach, broccoli, or cauliflower rice and removing the cream and cream cheese. The dish is still topped with shredded cheese and you can decide whether to include the bacon or not. Making dishes healthier is usually just about finding the right ingredients to substitute with.
How can I cook this chicken bacon ranch casserole in a crockpot?
If you’d like to start this dish a few hours ahead of time, you can use the crockpot Use whole chicken breasts instead of ground chicken in this case. Add in the liquids with the chicken and cook for 3 to 4 hours. During the last 20 minutes, add in the pasta and more liquid if necessary. When it’s done, shred the chicken with two forks in the pot of the slow cooker. Top with cooked, crumbled bacon and shredded cheese, and then serve.
Can I make this dish keto?
Yes! You can easily make this dish keto-friendly. Remove the pasta and add cauliflower rice, broccoli, spinach, or onions. We recommend blanching the broccoli and sauteeing the spinach and onions with the chicken to bring out their natural flavors instead of adding them to the dish raw.
How to store:
If you have any leftovers of this casserole, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
You can also freeze the leftovers or the entire dish if you’re making it ahead, in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to three months. Be sure to label the container so you know what you have to eat later.
Can I use cream of chicken soup in chicken bacon ranch casserole?
Yes, you can use cream of chicken soup instead of cream cheese to make the dish creamy without the extra fat.
Can I make this dish with tater tots?
Yes! You can leave out the pasta and then top the dish with frozen tater tots. They will get golden and crispy and are a delicious addition.
How can I make this casserole low carb?
You can make this dish low-carb by leaving out the pasta and adding in white rice, cauliflower rice, or vegetables for an amazingly flavorful dish.
- 2 1⁄3 cup penne pasta
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 3⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 3⁄4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
- 1⁄4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning mix
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Cook pasta half of the time marked on the package. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
- Saute chopped bacon on medium heat, stirring, for 5 minutes or until crispy.
- Remove bacon onto a paper towel-lined plate and cook the ground chicken with ranch mix, salt, and pepper for 10 minutes.
- Pour in the cream and add cream cheese. Stir and cook until bubbly.
- Mix in pasta and pasta water. Wait until liquids will boil up, then carefully transfer into a baking dish. Top with mozzarella, parmesan cheese, and bacon.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 523Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 146mgSodium: 756mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 33g