Monday, August 16, 2021

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

This chicken bacon ranch casserole is thick, rich, and absolutely dreamy! Enjoy it with a side salad, steamed veggies, or all on its own!

Inspired by the TikTok feta pasta trend, this creamy mac and cheese recipe is the ultimate weeknight comfort meal!

The pasta bakes in a mixture of milk, ranch dressing, cheddar and cream cheese (instead of a block of feta). Then, rotisserie chicken and crumbled bacon are stirred in just before serving.

While you’re here, take a look at more of my easy chicken casserole recipes!

My favorite is a 5-ingredient enchilada dupe that includes all of the flavor without all of the work!

Instead of rolling the tortillas, layer them with everything else to achieve perfectly balanced bites.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole on a plate

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole - Tips and Tricks

  • Make your own garlic paste. Finely chop 3 to 4 cloves, then scrape them along the cutting board with the edge of your knife and a little bit of salt. This should make enough for this recipe, or create a larger batch to have on hand with a blender and some olive oil.
  • Kitchen hack: Cook your bacon in the oven ahead of time or use a toaster oven while the pasta is baking. You can also chop up the strips while they are cold and crisp them in a pan on the stove.
  • Let it sit before serving. Doing so allows the cheese sauce to thicken, plus the noodles will finish cooking without the dish being burned.
  • Forgot the poultry? You can easily leave it out and enjoy a simple bacon mac and cheese instead. Or, try prepping a big batch of boneless, skinless breasts in advance so you always have some on hand!

chicken bacon ranch casserole ingredients

How To Quickly Shred Rotisserie Chicken

Once you have broken down the bird, toss half of the meat into a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Give it a quick whirl and you’ll have perfectly shredded meat in minutes! It’s best to run the mixer on low since the higher speeds may affect the texture.

easy chicken casserole ingredients

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • 9x13 Baking Dish - This set is one of my favorites! It comes with a lid for easy storage and is the perfect size for this easy chicken casserole.
  • Box Grater - As much as I love buying bagged shreds because it’s easier, freshly grated cheddar melts down so much smoother and tastes better too.
  • Heat resistant spoon or spatula - Perfect for cooking, stirring, and serving.

bacon chicken ranch casserole - pouring ranch into the sauce

FAQ - Common Recipe Questions

Should I use powdered or bottled dressing for this bacon chicken ranch casserole?

You will need bottled for this recipe since it is poured over the dish before it goes in the oven. I like using my homemade version, but any store bought brand will work just fine.

chicken bacon ranch casserole - mixing in pasta, chicken and bacon

What do I do if there’s a film over the top?

It’s perfectly normal for this to happen, since the noodles will release starch as they bake. Just give everything a good stir, and it will be fine.

Can I save leftover chicken bacon ranch casserole?

Absolutely! Keep covered or transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

Reheat in the oven or warm individual portions in a pan on the stove. I recommend stirring in some extra milk for moisture.

bacon chicken ranch casserole - finished casserole

Enjoy!

With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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easy chicken casserole mounded



Yield: 8
Author: Donna Elick
Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

This chicken bacon ranch casserole is thick, rich, and absolutely dreamy! Enjoy it with a side salad, steamed veggies, or all on its own!
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 50 MinInactive time: 20 HourTotal time: 21 Hour

Ingredients

  • 1 pound short pasta, such as elbow or penne
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/2 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 6 slices cooked bacon, diced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the block of cream cheese in the center of a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  3. Add the pasta around the cream cheese block.
  4. Sprinkle the shredded cheese and pour the milk over the top of the pasta.
  5. Gently stir together the pasta mixture, leaving the cream cheese whole.
  6. Add the garlic paste, salt, and pepper to the pasta, and mix again.
  7. Drizzle 1 cup of ranch over the entire pan.
  8. Bake for 50 minutes uncovered.
  9. Remove from the oven and stir everything together, including the cream cheese, then let rest for 15 to 20 minutes until thickened.
  10. Add the chicken and bacon and stir until combined before serving.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole closeup

Originally published August 2021

https://amzn.to/2npi3zd

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