This Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole is thick, rich, and absolutely dreamy! The best part is that everything cooks in the same pan, making cleanup a breeze. Enjoy the comforting combination of savory and tangy flavors in this chicken bacon ranch casserole recipe.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
Inspired by the TikTok feta pasta trend, this creamy chicken bacon ranch casserole with cream cheese is the ultimate weeknight comfort meal!
Macaroni noodles bake 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.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Chicken – I’m using a rotisserie bird for convenience, but any shredded poultry will do — boneless breasts, thigh meat, or even leftover turkey!
- Bacon – Choose your favorite variety, from applewood smoked to pepper coated.
I would avoid any strips with flavoring like maple — they may not go well with the tangy flavors of this chicken bacon ranch casserole.
- Cheese – You’ll need a whole block of cream cheese, plus freshly shredded cheddar. For the best consistency, skip the bagged shreds.
Monterey Jack or Colby are good substitutes for cheddar, or kick things up a notch with some Pepper Jack instead!
- Pasta – Any short noodle will work for chicken bacon ranch pasta casserole! Elbow macaroni is a classic choice, but small shells or penne are good options too.
Tips for the Best Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Casserole
- 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 chicken bacon ranch casserole recipe, or create a larger batch to have on hand with a blender and some olive oil.
- Kitchen hack for bacon:
You can also chop up the strips while they are cold and crisp them in a pan on the stove.
- Let bacon chicken ranch casserole 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!
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.
Chicken bacon ranch casserole is already loaded with plenty of protein, dairy, and carbs.
While filling enough on its own, it wouldn’t hurt to round out your plate with a side salad or some veggies.
Air fryer zucchini fries are a personal favorite, and you can even dip them in the sauce!
Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole Recipe FAQ
You will need bottled dressing for this chicken bacon ranch casserole 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.
It’s perfectly normal for this to happen, since the noodles will release starch as they bake.
Just give everything a good stir, and your chicken bacon ranch pasta casserole will be fine.
That depends on the recipe! Most recipes call for partially boiled or al dente noodles that finish cooking in the oven.
For chicken bacon ranch casserole with cream cheese, there’s no need to boil the pasta first.
It soaks up the milk as the dish bakes, then continues to soften once the melted cream cheese is mixed with the other ingredients. Easy peasy!
Storing and Reheating Bacon Chicken Ranch Casserole
Keep leftovers tightly covered or transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Because of the cream cheese and cheddar, I don’t recommend freezing. Dairy tends to become grainy when frozen and thawed.
Reheat chicken bacon ranch casserole in the oven or warm individual portions in a pan on the stove. I recommend stirring in some extra milk for moisture.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Casserole Recipes
Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the block of cream cheese in the center of a 9×13-inch baking dish.
- Add the pasta around the cream cheese block.
- Sprinkle the shredded cheese and pour the milk over the top of the pasta.
- Gently stir together the pasta mixture, leaving the cream cheese whole.
- Add the garlic paste, salt, and pepper to the pasta, and mix again.
- Drizzle 1 cup of ranch over the entire pan.
- Bake for 50 minutes uncovered.
- Remove from the oven and stir everything together, including the cream cheese, then let rest for 15 to 20 minutes until thickened.
- Add the chicken and bacon and stir until combined before serving.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published August 2021, updated and republished September 2023
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