This Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole is all you need on a busy weeknight. We’re talking creamy, cheesy, rice casserole loaded with ranch, chicken, and bacon!
Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
Creamy, dreamy, oozing deliciousness with cheese pulls a mile long – these are the things that dance through my head in the last few hours of a long work day. The day I cooked up this casserole I knew I needed something quick and easy, a recipe that can be thrown into a pot and left to do its thing while I do mine.
I have to admit I use ranch seasoning as a secret flavor bomb, and this recipe is the best way to test it out if you’ve never played around with this ingredient before.
- Chicken breast – This recipe is best with boneless breast cut into bite sized pieces. Of course you can use chicken thighs instead if that’s what you have on hand.
- Olive oil – We’ll be tossing this with the chicken and ranch to help the seasoning stick to the meat.
- Ranch seasoning – Ranch seasoning offers more flavor concentration than its liquid counterpart.
- White rice – Make sure your rice is uncooked as we want it to absorb all the flavors of this dish as it cooks. I used short grain for this recipe.
- Onion – I used a small white onion for this dish, its flavor is mild and slightly sweet and cooks well.
- Garlic – I used freshly minced garlic. Garlic from the bottle will work just fine, but be sure to remember that 1 1/2 teaspoon equals one fresh clove.
- Bacon – Cook the bacon before hand and chop finely.
- Chicken broth – This dish gets its salt from both the ranch and the bacon, so opt for low sodium or no sodium broth.
- Half and half – The key to our creamy and dreamy end result. If you’re looking to cut calories milk will work as a substitute.
- Cheddar cheese – Use a cheese that melts well. Mozzarella is another good option but I wanted a bit more color in my dish.
- Parsley – Lots of parsley, freshly chopped and saved to sprinkle on right at the end.
How To Make Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
- Prepare your oven: preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
- Season the chicken: In a medium sized bowl, toss the bite sized chicken, olive oil, and 2 tbsp ranch seasoning till the chicken is well coated. Set aside.
- Combine the casserole: In a 9 x 13 – inch casserole dish combine the rice, onion, garlic, half of the bacon, chicken broth, half and half, and the remainder of the ranch seasoning. Add the chicken and stir it all together.
- Finish the casserole – Top with the remaining bacon and cheddar cheese before covering with aluminum foil and baking for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes uncovered or until the rice is cooked through. Once finished, garnish with lots of parsley and serve!
Store in an airtight container for 3 – 4 days in the fridge. If freezing ensure that your dish is wrapped in both plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Be sure that your dish has fully cooled before it is placed in either the freezer or fridge.
How To Make This Casserole Ahead
Some special steps need to be taken for those who want to prepare this casserole ahead of time and freeze till later use. Since this dish uses uncooked rice, it must be taken out of the freezer a day before it’s cooked. Place it in the fridge and allow to thaw for a day. The dish must be thawed entirely before it is put in the oven.
Tips For Making The Best Casserole
- If you’re looking to add some veggies to the dish frozen broccoli, green beans, peas, or corn are all delicious additions.
- Brown rice can be substituted for white rice in this recipe. To do so you’ll want to increase your liquids by a half a cup in total and increase the covered cooking time from 30 minutes to 45 minutes. Be sure to check the rice before pulling the dish from the oven to make sure it’s fully cooked.
- If you’d prefer to turn this recipe into a pasta bake, follow the guidelines in this recipe while still using the ingredients listed above.
Craving More Casseroles? Try These:
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Deconstructed Stuffed Pepper Casserole
- Chicken Enchilada Rice Casserole
- Chicken Alfredo Bake
- Mighty Moussaka
- Chicken On The Ritz
Looking for more recipes? Follow on…
Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
- 1 lb chicken breasts boneless and skinless, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp ranch dressing mix (1 packet or 1 oz)
- 1 ½ cups white rice uncooked, I used a short grain rice
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 8 slices bacon fried and chopped
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth low sodium or no sodium added
- ½ cup half and half *
- 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 tbsp parsley fresh, chopped
- Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees.
- In a medium size bowl toss the chicken together with the olive oil and 2 tbsp of the ranch seasoning mix; set aside.
- In a 9×13-inch casserole dish combine the rice, onion, garlic, half of the bacon, chicken broth, half and half and the remaining tbsp of ranch seasoning mix. Add the chicken and stir everything together.
- Top with remaining bacon and cheddar cheese. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes covered, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.
- Half and Half: Half and half has 12 percent fat content. Heavy cream can also be used. It is also called heavy whipping cream because it’s whipping cream with a milk fat content between 36 and 40 percent.
- CHICKEN: I prefer chicken breast in this casserole dish, but boneless skinless thighs can be used as well.
- RICE: I prefer a short grain rice in this casserole because I like a stickier rice for a casserole dish, but a longer grain rice would work as well. Also brown rice can be used as well, but the cooking time would be a bit longer.