Chicken Bacon Ranch Penne is a super cheesy & flavorful comfort food that the entire family is going to go crazy over- the flavors just work perfectly to create one outstanding dinner!
Nothing tastes quite as good as chicken with bacon and ranch. Combine these three ingredients to prepare the incredible Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole. You will love it!
Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole is the comfort food you didn’t know you needed. If you want a delicious meal that you can put together with ease, even on your busy days, this is the recipe for you. It combines some of the tastiest ingredients to create a cheesy, wholesome meal that your entire family will enjoy.
Why Make Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole?
You should make this Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole when you want a homemade meal that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. If you want a creamy, cheesy meal loaded with seasoned chicken and bacon, this recipe has everything you want and need. While you will need quite a few ingredients to make the casserole, it is easy to put together. Before you know it, you will have a hot casserole dish ready to devour.
What You’ll Need to Prepare the Bacon Ranch Chicken Casserole:::
Make the Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole with the following ingredients:
Chicken. Use chicken breasts without the bone or skin. You should chop the chicken into small cubes before using it to prepare your casserole.
Penne Pasta. Use any brand of penne pasta. Be sure to cook it and drain it before adding it to your casserole dish.
Ranch Dressing Mix. You will need the ranch dressing mix when seasoning your chicken and when preparing the sauce for the casserole.
All-Purpose Flour. Use the flour to create a thicker sauce for your casserole.
Heavy Whipping Cream. The heavy whipping cream blends perfectly with the ranch dressing mix and flour to create that creamy consistency for your casserole.
Cooked Bacon. Prepare the bacon in advance and chop it into pieces for this dish.
Italian-Style Cheese. Add three cups of the Italian-style cheese to your casserole.
While these are some of the primary ingredients needed, you will also need salt, pepper, chicken broth, butter, light virgin olive oil, shaved parmesan, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh parsley!
Which Type of Chicken Can I Use?
Chicken breast is best to use in this Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole. However, if you only have boneless, skinless chicken thighs, you can always chop them into small pieces and prepare them with the same ingredients that you would have used on the chicken breasts.
Can I Use Any Pasta?
You can use any pasta you prefer when preparing the casserole. Penne pasta goes great with the other ingredients in this casserole dish. The thing about penne pasta is that it is thick enough to hold the weight of the creamy sauce, cheese, chicken, and other ingredients without falling apart. Of course, if you do not have penne, feel free to use other types of pasta, such as rotini or elbow macaroni.
Heavy Whipping Cream Substitutes
The heavy whipping cream is a must-have for this recipe. It leaves it with such a great taste and texture. If you do not have heavy whipping cream at home, the good news is that you can make it with the ingredients you already have on hand. Combine milk with butter to create a simple, flavorful heavy whipping cream. If you run out of milk, use half-and-half with the butter to get that same great taste.
What to Serve With the Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
The Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole has everything you need for a fulfilling meal because it contains pasta, cheese, chicken, and bacon. However, you can serve it with a side of broccoli or garlic bread if you want to have something with it.
How to Store the Leftovers
Place any Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole leftovers right into a food storage container. Be sure to seal the container with the lid and place your leftovers in the fridge for up to three days. You can reheat your casserole in the microwave or in the oven when you want it hot.
Is It Possible to Freeze the Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole?
Make the Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole in your spare time and store it in the freezer until you are ready to use it. You can freeze your casserole in advance, but be sure to cover it with a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. It stays good in the freezer for up to six months.
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- 4 cups dry penne pasta, cooked and drained
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. Ranch dressing mix
- 4 Tbsp. 1/2 stick salted butter, divided
- 2 Tbsp. light virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 Tbsp. salted butter
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. Ranch dressing mix
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup shaved parmesan cheese
- 16 oz. cooked thick cut bacon, chopped and divided
- 1/4 sun-dried tomatoes, patted dry and chopped
- 3 cups Italian style cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Chicken: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease and 13 x 9" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine chicken, salt, pepper, and ranch dressing to a medium sized bowl and toss to coat.
- 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 and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until golden.
- Remove chicken with a slotted spoon to a plate.
- Repeat with remaining chicken, butter, and olive oil.
- Add the rest of the chicken to the plate and set aside.
Sauce: In the same skillet, reduce heat to medium and saute onions until translucent.
- Add garlic and saute for an additional minute. Add butter to the onions and garlic.
- After butter has melted, add flour, Italian seasoning, basil, salt, and Ranch dressing mix.
- Stir until chicken is coated. Using a whisk, add chicken broth in 1/2 cup increments, stirring well between each.
- Whisk in cream and stir until mixture begins to bubble.
- Remove from heat and stir in parmesan until melted.
- Add 2/3 of the chopped bacon, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, chicken, and pasta to the sauce and stir until evenly combined.
- Pour pasta into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with remaining bacon.
- Top with Italian cheese and parsley.
- Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
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