Cheesy Ranch Chicken Bake

Cranking up the oven this fall because it’s been cold! This savory casserole dish not only fills your tummy with yumminess, it also warms up your home with tasty smells. The bacon adds texture to the dish and cooking the chicken up in the bacon grease is delicious. You might find a similar recipe to this one online, but trust me, this one is the best! I go through recipes online and see what sounds good and then I modify almost every single thing. The major things are: measurements of ingredients to see what makes sense, what can be added/taken away, cook times and actual REAL prep times. Any recipe I see where it says prep time is low but the dish looks complicated, I just trash that part and I put actual prep time it takes me (sometimes with interruptions from real life situations you would encounter by making the dish).

As far as substitutions or changes to this dish, if you’d like to make this KETO or Low Carb, you would need to omit the pasta and decrease the amount of cheese mixture to add to your chicken and onion mix. Or, you could add in 2-3 cups cooked/steamed broccoli or cauliflower to the large bowl when mixing to add more texture to the dish (without missing the pasta too much). If you’d like to use cream of chicken soup instead of mushroom, you can do that as well. When adding milk and heavy cream to the skillet, make sure they are warmed prior to whisking them in. Even if you can just microwave them for 30 seconds, it helps with the incorporation. And don’t skip the BACON! 🥓 If you would like more info on how to make this a different way, you can always comment down below or send me a message at the link so I can answer you promptly. Bon appetit y’all!

Brown bacon in skillet, remove and set aside. Drain out bacon grease, save about 2-3 Tbsp in skillet.
I would use either Tyson fully cooked chicken breast strips or diced rotisserie chicken for this recipe. They cook up so fast!
Brown and season chicken in skillet, remove and add to a large size bowl.
Cook elbow macaroni in a separate pot until Al dente, drain and set aside.
Sauté chopped onion for about 3 mins then add in minced garlic cloves and cook for 30 sec more. Remove from skillet and add to chicken in bowl.
Melt butter in skillet, add in flour 1 Tbsp at a time and stir to thicken into a paste.
Whisk in heavy cream after flour is mixed in well.
Whisk in milk.
Sprinkle in ranch seasoning mix and whisk some more!
Add in cream of mushroom or chicken condensed soup by whisking to thicken it up.
Add in shredded cheese one cup at a time by whisking it in.
I chopped the chicken strips into smaller pieces and stirred together with the sautéed onion.
Add cheesy mixture to large bowl with chicken and onion, stirring constantly.
Add cooked elbow macaroni to the bowl and add more cheesy mixture, stirring to coat evenly.
Add mixture into 13×9 baking dish, mixing around to make sure the dish is evenly mixed. Add bacon to the top with a little more shredded cheese and Panko bread crumbs. Bake in your preheated oven until cheese is melted.
Cheese is melted and this is ready to serve!
Served up with a fresh side salad. Enjoy!

Published by Melissa

A stay at home mom who loves to cook!

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