This Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole is a great low-carb way to stick with your healthy eating habits. A 40-minute dinner, that is easy, light, and family approved. Pre-cooked chicken, bacon, broccoli, and a homemade ranch based creamy mixture is all that is needed to create this comfort food favorite.
If you have leftover rotisserie chicken on hand, this casserole is a great idea to use it up. The homemade ranch dressing mixture pairs perfectly with the chicken and bacon.
Plus you can meal prep with this dish, and put leftovers in single-serve containers and use for lunches or dinners on busy weeknights. It is a great way to simplify meals for the week.
Why This Recipe Works
- Use Up Leftover Chicken – Whether you have frozen chicken in the freezer or you have leftover rotisserie chicken on hand. You can create a whole new meal with chicken you need to use up!
- Meal Prep – Use the leftovers to meal prep for part of your week. Whether you do for quick lunches or easy weeknight dinners you will enjoy this.
- Variations – Feel free to change out the broccoli with other approved veggies. Mix and match or change this chicken casserole to fit what you have on hand in your produce drawer.
- Leftovers – Who doesn’t love to make a meal and enjoy tasty leftovers for a day or two after. This casserole is wonderful for eating another day later on! It reheats perfectly.
Reach for cooked chicken that is shredded or chopped. This is a great way to save time prepping the meal. If you have the chicken already cooked just mix up the casserole and bake!
Great for busy weeknights when you want a quicker prep dinner.
Broccoli is a wonderful vegetable to add into the casserole, to make it essentially a meal in one. The chicken, broccoli, and bacon all just work well. Use fresh florets or frozen for this casserole.
Homemade Ranch cream sauce is going to be what really gives this casserole flavor. Sour cream, cream cheese, mayo, balsamic vinegar, and more come together to make a one-of-a-kind sauce that is so creamy and cheesy!
Making this chicken casserole couldn’t be any easier! It turns out amazing every time, and it’s so fast to throw together. Let’s get started.
First Step: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Then, add the olive oil and butter to a baking dish. Place the baking dish in the warm oven, so the butter melts.
Second Step: After the butter has melted, add the chicken pieces and broccoli florets and stir to make sure it’s evenly coated.
Third Step: Prepare the ranch dressing and top the chicken and broccoli with it.
Tip: Use room temperature cream cheese so it blends up nicely with the other ingredients.
Fourth Step: Add the cheddar and mozzarella cheese to cover the ranch dressing.
Fifth Step: Sprinkle the crumbled bacon on top of the cheese and bake the casserole for 30 minutes or until it’s bubbly and golden brown on top.
Cook the casserole a bit longer if you want the cheese to get a bit more brown on top. It is all about personal preference on how you like your cheese melted on the dish.
🍲Meal Prep Instructions
Meal prepping is a huge time saver when you are able to make it work. There are several things you can do to help you prep this chicken bacon ranch recipe ahead of time.
- Prepare the ranch dressing ahead of time. You can whip up a batch of the ranch dressing, and it will keep for 1-2 weeks in the fridge. Just make sure you store it in a sealed container, so it lasts longer. Plus, it’s nice to have for other recipes too.
- Pre-cook the chicken or buy a rotisserie chicken. It saves you time and tastes fantastic too! My favorite (FAST) way is with my Air Fryer Chicken recipe or the Air Fryer Shredded Chicken for Meal Prep. I love how fast that is to whip up!
- Put everything in the casserole pan and put it in the fridge until you are ready to cook. It can be prepared and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Then, simply bake it right before serving.
- Bake the casserole ahead of time and save the leftovers in the fridge. This will last 3-4 days in the fridge, so you can portion it out into individual servings and just reheat as needed.
📌 Expert Tips
Read these tips and tricks to set yourself up for success when it comes to this casserole.
- Prep this dish in advance and store in the fridge, and then bake it up at dinner time. Just add a bit extra time, since your casserole will be colder coming from the fridge.
- Don’t use overly seasoned chicken or it will affect the flavor of this dish. Make sure that if you use rotisserie chicken, it is lightly seasoned.
- Check your casserole early as every oven will cook differently and you don’t want to overcook your dish.
Freezer Friendly Options
The biggest issue with freezing this recipe is that the ranch doesn’t really freeze too well. Due to the creamy content of the ranch, it tends to separate as it warms up. This isn’t a huge issue because the ranch is covered with chicken, but once you reheat it, you may find some separation and find it not as appetizing.
Basically, go ahead and prepare the casserole and freeze it before or after it’s baked if you don’t mind the texture of the ranch. Or, if you’d rather, simply add the ranch right before you bake it. The chicken casserole will last in the freezer 1-2 months if it’s kept airtight.
You can easily make a few substitutions if you want to. Here are a few ideas you can try if you want:
- Broccoli – You can use fresh or frozen broccoli if you want. If you do decide to go with frozen broccoli, it may be slightly watered down. You can run the broccoli under some cool water to melt any frozen ice on it before adding it to the casserole as a preventative measure.
- Cheese – Swap out the cheddar and mozzarella for any kind of cheese you like. Colby Jack, Pepperjack, and provolone are all fantastic options.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs – Using chicken thighs is a wonderful idea when you are eating a diet. It’s a fattier chicken and will enhance the flavor of this dish too.
As always, you can make some minor adjustments to change the flavor based on your tastes or ingredients you have on hand. Try out some of these ideas:
- Turkey Bacon – If you would rather use turkey bacon, you are in luck! It tastes just as fabulous as regular bacon. Cook and crumble the bacon on the dish and enjoy.
- Jalapenos – Feel like adding some heat into your life? Chop up some jalapenos and add them to the casserole on top of the ranch dressing. They will give you some surprise spiciness.
- Green Onions – Sprinkle the top of the freshly baked casserole with some chopped green onions.
- Paprika – Add up to ½ teaspoon of smoked or sweet paprika to the ranch dressing. It gives the dish a fun flavor that tastes great!
Due to the dairy in this casserole you will find that this dish does not thaw well once being frozen. The cream cheese will separate a bit and affect the texture of the dish.
🍽️ More Delicious Chicken Recipes
Chicken is always a huge hit because it tastes great, and you can cook it in so many ways. Take a look at some additional chicken dishes that will knock your socks off.
Bacon Ranch Casserole
- 3 cup Chicken Breasts cooked/cubed or rotisserie chicken
- ½ cup Bacon crumbled
- 12 oz Broccoli Florets
- 8 oz Cheddar Cheese shredded
- 8 oz Mozzarella Cheese shredded
- 1 tsp Butter
- ½ cup Mayonnaise
- ½ cup Sour Cream
- 3 oz Cream Cheese softened
- 1 tsp Garlic minced
- 2 tbsp Parsley fresh, finely minced
- 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- ¼ tsp Coarse Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Coarse Ground Garlic Salt
- ⅛ tsp Chili Powder
Prepare the Ranch Dressing
- Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Bake the Chicken Casserole
- In a 9 X 13 baking dish, add one tablespoon of olive oil, and one teaspoon of butter. Melt the butter in the dish in a 375 degree oven.
- When the butter melts, add the cubed chicken and broccoli florets, and stir to coat.
- Top the chicken and broccoli with the Ranch dressing, and sprinkle the cheese on top of the Ranch dressing.
- Sprinkle the bacon on top of the cheese, and place the dish in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the cheeses have melted, and are bubbly, and golden on top.
- Serve, and Enjoy!