Chicken bacon ranch casserole is a cheesy favorite over here. It comes together noodles and a white cheese sauce that marries the chicken, bacon, and ranch flavors.
There are no fancy ingredients incolved, but you will need to make a roux for the cheese sauce. Trust us, it’s worth it!
“This is the second time I’ve made this recipe. It is so freaking good!!! A few adjustments; I cooked off the chicken (whole, not cubed) in bacon fat. I also added the remainder of the packet of ranch seasoning to the cheese sauce. This is so good and so good for football season.“ – Robin
What is in chicken bacon ranch casserole?
- White cheese sauce: this wouldn’t be a true casserole without cheese sauce. We used mozzarella and a roux made from butter, flour, and milk.
- Chicken breast: either chicken breast or boneless, skinless thighs will work.
- Ranch seasoning: feel free to use a store-bought packet.
- Bacon: make sure to pre-cook your bacon.
- Pasta: any kind of pasta works and we’re using fusilli.
- Bell pepper: thought we’d add a veggie.
- Parmesan: there’s always gotta be a cheese topper!
Let’s Talk Cheese Sauce
The white cheese sauce for this chicken bacon ranch casserole is GOLD. Seriously, it’s creamy and flavorful and an oh so crucial element of this chicken bacon ranch casserole. You’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- All-purpose flour (or white whole wheat)
- Whole milk (or 2%)
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Pinch of salt
Prepare the cheese sauce by heating a medium-sized saucepan over medium/high heat, and when the saucepan is hot, add butter. When the butter has melted add flour to the saucepan and whisk together. When the butter and flour form a paste or crumble, slowly pour the milk into the saucepan, whisking consistently while pouring.
Whisk the mixture over medium heat until the milk mixture has time to thicken (about 4-5 minutes). Remove from heat, and add the mozzarella cheese and salt to the saucepan. Keep whisking until the cheese sauce is thick and creamy.
Variations to Try
Make this casserole your own, but switching up some of the ingredients. Instead of chicken breast, you can try boneless thighs or even shredded rotisserie chicken.
Since we’re a cheese site, experiment with the cheese sauce. Swap out the mozzarella for:
- white cheddar
- yellow cheddar
- Pepper Jack
- Colby Jack
How to Store Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
Store this chicken bacon ranch casserole in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
To reheat: place on a microwave-safe plate and cook on high for 60-90 seconds. Or reheat in the oven by placing in a covered casserole dish and cook for 10-15 minutes (or until warm) at 350°F.
Chicken bacon ranch casserole is definitely enough on its own, but if you’re trying to get your meals to go a long way try serving it with beet and goat cheese salad on the side and mini cheesecake bites for dessert.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
White Cheese Sauce
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour or white whole wheat
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning mix
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large red pepper finely diced
- 6 pieces of cooked bacon cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup ranch dressing
- 16 oz. fusilli pasta
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Then, Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta.
- Cook the pasta for 4-6 minutes. The pasta should be slightly undercooked because it will cook for an additional 20 minutes in the oven.
- Strain the water from the pasta and set pasta aside.
- Next, season the chicken chunks with ranch seasoning. Be sure that the ranch seasoning covers every chunk of chicken.
- Heat a large oven-safe skillet or deep cast-iron skillet over medium/high heat. Add olive oil.
- When olive oil is fragrant add chicken. Cook the chicken for 1-2 minutes on each side. Only partially cook the chicken. It will cook for an additional 20 minutes in the oven. Remove from heat.
- Add red pepper, bacon, ranch dressing, and pasta into the large pan and toss. Set aside.
- Prepare the cheese sauce by heating a medium-sized saucepan over medium/high heat.
- When the saucepan is hot, add butter. When the butter has melted add flour to the saucepan and whisk together. When the butter and flour form a paste or crumble, slowly pour the milk into the saucepan, whisking consistently while pouring.
- Whisk the mixture over medium heat until the milk mixture begins to thicken (about 4-5 minutes).
- Remove from heat and add the mozzarella cheese and salt to the saucepan. Whisk until the cheese sauce is thick and creamy.
- Carefully pour the cheese sauce over all of the pasta and chicken mixture and toss. Make sure all of the ingredients are covered by the cheese sauce.
- Then, place the casserole dish into the oven, uncovered, and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and place in the oven for an additional 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
- Finally, remove the casserole from the oven and enjoy!