This Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole is here to upgrade your weeknight dinner game in the most delicious way possible.
When a dinner is this easy and healthy.
When it hits every food group in a single Pyrex.
When it includes the most crowd-pleasing trifecta of flavors, perhaps ever (what is more universally accepted as delicious than chicken, bacon, and ranch?), well...
Said casserole recipe is destined become a staple in your dinner rotation.
This recipe is a spin on one of my most tried-and-true healthy casserole recipes, my Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole. It’s a long-time, 5-star reader favorite because it’s deliciously approved by both adults and toddlers, takes less than 30 minutes to prep, and is made of real, simple ingredients.
Like the recipe that inspired it, this chicken bacon ranch casserole hardly needs a side, because it’s an all-in-one meal on its own.
You have green veggies (enter, broccoli!), whole grains (hello, brown rice), plus lean protein (I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts; chicken thighs work nicely too).
Today’s recipe twist: BACON RANCH.
I doctored up the classic broccoli cheddar combo with a blend of ranch spices, extra creamy, melty Mozzarella cheese, and a happy shower of crispy bacon (if this flavor combo sounds enticing, don’t miss my Chicken Bacon Ranch Fries too).
5 Star Review
“If I could give it more stars I would! This was delicious! Thank you for making family-friendly recipes that have an extra health kick. I will be making this regularly!! ”— Catherine —
How to Make Healthy Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
Despite the indulgent impression, this casserole is still slimmed down.
Unlike many recipes you’ll find online, this is a chicken bacon ranch casserole without Alfredo or premade ranch dressing.
It uses real ingredients like Greek yogurt, sharp cheddar, and pantry spices to create a hearty, cheesy, comforting dinner you can feel good about eating on repeat.
- Chicken. The mildness of chicken lets the bacon and ranch flavors shine in this recipe, and it adds healthy protein. Both chicken breasts or chicken thighs would be tasty here.
- Instant Brown Rice. This quick-cooking whole grain makes the chicken bacon ranch casserole fast, healthy, and filling. Do not use any other kind of rice or the recipe proportions and baking time will not be accurate.
- Chicken Broth. Cooking the rice in chicken broth instead of water enhances the flavor of the dish. I recommend using low-sodium chicken broth to make sure the final casserole isn’t too salty.
- Broccoli. Adds a serving of vegetables to make this a true all-in-one meal. The taste of broccoli goes naturally with the bacon too. Plus, broccoli offers fiber and vitamins.
Want to add extra veggies? Take a note from this Broccoli Rice Casserole and add diced carrots. Or, try this as a chicken bacon ranch casserole with potatoes for something extra filling.
- Bacon. Guaranteed to please!
- Spices. The secret to the ranch flavor. I used a combination of garlic powder, salt, onion powder, dill weed, pepper, and cayenne. No premade dressing required here; the best flavor is from scratch.
- Flour + Milk. To help thicken and bind all the ingredients together. (Flour and milk work perfectly instead of heavy cream in my Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta.) You can use any milk you have on hand.
- Greek Yogurt. Instead of making this a chicken bacon ranch casserole with cream cheese, I used Greek yogurt. Adding Greek yogurt gives it a boost of protein and creaminess, without adding any extra fat and keeping the chicken bacon ranch calories low.
- Cheese. For the deliciously cheesy topping and ooey-gooey casserole factor. I used a mixture of Mozzarella and sharp cheddar.
- Cook the rice and broccoli together in the chicken broth.
- Cook the bacon and set aside. Saute the chicken in a few of the ranch spices, then remove it to a plate.
- Whisk together the flour and milk to make the creamy sauce. Add the yogurt and part of the cheeses.
- Stir all of the casserole ingredients together. Place the mixture into a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees F, then remove it and sprinkle with bacon. Bake 5 to 10 more minutes. Let stand a few minutes, then DIG IN!
- To Store. Refrigerate chicken bacon ranch casserole in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. You can rewarm this casserole in the oven at 375 degrees F until hot in the center or microwave gently until heated through.
- To Freeze. Freeze individual portions or large quantities of the casserole in an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Meal Plan Tip
Prepare the recipe up until the point of baking, then cover and refrigerate it for up to 1 day. When ready to bake, let the casserole come to room temperature, then bake as directed.
Recommended Tools to Make Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
- 3-Quart Casserole Dish. The perfect dish for making this casserole.
- Small Whisk. This is so easy to use and helps mitigate splashing.
- Dutch Oven. I use mine nearly every day.
Step aside chicken bacon ranch pizza or any other chicken bacon ranch pasta—there’s a new CBR in town!
Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
- 14 ounces low-sodium chicken broth (1 can)
- 2 cups instant brown rice if you use white rice or non-instant rice, the cooking time and amount of liquid needed may differ
- 1 pound broccoli florets chopped into bite-sized pieces (about 8 cups)
- 6 slices bacon cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts chopped into bite-size pieces
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder divided
- 1 teaspoon onion powder divided
- 1 teaspoon dried dill weed divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper divided
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk divided
- 2/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese divided
- 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese divided
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a deep 9×13-inch baking dish or a 3-quart casserole dish.
- Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large pot, then add the rice. Return to a boil, add the broccoli to the top of the rice (no need to stir it together), then cover, reduce the heat to low, and let cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and let sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes. Most of the cooking liquid should be absorbed, and the broccoli should be crisp-tender but still be a little too crunchy to eat.
- Meanwhile, heat a Dutch oven or other large deep pot over medium-low. Add the bacon and let cook until it is crisp and the fat has rendered, about 8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Leave the drippings in the pan.
- Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon dill weed, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Sauté until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center, about 4 to 6 minutes, then remove to a plate. Being careful not to burn yourself, wipe the pot clean with a paper towel.
- Reduce the heat to medium. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the flour and 1/2 cup of milk. Pour the mixture into the pot, then add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and creamy, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon dill weed, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and cayenne. Stir in the Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup of Mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.
- To the pot, add the rice and broccoli mixture, the reserved chicken, and half of the reserved bacon. Stir gently to combine. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and top with the remaining 1/4 cup Mozzarella and 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining bacon over the top. Return to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 additional minutes, until the casserole is hot and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes, then serve.
- TO STORE: Place the baked casserole in an airtight storage container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: You can rewarm this casserole in the oven at 375 degrees F until hot in the center or microwave gently until heated through.
- TO FREEZE: You can freeze individual portions or large quantities of this casserole. Place your desired amount into an airtight, freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
- TO MAKE AHEAD: Prepare the recipe up until the point of baking, then cover and refrigerate it for up to 1 day. When ready to bake, let the casserole come to room temperature, then bake as directed.
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