I’d say I made this Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole in honor of casserole season, but that qualification doesn’t do it justice.

A dish with cheesy Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole with rice and broccoli, made healthy ingredients

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. This casserole recipe is for more than just a season.

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 with rice 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).

This recipe’s 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.

A dish of chicken bacon ranch casserole with rice and melted cheese

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.

The Ingredients

  • 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.
  • 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. You can use any milk you have on hand.
  • Greek Yogurt. Adding Greek yogurt gives this dish a boost of protein and creaminess, without adding any extra fat.
  • Cheese. For the deliciously cheesy topping and ooey-gooey casserole factor. I used a mixture of Mozzarella and sharp cheddar.
Healthy chicken bacon ranch casserole with rice, broccoli, and cheese

The Directions

  1. Lightly grease your baking dish.
  2. Bring your chicken broth to a boil, then add the rice. Add the broccoli, cover, and finishing cooking the rice (the broccoli will steam at the same time!).
  3. Meanwhile, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the drippings in the pan.
  4. In the same pan, cook the the chicken in a few of the ranch spices, then remove it to a plate.
  5. Whisk together the flour and part of the milk, pour the mixture into the pot, and add remaining milk. Cook until thickened and creamy. Remove and whisk in the remaining ranch spices. Add the yogurt and part of the cheeses.
  6. Add the rice and broccoli mixture, chicken, and half of the bacon. Stir to combine. Place the mixture into the baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes at 375 degrees F, and then remove and sprinkle with bacon. Bake 5 to 10 more minutes, until hot and bubbly. Let stand a few minutes, then DIG IN!

Recipe Variations

  • Keto Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole: Steam the broccoli florets separately. Instead of cooked brown rice, stir 4 cups uncooked cauliflower rice into the cream sauce.
  • Gluten Free Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole: Swap the all-purpose flour for the same amount of gluten free 1:1 baking flour.
  • Extra Veggies: Take a note from this Broccoli Rice Casserole (a family-pleasing side) and add diced carrots. This Chicken Broccoli Ziti is also packed with veggies.
Easy chicken bacon ranch casserole made with rice, broccoli, and cheese

How to Store, Reheat, and Freeze Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

  • 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.

What to Serve with Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

While this casserole can be served as an all-in-one meal, here are a few ideas of what could be served with it:

Recommended Tools for Making Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

A dish of healthy chicken bacon ranch casserole with rice and broccoli

Chicken bacon ranch casserole! Here to make it casserole season, every season.

A dish with cheesy Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole with rice and broccoli, made healthy ingredients

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

4.54 from 13 votes
This easy, creamy Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole with rice is a fast all in one meal and a family favorite! A healthy recipe you'll make again and again!

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 1 hr 10 mins

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 14–ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
  • 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 ½-inch pieces
  • 1 ¼ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts chopped into bite-size pieces
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder divided
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed divided
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper divided
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk divided
  • 2/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese divided
  • ¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese divided

Instructions
 

  • Place a rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a deep 9-inch-square 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 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, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon dill weed, and ¼ 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 ½ cup milk. Pour the mixture into the pot, then add the remaining 1 ½ cups milk. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened and creamy, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon dill weed, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and cayenne. Stir in the Greek yogurt, ½ cup Mozzarella cheese, and ½ cup 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 ¼ cup Mozzarella and ¼ cup cheddar cheese. Bake 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining bacon over the top. Return to the oven and bake 5 to 10 additional minutes, until the casserole is hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes, then serve.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 385kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 38gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 96mgPotassium: 753mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 763IUVitamin C: 69mgCalcium: 352mgIron: 2mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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36 Comments

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  1. I’ve made a lot of Erin’s recipes (and by a lot, I mean I’m religious to making at least one every week). This one takes more time and a little more effort than her other meals, but holy cow is it worth it. A crowd pleaser even for a husband that is a very picky eater. Filling and absolutely delicious! 5 stars

    1. This MADE my day! I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe, Sydney! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

  2. This looks like a casserole dish that we would enjoy eating. Your title caught my eye and I am glad that I read this recipe of yours. Will be making it soon.

    1. YAY! I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit, Erin! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

  3. Fantastic  recipe – fully of flavor and easy to pull together.  Even the pickiest eaters in my family enjoyed.  This will definitely be on regular rotation in our house.5 stars

  4. Made this recipe last night. It required some extra effort but so worth it as all the flavors were spot on! My next door neighbor who I cook for said it was “excellent” and shes a great cook!
    My only negative is that it was a little dry but that may be due to my plate sitting in the microwave for several hours before I heated it up .
    Another winner, Erin!
    PS I just pulled your cabbage steaks out of the oven!
    Can’t wait to try them and post a comment on them.5 stars

    1. I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit, Kathleen! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

  5. I have not tried this recipe yet, as I just found it. I did read through the directions, though. I would think you could also use up leftover rice in this dish (when I make rice, I make extra to use later) and that would save the step of making up the rice the night you wish to make this recipe. I will be adding it to the menu.

    1. Hi Susan! You could experiment with cooked rice, but the cooking time and amount of liquid needed may differ. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

      1. Loved the casserole. I did make up regular brown rice in a rice maker first. Then proceeded with the recipe. Turned out great and even froze a pan full for future use.5 stars

        1. I’m so happy that you enjoyed the recipe, Susan! Thank you for sharing this kind review!

  6. Just made this tonight and it was excellent! actually added some ranch dressing and mixed it with the Greek yogurt, and it tasted amazing! Will defiantly make again. 5 stars

  7. Hi Erin! I am so happy I came across your website. The recipes are so fun to make and the instructions are very thorough. First, I made the Chicken Parmesan to try it out. It was so good! My family loved it! Since then, (which was about 2 weeks ago) I have used your recipes for most nights of the week (desert included.) I am amazed every time at how yummy and simple the recipes are, yet the flavors are complex! What amazes me more though is that my family is actually happily eating the food I put in front of them … and we are all eating together for dinner and having a good time … and the kids love helping me prepare the meals … and my husband (who tends to make many comments to help me improve my cooking) walks into the kitchen, looks at what I’m doing and says, “I’m just going to leave you to it.” #LifeChanger5 stars

    1. This MAKES my day, Catherine! Thank you for taking the time to try my recipes and for sharing this kind review!

  8. This looks amazing! Is it possible to prep everything earlier in the afternoon and then refrigerate it until ready to cook it or does it need to go straight to the oven?

    1. Hi Katy! Are you hoping to refrigerate the unbaked casserole? If so, this would be a complete experiment, as I’ve never tested it myself. You could also bake the casserole fully, store it in the refrigerator, and rewarm in the oven just before serving. I hope this helps!

  9. Husband took 2 bites and said, “OMG save this recipe, please.” So, I guess you could say it is a winner. ☺️5 stars

  10. I’m sorry, but this was kinda terrible. It took way too much time and no one in the house would eat it. I’m a pretty good cook so I don’t feel it was user error. This was the first recipe of yours I have tried and I just got the cookbook since it was so highly recommended from Gaby and Skinnytaste. I will check out some more recipes, but this one is going in the trash:((1 star

    1. Hi Marsha, I’m so sorry to hear that this dish wasn’t to your tastes. I (and many readers) have really enjoyed this recipe, so I truly wish it would’ve been a hit for you too!

  11. Second recipe of yours that I have made this week and if I could give it more stars I would! This was delicious! I actually did about 1/3 cup of rice and the rest cauliflower rice and my husband, who won’t go near cauliflower rice, had NO CLUE it was mostly cauliflower rice and loved it (he still doesn’t know). He even asked for leftovers, and that never happens! Best part is he really couldn’t tell it was a “lightened casserole” with things like Greek yogurt and extra veggies. Thank you for making family friendly recipes that have an extra health kick. I will be making this regularly!! 5 stars

  12. Delicious!! I substituted cauliflower rice and quinoa for rice! Also used oat yogurt and oat milk (same measurements as recipe suggested) and it turned out AMAZING!!5 stars

  13. No shade to Erin Clarke, or any recipe authors who take the time to conceive of and test new recipes, and I appreciate that she worked so hard to keep it healthy. But, to be fair, I have yet to make a recipe as written that I didn’t want to go back and tweak to my own taste. This casserole was good, and the other members of the household all complimented it, but I would add some Lowry’s season salt or other salt, and a can of “Cream of Something” soup to it (Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Chicken, Cheddar Cheese soup, etc), because I thought it was a little dry and bland. But, then, I grew up in the south, where “Cream of Something” casseroles were staples on the menu. So, thank you, Erin. I mean no disrespect to you, and I will make this again, but I’ll be looking for a creamier texture next time. P.S. I’m wheat intolerant, so I appreciated your note about substituting the flour for a GF 1:1 flour blend. It swayed me to try this recipe and it worked just fine.3 stars

  14. Hi! So excited to try this tonight! Didn’t realize until now it was recommended to cook in a 3qt dish, which I don’t have. What would the cooking time be fora 13X9 pan? Can’t wait!

    1. Hi Taylor! Typically a 3-quart casserole dish is 13×9, so you should be fine to prepare the recipe as directed. I hope you enjoyed it!

    1. Hi April! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, but you could experiment with other veggies that cook in a similar amount of time. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it!