This Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole is perfect comfort food! The flavors of bacon and ranch come together perfectly with pasta and chicken in this cheesy casserole.
One thing I will never tire of creating for you is noodle casseroles. They are generally so easy to make, and so delicious. You can go so many different directions with them, and they are undoubtedly going to be comfort food.
This noodle casserole recipe is one that is going to be a hit too! Chicken Bacon Ranch are flavors that were made to be together. I think you will find that once again they come together perfectly here.
How to Make Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
This casserole comes together in just a few simple steps. This is just a brief over view to give you a feel for the recipe, you can find the full instructions in the recipe card at the bottom.
- Cook the pasta. Remember to reserve pasta water before draining and cook the noodles for 2 minute less than is listed on the box.
- Cook the bacon and the chicken. In a large skillet cook bacon, remove it. Use the realigning bacon grease to cook the chicken.
- Make a roux. Add a little flour to the pan (no need to pull out the chicken). Whisk it into the bacon fat until you no longer see white.
- Make the sauce. Whisk in chicken stock, reserved pasta water, and dry ranch dressing seasoning.
- Finish off the casserole and bake. Stir in the noodles and cheese, top with more cheese and put it in the oven.
Cooking the Noodles for Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
There are a few important steps when cooking htenoodles that I want to draw your attention to.
- Make sure to season the water. Seasoning the cooking water with salt is really important to the overall flavor of this dish, so be sure not to skip it.
- Cook the noodles for 2 minutes less. Because we are baking the casserole at the end, you want to make sure to cut the cooking time of the pasta short.
- Reserve the pasta water. The water we cook the noodles in is starchy and perfect for pulling together the casserole at the end. Don’t forget to save a cup.
Reserved Pasta Water
A key step in this recipe is reserving pasta water before you drain the noodles. That starchy pasta water is liquid gold! It is full of flavor and perfect for deepening the flavor of this casserole.
Grating Your Own Cheese
I am a firm believer that you should grate your own cheese. It is something that can take a recipe up several notches. It takes a few extra minutes, but it is absolutely worth it.
What do you mean by ranch seasoning?
I am referring to the packet that you buy in the grocery store in the salad dressing aisle. It is used to make ranch dressing at home.
Do you have a recipe for ranch seasoning?
I do not, but you can follow my friend Holly’s Homemade Ranch Seasoning recipe for this casserole.
Can you freeze this casserole?
Yes! Follow all of the steps up to the point of baking. All the dish to cool a little. Then wrap the dish in plastic wrap three times and put it in the freezer for up to three months.
I recommend using a disposable baking dish rather than glass or ceramic. This way you can go right from the freezer to the preheated oven without worrying about your dish cracking.
When you are ready to bake, unwrap it completely and put it in a 350 degree oven for 45 to 55 minutes.
Other Great Noodle Casseroles
If your family can’t get enough of noodle casseroles, try some of these:
If you make this casserole recipe or any of my other recipes, leave me a comment letting me know what you think.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
- 1/2 pound thick cut bacon diced
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons ranch seasoning
- 1 pound dry penne noodles
- 3 1/2 cups mozzarella
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of water to a raging boil. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and add noodles. Cook for 2 minutes less than the time instructed on the package. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
- In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon.
- Add in the diced chicken breasts and cook until no longer pink, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Whisk in the flour and then whisk in the chicken stock and 1 cup of the pasta coooking water. Stir in the ranch seasoning and bacon.
- Stir in the cooked noodles and 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese. Top with the remaining mozzarella. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 20 minues.