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+ servings

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

This cheesy Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole is a flavorful, satisfying and easy dinner recipe that your family will love!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword cheesy, chicken bacon ranch casserole, chicken bacon ranch pasta casserole, easy
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 585kcal
Author Blair Lonergan

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. uncooked rotini or penne pasta
  • 6 strips (about 4.5 ounces) center cut bacon, chopped
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 2 cups frozen baby broccoli florets, thawed (about half of a 12.6 ounce bag) (see the note below to substitute with fresh broccoli)
  • 2 jars (15 ounces each) Alfredo sauce (or use about 3 ½ cups of homemade Alfredo sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese, or more to taste
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley, chives, thyme or other herbs

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13x9-inch dish; set aside.
  • Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water for 1 minute less than the package instructions for al dente. Drain; set aside.
  • Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a Dutch oven or very large skillet over medium heat until crispy, about 7 minutes. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the drippings in the pot.
  • Add the onion and celery to the drippings in the pot. Sauté the vegetables over medium-high heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Remove from the heat. Add the cooked, drained pasta, the cooked chicken, and the thawed broccoli to the pot.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the Alfredo sauce, parsley, dill, chives and onion powder. Pour the Alfredo sauce over the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared dish. Sprinkle the cooked bacon on top and finish with a layer of shredded cheese.
  • Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the filling is hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs and serve!

Notes

  • Cooking for a smaller family? Cut all of the ingredients in half and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square dish. The rest of the cooking instructions remain the same.
  • Salt the pasta water really well, since this is your opportunity to season the pasta.
  • Boil the pasta for 1 minute less than al dente, because it will continue cooking in the oven. You don't want to end up with mushy, overdone pasta in your casserole!
  • Center cut bacon works well in this recipe because it gets nice and crispy, and leaves just the right amount of drippings in the skillet (not too much). If you're using thick-cut bacon, strain off some of the drippings from the pan so that you're left with about 1 tablespoon.
  • Use a store-bought rotisserie chicken for an easy, quick-prep solution. The rotisserie chicken also adds a lot of flavor to the dish.
  • Bake the pasta uncovered so that the cheese on top turns brown and the edges get crispy.
  • Bake the casserole just until it's heated through. All of the ingredients are already cooked, so you just want to warm it in the oven until bubbly. Don't bake it for too long or it may dry out or get burned on top.
  • If starting with fresh broccoli florets instead of frozen baby broccoli, cut the florets into small bite-size pieces. Add the fresh broccoli florets to the boiling pasta water during the final 3 minutes of the pasta's cooking time. When the pasta is done, your broccoli will be perfectly crisp-tender!
  • Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole with Ranch Packet: if you prefer to use a packet of Ranch seasoning mix, substitute the dry seasoning mix for the parsley, dill weed, chives and onion powder.
  • If you don't want to use jars of store-bought Alfredo sauce, substitute with about 3 ½ cups of homemade Alfredo.
  • Add different vegetables in lieu of the broccoli -- or omit the veggies altogether! Good options include frozen peas, corn, or sautéed zucchini, mushrooms or green beans.
  • Substitute cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheeses for the mozzarella.
  • For a crunchy topping on your casserole, add a layer of buttered Ritz cracker crumbs over the cheese.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the casserole | Calories: 585kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 953mg | Potassium: 383mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 683IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 2mg