Show those comfort food cravings who's boss with this Chicken Bacon Ranch Bake! This stacked and smothered chicken comes locked and loaded with layer upon layer of savory flavors!
The recipe begins with perfectly seasoned chicken and quickly moves on to thick-cut, pan-seared bacon. And, just like that -- you know it's going to be really good. The chicken takes a turn in hot bacon grease, absorbing all kinds of smoky, porky goodness, and then it's assembly time.
Before this Chicken Bacon Ranch Bake can make its way to the oven, it gets topped with a creamy, homemade ranch sauce, a crisscross of two whole crispy bacon slices, and a blanket of freshly grated Colby Jack cheese.
This easy dinner is a great way to spruce up boring ol' chicken breasts, and it works wonders at the family dinner table! Serve it with side dishes like crockpot pinto beans or creamy mashed potatoes for a guaranteed hit. Husbands and kids alike swoon for this Bacon Ranch Chicken!
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN BACON RANCH BAKE
- Season the chicken
- Cook the bacon
- Sear the chicken in the bacon grease
- Make the ranch spread
- Assemble/smother the chicken
The first thing you'll want to do is knock out a bit of prep work. Get your oven preheated to 350°F, and have ready a greased baking dish (if you don't have a large oven-safe pan).
1. SEASON THE CHICKEN BREASTS
Then, pat your chicken breast dry with a paper towel. Doing this removes the excess moisture from the surface of the chicken breast, and allows for the oil to stick, which in turn allows for the seasoning to stick, and it also helps the chicken to get a proper sear!
Then, drizzle your chicken breasts with oil, and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Now, it's onto the bacon! And this recipe each chicken breast gets topped with two whole strips of bacon. Clearly, this chicken bacon ranch bake was made for hungry appetites! But, the bacon does more in this recipe than just serving as the garnish. It is also used to add tons of flavor to the chicken breast itself.
2. COOK THE BACON
Cook the bacon in a large pan over medium-high heat until it is crispy to your liking. Then, you'll remove the bacon from the pan, and in goes the seasoned chicken breast! The chicken breasts aren't going to cook all the way through in the pan, we just want to get a good sear on them. The sear will help to lock in all that flavor!
3. SEAR CHICKEN BREASTS IN BACON GREASE
To sear the chicken, cook it for 3 to 4 minutes on each side just until it is browned. Then you'll transfer it to the prepared baking dish (if your skillet is not oven-safe).
You'll notice after your chicken breasts have finished searing that there will be a smooth/flat side and a side that appears slightly "divoted." It is best if you place the chicken breast flat-side down before topping so the divot is facing upward. This way, the toppings have a nice little place to nest and stay put!
4. MAKE THE CHICKEN BACON RANCH SPREAD
Now, it's time to put a little ranch and this chicken bacon ranch bake! Rather than squirting some store-bought ranch dressing out of a bottle, we're going to take the more delicious route and whip up a ranch dressing mix that has the perfect consistency for topping off the baked chicken. Not only will this ranch mix stay put while baking, but it will also far exceed any store-bought ranch in flavor quality as well.
Luckily, it comes together quickly and easily with just three simple ingredients! You'll need sour cream, mayonnaise, and ranch seasoning mix. Combine these ingredients in a small mixing bowl, give it a stir, and voila! Consider that task officially done!
5. ASSEMBLE THE CHICKEN BACON RANCH
Divide the ranch mix amongst the four chicken breast, then lay two slices of bacon crisscrossed across the center of the chicken, and top the whole shebang off with freshly grated Colby Jack cheese.
If you know you'll be in a crunch for time, pre-shredded cheese is an acceptable substitute, however, freshly grated cheese will be superior in both flavor and texture! If you can't find Colby Jack cheese, you could also use a mild cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese instead.
Once your chicken bacon ranch is assembled, cover the pan or baking dish with aluminum foil and transfer it to a preheated 350°F oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil after the 15-minute mark, and bake for 10 minutes more, or until the chicken is fully cooked through.
Your chicken is fully cooked when the internal temperature registers at 165°F. This is best gauged by using an instant-read thermometer inserted into the centermost, thickest part of the chicken breast.
If you do not have a thermometer, another good way to tell if it is fully cooked is to check the coloring. Fully cooked chicken will be white, with no pink showing whatsoever!
Once your chicken is cooked through, pull it from the oven and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes. Then serve, and enjoy!
6 AWESOME CHICKEN RECIPES TO TRY NEXT!
- Jalapeno Popper Chicken
- Monterey Chicken
- Bacon-Wrapped Chicken
- Chicken A La King
- Stuffed Chicken Breats
- Buttermilk Fried Chicken
This easy Chicken Bacon Ranch Bake features juicy chicken, pan-seared bacon, creamy ranch dressing, and melty cheese.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive, canola, or avocado oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 8 slices thick-cut bacon
- ½ cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons ranch seasoning
- 8 ounces Colby Jack cheese, freshly grated (about 2 cups shredded)
Preheat the oven to 350°F and have ready a greased 9x13" baking dish (if you do not have a large oven-safe skillet).
Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel to remove any exterior moisture. Then, place the chicken on a work surface and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder and rub all over to evenly adhere to both sides of the breasts. Set aside until ready to use.
Add 8 strips of bacon to a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook for about 5 minutes. Turn the bacon and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the bacon is cooked to your liking.
Remove the bacon from the pan and carefully spoon out all but a thin layer of grease. Add the prepared chicken breasts and cook for about 3-4 minutes, just until browned. Turn the chicken and sear for about 2-3 minutes more. Then, transfer the chicken to the prepared baking dish (if not using an oven-safe skillet). Place the chicken smooth-side down in the pan or baking dish.
In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, mayonnaise, and ranch seasoning. Divide the ranch mix over the chicken, add 2 strips of bacon crisscrossed on top, and sprinkle with the cheese.
Cover the pan or baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes more, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Allow to cool slightly, serve, and enjoy!