What do we want out of life? I want a few things, but complicated and hard to make recipes are not one of them. This Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole really sums up what I want in life. Simplicity, deliciousness, and all my favorite pizza flavors.
As most of you know, I have a Pizza Problem. (And yes, it deserves capitalization. It’s a Serious Situation.) So my new healthy habit is trying to turn my favorite pizza toppings into other forms of food. That’s why I made these Pepperoni and Pineapple Skewers – that’s one of my favorite topping combos. A little spicy, a little sweet. Then I made the Pizza Pasta, which has a great spicy Italian sausage flavor to it.
There’s one favorite pizza topping flavor I haven’t hit yet, though – Chicken Bacon Ranch. There’s a pizza place here in Charleston on King Street called Gilroy’s. It’s OK pizza, but it’s mostly for the hipsters, the college kids, and the late night bar crowd. The later it is, the more people are in Gilroy’s. They deliver until 4am, if that tells you anything. And once you’ve had a few drinks, a Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza from Gilroy’s seems like a really good idea. Not that I would know. It’s just what I hear.
I had no idea how much you guys were going to like the Buffalo Chicken Casserole. I mean, I knew it was good, but I like all the stuff I make. I have to, because I have to eat it. Over. And over. And over. I’m pretty sure we went through 3 or 4 Buffalo Chicken Casseroles before I had the ratios right, the amount of hot sauce right, and photos that made it look appetizing. (Casseroles without cheese are one of the hardest things to photograph. Really. Cheese makes everything look better. And taste better, but my stomach does not agree. Alas, no cheese for me.)
I can tell you that we’ve only been through 2 pans of this Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole, and I need a break. I’ve been eating it for breakfast in an omelette, lunch in a hurry, and keep serving it as an easy dinner. It’s so filling, it’s like the never-ending leftovers. And who doesn’t love a recipe that lets you not have to cook for a few days? You’re probably thinking, “you don’t, Jessica, you love to cook.” Which is true, I do, but if we’re being real, I go through phases. I cook a bunch of recipes, and then I’m sick of being in the kitchen, so I stay out of it. Then once I’m sick of looking at Pinterest pins and repinning, I go back to the kitchen. It’s a vicious cycle, but definitely a delicious one.
Anyway, here’s the deal. This chicken bacon ranch casserole is just as easy as the buffalo chicken casserole. I’m a big fan of anything you can throw in a pan, stir, stick in the oven, and call dinner. Amiright? Ok. So go make this one, and report back on your findings. I’m pretty sure husbands, kids, and anyone else that happens to be around will chow down on it. You’re gonna need a batch of my homemade ranch dressing for it, so make sure you have that on hand first. If you don’t have that ready, or don’t have time to make it, you can always use Primal Kitchen’s ranch dressing!
Oh, and did I mention it’s also Whole30 compliant? Pizza toppings for the win!
- 1 pound shredded chicken
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 head cauliflower, riced
- 10 oz package bacon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup ranch dressing
Preheat the oven to 400°.
Lay the bacon out flat on a baking sheet. Place in the 400° oven for 15 minutes or until crispy.
While the bacon is cooking, rice your head of cauliflower and dice up your onion and place in a 9x11 baking dish. Sprinkle with the salt and stir to combine.
Remove the bacon from the oven and set aside to cool. Turn the oven temp down to 350°.
Place the chicken on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until no longer pink. (Leave the oven on!)
While the chicken is baking, chop or crumble the bacon and add to the dish.
When chicken is done, chop up or shred in your stand mixer with the paddle attachment on a low speed. Add the chicken to the dish with the cauliflower, onion, and bacon.
Add the ranch dressing and stir to combine, making sure everything is completely coated.
Bake at 350° covered for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 10 minutes more. For the last 5 minutes, turn the oven on broil and crisp up the top, watching closely to make sure it doesn't burn!
Serve immediately. Top with extra bacon, extra ranch, or fresh herbs for bonus points!
Leftovers will store in the fridge for up to a week!