Easy Creamy Ranch Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe
Welcome to my kitchen, friends. Today, I am going to share with you a recipe that is incredibly easy to make and absolutely delicious – Ranch Chicken and Rice Casserole.
Rice casseroles are a classic comfort food that we all crave for after a long day at work or school. With just 5 simple ingredients, this recipe will definitely become a go-to meal for busy nights or when you want to indulge in something creamy and comforting.
The combination of juicy chicken, fluffy white rice, and creamy ranch seasoning makes each bite irresistibly tasty. Whether you’re serving it for your family or bringing it as a potluck dish, this casserole will be an instant hit.
As a chef, I always aim to create recipes that are both delicious and practical. This one checks all the boxes – it’s easy to customize, can be made ahead of time, stores well in the fridge or freezer, and reheats like a dream. What’s not to love?
So put on your apron and let’s get cooking. You won’t regret trying this cheesy Ranch Chicken and Rice Casserole recipe!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Are you looking for a quick and easy recipe that will also satisfy your craving for something creamy and comforting? Look no further than this absolutely delicious Ranch Chicken and Rice Casserole.
Firstly, let me just say that this recipe is incredibly easy to make with just five ingredients, two of which are kitchen staples: chicken and rice. Not only is it super simple, but it’s also incredibly flavorful thanks to the addition of ranch seasoning mix.
If you’re a fan of bacon, ranch, and cheese then you’ll absolutely love this recipe! It combines all three of these delicious ingredients in a mouth-watering casserole that’s perfect for those nights when you just can’t seem to find the energy to cook a huge meal from scratch. Plus, it’s great for feeding a crowd or having leftovers for lunch the next day.
But the best part? This recipe is super versatile and easily adaptable to suit your preferences. You can substitute the chicken for beef or pork if you prefer, or add in some broccoli for an extra healthy boost. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, swap out the white rice for some tasty brown or even wild rice.
Overall, this Ranch Chicken and Rice Casserole is an incredibly versatile and easy-to-make dish that you’ll absolutely love. With its comforting and creamy texture, savory flavor, and minimal prep time requirements, it’s perfect for any occasion where you want a delicious meal without all the fuss. So why wait? Get cooking today!
Let’s take a look at what we’ll need to make this creamy and comforting ranch chicken and rice casserole recipe with bacon. You only need 5 ingredients to make it incredibly easy, yet satisfyingly scrumptious.
Here is the list of ingredients you’ll need:
- 1 cup white rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup
- 1 (1 oz) packet ranch dressing mix (can substitute for homemade seasoning)
- 1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
The bulk of this recipe relies on the classic combination of chicken and rice, making it a staple dish that you can repeat over and over again without getting bored. The creamy element in the dish comes from a can of cream of chicken soup, which adds comfort and richness, while the flavor boost comes from a packet of ranch dressing mix. Not only is it convenient, but its tangy flavor will also take your taste buds to the next level. Finally, with tender and juicy bites of chicken thighs or breasts, this casserole becomes a pure delight.
The Recipe How-To
Now that you have all the ingredients ready, let’s start making the cheesy ranch chicken and rice casserole!
Step 1: Prepare the Rice
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In one pot, heat up olive oil on medium heat, then add 2 cups of long-grain white rice to it. Mix it for a minute, so that each grain can be coated. After that, add in 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 1/2 cups of milk, stir it together until well combined.
Step 2: Prepare the Chicken
While the rice is cooking, remove any excess fat from 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, then cut them into bite-size pieces (around 1 inch). In a large mixing bowl, combine together 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1 cup sour cream, and 2 tbsp ranch seasoning mix. Add in chopped chicken and mix until the chicken is coated with the creamy ranch mixture.
Step 3: Combine and Bake
Once the rice is done, pour it into a large baking dish suitable for casseroles. Then top it with the chopped chicken mixture, stirring to evenly distribute all of it. Add some freshly ground black pepper if desired.
Next, sprinkle a handful of cooked crumbled bacon over everything in the dish. Finally, add two handfuls of shredded cheddar cheese and place them carefully on top.
Stick your creation in the preheated oven for around 30-35 minutes until everything turns golden brown and crispy on top.
Step 4: Let it Rest
Take out your beautifully crafted dish from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 5 minutes before scooping yourself a serving.
Enjoy your scrumptious cheesy ranch chicken and rice casserole!
Substitutions and Variations
The beauty of this recipe is that it’s incredibly versatile and you can easily make substitutions or variations to suit your tastes or dietary restrictions. Here are a few ideas to switch things up:
– Vegetarian option: Swap the chicken for roasted veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potato or zucchini. Toss them in olive oil and Ranch seasoning before assembling the casserole.
– Beef or turkey: This recipe works just as well with lean ground beef or turkey instead of chicken. Brown the meat first and drain any excess fat before adding it to the casserole dish.
– Rotisserie chicken: Short on time? Use pre-cooked shredded rotisserie chicken instead of cooking your own. Just shred about 3 cups of chicken and mix it with the other ingredients before baking.
– Brown rice: Substitute white rice for brown rice for a healthier twist. Keep in mind that brown rice takes longer to cook; you may need to adjust the cooking time
– Gluten-free: If you are gluten intolerant, simply replace the cream of chicken soup with a gluten-free alternative.
– Bacon Ranch version: Looking to jazz things up? Add chopped cooked bacon to the mixture for a Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole.
Remember, you can always experiment with different seasonings and spices too! Get creative and make this recipe your own by adding different veggies, meats or herbs to create unique flavor combinations that tantalize your taste buds.
Serving and Pairing
This cheesy ranch chicken and rice casserole recipe is a comforting and filling dish that’s perfect for serving on a cozy night in with family or friends. The creamy texture of the rice, complemented by the tangy flavor of the ranch chicken and the crispy bacon bits, create a heavenly taste in every bite.
Serve this delicious casserole with a simple green salad tossed with vinaigrette dressing to lighten up the meal. Adding some fresh sliced tomatoes, cucumber, baby spinach leaves, and sweetcorn to your salad will add more color and taste to your plating. You can even customize it with various toppings like feta cheese crumbles, pumpkin seeds or chopped nuts for an extra crunch.
When it comes to drink pairings, you could opt for a crisp white wine such as Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. If you prefer non-alcoholic drinks, either iced tea or lemonade would be perfect—their flavors perfectly complement the mild and tangy notes of this dish.
For dessert, try serving something light and refreshing like fresh fruit or mixed berries topped with whipped cream to complete the meal
No matter how you choose to serve and pair this dish, it’s sure to become a crowd-pleaser that people will want to come back for again and again!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Assembling this ranch chicken and rice casserole in advance is a great way to save time and simplify your meal planning. Once the casserole has cooked, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days or frozen for up to three months.
To store leftovers, transfer them into air-tight containers and place them in the fridge or freezer. When reheating, you can either microwave individual portions or heat the entire casserole in the oven. To reheat in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F and cover the casserole with foil to prevent it from drying out. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until hot throughout.
However, keep in mind that reheating this dish may cause it to lose its crispy texture on top. If you love that crispy cheesy exterior just as much as we do, you may want to save some cheese and bacon bits to sprinkle over your reheated portion before eating.
Tips for Perfect Results
One of the best things about this ranch chicken and rice casserole recipe is how versatile it is. You can tweak it to your preference, and you’ll still end up with a satisfying meal. Here are some tips that can help you achieve perfect results in making this casserole:
Firstly, use long-grain white rice instead of instant rice. The latter has already been cooked and dehydrated, which can affect the casserole’s texture. Using long-grain white rice will give your casserole the right chewy texture.
Secondly, cream of chicken soup is often used as a base for casseroles like this one. However, using cream of mushroom soup can also give a rich flavor and make the dish even heartier.
Thirdly, when mixing the seasoning mixes and soup together, don’t skip on adding sour cream or mayonnaise. These ingredients add depth, richness and make the casserole creamier overall.
Fourthly, if you prefer a chunky texture in your casserole, consider using rotisserie chicken or boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts. Chop them into bite-sized pieces so that they don’t overpower the rest of the ingredients.
Fifthly, if you love broccoli or other vegetables, go ahead and include them in your pan before baking. They will add color and nutrition to your meal.
Lastly, cover your casserole dish with foil during baking to prevent the cheese from burning. Remove it during the last few minutes of baking to get that irresistible golden-brown crust on top of cheesy ranch goodness.
Follow these tips, and you’re guaranteed to end up with a cheesy ranch chicken bacon delight that everyone will rave about.
As a chef, I know that even the most meticulously planned recipes can leave some questions unanswered. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about this recipe to help ensure that you have all the information you need to create a delicious and satisfying meal. Let’s dive in!
Why is it called King Ranch casserole?
This Tex-Mex casserole dish is commonly referred to as King Ranch chicken. While its origin is unclear, it’s believed to be named after King Ranch, a massive ranch in the US. However, there’s no direct link between the dish and the ranch’s history.
What do you put in a bland chicken casserole?
Spice things up by adding some fresh chilli and coriander to a basic casserole. To ensure maximum flavour, add sturdy herbs like bay leaves and rosemary early on in the cooking process, while more delicate herbs such as parsley and tarragon should be added towards the end.
Can you use instant rice in casseroles?
If you’re looking for a quicker rice option, instant rice is the way to go. It’s “precooked” so it will cook quickly no matter what liquid you use. When making a casserole, you can expect it to cook in around 30-40 minutes. However, if you choose to use traditional white rice (not instant), it’ll need around 50-60 minutes to fully cook.
In conclusion, this bacon ranch chicken and rice casserole recipe is incredibly easy to make with only five ingredients. With its creamy and comforting texture, it will undoubtedly charm your taste buds. This dish is perfect for anyone looking for a quick, satisfying meal that is also adjustable to suit individual tastes, preferences, and dietary needs.
Whether you are cooking for a small family gathering or a big dinner party, this recipe is versatile enough to meet all of your needs. The flexibility of substituting the chicken with vegetables like broccoli or shredded rotisserie chicken makes it perfect for vegetarians or those on a low-carb diet.
So next time you’re in the mood for something cheesy and savory, try out this delicious and simple recipe. You won’t be disappointed!
Ranch Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe
- 2 cups instant rice, uncooked
- 1 lb skinless boneless chicken strips
- 1 (1/16 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- In bottom of 13×9 pan, sprinkle uncooked rice. Top with chicken strips and sprinkle with dry seasoning mix. Add milk and water over seasoning mix. Drizzle butter all over casserole.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Your Own Notes
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by Chef Chloe
Chloe is passionate about creating unique dishes that draw on the flavors of her favorite cultures. She loves experimenting with new ingredients and pushing the boundaries of traditional recipes. Her enthusiasm for cooking is infectious, and she is always eager to share her creations with friends and family.