Are you looking for a delicious and easy-to-make chicken recipe perfect for busy weeknights? This Baked Ranch Chicken is a winner! Not only is it bursting with flavor thanks to the ranch seasoning and cheddar cheese, but it also only takes a little over 30 minutes to make. So you can get dinner on the table quickly and easily. This ranch chicken recipe has quickly become a family favorite; the best part is you can make it ahead of time! Marinate the chicken in the sour cream ranch mixture the night before; it is ready to cook for dinner the next day! Trust us, once you try this Ranch Seasoning Chicken, it will become a regular on your dinner rotation!
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As a busy mom, I’m always looking for easy healthy chicken recipes that I can rely on. I love whipping up dishes like One Pan Chicken and Veggies, Baked Chicken Parmesan, Crockpot Shredded Chicken, Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos, Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas, and One Pot Chicken and Rice.
But if you want to add another tasty and healthy chicken recipe to your dinner rotation, look no further than this Baked Ranch Chicken! It’s easy to make, packed with flavor thanks to the ranch seasoning, and perfect for busy weeknights.
Reasons you’ll love this recipe!
Are you looking for a quick and easy chicken recipe that the whole family will love? Look no further than this Baked Chicken Ranch Recipe! Here are just a few reasons why you’ll love it:
- It’s a 30-minute meal, making it perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t have much time to cook.
- Even picky eaters will love it! This recipe is so delicious that you won’t have to beg or threaten your kids to eat it.
- It’s versatile and goes with everything. Serve it with roasted potatoes, brown rice, or your favorite veggies and salad.
- You can make it ahead of time! Prep the ingredients 1-2 nights before to save time during the week, or make the entire recipe and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Keep reading for more meal prep tips!
How to Make Baked Ranch Chicken
If you’re tired of the same old chicken recipes, try this Baked Ranch Chicken. Thanks to the sour cream ranch mixture and cheesy panko topping, it’s quick, easy, and flavorful. The best part? You can prepare it beforehand to save even more time during the week. Trust us; your family will love this delicious and convenient meal!
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts. When it comes to chicken, I like to use high-quality boneless chicken breasts because they keep the fat and calories in check and they cook relatively quickly. However, you can use any cut of chicken that you have on hand. Remember that cooking times may vary depending on the cut you choose. I highly recommend investing in a meat thermometer if you’re unsure whether the chicken is cooked thoroughly. It’s a great tool, especially when you’re just starting to cook chicken breast recipes.
- Sour cream. When it comes to sour cream, I suggest going for full-fat sour cream. Using light or fat-free sour cream can change the consistency and flavor of the recipe. Sourcream creates a delicious creamy ranch chicken recipe.
- Ranch seasoning mix. I recommend making my homemade ranch seasoning for the best flavor. However, a store-bought ranch packet will work fine if you don’t have the time or ingredients to make your own. I like the Simply Organic ranch dressing mix, but you can use Hidden Valley Ranch or whatever brand you prefer. If want to reduce sodium, you can make a quick and simple DIY ranch seasoning with a blend of garlic powder, onion powder, dill, and parsley.
- Panko breadcrumbs (plain). Depending on what I have on hand, I’ve used panko and regular breadcrumbs for this recipe. Both will work, but I prefer to use plain panko breadcrumbs. They give a thicker, crunchier crust that goes well with this recipe. Whether you use panko or regular breadcrumbs, make sure they’re plain and without any seasoning. The seasoning in this recipe comes from the ranch seasoning mix and cheese.
- Sharp cheddar cheese. For the best flavor, I recommend shredding the sharp cheddar cheese yourself. And when it comes to Parmesan cheese, grating it fresh will give the dish an extra boost of flavor.
- Parmesan cheese. Grating the parmesan cheese fresh will give the best taste to the recipe.
To get started on this recipe, you’ll need to pound your chicken breasts until they’re ¼ inch thick, and this will help them cook evenly. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
Next, mix up the sour cream mixture. Combine the sour cream with a few tablespoons of ranch seasoning in a bowl.
Then, add the chicken breasts to the mixture and ensure they’re coated. Cover the chicken and let it marinate for at least an hour. If you have time, I recommend prepping this step the night before to let the flavors soak in.
While the chicken marinates, prepare the panko topping. Mix the panko breadcrumbs, the rest of the ranch seasoning, grated parmesan cheese, and shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
When cooking the chicken, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and grease a sheet pan or baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray.
Dip each chicken breast into the panko mixture, ensuring it’s fully coated.
Place the chicken breasts on the pan, and sprinkle any remaining panko mixture.
Bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes or until it’s cooked. You’ll want to ensure the chicken’s thickest part internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure it’s fully cooked.
- Roasted vegetables: Add some color and nutrients to your plate by roasting a variety of vegetables like roasted asparagus, roasted broccoli, cauliflower, roasted carrots, and bell peppers. Or try these delicious Italian Roasted Vegetables.
- Quinoa salad: We love this Greek Quinoa Salad or Mexican quinoa salad.
- Brown rice: Serve your baked ranch chicken with a side of brown rice for some extra fiber and nutrients. Quinoa is great too.
- Potatoes: This ranch seasoning chicken goes excellent with oven-roasted potatoes or ranch roasted potatoes.
- Sweet potatoes: We love roasted sweet potatoes or making these slow cooker sweet potatoes.
- Mixed greens salad: Top a bed of mixed greens with sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes, and a lemon vinaigrette for a refreshing and healthy side dish.
- If you’re watching your fat and calorie intake, boneless skinless chicken breasts are the way to go. But don’t worry if you only have chicken thighs on hand; they’ll work fine, too; expect a little more fat in the recipe.
- If you’re using bone-in chicken, remember it will take longer to cook than boneless chicken breasts. Usually, a bone-in chicken breast will need to cook for around 30 minutes, depending on its size. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- To ensure that your chicken is cooked thoroughly, investing in a meat thermometer or instant-read thermometer is a good idea. This will take the guesswork out of knowing whether your chicken is cooked through. When the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s safe to eat.
- For even baking, make sure your chicken breasts are the same size and thickness. Use a meat mallet to pound them to about ¼ inch thick. This way, they’ll bake quickly and evenly.
- Mixing the chicken into the sour cream mixture can get a bit messy. You can use tongs or your hands to mix it all, ensuring the chicken is fully coated with the sour cream mixture.
- Marinating the chicken in the sour cream mixture for at least an hour is recommended, but if you have the time, marinating overnight will make it even more tender, juicy, and flavorful. Plus, it’ll save you some prep time on the night you’re cooking it.
- Swap the sour cream for Greek yogurt or mayonnaise. Both will work as a substitute for sour cream, but Greek yogurt will give a tangy flavor, while mayonnaise will be less tangy.
- Change up the cheese. Sharp cheddar cheese is recommended, but you can use any cheese you like or have on hand.
- Use gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed gluten-free crackers instead of regular breadcrumbs if you have gluten sensitivity.
- Use bottled ranch dressing instead of the sour cream mixture. Marinate the chicken in 3/4 cup of ranch dressing instead of the sour cream and ranch seasoning. However, you’ll still need some ranch seasoning mix (about a tablespoon) for the breading mixture.
Make-ahead and Storage Tips
If you have any leftovers, storing them in glass containers in the fridge is best. They should last for up to three days. You can use the chicken in a salad or have it with some veggies for a quick and easy lunch during the week. If you don’t mind eating cold chicken, you can grab it straight from the fridge.
But if you prefer it to be warm and crispy, pop it into a preheated 375-degree oven for about 10 minutes. Alternatively, use the microwave to warm it up – give it about 45 seconds.
If you plan to meal prep this baked ranch chicken recipe, you can get a head start by marinating the chicken up to 2 days in advance. That way, you can pick up where you left off on the night you plan to cook it.
Baked Ranch Chicken
- Meat Tenderizer
- Sheet Pan
- Mixing Bowls
- Meat Thermometer
- 4 6-ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts about 1.5 lbs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3 tablespoons homemade ranch seasoning or 1.3 ounce packet of store-bought ranch seasoning.
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 1 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
- ¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Put the chicken in-between parchment paper or plastic wrap and using a meat mallet, or rolling pin, pound out the chicken breasts until each one is 1/4 inch in thickness. This allows the chicken to cook quickly and evenly. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper and then set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the sour cream and 2 tablespoons of the ranch seasoning.
- Place the chicken breasts into the sour cream mixture and, using tongs or your hands, mix together until the chicken is completely coated.
- Cover and let the chicken marinate for at least an hour. If you can prepare this step in the morning or the night before.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning, panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and shredded cheddar cheese in a medium bowl.
- Coat the sheet pan with olive oul. Dip the marinated chicken breasts into the panko mixture and place on the sheet pan.
- Divide the remaining panko mixture between the chicken breasts.
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165 degrees when it's cooked completely.
- Serve with a salad, rice, or vegetables.
Make-ahead and Storage TipsIf you have any leftovers, storing them in glass containers in the fridge is best. They should last for up to three days. You can use the chicken in a salad or have it with some veggies for a quick and easy lunch during the week. If you don’t mind eating cold chicken, you can grab it straight from the fridge. But if you prefer it to be warm and crispy, pop it into a preheated 375-degree oven for about 10 minutes. Alternatively, use the microwave to warm it up – give it about 45 seconds. If you plan to meal prep this baked ranch chicken recipe, you can get a head start by marinating the chicken up to 2 days in advance. That way, you can pick up where you left off on the night you plan to cook it.
People often ask whether they should bake chicken at 350 or 400 degrees. Well, you can bake it at either temperature, but here’s a tip: baking at 400 degrees will cook the chicken faster, which can be super helpful if you’re short on time during a busy work week. Now, usually, you might worry about overcooking the chicken at such a high temperature, but since this recipe marinates the chicken in a yummy ranch sour cream mixture, it actually tenderizes the meat and keeps it nice and moist during the baking process.
The cooking time for chicken at 350 degrees Fahrenheit will vary depending on the cut of chicken and its thickness. As a general rule, boneless chicken breasts will take about 25-30 minutes, while bone-in chicken breasts and thighs will take closer to 45-50 minutes. However, the best way to ensure that your chicken is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe to eat.
Yes, you can use ranch dressing in place of the sour cream and ranch seasoning mixture in baked ranch chicken. Simply marinate the chicken in 3/4 cup of ranch dressing and use about a tablespoon of ranch seasoning mix in the breading mixture. Keep in mind that using ranch dressing instead of sour cream will result in a slightly different texture and flavor, but it can still be delicious.
Have You Tried This Recipe?
Have you tried this Baked Ranch Chicken recipe? If so, I’d love for you to rate this recipe and leave a comment below. We all learn from each other’s experiences. Also, it would be awesome if you could share a picture on Instagram and tag it #organizeyourselfskinny. I can’t wait to see it!