This Baked Ranch Chicken Recipe is easily the most perfect and delicious weeknight meal. Chicken breasts are coated with a sour cream ranch mixture, topped with panko, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, more ranch seasoning, and baked until golden brown. This chicken breast recipe is one of the best you’ll ever eat and will quickly become a family favorite!
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As a busy mom, I’m always looking for easy, straightforward chicken breast recipes.
More importantly, I need them to be “non-boring.”
Let’s be honest; a person can only eat so much plain baked chicken before they just refuse to eat chicken at all.
So, if you’re looking for an easy yet super tasty, healthy chicken recipe to add to your busy weeknights, then this is it.
Reasons you’ll love this recipe!
- Cooks in 30 minutes – this is the perfect easy chicken recipe for during the week.
- Kid-friendly – no begging or threatening to get the kiddos to eat this dinner.
- It goes with everything – We eat this with roasted potatoes, brown rice, or alongside veggies and salad.
- Can be made ahead of time – you can prep the ingredients 1-2 nights in advance to save on time and clean up during the week. Or make it thoroughly and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I’ll give more meal prep tips below.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts – I prefer using high-quality boneless chicken breast to keep fat and calories in check and cooking time reasonable. However, you can use any cut of chicken you have on hand.
Chicken thighs will add more fat to the recipe, but it won’t change the flavor.
The bone-in chicken will work fine with the ingredients, but you’ll have to adjust the cooking time because this cut of chicken takes a little longer than boneless chicken breasts. Depending on the size, typically, a bone-in chicken breast will need to cook for about 30 minutes.
If you’re unsure whether or not the chicken is cooked thoroughly, I strongly recommend investing in a meat thermometer. This is great to have on hand, especially when you’re just starting to cook chicken breast recipes.
How to cook chicken breasts evenly? The best way to bake chicken breasts evenly is to make sure they are the same size and thickness before putting together the recipe. I use a meat mallet to pound out the chicken breasts to be about ¼ inch thick. This thickness works excellent to bake the chicken quickly and evenly.
Sour cream – choose full-fat sour cream. Light or fat-free sour cream will change the consistency and flavor of the recipe.
Ranch seasoning mix – I highly recommend making my homemade ranch seasoning for the best ranch flavor. However, a store-bought seasoning packet will work too – we like the Simply Organic ranch dressing mix.
Panko breadcrumbs (plain) – I’ve made this recipe so many times – sometimes, I use panko breadcrumbs, and other times I use regular breadcrumbs. It depends on what I have on hand.
So, both will work, but I prefer to use panko breadcrumbs. Panko gives a thicker coarse crust that goes well with this recipe.
However, both are good and can be used interchangeably in this recipe.
Whether you use panko or regular breadcrumbs, I recommend they be without any seasoning. The seasoning in this recipe comes from ranch seasoning and cheese.
Sharp cheddar cheese (shredded) – If you can shred the cheese yourself for the best flavor.
Parmesan cheese (grated) – grating parmesan cheese fresh will give the best taste to the recipe.
Swap the sour cream for Greek yogurt. Sour cream provides a creamy texture and is milder than Greek yogurt. With Greek yogurt, you get more of a tangy flavor. However, both will work in this recipe.
Switch up the cheese. Hands down, sharp cheddar cheese is my favorite in this baked ranch chicken recipe. However, any cheese will work, so use your favorite.
Use gluten-free breadcrumbs. If you have gluten sensitivity, you can swap in gluten-free bread crumbs or crush up gluten-free crackers.
Make in keto-friendly. Crushed pork rinds are a good substitute for bread crumbs if you follow the keto lifestyle. You can also leave the bread crumbs entirely out of the recipe.
Use bottled ranch dressing instead of the sour cream mixture. I hands down prefer preparing the homemade sour cream and ranch mixture, but If you only have a bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing or another ranch dressing, then you certainly can bake the chicken in it.
My recommendation would be to leave the sour cream and ranch seasoning out of the recipe and, instead, marinate the chicken in ¾ cup of ranch dressing.
You’ll still need some ranch seasoning mix (about a tablespoon) for the breading mixture.
- Meat Tenderizer – This tool I use to pound chicken to the desired thickness to cook quickly and evenly.
- Sheet Pan – I have this set by Nordic Ware.
- Mixing Bowls – This is my favorite cheap mixing bowl set by Pyrex.
- Meat Thermometer – This Thermo Pro is my favorite easy-to-use meat thermometer.
How to Make Baked Ranch Chicken
- Start by using a meat mallet to pound the chicken breasts until they are ¼ inch thick. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Next, put the sour cream mixture together.
- Mix the sour cream and a couple of tablespoons of the ranch seasoning mix in a bowl.
- Add the chicken breasts to the sour cream mixture.
Cooking Note: It does get a little messy in this step because I recommend using tongs or your hands to mix it all. You want the chicken to be coated with the sour cream mixture.
- Cover the chicken and let it marinate for at least 1 hour. If you can get this set up the night before or in the morning, even better. The longer the chicken can marinate, the more tender, juicy, and flavorful it will be.
- Now it’s time to put together the panko topping.
- Mix the panko, rest of the ranch seasoning, grated parmesan, and shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
- When you’re ready to cook the chicken, set the oven to 425 degrees and grease a sheet pan with olive oil.
- Then, dip each chicken breast in the panko mixture. Again, use your hands to make sure the chicken breasts get covered with the panko topping.
- Lay each chicken breast on the greased baking sheet. If there’s leftover panko topping, then divide the on top of each chicken breast.
What to serve with it?
This chicken recipe goes with just about anything! The chicken smells delicious as it bakes and comes out crisp and ready to enjoy on a salad or with a side of rice and vegetables.
Here are some recipe suggestions to serve with ranch chicken:
- Oven-roasted potatoes
- Ranch Roasted Potatoes
- Brown rice
- Roasted sweet potatoes
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Quinoa Greek Salad
How To Store
To store leftovers, I’ll use glass meal prep containers to keep the chicken in the refrigerator.
I kept leftovers in the refrigerator to use in a salad or eat with vegetables for lunch during the week. Typically, I eat the chicken cold, but if I want it warmed up and crisp the crust, I will stick it in the oven for 10 minutes. Or, I’ll just warm it up in the microwave for 45 seconds.
To meal prep this baked ranch chicken recipe, you can marinate the chicken up to 2 days beforehand and then continue with the recipe on the night it’s on the meal plan.
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 use 3 tablespoons of a store-bought seasoning packet.
- 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
- 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 packet.
- 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 425 degrees.
- Mix 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning, panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and shredded cheddar cheese in a medium bowl.
- Dip the marinated chicken breasts into the panko mixture and place on a sheet pan, or in a baking dish, coated with olive oil.
- 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.
How To StoreTo store leftovers, I’ll use glass meal prep containers to keep the chicken in the refrigerator. I kept leftovers in the refrigerator to use in a salad or eat with vegetables for lunch during the week. Typically, I eat the chicken cold, but if I want it warmed up and crisp the crust, I will stick it in the oven for 10 minutes. Or, I’ll just warm it up in the microwave for 45 seconds. To meal prep this baked ranch chicken recipe, you can marinate the chicken up to 2 days beforehand and then continue with the recipe on the night it’s on the meal plan.
More Healthy Chicken Recipes
If you are looking for a couple of more healthy chicken recipes, take a look at this list:
- Healthy Baked Chicken Parmesan
- Everything But The Bagel Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken
- One Pan Chicken and Veggies
- Stovetop Buffalo Chicken Soup
- Greek Chicken Bowl
- Pizza Stuffed Chicken
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.