This Baked Ranch Chicken is the perfect delicious easy 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 is one of the best chicken breast recipes you’ll ever eat and will quickly become a family favorite!
This recipe was updated on 10/13/2020.
As a busy mom I’m always looking for easy recipes, especially easy chicken recipes. More importantly, I need them to be non-boring. Let’s be real, a person can only eat so much plain baked chicken.
This Baked Ranch Chicken that I’m going to share with you is delicious, kid-friendly, cooks in 30 minutes, and goes with just about anything. So, if you’re looking for an easy, yet super tasty, healthy chicken recipe to add to your weeknight menu then this is it.
Ingredients in Baked Ranch Chicken
This easy chicken recipe uses simple ingredients.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Ranch seasoning mix
- Sour cream
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Sharp cheddar cheese
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Olive oil
These are all ingredients that I have on hand in my kitchen so throwing this recipe together is something I can easily do on busy weeknights.
Before I jump into the recipe let’s go over some common questions I get with baked ranch chicken. Also, I want to share some helpful tips I’ve learned from making this baked chicken recipe numerous times.
Can I use chicken thighs or bone-in chicken breast?
Yes, 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 too much.
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 completely then 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 bake 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 thickness. This thickness works great to bake the chicken quickly and evenly.
Can I use homemade ranch seasoning mix?
I prefer the convenience of a ranch seasoning packet but I’ve used homemade ranch seasoning many times too.
This is the simple homemade ranch seasoning recipe I use:
- ¼ cup buttermilk powder
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoons dried dill
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground celery seed
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Mix all of these ingredients together in a small bowl and use in the recipe. This recipe makes as much as 1 (1-ounce) packet of store-bought seasoning.
Honestly, it’s quite good so if you forget to grab a packet then whipping together a batch of homemade will work great.
If you choose to use a store-bought packet of ranch seasoning then my preferred brand is Simply Organic. Many people use Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix. This will work fine for this recipe but keep in mind that it often includes more sodium and ingredients that aren’t the cleanest.
Can I cook chicken in ranch dressing?
This is a question I get quiet often about this ranch chicken recipe. 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 sourcream 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.
This method works fine and the chicken will still be very tasty.
Can I use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream to make ranch chicken?
Yes, I’ve used both. Sour cream gives a creamy texture and is milder than Greek yogurt. With Greek you get more of a tangy flavor. However, both will work in this recipe.
Can I use regular breadcrumbs?
I’ve made this recipe so many times – sometimes I use panko breadcrumbs and other times I use regular breadcrumbs. It really depends what I have on hand.
So, both will work but I prefer to use panko breadcrumbs. Panko gives a thicker coarse crust which goes well with this recipe.
However, both are good and can be used interchangeably in this recipe.
Can I use seasoned breadcrumbs?
Whether you use panko or regular breadcrumbs I recommend they be without any seasoning. The seasoning in this recipe comes from the ranch seasoning and cheese.
What to serve with Baked Ranch Chicken?
This chicken recipe goes with just about anything. I’ve made it to serve with salad, alongside rice or pasta, and even with roasted vegetables.
Here are some recipe suggestions to serve with ranch chicken:
Supplies needed to make Baked Ranch Chicken
Meat Tenderizer – This is a tool I use to pound chicken to a desired thickness so it cooks quickly and evenly.
Sheet Pans – 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
Step 1: Use a meat mallet to pound the chicken breasts until they are ¼ inch thickness. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with a little salt and pepper.
Step 2: Put the sour cream mixture together. Mix together ¾ cup of sour cream and 2 tablespoons of the ranch seasoning mix.
Step 3: Add the chicken breasts to the sour cream mixture. It gets a little messy in this step because I recommend using your hands to mix it all together. This helps completely coat the chicken with the sour cream.
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.
Step 4: Put together the panko topping. Mix together the panko, rest of the ranch seasoning, grated parmesan, and shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
Step 5: When you’re ready to cook the chicken set the oven to 425 degrees and grease a sheet pan with 1 tablespoon of 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 breasts on the greased baking sheet. If there’s leftover panko topping then divide the on top of each chicken breasts.
Step 6: Bake the ranch chicken for 30 minutes or until juices run clear and the internal temperature of the chicken breast is 165 degrees.
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.
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 to crisp the crust, I will stick it in the oven for 10 minutes or so. Or I’ll just warm it up in the microwave for 45 seconds.
To store leftovers I’ll use glass meal prep containers to store the chicken in the refrigerator.
If you like easy chicken recipes then check out these favorites:
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1.5 lbs
- salt and pepper
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 1 (1.5 ounce) packet Simply Organic Ranch Dressing mix, divided
- 1 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
- ¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Using a meat mallet or rolling pin and pound out the chicken breasts until they are ¼ inch in thickness. This allows the chicken to cook quickly and evenly. Sprinkle 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 into the sour cream mixture and, using your hands, mix the sour cream mixture with the chicken until the chicken is completely coated.
- Cover, and let the chicken marinate for at least an hour. If you can put this together the night before, or in the morning, to marinate then even better.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- In a medium bowl mix together the rest of the ranch dressing mix, panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and shredded cheddar cheese.
- Dip the chicken 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 temperature of the chicken should read 165 degrees when it's cooked completely.
- Serve with a salad or with rice and vegetables.
This recipe can be made completely ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Or you can make the breadcrumbs mixture and trim chicken ahead of time so it's ready to go the night you want to prepare the recipe.
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