This Baked Ranch Chicken Recipe is easily the most perfect and delicious dinner to serve during the busy work week meal or at dinner parties. Chicken breasts are coated with a sour cream ranch mixture, topped with panko, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, and more ranch seasoning, and baked until golden brown. This ranch chicken recipe has so much flavor and is one of the best you’ll ever eat and has quickly become a family favorite!
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As a busy mom, I always look for easy, straightforward chicken breast recipes. This Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies, Baked Chicken Parmesan, Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas, and One Pot Chicken and Rice are always in the meal plan rotation.
If you’re looking for another easy yet super tasty, healthy chicken recipe to add to your busy weeknights, then this baked ranch chicken recipe is it.
Reasons you’ll love this recipe!
- A 30-minute meal. This is the perfect easy chicken recipe to have on the meal plan during a busy work week.
- Kid-friendly. There’s no begging or threatening to get the kiddos to eat this ranch chicken recipe
- It goes with everything. Enjoy this baked chicken ranch recipe 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. See below for more cooking tips.
- Sour cream. choose full-fat sour cream, and light or fat-free sour cream will change the consistency and flavor of the recipe.
- Ranch seasoning mix. I recommend making my homemade ranch seasoning for the best ranch flavor. However, a store-bought ranch packet will work, too – we like the Simply Organic ranch dressing mix. You can also make a quick and simple DIY ranch seasoning with a blend of garlic powder, onion powder, dill, and parsley.
- 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. Both will work, but I prefer to use plain panko breadcrumbs. Panko gives a thicker, crunchy crust that goes well with this recipe.
- Sharp cheddar cheese. If you can shred the cheese yourself for the best flavor.
- Parmesan cheese. Grating the parmesan cheese fresh will give the best taste to the recipe.
How to Make Baked Ranch Chicken
- Start by placing the chicken between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap, and using a meat mallet, pound the chicken breasts until they are ¼ inch thick. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with 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.
- Cover the chicken and let it marinate for at least 1 hour.
- 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.
- Set the oven to 425 degrees and grease a sheet pan or baking dish with melted butter, olive oil or cooking spray when you’re ready to cook the chicken.
- Then, dip each chicken breast in the panko mixture, making sure the chicken is completely coated.
- Lay each chicken breast on the greased baking sheet. If there’s leftover panko topping, divide it on each chicken breast.
- 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.
- Chicken thighs will add more fat to the recipe, but it won’t change the flavor.
- Bone-in chicken will work, but you’ll have to adjust the cooking time because this cut of chicken takes a little longer than boneless chicken breasts. Typically, a bone-in chicken breast will need to cook for about 30 minutes, depending on the size.
- 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.
- The best way to bake chicken breasts evenly is to make sure they are the same size and thickness before putting together the recipe. Use a meat mallet to pound the chicken breasts to be about ¼ inch thick, this thickness works excellent for baking the chicken quickly and evenly.
- Mixing the chicken into the sour cream mixture does get a little messy in this step; I recommend using tongs or your hands to mix it all. You want to coat the chicken with the sour cream mixture.
- If you can, marinate the chicken in the sour cream mixture the night before. The longer the chicken can marinate, the more tender, juicy, and flavorful it will be. This will also reduce prep time on the night you’re cooking it.
- Store leftovers in glass containers and refrigerate for up to three days. Use in a salad or eat with vegetables for lunch during the week. You can eat the chicken cold, but if you want to warm it up and crisp the crust, stick it in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. Or, 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.
Swap the sour cream for Greek yogurt. Sour cream provides a creamy texture and is milder than Greek yogurt. You get more of a tangy flavor with Greek yogurt, and however, both will work in this recipe. You can also use mayonnaise for a creamy less tangy flavor.
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 gluten-free crackers.
Use bottled ranch dressing instead of the sour cream mixture – I prefer preparing the homemade sour cream and ranch mixture. Still, If you only have a bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing or another ranch dressing, then you certainly can bake the chicken in it.
I recommend leaving the sour cream and ranch seasoning out of the recipe and, instead, marinating the chicken in ¾ cup of ranch dressing.
You’ll still need some ranch seasoning mix (about a tablespoon) for the breading mixture.
More Healthy Chicken Recipes
If you are looking for a couple of more healthy chicken recipes, take a look at this list:
See all of our healthy chicken recipes.
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
- 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 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.
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!