One of my favorite flavor combinations is chicken, bacon, and ranch. Add a baked potato and create a Chicken Bacon Ranch Twice Baked Potato casserole, and I have found my new favorite meal. The smoky, crispy bacon paired with the tender chicken, drizzled with ranch dressing, all over a fluffy baked potato - add some cheddar cheese and top with green onions, and it's heaven. This chicken bacon ranch potato bake is a delicious way to enjoy this classic flavor combination.
The best part about this twice baked potato casserole is not only can it be meal prepped the night before, but it can also be a hearty side dish to a main course. Another option is to freeze the twice baked potatoes into individual portions. Defrost and enjoy them when you need a meal for one or two people.
Ingredients For Casserole
- Potatoes - Large baking potatoes, like russets, are perfect.
- Chicken Breast - Boneless, skinless chicken breasts work best.
- Bacon - I like to use thick cut bacon. The small pieces of bacon have a powerful flavor punch. Turkey bacon would also work if you want a less fat option.
- Homemade Ranch - There is nothing like homemade ranch dressing. It is quick to make and tastes fresh and flavorful. This ranch dressing uses sour cream, buttermilk, and mayo for its base. It is seasoned with dried dill, freeze-dried chives, salt and pepper. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- Salt and Black Pepper - Used to flavor the potatoes, the chicken breasts, and the ranch dressing.
Cheddar Cheese - Shredded cheese works best.
Additional Bacon - Because there is no such thing as too much bacon.
More Ranch - Just like bacon, there is no such thing as too much ranch.
Green Onions - Chop off the tops of the green onions for a fresh onion flavor.
Steamed Broccoli - Add another veggie to your meal, a pop of color, and a wonderful texture.
See the recipe card for the exact measurements and complete instructions. Selected ingredients are based on current serving sizes measured by the Monash University App at the time of publishing. As always, follow your gut and modify as needed.
Wash and dry four large baked potatoes. Poke multiple times with a fork. We do this so they do not explode in the oven. Once it happens, you will never forget this step. Exploding potatoes is a mess.
Brush the potatoes with avocado oil and sprinkle Kosher salt over the potato skins. This adds additional flavor. Wrap in aluminum foil pieces.
Place potatoes in a preheated 375 degree F oven. Cook for 60 minutes or until, when squeezed, they are no longer hard. The timing of when the potatoes are done will depend on the size of the potatoes. The larger the potato, the longer the cooking time.
While the potatoes bake, slice the thick cut bacon into small pieces. Fry the bacon in a large skillet. Once the bacon is crispy, use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon pieces and place them on a paper towel lined plate to drain. Set aside.
In the same skillet used for the bacon, fry the raw chicken breasts in the leftover bacon grease over medium heat. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
Flip after 5-8 minutes or when golden brown, and cook the other side for 5 minutes. Place the chicken breasts in a prepared 8x8-inch baking pan to finish cooking.
Put the chicken breasts in the 375 degree F oven. Cook the chicken for 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F with a digital thermometer. Remove the chicken and allow it to rest for ten minutes before chopping.
While the chicken bakes, make the ranch dressing. Add the sour cream, mayo, and buttermilk in a wide-mouth mason jar or a small bowl. Stir. Next, add the dill, chives, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Stir well until combined, and place it in the refrigerator.
Cut the chicken breasts with a sharp knife into small, bite-size pieces on a cutting board. Place the chicken breasts in a medium bowl. Add the bacon pieces to the bowl, too.
Once baked, remove the potatoes from the oven and allow to cool for fifteen minutes or until they can be handled without burning your hands. Remove the potatoes from the tinfoil and slice in half the long way.
Scoop out the inside with a spoon, leaving a quarter inch near the potato skin to maintain the structure. Add the potato flesh to the bowl with diced chicken and chopped bacon. To the chicken and bacon, add ⅔ cup ranch dressing. Stir until combined. Set aside.
Place the scooped-out potatoes in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Arrange them so all eight halves fit. Sprinkle the potato halves with salt and pepper. Fill the potatoes with the chicken bacon ranch mixture. The potatoes will overflow and be fully stuffed.
Top with cheddar cheese and broccoli florets if wanted, and bake a second time in a 375 degree F oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese melts. The filling is fully cooked, so it is possible to skip this step. However, it is hard to skip that cheesy goodness.
Once the cheese is melted, remove the potatoes from the oven. Top each individual potato with a drizzle of creamy ranch dressing, additional bacon pieces, and chopped green onion tops.
Storing And Reheating
To Store: Keep any leftover twice-baked potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
To Reheat: Place a potato on a microwave-safe plate and heat it for 1-2 minutes until heated. Another option is to place in a 350 degree F oven on a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Add ranch after heating.
To Freeze: Wrap individual potatoes in plastic wrap tightly. This will help prevent the filling from falling out. Then, place the wrapped potatoes in a freezer zip-top bag. Defrost the night before in the refrigerator. Place the defrosting potatoes on a baking sheet and heat in a 375 degree F oven until warmed. Add cheese before baking. After baking, add the ranch.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Filling Variations
Creamy Filling - If you want to up the creamy factor, add ½ cup of softened cream cheese to the filling mixture.
Spicy Filling - Add a few drops of hot sauce to the filling. Top the potatoes with pepperjack cheese for another layer of spice.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Diet Modifications
Dairy Free Chicken Bacon Ranch Potatoes: Use this recipe to make a dairy free ranch and skip the cheese topping, or use a dairy free cheese option.
Low FODMAP Chicken Bacon Ranch Potatoes: Use lactose free sour cream and unsweetened almond milk in place of the buttermilk in the ranch ingredients. Use only green onion tops and top with a safe serving size of cheddar cheese, or use a hard cheese like parmesan cheese as a topping.
Rotisserie Chicken - Use a rotisserie chicken in place of the chicken breasts. Shred the chicken into bite size pieces for the filling.
Leftover Chicken - I am a huge fan of using up leftovers. If you have leftover chicken, use it!
Fully Cooked Bacon - It will still add the flavor of the bacon without the cooking process. Chop and place in filling.
Bottled Ranch - While I am a HUGE fan of homemade ranch dressing, if you have a favorite bottle of dressing, go ahead and use it. I won’t tell the ranch police.
Prepared Mashed Potatoes - Skip the baked potato steps. Use prepared mashed potatoes found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. I love the Bob Evans brand. The texture will be different than a baked potato, but still delicious.
This casserole is an all-in-one meal, which I love. Simple, easy, and done. However, if you want to add additional options that pair well with these twice baked potatoes, I will not stop you. These potatoes would be delicious as a side dish to sloppy joes, meatloaf, or ham steaks.
Ugh, I hate it when this happens. The microwave will easily finish cooking the undercooked potato. Heat the potato for 1-2 minutes, until fork tender.
Additional Chicken Recipes
Chicken Bacon Ranch Twice Baked Potato Casserole
- 4 large baking potatoes
- 1 Tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
- 6 strips bacon thick cut
- 1 pound chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1½ teaspoons dried dill
- 1 teaspoon dried chives
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Broccoli Florets Steamed
- Green Onions
- Chopped Bacon
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Wash and pat dry the potatoes. Pierce each potato multiple times with a fork.
- Brush the potatoes with a thin layer of avocado oil. Sprinkle with salt. Wrap each potato in aluminum foil. Bake in a 375 degrees F oven for 60 minutes or until soft.
- Dice the raw bacon into small pieces. Fry the bacon in a large saucepan until fully cooked. Drain bacon on a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the same skillet used for the bacon. Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, and then flip and cook until golden brown.
- Place the chicken in a baking dish and finish cooking it in the 375 degree F oven. Bake the chicken for 10-15 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached. Cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts.
- While the chicken is cooking, mix together the ranch ingredients in a wide-mouth mason jar.
- Once the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes. Dice chicken into small pieces. Set aside.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, unwrap them and slice in half the long way. Scoop out a few tablespoons from each half. Leaving a quarter inch border around the outside of the potato.
- In a medium bowl, add the potato, diced chicken, cooked bacon pieces, and ⅔ cup of ranch. Stir until combined. Reserve the remaining ranch to drizzle over the cooked potatoes before serving.
- Place the potato mixture back into each potato shell. Top with additional toppings such as shredded cheese or broccoli florets.
- Bake the potato halves in a 375 degree F oven for 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from the oven and drizzle ranch over individual potatoes as serving. Top with chopped green onions.