Some of the best flavors of comfort food are wrapped up in this light version of the bacon ranch chicken bake. It is the perfect one dish easy weeknight dinner your whole family will love!
The Bacon Ranch Chicken Bake I posted earlier this year has proven not only to be a huge hit with my husband, but also with pretty much everyone else because it has become one of my most popular posts day after day AND has been pinned over 150,ooo times in only a few months. WOW!
Well, since we like the recipe so much and YOU like the recipe so much I decided I should lighten it up a bit so we can all eat it more often. Good plan right!? The original recipe will always be a classic around here, but I tried to take the flavors of the ranch and combine it with the sharpness of the cheddar and then bulk it all up with some low calorie, highly nutritious veggies to pack a punch. Then of course add the bacon in, but do it in crumbles to get a little bit of bacon goodness in every bite, but cut down on the total amount in the recipe. Using ranch seasoning rather than dressing takes out all the extra calories the mayo and buttermilk add, and has all of the flavor baked in. As a matter of fact I thought the outcome was so good I made two different versions. One here and another I will share in a few weeks so stay posted!
Of course the thing I love most about all of my chicken bakes is that they are super easy prep, one dish, very little clean up and give you a delicious homemade wholesome dinner that you can make even on a hectic night. This one is no different!
I like to make my chicken bakes in a pyrex baking dish. This one is my favorite for a small family. Trim the chicken breast and lay it down on a baking dish flat, not overlapping. Sprinkle the ranch powder over each chicken breast.
Next chop up your peppers. If you want to save time you can buy them presliced at most grocery stores in the produce section. You can also use other veggies if you want. Just cut up whatever you love! Layer them right over the top of the chicken.
Last, pile on the cheese. I put a suggested amount but you can use more or less to your taste. Or if you want to make it dairy free for a dietary restriction or if you are doing Whole30 like we did recently, you can leave it off all together and use this ranch mix to eliminate the dairy in that.
Pop it in the oven at 350˚F and bake for 30-40 minutes. The time will vary quite a bit depending on your oven, altitude and thickness of the chicken breasts you are using, as well as the size of your dish. So make sure to check it and keep baking until the chicken is done all the way through on the thickest part.
Take it out about 5 minutes before it is done and sprinkle crumbled bacon over the top. You can use store bought, but if you want it to be over the top delicious, just a make a quick batch of bacon using my easy bacon trick here. Put it back in to bake for about 5 more minutes and then bring that hot deliciousness out of the oven and serve it up!
We ate this over greens, but you can serve it over rice, a baked potato or sweet potato, or even on top of a big piece of garlic toast. It is good pretty much any time over anything.
You can see more of my super popular easy chicken bake dinners here!
Light Bacon Ranch Chicken Bake
- 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2-3 Tbsp ranch seasoning
- 2 sweet bell peppers assorted colors, sliced
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
- 3-4 slices of bacon, crumbled
- Lay the chicken breasts flat in a baking dish.
- Sprinkle the ranch seasoning over the top of the chicken breasts then cover with veggies.
- Spread cheese evenly over the top of the dish.
- Bake at 350F for 30-45 minutes or until chicken is almost cooked through at the thickest part.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle crumbled bacon over the top.
- Place back in oven for 5 more minutes or until the juices run clear and chicken is cooked through.
- Serve hot and enjoy!