A lighter, stovetop take on our classic baked ranch chicken recipe, you haven’t lived until you’ve tried this cheesy bacon ranch chicken! Coated in a tangy ranch-flavored breading and melty cheese topped with crispy bacon, this chicken is full of delicious flavors.
What’s in Bacon Ranch Chicken?
With a cast iron skillet, chicken breasts, bacon, and a few staple ingredients, this bacon ranch chicken comes together in no time!
- Bacon: Adds fat, flavor, and crunch to this dish!
- Chicken: I love using boneless, skinless chicken breasts in this recipe, but you could also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. They may take a bit longer to cook.
- Flour: Helps the chicken brown in the pan.
- Ranch Seasoning: Gives the chicken that classic ranch flavor.
- Butter: Adds a bit of extra flavor to the chicken. You could use more bacon drippings or regular oil instead.
- Garlic: Adds garlicky flavor.
- Chicken Broth: Forms the base of the creamy, cheesy sauce. You could use vegetable broth here if you prefer.
- Heavy Cream: Makes the sauce creamy.
- Cheese: I really like Colby jack cheese here, but you could use classic cheddar if you prefer. Ideally, grate your own cheese; pre-shredded has agents that stop it from melting well.
Pro Tip: Add the heavy cream slowly to prevent curdling.
Variations on Cheesy Chicken Bacon Ranch
There are so many ways to change up this skillet chicken recipe. You can use chicken thighs instead of breasts, swap the butter for oil or more bacon grease, or use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.
For a gluten-free dish, swap the all-purpose flour for an equal amount of gluten-free 1:1 baking flour.
In place of the bacon, try pancetta, and in place of the Colby jack cheese, try classic cheddar. The possibilities are endless!
I really like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in this recipe, but you could also use thighs if you prefer.
Nope! While I highly recommend getting a cast iron skillet for its versatility and ability to brown meat, you can also make this dish in a stainless steel or nonstick skillet.
Chicken is properly cooked through when it registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer at the thickest point.
I don’t recommend freezing this dish due to the heavy cream. Heavy cream tends to separate and become grainy when frozen and thawed.
more general text about the recipe
How to Make Ahead
You can cook the bacon up to 2 days in advance of when you plan to use it. Simply store it in the refrigerator.
How to Store and Reheat
Store leftover cheesy bacon ranch chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes, until warmed through. I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
Serve cheesy bacon ranch chicken over a bed of rice or cooked pasta with a side of steamed or roasted veggies!
Cheesy Bacon Ranch Chicken Recipe
- 6 slices raw bacon chopped
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ ounce ranch seasoning store-bought or homemade (½ packet)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (⅛ stick)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1½ cups freshly shredded colby jack cheese
- Chopped green onions optional, for garnish
- In a large cast iron skillet, cook the bacon over medium-low heat until brown and crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Discard bacon drippings, leaving about ½ tablespoon in the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium.6 slices raw bacon
- While the bacon is frying, slice the chicken in half horizontally, creating 4 thin cutlets. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper.2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together the flour and ranch seasoning. Dredge each piece of chicken in the mixture, coating both sides.¼ cup all-purpose flour, ½ ounce ranch seasoning
- Turn up the heat to medium-high, then add the butter to the skillet and allow it to melt. Sear the chicken pieces for 3-4 minutes per side until golden and mostly cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set it aside.1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic to the skillet and brown for 30 seconds. Stir in the chicken broth, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom, and allow the liquid to simmer and reduce by half. Whisk in the heavy cream, bring the sauce to a simmer, then return the chicken to the skillet.1 teaspoon minced garlic, ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth, ¼ cup heavy cream
- Sprinkle the chicken with the cheese, cover the skillet, and simmer for 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.1½ cups freshly shredded colby jack cheese
- Serve over your favorite side, topped with cooked bacon and green onions.Chopped green onions
- In place of the bacon, try pancetta!
- In place of the chicken breasts you could use chicken thighs.
- For a gluten-free dish, swap the all-purpose flour for an equal amount of gluten-free 1:1 baking flour.
- You can swap the butter for oil or more bacon grease.
- You can use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
- Feel free to swap the Colby jack cheese out for classic cheddar.
- If you find that the heavy cream is curdling, your pan is likely too hot! Try whisking it in slowly off the heat.