Monday, February 6, 2012

Cheesy Chicken Ranch Casserole

This creamy-ranch casserole is a must-make.  We loved it on night one, but I really liked the leftovers too.  The flavors got better & better the longer they sat together. 

Cheesy Chicken Ranch Casserole – Adapted from Mommy, I’m Hungry!

Ingredients

  • 6 T homemade ranch dressing mix
  • 2 1/2 – 3 C whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 cans evaporated milk
  • 1 T flour*
  • 2 C cooked chicken, shredded or diced
  • 1/2 C mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2 C extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • sea salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

In a large skillet, blend together the 2 cans of evaporated milk, 1 T flour and 6 T homemade ranch seasoning mix.  A whisk can be helpful in this process.

Slowly, heat the milk mixture until it reaches a simmer; stir often during this process.  Continue to stir often as the mixture cooks for about 10 minutes during which the mixture should thicken up nicely. 

Add in the shredded or diced chicken and continue to simmer the mixture for 10 more minutes. 

Carefully taste, and season with salt & pepper, as desired. 

Meanwhile, boil the pasta in water according to package directions.  Drain when done. 

When the pasta is ready, add that to the sauce.  Stir to combine. 

Then, remove the dish from the heat. 

Stir in the mozzarella cheese and 1 C of the cheddar cheese.  Allow the heat from the sauce to melt the cheese – this will give you a nice smooth cheesy sauce. 

Transfer the casserole into a 9x13 baking dish or 3 quart casserole dish. 

Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and garnish with dried parsley, salt & pepper, as desired. 

Place the baking dish into an oven preheated to 350 degrees.  Bake for 10ish minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. 

Cool for 5 minutes before serving. 

We enjoyed it alongside some steamed broccoli. 

Hope you enjoy it too! 

25 comments:

  1. This looks amazing! I think it will be a hubby pleaser. I'll have to make it for him. Thanks for the recipe!

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  2. I love the combo of ingredients....looks like a winner!

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  3. Oh the creamy goodness, pass a plate.

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  4. Yum! That looks really good! Pinning this one to try next time I have some leftover chicken.

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  5. This probably a dumb question, but if I don't have homemade ranch mix, can I just substitute a packet of ranch seasoning mix?

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  6. @Ashley -

    Yes, you can. Here's a link to the homemade ranch -- I'll update it above, but you should feel free to substitute the packaged mix. You might not need to add any additional salt b/c the mix is super salty.

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  7. Here's the link to the homemade ranch:

    http://joyinmykitchen.blogspot.com/2012/01/ranch-crackers.html

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  8. This sounds great! For a dish that sounds so decadent, the ingredient list looks pretty healthy too. This will definitely be on our menu soon!

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  9. This looks fantastic! I've been meaning to try homemade ranch for a long time, I'm going to compare your recipe with the one that I have. thanks!

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  10. What size cans of evaporated milk?

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  11. The evaporated milk should be 12 oz cans.

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  12. This was wonderful, and will make the perfect addition to work potlucks! My kids loved it, and so did my husband.

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  13. My husband & I just finished having this for lunch. It's good! I would definately make it again. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing! I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe.

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  14. Just popped it in the oven. It smelled and tasted so good. Can't wait to eat.

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  15. Looks great! Did you use regular or fat free evaporated milk?

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    Replies
    1. I've used both -- but typically use 2% evaporated milk.

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  16. We love this! I've made it with both regular and 2% evaporated milk and it's great either way. It's fantastic with steamed broccoli and is a kid pleaser, too! Thanks!

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  17. This sounds yummy but I don't have evaporated milk on hand. Could I sub regular milk?

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    1. I would reduce the milk by about 1/2 C because it will not get as creamy if you use regular milk, so less liquid is good. You might also consider whisking in 1 T of flour to the milk before adding it to the dish so that the milk thickens a bit as evaporated would do. Reserve the extra milk and see if you need to add more.

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  18. Why can't you just mix all the ingredients, and throw it in the oven for 45 mins.. Casseroles are supposed to be quick and easy.

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    1. I'm sorry that you are not finding this recipe as quick and easy as you hoped. For us, it's one of our go-to easy meals because it takes less than 15 minutes on the stove top and 10-15 minutes in the oven. The reason you have to use the stove top is because you need to thicken the sauce. If you want, you can skip the baking step and serve it right out of the skillet to save time.

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  19. How many servings does this recipe make?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Hannah - this makes 6-8 servings.

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Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you; especially how you're finding JOY in your kitchen.

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