Chicken Ranch Casserole

Summer. My favorite time of year. The weather is perfect (as usual here), fruit is abundant, the beach is 15 minutes away, and the boys are out of school and enjoying every day to the fullest. We try not to sign them up for too many things over the summer. To us, summer is about taking it easy, going with the flow, finding adventure in every day. And with that, our summer dishes are usually quite simple and easy too, just like this Chicken Ranch Casserole.

Chicken Ranch Casserole via Real Food by Dad

Are you looking for an easy, family-pleasing dish that takes less than 30 minutes to make? Well, look no further, you’ve found it in this casserole. Only seven ingredients are needed and it’s so easy that the kids can help prepare this – chicken, taco seasoning, ranch dressing, chicken broth, heavy cream, spinach and rotini pasta. Of course, any pasta works, our boys just happen to prefer rotini for some reason.

Chicken Ranch Casserole from Real Food by Dad

Can you tell I enjoy making casseroles? I’m sure that is a result of me growing up in a family of 9 kids, where my mom had little time and lots of mouths to feed. And not only that, there just something comforting about casseroles, no matter what the ingredients or what time of year they’re made. Not to mention, they always make the best leftovers too!

Chicken Ranch Casserole by Real Food by Dad

The flavoring in this casserole is perfectly subtle, which is exactly how I hoped it would be, especially with the picky eaters here. You almost need to know there is ranch dressing in there to taste it, so it’s not overwhelming at all. Same with the taco seasoning. And the two combined in this dish – simply delicious. My boys couldn’t get enough of it. So next time the kids come home from a long, fun summer day and they’re telling you how hungry they are, make this casserole and you instantly be their hero. At least until you tell them it’s time for bed.

Chicken Ranch Casserole

Chicken Ranch Casserole via Real Food by Dad

By Published:

  • Yield: 4-5 Servings

Summer. My favorite time of year. The weather is perfect (as usual here), fruit is abundant, the beach is 15 minutes away, and the …

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs chicken, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Ranch dressing
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 lb cooked pasta
  • 6 oz. bag of spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Coat a large frying pan with a little olive oil. Place cubed chicken in pan over medium heat and sprinkle taco seasoning on top. Allow to cook without stirring for 5-7minutes. Add in ranch dressing and stir and cook chicken to doneness. Pour in chicken broth and let boil. Add in heavy cream and cook until slightly thickened. Stir in spinach and pasta. Salt and pepper to taste
  2. **Notes** Spinach will wilt and soften as it settles into the hot casserole.


  • Bri | Bites of Bri

    I love casseroles too! It is tough to get me to turn on the oven when it’s almost 100 here, but a casserole like this is incentive for sure!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      I am so with you on that Bri, but this one is worth it:) Thanks!

  • http://www.savorysimple.net Savory Simple

    This looks so hearty and comforting. My husband would go nuts for this!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Yes he would Jennifer! :)

  • Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron

    I love a good casserole, and this one looks amazing! Love the chicken ranch combo!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Thanks so much Chelsea!

  • http://hipfoodiemom.com/ Alice Choi

    Wow! Only you could make a casserole look great! I think casseroles are the hardest things to shoot!! l love this. . so you don’t bake it at all or are some of the instructions left off?

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Thanks Alice, nope, it’s a no-bake casserole. I should have mentioned that:)

      • http://hipfoodiemom.com/ Alice Choi

        even better!! thanks!

  • Megan {Country Cleaver}

    This is sooooo my type of dinner dish! I’m a carboholic. This is getting made ASAP!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Thanks Megan! I am too unfortunately:)

  • HalfBakedHarvest

    I love casseroles too. They feed my big family and everybody love the cheesy top! This looks awesome!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Thanks Tieghan!!

  • http://www.itsyummi.com/ Becca Heflin

    There’s nothing better in the summer than getting in and out of the kitchen quickly,. This sounds like a delicious way to do it, Matt!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Thanks Becca!

  • Liz Stark

    Love your approach to summer – it’s the best time of year to enjoy! Great casserole recipe.

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Isn’t it Liz? Thanks so much!

  • Zainab @ Blahnik Baker

    Casseroles are a favorite around here…love easy one pot dinners!! This looks amazing. And I am with you on summers :)

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Thanks Zainab!

  • grandbabycakes

    You never cease to amaze me! This looks unbelievable!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Thanks Jocelyn!

  • Mike @TheIronYou

    Beach is 15 minutes away? You lucky man, I’m jealous…
    Btw, great casserole recipe!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      15 minutes Mike, OC/CA. We are so spoiled though, I could literally drive up or down the coast sometimes and not even look out at the ocean. That’s not right! Haha thanks man!

  • http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/ theviewfromGreatIsland

    Maybe it’s the air conditioning, but I’m a fool for comfort food in the middle of summer, and I really like the ranch seasoning in this one — I’m hungry!!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      I am too, thanks so much!

  • Meredith Steele

    Comfort food at it’s best! Love it!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Thanks Meredith!

  • http://www.lacuisinehelene.com La Cuisine d’Helene

    I am more of an autumn person but would be at the beach, anytime of year, if it was 15 minutes away. When we lived in BC it was only 5 minutes away. I miss that a lot and looking at the white mountains in the background. I like this casserole already, even if I did not make it yet.

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Thanks Helene! Hope you are having a great week:)

  • kellyjanke2

    Simple and to the point, Matt! Awesome! I’m from the midwest, aka casserole and hot dish capital. I grew up eating them all the time! Casseroles usually take hours to make, so the fact that this one only takes 30 minutes is prime! Pinned :) Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Same to you Kelly, thanks so much!

  • http://www.lucismorsels.com/ Luci’s Morsels

    I absolutely agree about the comfort of casseroles (and the tastiness as well as the ease) and the excitement of rotini pasta (or any fun-shaped pasta). I’m still a kid at heart after all!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Same here, Luci! Thanks so much:)

  • http://bakingamoment.com/ Allie|Baking a Moment

    Love this! It sounds so delicious and effortless. So happy you’re enjoying your summer, too :D

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Thanks so much Allie!

  • http://www.reciperunner.com/ Danae | Recipe Runner

    Can I start by saying that I am jealous the beach is only 15 minutes away! I’m with your boys, for some reason rotini is my favorite pasta too. I love the flavors of the casserole, definitely keeping this one on file!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Thanks Danae! I know, we are spoiled that way huh? Laguna Beach is right down the road from here but we still don’t go enough!

  • Paula

    9 kids! Now I understand why you’re so helpful with the kids and cooking! I would have not thought to put taco seasoning and ranch seasoning together, but I totally get it! And with the cream to mellow out the flavors, this sounds like a really flavorful dish, Matt. Oh, and I agree with your boys, the noodle shape can make or break the dish!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      9! And we all still live pretty close to each other. Holidays are the best!

  • Karen @ The Food Charlatan

    7 ingredients?? sold. (plus, ranch? you’re killing me.)

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      EZ! Thanks Karen!

  • http://www.thisgalcooks.com Julie @ This Gal Cooks

    Hellooooo way over there on the opposite coast! Our summers here in Southeast Florida are similar…except that we have unbearable humidity and I hear that SoCal has beautiful, dry/drier air!

    Totally digging this 7 ingredient recipe, Matt! It contains some of my favorite things. Pinned!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Thanks Julie! Yes for sure, it is very rarely humid here at all, and you know how nice it is being close to the beach! We are spoiled for sure:)

  • http://sharedappetite.com Chris @ Shared Appetite

    This is a great looking pasta recipe Matt! Totally perfect for weeknight dinner. And really beautiful photos. Pinned :)

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      You rock, Chris, thanks!

  • http://www.spoonfulofflavor.com/ Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor

    30 minutes or less? Yes, please! I am always looking for easy weeknight meals and this one is perfect. Summer is my favorite time of the year too and I’m incredibly jealous that you live only15 minutes from the beach!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Thanks Ashley! This one is almost too easy:) But so good!

  • Caroline Zhang @PasstheCocoa

    This looks amazing, Matt! I love the 30-minute guarantee seal on the photos (:

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Thanks so much for stopping by Caroline!

  • Tutti Dolci

    This is so perfect for busy weeknights. 30 minutes or less is my kind of meal!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Mine too, always Laura. Thanks!

  • http://pickfreshfoods.com Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods

    Matt, this looks delicious. Definitely something that everyone in my house would love. I love any dish that I can add a lot of spinach.

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Thanks so much Cindy!

  • gonnawantsecond

    This sounds super delish! Can’t wait to try it!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Thanks Kathleen!!

  • http://cakecrustandsugardust.com Alyssa

    I’m honestly not a casserole fan, but this looks way less casserole-y and way more yummy one bowl pasta kinda vibe! I’m pinning to try for dinner this week!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Thanks so much Alyssa! Let me know how it turns out!

  • Russ

    Just made it, yuuuuum!!!

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Made my night Russ, thanks so much!!!

      • MKS

        Help! what is the 3rd step?

        • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

          Fixed:)

  • Chloé Henderson

    the 3rd step of the recipe is missing for me… :(

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      Hi Chloe, that 3rd step should not have been there, I fixed it. You’re ready to go!

  • MKS

    The 3rd step is missing for me too! Do I bake the casserole after its done cooking on the stove?

    • http://realfoodbydad.com/ realfoodbydad

      That was there by mistake. Nope! You’re all set at that point!

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