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a scoop of fresh made cheesy chicken bacon ranch kale casserole

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Ranch Kale Casserole

  • Author: Danielle
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 9x13 casserole 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Cheesy Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole is delicious pasta bake loaded with hearty chicken, bacon bits, shredded kale, and a creamy protein-packed Greek yogurt base!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 cups penne style pasta, dry
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale, stems and stalks removed, shredded (about 6 cups packed)
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt/pepper
  • 2 cups greek yogurt (I use 2%)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use 2%)
  • 2 teaspoons Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix
  • 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt/pepper
  • 34 cups of cooked shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken or any leftover chicken works)
  • 1 cup bacon bits (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, parmesan crisps, OR other topping

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta: Preheat the oven to 375F. In a medium pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain well and set aside when done. To avoid sticking while the remaining ingredients are cooked, toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Saute the veggies: In a large skillet or Dutch Oven (capable of containing the entire bunch of shredded kale), heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook for about 4 minutes, until they start to turn translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the kale and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Stir until kale begins to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, and continue to cook until all the kale is wilted and most of the chicken broth is absorbed by the kale, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Make the custard: In a medium mixing bowl, combine greek yogurt, egg, mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, milk, red chili pepper flakes, Ranch seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
  4. Put it together: To the kale sauté pan, add chicken, bacon bits, cooked pasta, and the yogurt custard mixture. Stir until well mixed. Add to a 9×13 greased casserole dish, then top with remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese evenly on the top of the casserole
  5. Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the top is melty and golden brown. I like to broil for an extra 3 minutes for a crispy top! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


Notes

Inspired by Healthy Squash and Kale Casserole from Food Network. Nutrition information estimated with My Fitness Pal.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/8 of casserole
  • Calories: 407
  • Fat: 18g
  • Carbohydrates: 23g
  • Protein: 34g

Keywords: casserole, dinner, main dish, chicken, ranch, make ahead