Growing up, my dad was usually the one who cooked in our house. And one of his go-to meals was Cheesy Chicken & Ranch. This was a dinner that came about when we desperately needed to go grocery shopping but just hasn’t been yet.
We looked in the refrigerator to see what we could find and threw it together. The meal started with some chicken that we had thawed out the night before and seasoned with whatever we had in the pantry at the time. Then, once the chicken was cooked, he threw on some cheese.
At that point, we called it a quick and easy dinner. Although, as I was eating it, I decided it was missing something. So, back to the bare kitchen I went, and found a bottle of ranch salad dressing. It sounded good, so I put some of that on the top.
The meal was so simple, yet so delicious, we named it cheesy chicken and ranch. Yes, we made it often enough after that to give it a title. And even though I haven’t lived at home for over 10 years, it’s still something that I make on nights that we don’t have a lot of time for dinner.
I can usually pull this together in about 20 minutes, 15 if the chicken is already cut up. When we get home from the grocery store and divide the chicken, we also go ahead and cut off any fat and cut it into strips or chunks if we know we are making meals that need it.
You can use any seasoning that you like, but I typically throw on some onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and pepper. The cheese is usually Colby Jack, but I’ve also done fiesta blend or sharp cheddar. The final ingredient, ranch dressing, has to be Hidden Valley for me. That’s the only thing I am really picky about when it comes to this meal.
Step by Step
In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks and place them in the pan. Sprinkle with the seasonings.
Sauté the chicken until it is completely cooked through.
Remove the pan from the heat and add in the cheese.
Stir immediately so the cheese doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan. Coat the chicken with the melted cheese.
Drizzle with ranch dressing and serve warm.
Cheesy Chicken and Ranch
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 cups Colby Jack cheese (shredded)
- 4 tbsp ranch dressing
- In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the pan
- Season the chicken with the onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and pepper
- Sauté until the chicken is cooked through
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheese
- Stir constantly so the cheese doesn’t burn to the pan and coats the chicken
- Drizzle with ranch dressing and serve immediately
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