Buckle up and get ready for the best chicken recipe of your entire life! It is buttery, ranchy, and smoky with a crunchy panko topping. You’re going to be making this one over and over again!

Just 8 days before moving to a new city I decided to throw together a quick and easy chicken recipe for dinner that I honestly wasn’t even thinking about what I was doing. I was just trying to finish off things in the fridge, freezer and pantry as that’s always how I move- stop buying food and eat through as much as possible so I have less packing. 

Which means I created a killer chicken dinner recipe

a photo of a single panko covered chicken breast sitting in a creamy sauce with a serving of fresh green beans on the side.

UGH.

That’s always how it goes, when I’m not thinking and just playing in the kitchen the best recipes emerge. 

Thankfully I had enough thought after hearing Cade say for the 500th time that night, “THIS CHICKEN JUST MELTS IN MY MOUTH! It’s awesome!!!” to pause what I was doing and write it all down in my phone. 

This week I finally busted out the recipe and made magic happen again and I stand by this recipe until the end of time, it’s just that good! 

a photo of a 9x13 white baking dish full of golden chicken breasts baked in a creamy ranch sauce with a serving spoon sitting in the dish.

The chicken has the most wonderful, buttery, smoky flavor from the seasonings but then there’s that creamy, not too ranchy, sauce and those golden, buttery panko breadcrumbs all over the top that seriously make for the most wonderful bite of chicken. It’s perfectly moist, bursting with flavor and then the texture is so spot on! I cannot even begin to describe how good it is! 

And the real winning decision when making this easy chicken recipe is to do potatoes and green beans with it. I’m telling you, when you swirl that stuff through the remnants of sauce and crispy panko bits, my goodness!!!

a photo of a chicken breast sliced in half so you can see the inside of one half of the chicken breast. it is topped with a crunchy panko topping.

Ingredients for Ranch Baked Chicken

All you do is season and brown the chicken, make a simple white sauce using some ranch dressing, and then top it with a buttery panko topping. It’s easy! Here is what you need…

  • Chicken Breasts – boneless, skinless, butterfly the chicken breasts so you have 6 thinner pieces
  • Kinders Buttery Steakhouse Blend – we are in love with all Kinders seasonings!
  • Smoked Paprika – gives that smoky flavor that is so tasty
  • Olive Oil – helps brown the chicken

For the Sauce

  • Butter – creates the richness for the sauce
  • Flour – thickens the sauce
  • Ranch Salad Dressing – make it from scratch, if at all possible, it’s just so much better!
  • Milk – feel free to use whatever type of milk you want, we use 2%

For the Topping

  • Panko – makes the topping extra crunchy
  • Butter – helps bind the topping and gives it that golden brown color
The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post. 
a photo of several chicken breasts covered with a golden panko topping sitting in a white baking dish.
 

What to Eat with Ranch Baked Chicken

I mentioned earlier that a side of potatoes and green beans is our favorite way to round out the whole meal, but you could do any sort of side dish you want! Herb roasted potatoes are a great option or some grilled asparagus, yum!
 
A side of mashed potatoes would also be totally dreamy! And you know I am a sucker for any carb, so a side of our famous potato rolls to sop up the ranchy sauce would be Carrian-approved 100%.

How to Butterfly a Chicken Breast

  1. Put your chicken breast on a chopping board and, with your hand flat on top of it, use a sharp knife to slice into one side of the breast, starting at the thicker end and ending at the thin point.
  2. Open out the breast so that it resembles a butterfly.
a photo of a bite of ranch baked chicken on the end of a fork so you can see the inside of the chicken and it's surrounded by a pile of fresh green beans and all the saucy topping.

How to Know When Chicken is Done

I am a firm believer in having a meat thermometer on hand any time you are cooking any type of protein. We love our ThermPro meat thermometer, and I use it almost daily just to be on the safe side. According to a the USDA, a safe internal temperature for chicken breasts 165°F (75°C) when inserted into the thickest part of the meat.

Tips for the Best Baked Chicken Recipe

Here a couple of tips that are critical to making the best baked chicken recipe:

  1. Brown the chicken in a skillet on the stovetop first. This sears the outside of the chicken and locks in all the delicious juices. It also creates a flavorful caramelized outer layer on the chicken breasts.
  2. Once the chicken has finished baking, let it rest for a about 5 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute and keeps the chicken extra tender and melt-in-you-mouth-y!
a photo of a chicken breast topped with a golden panko topping being removed from a white baking dish.

How to Store, Reheat and Freeze Baked Chicken Breasts

If you have extra chicken, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for 4-5 days.

To reheat this chicken, I prefer to do it in the oven. It takes a little longer than the microwave, but I’ve found that it keeps the chicken moist and doesn’t dry it out. Place it in a greased baking dish and warm it in the oven on 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until it is heated through.

This recipe also freezes very well. I like to cut it up or shred it to make it easier to use the next time, but that is totally optional. It will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.

a photo of a single panko covered chicken breast sitting in a creamy sauce with a serving of fresh green beans on the side.

Sometimes you hit the chicken dinner jackpot and come up with the easiest, most flavorful ranch baked chicken recipe on a whim with leftover ingredients in the pantry and fridge. That golden buttery panko topping adds just the right amount of texture to this dreamy creamy chicken!

Ranch Chicken Recipe Video

 More Tasty Chicken Recipes:

Ranch Melt in Your Mouth Baked Chicken

4.20 from 36 votes
Servings: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 3 Chicken Breasts, butterflied to create 6 thin breasts
  • 1/4 Cup Kinders Buttery Steakhouse Blend
  • 1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided

For the Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 3/4 Cups Ranch Salad Dressing, (trust me on this, make it from the packet, following the directions or buy your favorite ranch then use that. It will taste way better)
  • 1/4 Cup Milk

For the Topping

  • 1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Note: you can use olive oil or I prefer to just hit it with nonstick olive oil spray. It won’t brown as much but it’s healthier.

Instructions

  • In a skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the two seasonings and sprinkle it over one side of each chicken breast. Place seasoned side down and cook until browned, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, sprinkle the seasoning over the other side and flip. Once browned remove to a prepared 9×13” pan. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.

For the Sauce

  • Melt butter in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until cooked through, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the ranch and milk until slightly thickened, and pour over the chicken.

For the Topping

  • Mix the panko and butter (or olive oil) and sprinkle over the chicken. If using the spray, just sprinkle breadcrumbs and heavily spray. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1chicken breastCalories: 606kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 28gFat: 48gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 17gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 855mgPotassium: 538mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 898IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 1mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: Mom’s Best 100 Easy Chicken Recipes

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a photo of a single panko covered chicken breast sitting in a creamy sauce with a serving of fresh green beans on the side. over again! #bakedchickenrecipe #chickenrecipe #ranchchicken