How To Make 5-Ingredient Baked Ranch Chicken

published Mar 12, 2021
How to Make Baked Ranch Chicken

A step-by-step recipe for making crispy breaded chicken breasts seasoned with ranch dressing packets.


Prep10 minutes

Cook35 minutes to 40 minutes

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ranch chicken sits baked and garnished on a sheet pan
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne

Imagine crispy breaded chicken cutlets with all of the flavor of ranch dipping sauce. Now stop dreaming, because these chicken breasts are precisely that. The secret? Seasoning the toasty breadcrumbs with ranch seasoning packets to give them a bold pop of herby flavor. And you don’t have to fuss with frying, either — these oven-baked beauties get crisp and golden without ever heating up oil. Here’s how to make tender, perfectly crisp ranch chicken in less than an hour.

The Secret to the Crispiest Coating? Toasting the Breadcrumbs.

To prevent pale, soggy breading (a common problem with oven-baked chicken), you’ll toast the panko breadcrumbs in the oven before you use them to bread the chicken. This not only makes the breading extra crispy, but it also gives the chicken a toasty flavor reminiscent of fried chicken. Yum! Just spread the breadcrumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a 375°F oven until golden-brown, about 7 to 8 minutes. You can cook the chicken on the same baking sheet, so you won’t end up with any extra dishes to wash.

Another key element that helps with crispiness? Skipping the usual three-step breading process and using mayo to coat the chicken instead. The mayo helps “oven-fry” the breadcrumbs, making them extra crunchy.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne

Adding Bold Ranch Flavor to Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

While most people think of ranch packets as a shortcut to dressings or dips, they’re a great all-purpose seasoning blend, too. This recipe uses two standard 1-ounce packets to season the breadcrumbs, giving the chicken bold, herby flavor. Most ranch packets also contain buttermilk powder, which helps add a nice brightness to the dish. For the ultimate flavor control, you could also make your own ranch powder. Just use 1/3 cup in place of the store-bought packets.

One final note: Although it feels wrong to not season the chicken breasts with salt before breading them, the ranch packets are very salty and will provide plenty of seasoning.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne
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Here's how to make the best baked ranch chicken.

How to Make Baked Ranch Chicken

A step-by-step recipe for making crispy breaded chicken breasts seasoned with ranch dressing packets.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes to 40 minutes


Nutritional Info


  • 1 1/2 cups

    panko breadcrumbs

  • 4

    boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total)

  • 1 ounce

    Parmesan cheese, finely grated (1/2 cup or 1/4 cup store-bought pre-grated)

  • 2 (1-ounce) packets

    ranch seasoning and dressing (about 1/3 cup)

  • 1/2 cup


  • Cooking spray


  • Rimmed baking sheet

  • Meat mallet (optional)

  • Measuring cups and spoons

  • Wide, shallow bowls

  • Chef’s knife

  • Cutting board

  • Oven-safe wire rack


  1. Heat the oven. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.

  2. Toast the panko. Spread 1 1/2 cups panko into a thin, even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden-brown, about 7 to 8 minutes. You can do this while the oven preheats, but they may need more time to toast. Set aside to cool while you prep the chicken.

  3. Prep the chicken. Trim and discard any large pieces of fat from 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Place 1 chicken breast in a gallon-sized zip-top bag and pound with a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat mallet to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Set aside and repeat with the remaining breasts.

  4. Grate the cheese and set up the breading station. Finely grate 1 ounce Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup) and place in a wide, shallow bowl. Add the toasted panko (reserve the baking sheet) and 2 ranch dressing packets, and mix to combine. Place 1/2 cup mayonnaise in a second wide, shallow bowl.

  5. Bread the chicken. Coat an oven-safe wire rack with cooking spray and fit it onto the reserved baking sheet. Using your hands and working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, dip in the mayonnaise so it evenly coats the chicken on all sides, then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture, gently pressing the breadcrumbs into the chicken so they stick. Place on the rack and repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.

  6. Bake the chicken. Bake until the breading is golden-brown and the chicken is cooked through and registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, 30 to 32 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

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