This Bacon Chicken Ranch Casserole is one of the best Whole30 and AIP recipes! It's an easy dinner that's great for batch cooking and freezing leftovers for lunch. Bonus: it's a winner for kids! If you're following the Autoimmune Protocol, you have to try this Whole30, Paleo, low carb, and gluten free spaghetti squash casserole. Grab the recipe below!
This AIP recipe comes with a bit of a back story.
If you've been following along with me for awhile on Instagram or my podcast, Unbound Healing, you know I've been promising to deliver this AI recipe for months. Each time someone would call me out on it, I'd promise them I'd get it out next.
I wasn't trying to deceive them! The thing is, every I'd plan to make this AIP recipe to take photos, something would go wrong in the execution.
The first time, I cooked and shredded the chicken, prepped the ranch, and then found out my spaghetti squash had molded.
The next time, I made the entire dish only to realize I'd forgotten the bacon.
Other times I'd forget the coconut yogurt for the AIP Ranch Dressing, or the sage for frying and garnishing the top.
The final failed attempt ended in frustration tears when my instant pot didn't cook the chicken or the spaghetti squash the entire way through on the first try, and after a second round of cooking I had run out of natural light to shoot the recipe in.
I tried making this dish 5 times, and there was a cooking catastrophe every time. If it wasn't the most delicious AIP recipe I've ever tried, I would have thrown in the towel completely.
And yet, here I am sharing the final recipe with you! Which almost didn't happen either.
James was in the kitchen when the timer went off on the recipe, and he asked if I wanted him to broil the top a bit to make it golden brown. Genius, right? Not so much….
It ended up burning around the edges and leaving some darker burnt spots around the dish. I about cried when we finally pulled it from the oven (pregnancy hormones are legit). Thankfully, my husband is amazing, talked me out of throwing the entire dish into the trash, and helped me clean it up a bit for photos.
So there you have it! The long back-story of how this Bacon Chicken Ranch Casserole (aka the best Whole30 and AIP recipe you've ever tried!) came to be.
Some tricks to make this the easiest AIP recipe you've ever tried.
I've had a few comments mentioning that this casserole is SO WORTH the work, but that it was in fact, work. Here are my tricks for making this Whole30 and AIP recipe super easy for you!
- The easiest (and quickest) way to cook a spaghetti squash is in your Instant Pot! I like using this method.
- Cook your chicken in the Instant Pot. I explain exactly how to cook your spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot in this post.
- I follow this method for cooking fresh or frozen chicken in the Instant Pot. This is a great trick for all your chicken AIP recipes!
- Shred your chicken with either these inexpensive “claws”, or with your KitchenAid stand mixer! Seriously, you can just throw your cooked chicken into your stand mixer bowl, turn it on, and you'll have shredded chicken within a minute.
Other recipes you'll love:
- Sloppy Joes (AIP and Whole30)
- Bacon Cheeseburger Skillet (AIP and Whole30)
- Whole30 Pizza Casserole (AIP and Keto option)
Bacon Chicken Ranch Casserole
- 1 large spaghetti squash, about 3 lbs
- 12 oz bacon, cooked
- 1.5 lb chicken breasts
- 1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
- 1 1/2 tsps Primal Palate Garlic and Herb blend, optional
- 1 batch dairy free Ranch Dressing
- Cook your spaghetti squash (use this method for cooking in 10 minutes in the Instant Pot!), chicken, and bacon using your desired method.
- When the squash is cooked through, cut across the shorter width and use a fork to remove the squash strands into a bowl.
- Shred chicken (see note below), chop the cooked bacon, and add to squash.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Add green onions, spice blend, and my homemade dairy free Ranch Dressing to the bowl squash and protein, and combine well with a spatula.
- Spread into a ceramic baking dish, and place on a center rack in your preheated oven. Cook for 40-45 minutes.
Shredded Chicken TipShredding chicken is a pain, but the end result is so much better in texture than when the chicken is chopped. I purchased this inexpensive kitchen tool for making the process so much easier, and I highly recommend them! Trust me, this will be a dish you'll want to make again and again, so they're well worth the investment.
Spaghetti Squash TipYou can cook your spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot to save time! Get the full "how to" instructions here.
Homemade Dairy Free RanchMake your own Dairy Free Ranch Dressing by following this recipe here. It's AIP, Paleo, and Whole30 friendly.
Baking now! But what happens with the reserved bacon grease?
I couldn’t get the spices so had to guess the proportions for that. How much of the ranch dressing do you put in the casserole?
Could I just use a bottle of primal kitchen ranch for whole 30? How much would I use ?
Yes! I would use about 3/4 cup.
Hi, Would it be possible just to use ground chicken? AIP kid sometimes has swallowing issues with shredded chicken. Looking forward to making something new that he will, hopefully, like!
It would have a different texture, but i think it would work!
My family loved this dish! I made it once with chicken and once with ground turkey and it was amazing both ways! I used one cup of coconut milk since I didn’t have yougurt as you suggested. I also made my own primal seasoning by using 1/4 tsp of each of the ingredients listed on the label. The only comment I would make is that I was in a big hurry both times that I made this with all ingredients laid out ahead of time and the prep time was always one full hour. Thank you for this awesome recipe.
We loved this wonderful comfort food dish. I made a half batch to try it, but we liked it so much I was sorry not to have many leftovers! Definitely going in the Make Again collection.
Made this for my daughter who is on the AIP diet. Didn’t quite realize going into it, how much it required… certainly have the utensils for shredding chicken on hand because doing it with forks is a pain. But my daughter liked it, so that’s a win! And it’s different than most of the AIP dishes, so that’s another win. Thanks so much for sharing!
Does this freeze well? It looks so delicious, can’t wait to try!
Yes, it freezes really well! Hope you love it 🙂
Wow, this looks outstanding! I love all those flavors together!
YUM YUM YUM! All of my favorite flavors. I mean, bacon and ranch? Thanks for the awesome recipe!
YUM! This casserole is so perfect for the holiday season and colder months. My mother-in-law will love this recipe. Shared !
Melissa @Real Nutritious Living
This sounds absolutely amazing. You had me at bacon and ranch!
Casserole heAVEN!! Can’t wait to try this amazing combo! Some of my fav ingredients all in one place!
This looks so good and I love the flavor combo! Spaghetti squash casseroles are my favorite!
Do you think this would work with zucchini noodles? We don’t care for spaghetti squash.
Yes, but I think you’d want to reduce the baking time a lot. I might even just try steaming the zucchini noodles first, combining with the remaining ingredients, and skip the bake all together since everything else is already cooked.
Great recipe! Even my husband who doesn’t always like my AIP creations thought it was very tasty. I’ll definitely be making it again!
So happy you both liked it!
How do you cook squash?
I use my instant pot with these instructions, but I’ve also made it in the oven.http://www.phoenixhelix.com/2015/05/16/instant-pot-spaghetti-squash-with-duck-fat-apple-juice-glaze/
Wow!! Amazing!! Tasty!! Brb…going back for more ♥️
So happy you loved it!
Wow! This was an amazing dish. It was tasty before I baked it (doh!) but once it came out of the oven…wowza! I’m also newly in love with your AIP ranch, I’ll be adding that regularly to my fridge. My favorite way to shred chicken is worth the Kitchen Aid mixer, it shreds cooked meat right up. Sorry you had such a trial getting this posted, but it was worth it! Thanks ?
I’m so glad you liked it! I just received a Kitchen Aid stand mixer for Christmas, and am SO excited to try shredding the chicken with it! Thanks for the tip!
Hurray! You did it!! So excited for you. And I am glad your husband was such a sweetheart and helped talk you down from throwing this away. I am so excited to try it. I just out everything I need for it on our grocery list for next week. I’ve also never tried an AIP Ranch recipe so this feels like a two for one deal.
Whoop! I hope you love it!