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.
If I want to use a aip ranch dressing that I have, how much would I need for this recipe? A cup? I don’t have coconut yogurt on hand. Thanks!
Great to have a meal that pleases the whole family and fits in my AIP diet. My husband says it’s a keeper 🙂 I did add cooked spinach as well just for some extra veggies and nutrients- kept everything else the same and it was fabulous
MELISSA L HENDERSON
This was incredibly good! I added just s couple additional spices to my taste (a little wasabi, which is my solution to no black pepper, and my homemade Umami blend). Even though I do like spaghetti squash, I really like that it fists so well in this recipe, that you do not even realize you are eating spaghetti squash. Oh, and your Ranch Dressing recipe is fabulous too!.
peggy l mauer
do you pre cook chicken?
I’m making this for myself for the first time tonight, but it looks like it makes a lot. My question is… have you tried freezing leftovers? Does it reheat well?
Just made this for the first time, and it’s delicious, filling, and super easy/quick to make! Plus love that there’s tons of leftovers!!
Safe to say this is going to become one of my go-to AIP recipes!
do you pre-cook the bacon? How much of the ranch dressing do you use?
Yes, the bacon should be pre-cooked. I updated the recipe to reflect this. Thank you for pointing it out! I use an entire batch of the ranch dressing linked.
Jeri Lynn Mower
What bacon do you usually buy to avoid grains? Most bacon has corn derived dextrose. I have only found a few without it.
This was an Insta-hit with the family! It went straight onto our “Favorite recipes” list, along with the Ranch recipe. I have used that with so many other things. It’s wonderful to be able to eat it again. Thank you!
Yay, I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed it!
Made it tonight-love, love, love this recipe! Didn’t have the primal palate herb blend, but looked at the ingredients and sprinkled a pinch of each and it turned out awesome!
I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it!
This is one of my all time favorites! It is my go to recipe for all pitch-ins! So simple and so tasty!
The picture looks like there’s some kind of breading. Is that why it needs to be baked? Is there an ingredient missing? When can you add the bacon grease? Thank you for replying about the primal kitchen ranch dressing; I have eight children, so that will make it easier! Also, your tricks and tips for the spaghetti squash and chicken are excellent! We will definitely be trying those!
Hi Karena! There isn’t a breading, it’s just the “crust” that sort of forms on top. The baking is needed to pull all the flavors together.
The bacon grease was for instructions I used to cook the spaghetti squash before I found the IP cooking method. When cooking in the oven, I would cut the squash and coat with the grease. I removed this ingredient – thanks for pointing out that it was still in there!