Combining the classic flavors of ranch dressing and the savory goodness of cheddar cheese, our recipe for Ranch Cheddar Chicken is sure to be a family favorite. This recipe will be popular with kids because it mimics the texture of nuggets, but it's sophisticated enough for an adult palate too!
What do plumbers, cowboys, and kitchen cooks have in common? Oddly enough, all of these roles are things that the inventor of ranch dressing did throughout his life! In 1948, Steve Henson moved to Alaska where he worked as a plumber. During this time, he created a new salad dressing that he shared with those with whom he worked. After several years, Henson moved to Santa Barbara, California and retired.
Ranch Cheddar Chicken Recipe
- Oven or Air Fryer
- Plastic Wrap
- meat mallet or a rolling pin
- 2 medium-sized, shallow bowl
- Shallow Baking Pan
- Meat thermometer
- Cooking Spray
- 4 large boneless skinless chicken breast or 6 to 8 chicken tenders
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tbsp bottled ranch dressing or 2 tablespoons dry ranch seasoning mix
- ½ cup shredded cheddar chees or another cheese of your choice
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup panko breadcrumb (if you are gluten-free, choose a gluten-free version of bread crumbs)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If you are using boneless skinless chicken breasts, you will need to pound them, so they will cook evenly.
- Place the chicken breasts in between two layers of plastic wrap
- Using a meat mallet or a rolling pin, pound the chicken breasts until they are about a half inch thick.
- Set them aside on a plate and prepare the rest of the recipe.
- In a medium-sized, shallow bowl, stir together the ranch dressing, the mayonnaise, and the minced garlic until they are fully blended.
- In another shallow bowl, stir together the cheddar cheese and the Parmesan cheese
- Put the panko breadcrumbs into a third bowl.
- Roll the chicken breasts into the mayonnaise mixture first.
- Then, roll them lightly in the cheese mixture
- Finally, roll the chicken in the panko breadcrumbs until they are coated fully in the crumbs. Repeat this with all the chicken breasts until they are all fully coated in crumbs.
- Spray a shallow baking pan with cooking spray
- Spray the chicken breasts with cooking spray and place them on the baking pan several inches apart
- Bake the chicken pieces in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
- You can test this by using an instant read meat thermometer. It should read 165 degrees.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and serve
Air Fryer Instructions:
- You can make this in an air fryer for a very crispy, quick meat for dinner. Preheat your air fryer to 360 degrees for about 5 minutes.
- Prepare the chicken as directed above until you get to the baking part.
- Put the chicken pieces, sprayed with cooking oil, into the air fryer in a single layer, spaced evenly apart.
- Cook it for 9 minutes on one side and use tongs to flip the chicken.
- Cook the other side for another 9 minutes. You may have to work in batches.
- Remove the chicken pieces and serve.