BBQ Ranch Chicken is the Perfect Kid-Friendly Easy Dinner
Since the beginning of summer, my kids have been raiding our fridge and cabinets non-stop. They basically graze all day and still ask me, “Hey, Mom, what’s for dinner?” After a long summer day entertaining the kids, the last thing I want to do worry about cooking. Meal planning is very challenging, especially when trying to make a kid-friendly easy dinner that also pleases me and my husband. I’ve found that making this simple BBQ Ranch Chicken is the perfect solution.
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This recipe for BBQ Ranch Chicken uses minimal prep. This is great for those busy days when you are tired and don’t feel like being in the kitchen. This dish prepares by marinating in its own deliciousness. I mean, barbecue sauce is a top hit just by itself. Add the surprise of some ranch dressing and now the entire family is in for a treat. Flavorful and addicting, this combination goes so well with chicken.
Bring out your cast iron grill pans
To accentuate the chicken, this kid-friendly easy dinner is best cooked on a cast iron grill pan. You will be using both your stove top and your oven to get that rustic, smokey layer of flavor. Alternatively, if you are brave enough to swelter in the summer heat, you could fire up your grill to cook the marinated chicken. The important part is to get some form of char on your protein. This brings out the taste by making it more defined and memorable.
If you’re questioning if the kids will have an issue with the grill lines, my answer is no. Perhaps since mine were raised attending southern barbecues they’ve acquired a taste for the charring. Grilled food is a niche within itself and the results typically go well with the crowd.
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Elements of good barbecue sauce
A good barbecue sauce has a tomato base and a delicate mix of enhancements. Since this recipe is a kid-friendly easy dinner, I’m not going to ask you to make your own. You can use a store-bought favorite, but keep in mind that the basic formula for barbecue sauce is Tomato base + sweet + salty + spicy + smoky + acidic. My specific preference is to have a sauce that is more sweet and smokey, than any other element. I feel that it combines better with the ranch dressing that way.
Choice of chicken
This recipe goes well with both light and dark meat. What’s pictured are boneless skinless chicken breasts. I tend to stock up on those because they are so versatile. Take a minute to see my other chicken recipes and you’ll see what I’m talking about. (Don’t laugh, there’s a lot.) In full disclosure, I don’t eat pork and beef is often expensive. A good piece of chicken just seems to be the go-to for our large family meals.
You’ll have a kid-friendly easy dinner in under 30 minutes.
So, without further ado, I’m going to share this BBQ Ranch Chicken recipe. I know it will be a dish that you’ll be addicted to.
As you cook for your family, remember to show your children the importance of a good home-cooked meal. Fill their bellies with food and their hearts with love. Take care.
BBQ Ranch Grilled Chicken
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
- 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast (all fat removed)
- 2 cups barbecue sauce
- 1 1/2 cups original ranch dressing
- Pour barbecue sauce and ranch dressing into a large Tupperware.
- Next, butterfly cut the chicken breast and add it to the sauce mixture.
- Then, let it marinate for a minimum of 10 minutes. (Overnight if desired.)
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Next, place a cast iron grill pan onto the stovetop.
- Turn your stovetop to medium heat and allow it to warm up. (Approximately 8 minutes.)
- Place marinated chicken into the heated pan and cook for 4 minutes.
- Next, flip the chicken breast over.
- Cook for another 4 minutes.
- Then, place the cast iron grill pan into the preheated oven.
- Continue cooking for 10 minutes.
- Afterward, remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes.
- Last, serve and enjoy.