This recipe is in my oven right now, and house is already smelling divine!

Ingredients:

– 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

– 1 (32 oz) package of frozen tater tots

– 1 (16 oz) container sour cream

– 1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup

– 1 (1 oz) packet ranch dressing mix

– 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

– 1 cup crispy bacon, crumbled (optional)

– 1 tablespoon olive oil

– Salt and pepper to taste

– Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with olive oil.

2. Season the cut chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and brown the chicken pieces until they’re just cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, cream of chicken soup, and ranch seasoning mix until smooth.

4. Layer half of the frozen tater tots at the base of the greased baking dish, followed by the cooked chicken pieces.

5. Pour and spread the creamy ranch mixture over the chicken, ensuring an even distribution.

6. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the sauce, then top with the remaining tater tots. For a smoky twist, sprinkle crumbled bacon over the top if using.

7. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Then remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the dish is bubbly and the tater tots are golden brown.

8. Let the casserole rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley for a splash of color and freshness.

Variations & Tips:

– For a bit of a kick, try adding a diced jalapeño or a dash of hot sauce to the creamy ranch mixture.

– If you desire a lighter version, substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream, and use a low-fat cream of chicken soup.

– Those with time to spare might opt for a homemade ranch mix, combining dried dill, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.

– Always let the casserole rest a little before serving, as it allows for the sauce to slightly thicken and the flavors to meld beautifully.

Enjoy!

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