This super simple Crack Chicken recipe is cooked in the crockpot and makes the most amazing, creamy, flavorful chicken filling for hearty sandwiches.
I honestly can’t believe that I haven’t gotten around to sharing this recipe yet. It’s one of my absolute favorite dinner dishes. It graces my kitchen table three weeks out of five.
My family can’t get enough of this crockpot crack chicken.
When I serve it, there’s no arguing or complaining or fighting about who wanted what for dinner. Everyone looks forward to it. And I think everyone needs one of those recipes – a go-to dish that doesn’t inspire controversy, something simple that everyone enjoys. An old fashioned good dinner. Well let me tell you, this crack chicken is that dish.
It’s seriously one of the easiest dinner recipes ever, the kind of slow cooker dish that requires absolutely no work on your part. There’s no chopping to do, no browning, no mixing up a complicated sauce. All you have to do is get out your crockpot, toss in ingredients, and turn on the heat. After it’s cooked, you just shred the incredibly tender chicken and place it on a bun with a few accoutrements. Done. Delicious. Dinner is served.
It’s that simple.
You might be surprised that such little preparation can yield such awesome results. But when you think of this crack chicken recipe, “tastefully simple” is the perfect description.
It’s not complicated or fancy, but it’s flavorful and versatile.
The recipe makes such awesome chicken sandwiches that you might be content using it just for that. Or you might want to get creative and serve this chicken in crack chicken casserole, or a crack chicken dip recipe (see the recipe notes for more information on this dip), or use the sauce or crack chicken wings. (Tip: If you’re interested in all the different ways to use crack chicken, Pintrest is your new best friend.)
However you decide to use this recipe, you’ll love the simple sauce and easy crockpot cooking.
Another thing you might come to love about this recipe is that it’s comparatively healthy. Do a search for “crack chicken low carb” or “crack chicken keto” and you’ll discover that this recipe falls into a group of recipes that are low in carbs, part of a ketogenic diet–sans the bun, of course!
Whatever you think about that particular dietary path, I think we can all agree that low carb dinners that taste great are an awesome discovery.
This recipe is fantastic, and its creator (a truly inspiring food blogger) deserves all the credit – Shelly from Cookies and Cups.
Cream Cheese: This recipe calls for two 8oz blocks of cream cheese. I typically use plain cream cheese, because I think the flavor of the final sauce holds up without embellishment. But, if you’re interested in using a savory flavored cream cheese, that’s totally fine!
However, I would recommend doing only one block flavored. That balance (one flavored, one plain) helps to make sure that flavor in the flavored block doesn’t become overpowering and ruin your chicken. Two blocks of flavored cream cheese is too much additional flavor.
Bacon: Generally, I will add a little bit of work to this uber-simple recipe and fry up some bacon. It’s a fun addition to the flavors – I mean, who doesn’t love bacon?
I crumble up the cooked bacon, and mix it into the cooked chicken and sauce. It adds a nice crispy texture that really works on a sandwich.
If you want to skip cooking the bacon, you might consider adding 1 bacon flavor container of cream cheese (replacing 1 plain block of cream cheese).
Cooking: You may be wondering if this crack chicken needs any additional liquids – like chicken broth or water. But I can assure you that it does not. As the chicken cooks, it will release juices naturally, which will be plenty of liquid for the final dish.
Remember, you’re not making a soup, just a nice, moist shredded chicken for sandwiches.
The one tricky bit to this recipe is that you can’t overcook the chicken. Like any slow cooker chicken recipe, if you cook it too long the chicken will dry up.
Lots of the slow cooker crack chicken videos (like the ones you see on Facebook) will instruct you to cook the chicken on the low setting. That’s a good idea if you aren’t going to be around the house to turn off the crockpot when it’s done.
If you don’t have time to make up this chicken in the crockpot, there is another method. Simply brown the chicken in skillet (oven-proof). Then, add the sauce ingredients and cook them all in the oven for about 45 minutes. When the chicken is done, shred it and follow the instructions in the original recipe.
To save even more time, just use a rotisserie chicken. Warm up the cream cheese and mix everything together for an incredibly simple meal.
Serving: When I make sandwiches with this recipe, I’ll occasionally top the chicken with a little extra cheddar cheese and let the chicken sit under the broiler for a minute or two. This will melt that extra cheese onto your chicken, and is a much yummier option that topping your chicken with a piece of fakey sliced cheese.
I like to serve this recipe on a good, high-quality roll from the bakery section of my local market. I will slather that roll in barbeque sauce and a very thin slice of red onion – it’s a perfect dinnertime treat.
As you can probably imagine, this chicken makes awesome leftovers. Just store it in the fridge and reheat the next day for a delicious sandwich at lunch time.
It also freezes well. As long as you freeze it in an airtight container and let it thaw fully before reheating, you can definitely make this cooked chicken days ahead of time and store it in your freezer.
Variations: If you’re interested in changing this recipe up a bit, consider adding a can of Ro-Tel or corn (well drained). Occasionally I’ll even throw in a package of well-drained, thawed frozen spinach.
Okay, so in the introduction I mentioned a crack chicken dip. Some people refer to this as Buffalo Chicken Dip. Frankly, I think it needs a few more ingredients to be called that.
If you’re interested, here’s my recipe for Buffalo Chicken Dip. It’s similar in flavor to this chicken, but has a lot of other yumminess going on as well. If you want to give this dip a try (and I highly recommend that you do) check it out.
Source: Cookies and Cups
- Chicken Breasts, Bonless and Skinless - 2 Pounds
- Cream Cheese, Cut into Cubes - 2 (8 Ounce) Blocks
- Dry Ranch Dressing Mix - 2 (1 Ounce) Packets
- Bacon, Cooked and Crumbled - 8 Ounces
- High Quality Rolls - 6
- Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese - 6 Slices
- Red Onion, Thinly Sliced - 1
- Prepared Barbecue Sauce
- Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towel. Place them in the crockpot. Top evenly with cream cheese cubes then spinkle the dry ranch evenly over the top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Chicken is ready when it can easily be shredded with a fork.
- When chicken is cooked, shred it. Add cooked bacon. Give the mixture a stir to evenly combine everything.
- Spoon one portion of chicken mixture on half of a good quality rolls, top with cheese and set under the broiler just until cheese has melted.
- Spread BBQ sauce on second half of the bun and top with a thin slice of red onion. Serve.