You’ll be addicted to Crack Chicken faster than you can say bacon, ranch, and cheese! This creamy dish can morph to sandwiches, dips, pasta, or even soup.
Imagine yourself in a slump – guess what… crack chicken to the rescue. The reality of life… bills, chores, other stuff is setting in! You are in need of a pick me up, and so is the rest of your household. What better way to brighten their mood than with a meal so good that it has one of the most habit-forming substances known to man in its title?!
Crack chicken brings with it the promise of full bellies and cheerful hearts. It also requires a paltry ten minutes of prep work! This meal is a doldrums slayer, and guess what it makes happy even happier.
WHAT I LOVE MOST ABOUT THIS RECIPE:
- Prep time is only 10 minutes!
- You can turn crack chicken into sandwiches, pasta, dip, soup …you name it!
- The ingredients are simple and easy to find.
- Bacon, ranch, and two kinds of cheese …need I say more?
What is Crack Chicken?
Crack chicken crockpot style is an amazingly creamy and oh so versatile shredded chicken dish for busy weeknights or weekend gatherings. Made with bacon, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and ranch, this dish is to die for!
SAVE THIS CRACK CHICKEN
TO YOUR CHICKEN OR CROCKPOT BOARD FOR LATER
WE’D LOVE TO BE FRIENDS ON PINTEREST! WE’RE ALWAYS PINNING TASTY RECIPES!
What Ingredients Do You Need To Make Crack Chicken?
For my crack chicken recipe, you will need a couple pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can put them whole into the slow cooker, which is always a bonus. Chicken crack seasoning is made using two packages of cubed cream cheese, two packets of dry ranch dressing, and some cooked and crumbled bacon. Can you taste it already?
To complete the crack sandwich, you need some high-quality dinner rolls, sliced sharp cheddar cheese, a fresh red onion, and a little barbeque sauce.
How Do You Make Crack Chicken?
Crack chicken sandwiches are ridiculously simple to put together. After cooking the chicken in the crockpot with ranch and cream cheese for a few hours, shred it with a fork, and stir in some bacon.
Then, just pop that crack chicken in the oven with a bun underneath and some cheese on top, broil to melty perfection, and serve with your favorite fixings! This is a chicken crack recipe Tastefully Simple needs to get on!
Step By Step: How To Make Crack Chicken
1. Dry chicken breasts in a paper towel. Place it in the crockpot.
2. Top evenly with cream cheese cubes.
3. Sprinkle dry ranch evenly. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
4. When chicken is cooked, shred it with a fork.
5. Add bacon and mix.
6. Spoon a portion of the chicken mixture on a roll.
7. Top with cheese and broil until cheese has melted.
8. Top with slices of red onion, and add BBQ sauce.
- 2 Pounds Chicken Breasts Boneless and Skinless
- 2 8 Ounce Blocks Cream Cheese, Cut into Cubes
- 2 1 Ounce Packets Dry Ranch Dressing Mix
- 8 Ounces Bacon Cooked and Crumbled
- 6 High Quality Rolls
- 6 Slices Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 1 Red Onion Thinly Sliced
- Prepared Barbecue Sauce
- Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towel. Place them in the crockpot. Top evenly with cream cheese cubes then sprinkle 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 the chicken mixture on half of a good quality roll, top with cheese and set under the broiler just until cheese has melted.
- Spread BBQ sauce on the second half of the bun and top with a thin slice of red onion. Serve.
Recipe Notes For Crack Chicken:
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 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 might be too much additional flavor.
Bacon: Were bacon’s involved I don’t mind the extra work, just don’t overcook it. 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 provide ample fluid for the final dish.
Remember, you’re not making soup, just a nice, moist shredded chicken for sandwiches.
The one tricky bit to this recipe is that you can overcook the chicken, so be careful. 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 lunchtime.
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.
Instant Pot Crack Chicken:
Another great method of preparing this dish is instant pot crack chicken! Crock pot crack chicken is easy, but the instant pot method is even easier!
Keto Crack Chicken:
My recipe technically makes a keto crack chicken since it only contains 4g of carbs per serving. You can easily take the meat from steps 1 and 2 in the instructions and create a keto crack chicken casserole.
Instead of broiling cheesy chicken sandwiches, omit the rolls, and broil a casserole dish of the meat mixture topped with cheese! Add additional desired toppings and serve.
Can You Make Crack Chicken Ahead Of Time?
Slow cooker crack chicken can be prepared far in advance. Obviously, you will not want to put together the sandwiches until serving time, but the chicken base will keep in the fridge for three days and in the freezer for three months.
How Do You Freeze Crack Chicken?
Spoon the cooled meat into a freezer safe bin or bag, label it, and put it in the freezer! It’s as easy as that! You have now safely preserved your crack chicken slow cooker style.
What Do You Serve With Crack Chicken?
You can present this dish in so many different formats! Crack chicken casserole, where the meat is served by itself, is one delicious option. You can also use this style of preparation to make a crack chicken dip.
Another option would be to concoct sandwiches (described below), crack chicken tacos (with the help of a little shredded lettuce and taco shells), or even crack chicken soup. You will need to add onion, carrots, celery, and noodles if you go the soup route.
For a starchier alternative, try crack chicken pasta or crack chicken spaghetti. Crack chicken’s versatility is truly incredible!
More Chicken Inspired Meals!
- Brown Sugar Crock Pot Chicken– One of those crock pot recipes that are super delicious, family-friendly, and super easy to make!
- Honey Garlic Chicken Recipe– Sticky sweet and savory, surely have you battling for the last piece!
- White Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream Sauce–Super Cheesy, Lots of Chicken and a Creamy Rich Sauce!
- Parmesan Crusted Chicken – One of the most delicious, quick and easy chicken recipes EVER!
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Recipe -This bubbling beauty is everything you want in a creamy, cheesy casserole and a dazzling dinner dish!
More Crockpot Recipes
- Crockpot Pulled Pork– Our Crockpot Pulled Pork recipe is the perfect combo of BBQ flavor, great spice, and simple prep. Your family will LOVE this second-to-none BBQ style feast!
- Pulled Chicken – Our pulled chicken slow cooker recipe is super easy with a sweet and spicy tang that makes the perfect weeknight meal time and time again.