This slow cooker crack chicken (cheddar ranch chicken) is an addicting combination of chicken, cheese, bacon and ranch dressing. Cooking this in the slow cooker takes all the work out of it and makes it a super simple hearty dinner for busy days.
There’s a reason this recipe is called “crack” chicken. It’s just so good you get addicted! If this combination of ingredients catches your eye, you should also try out my crack chicken casserole, crack potatoes and crack chicken dip!
Crack Chicken Recipe
What exactly is “Crack Chicken?” It’s a classic combination of cream cheese, ranch, cheddar and bacon. Similar to this crack dip, this has all the same delicious flavors, but made meal-worthy by adding shredded chicken. It’s still comfort food at its finest, just with some added protein!
This keto-friendly dish is so versatile, and everyone loves it. My kids ask for it all the time! It’s a hearty, rich and cheesy meal. Perfect for any occasion, it’s like the little black dress of dinners. Dress it up or down depending on the occasion and it’s a winner either way. I mean, you really can’t go wrong with flavorful cheesy chicken. It’s so tasty, your whole family will go crazy over it. It’s also the perfect crowd-pleaser for a potluck!
Cheddar Ranch Chicken Ingredients
Easy dinners are my fave. Especially with grocery prices as high as they are, I love that I can whip up a satisfying, hearty meal with just a few ingredients! The combination of these items creates the best flavor ever. Everyone in your family will be wanting seconds! Note: all measurements can be found below in the recipe card.
- Chicken Breasts: I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts. No need to cut them at all, just throw them in your slow cooker!
- Homemade Ranch Seasoning: This is the dry ranch seasoning mix not ranch dressing. Using homemade is SO GOOD! You can find my full recipe here.
- Cream Cheese: For a creamy and decadent sauce!
- Bacon: Cooked and crumbled then stirred into the chicken mix.
- Cheddar Cheese: A must-add for cheesy goodness! I recommend shredding your own cheese, as prepackaged cheese contains a bunch of preservatives that keep it from melting properly.
- Green Onion: A garnish to top it off!
How to Make Crockpot Crack Chicken
This is so easy, you’ll wonder why you haven’t tried it sooner. Simply add all of your ingredients to a slow cooker, then set it and forget it! At the end of the day, you’ll have a wonderful meal to enjoy. The flavor and cheesiness is SO good!
- Add Ingredients to Slow Cooker: First place your chicken in the bottom of your slow cooker. Then sprinkle with dry ranch dressing mix. Cut the cream cheese into cubes and place over the chicken mixture and seasoning.
- Cook: Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4.
- Shred: Shred the chicken and then top with bacon and cheese. Cover until melted. Then garnish with green onions if desired.
Tips for the Best Crack Chicken in the Slow Cooker
It’s really difficult to mess up this crock pot crack chicken recipe, but here are a few tips to help it turn out as tasty as possible.
- Chicken: Use skinless and boneless chicken for less fat and grease. You can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you prefer!
- Bacon: For the best taste and texture use real bacon crumbles. Bacon bits can be pretty artificial tasting.
- Keep it From Drying Out: This is definitely a recipe you don’t want to over cook. The best success is long and low.
- Cream Cheese: Chunk the cream cheese and then distribute evenly over the chicken for even melting.
- Cheddar Cheese: Bacon and cheddar just go together but you can easily change it up, try jalapeno pepper jack for a kick, colby jack, or even swiss!
- Double: Double the recipe and freeze leftovers for quick dinners and lunches.
- Shredding Chicken: The easiest way to shred chicken is with your hand mixer right in crock pot. It’s easy and fast! You can also just use 2 forks.
Keep your crack chicken in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days and, yes, you can freeze it! Put it in a freezer-safe, airtight container and it will keep for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat in the microwave when you’re ready to eat it!
What Do You Eat Crack Chicken With?
Slow cooker crack chicken is such a versatile dish. It can be served so many different ways, making it a new dish each time! You’ll have to see which version is your favorite!
- Over Rice: This adds an Asian twist.
- Hamburger Buns or Pitas: Place on oven-toasted buns for a delicious sandwich!
- Mashed Potatoes: Over top for a rich and hearty meal.
- Inside Baked Potatoes: Split open your baked potato then add this cheesy chicken as a topping!
- Crackers and Veggies: This recipe also doubles as a fun, cheesy dip.
- Wrapped in a Tortilla: Something light but simple for a quick lunch or snack time.
- Lettuce Wraps or on Top of a Salad: Add a little more to your greens with this hearty chicken and cheese.
- In Pitas or Croissants: Another idea for a quick lunch or gathering.
- Pasta: Bring on dinner with this chicken and your favorite noodles!
Slow Cooker Crack Chicken
- 3 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 2 packets dry ranch seasoning
- 2 8 ounce cream cheese
- 6 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- chopped green onions for garnish
- In a slow cooker add the chicken to the bottom. Sprinkle with dry ranch seasoning. Top with cream cheese. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours long.
- Shred the chicken with two forks. Top with bacon and sprinkle with cheese. Cover until melted. Serve on buns, over rice and garnish with green onions.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
I started this yesterday morning for dinner last night and used a garlic herb goat cheese log. It was SOOO GOOD! Leftovers tonight we’re just as good! I am definitely adding this to my list of “Easy Go-To Favorites”!
Can this be done with already shredded chicken over the stove? I’m trying to find something to do with leftover and don’t have 6 hours to wait for dinner 😞
Yes, that is a great idea!
The cream cheese.. how many ounces if cutting down to 4 People? The sliding scale is helpful but the ounces is confusing.
I know it’s a pain, but I have a food scale, for me it’s fun to us it to cut down recipes!
I made this recipe today for my family and everyone loved the recipe…Great post
How much ranch seasoning would you use if using your DIY recipe? 1Tbsp? 2Tbsps?
I would recommend 1 Tablespoon.
I made this recipe today for my family and everyone loved the recipe. Thanks for sharing such great deal. 😃😃
I like to make this while we sleep then get up and meal prep it.i also added a cup of sour cream with the cheese and bacon.this is one of my favorite low carb recipes! Thanks
I put my chicken and cream cheese and seasoning in crockpot, left for work and when I got home 4 hours later it has a whole lot of liquid from chicken and the cream cheese is not incorporating with the juice from the chicken very well. Looks nothing like your pictures. It’s way too soupy. It looks curdled for some reason. Too late to remove chicken to drain some of the liquid.
Same thing happened to mine? I followed directions exactly. So, I just turned the heat off crockpot and shredded the chicken and added the bacon and cheese. It eventually mixed together okay. Just had a lot of liquid. Not sure it will work for a sandwich, it’s too soupy.
Did you use low fat cream cheese? That’ll usually do it unfortunately. 🙁 You want the full fat kind.
Would it work to use turkey rather than chicken
I have not tried it with turkey but it will work well. Let me know how it turns out!
Added the Two packets of dry Ranch dressing as required, but it seems it was too salty. I think next time I will add one packet. Has anybody else experienced the salty taste?
Yes, I had to cut down to 1 pack because it was entirely too salty.
really best to use a homemade recipe. I was doubtful about it, but I’ve done it both ways and putting the ingredients together yourself ends up perfecting this recipe.
Can you make this with chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts? Will it cook the same?
Yes, that will great with this recipe. You will want to cook it less. Using a meat thermometer is best. When temperatures reach 165 degrees you chicken is cooked to the fullest.
Has anyone tried to make this in the oven and not a slow cooker?
Added Sauteed onions and Jalapeno peppers. Served it on warmed tortilla shells topped with shredded lettuce, sour cream, diced tomatoes
and crumbled bacon.
Awesome love love it
great post,i love this post.
I made this recipe today for my family and everyone loved the recipe. I put this over jasmine rice.. I love the recipe.. Thanks. 😃😃
this was great, but i used ranch salad dressing instead of packet and it make great gravy to serve over the chicken and egg noodles.
Looks totally decadent – and I’m fairly certain I’ve never said that about chicken before. I’m looking forward to making it.
I’m guessing this doesn’t make any sauce for serving over pasta. If I wanted sauce what would you suggest I add chicken broth? heavy cream? more ranch seasoning? more cream cheese?
I cooked up the pasta, reserved 1 cup of the cooked water drained the rest of the water turned the burner down to medium-low and added 2 diced tomatoes let the tomatoes cook down some and then added the chicken mixture to the pasta and thinned down by adding a little bit at a time of the pasta water. It was awesome!
Can I just cut the chicken into chunks instead of shredding it?
I think my family would prefer it that way. Thanks for any advice!
When well cooked chicken falls apart
If I wanted this to feed around 12 people should I double every ingredient? Seems like a really lot of cream cheese.
Yes, you will want to double it all to make sure that there is a good combination of sauce and chicken.
Can I use frozen chicken
Yes, that will work too!