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.
Can you make this with frozen chicken breast? Thank you
I have not made it with frozen chicken. Let me know how it turns out!
Read about NOT placing frozen meats in crocks. Thaw first!
I’ve used frozen chicken breast’s. It turned out great.
love the recipe
I made the same
This was truly amazing, left out the bacon as we had to adjust our time and it was finished before we could fry it up. Delicious, easy and kid approved!
Content is really great, well managed.
Your article is really amazing, great content.
What is the recipe for dry ranch dressing?
Here is the recipe: https://therecipecritic.com/homemade-ranch-seasoning-mix/
Thank for sharing this list. This helped me a lot.
After reading both recipe and comments, I’m in the process of making this. I used 4 chicken thighs, only one block of cream cheese to make it less soupy, one pack of ranch for less salt, and I added some of the cheddar beforehand instead of just after for fun. I also seasoned my chicken individually with pepper and paprika, and broke up the cream cheese instead of leaving it blocked. Threw in a tbs of garlic too because why not…hoping it goes well. Thanks to all for their comments and suggestions.
I add about a tbsp of some sort of tangy liquid, from pickles or banana peppers or whatever I have handy. It just adds a little zing.
Your article is truly amazing, carry on with posting more.
This is one of our favorites. To make it even more addictive by pretzel buttons and the nacho cheese sauce. Spread the nacho cheese sauce on the pretzel bun then load it up with the chicken crack….. The BEST !!!
Liked your blog, it’s really an informative one.
Believe it or not, i do not own a crock pot. Can the dry ranch and cream cheese be added after the chicken is cooked(baked)?
Yes, that will work too! We need to get you a slow cooker. It is so nice to have!
Crack chicken is also a great instant pot recipe if you have one of those instead!
Great recipe but too much cream cheese for me so i added a cup & a half of chicken broth & was perfect. Thanks!
Huge fan of this recipe! I actually have it going right now on the slow cooker, with green chiles, sweet onion, and green bell pepper added. Considering adding some fresh chopped garlic since I have a few hours left. I will probably also hit it with chopped cilantro when I add the green onions full disclosure.
One way to use this dish or it’s leftovers that hasn’t been mentioned….enchiladas! Wrap this in your favorite tortillas, smother in red or green sauce, maybe add more cheese and sour cream, maybe black olives,,, you do you, and toss into the oven until bubbly and perfect.
I make this exactly as this recipe is written. But adding what you did makes a PERFECT enchilada. Thanks.
thanks for the tip.love making new dishes out of left overs.
Huge fan of this recipe! I actually have it going right now on the slow cooker, with green chiles, sweet onion, and green bell pepper added. Considering adding some fresh chopped garlic since I have a few hours left.
Just made this because it seemed so easy. It was pretty good but I needed some crunch so I added some diced celery and I think it’s a keeper. Thanks!