If you love ranch flavored everything, you’re going to adore this classic crack chicken recipe! Made in the crockpot or in your oven, it’s a family favorite meal that is sure to please.

The best part? Not only is this fabulous chicken so easy to make, it’s so flexible! It’s wonderful when served as a traditional chicken entrée, as cocktail sandwiches, as a dip, or even tossed with pasta.

There’s so many ways to serve it, and it’s such a great family dinner to keep in your back pocket. I know you’re going to enjoy this one!

Baked crack chicken breasts in a white baking dish, with a silver spatula lifting a serving out.
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This is one of those iconic recipes that I can’t believe I’ve never shared here before. When you shred it for sandwiches or dips, t’s awesome for tailgates, Super Bowl, and all kinds of game day events.

In fact, it’s great for any day of the week. Serve it as a classic plated chicken breast, or shred it to serve with your family’s favorite type of sandwich bread.

We love cocktail rolls for this delicious chicken when we serve it as sandwiches. However, it’s also great when served as whole chicken tenders, with a traditional roasted veggie on the side, or your favorite salad.

Today, I’m going to show you just how easy it is to make this famous crack chicken. It’s so simple to customize, too – just add your favorite toppings and you’re ready to roll!

No matter which way you serve it, I think you’re going to love it as much as my family does. Let’s make it together!

A crack chicken tenderloin serving on a white plate with a gold fork.

Why You’ll Love this Crack Chicken

  • So Easy to Make
  • Packed with Protein
  • Low Carb
  • Gluten Free
  • Bake or Crockpot
  • Family Friendly!
A close up of cheesy crack chicken breasts, topped with green onions and bacon

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – De-thawed, any fat removed, and (if you’re baking instead of doing the crockpot) pounded to an even thickness. You can also use chicken tenders instead.
  • Ranch Seasoning – Choose your favorite ranch seasoning brand, or make your own homemade ranch seasoning.
  • Cream Cheese, room temperature

To Garnish

  • Cheddar cheese – shredded
  • Bacon – cooked and crumbled
  • Green onions – chopped
Ingredients for crack chicken laid out on a white marble countertop

Variations

  • Choose your favorite type of cheese.
  • A little hot sauce or buffalo sauce is a great way to add heat to this dish. Add one teaspoon, or to your preference.
  • Try this recipe with Fiesta Ranch seasoning instead.
  • Add diced chilies or jalapenos for extra spice!

Slow Cooker Instructions

  1. In a slow cooker, add chicken breasts or tenders so they do not overlap. Sprinkle with ranch seasoning and cover in cream cheese. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or 6 hours on low.
  2. Leave tenders whole to serve plated, or shred, and top with bacon, cheese and green onions. Serve as a dip, toss with pasta or serve on cocktail buns.
A crack chicken tenderloin serving on a white plate with a gold fork.

Oven Instructions

  • Preheat oven to  400°F. Grease a large baking dish (9×13). 
  • Pound chicken breasts or tenders to same thickness. Place in baking dish so they do not overlap. Chicken tenderloins topped with seasoning in a white baking dish, prior to baking.
  • Sprinkle chicken with ranch seasoning. Spread cream cheese on top. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar, and bacon. Chicken tenderloins topped with seasoning in a white baking dish, prior to baking. Chicken tenderloins topped with seasoning in a white baking dish, prior to baking. A hand spreading chopped bacon over a white baking dish full of crack chicken, prior to baking. A white baking dish with cheesy crack chicken, topped with green onions and chopped bacon.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes (depending on thickness of chicken breasts) or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165°F. Garnish with green onions and serve.
A white baking dish with cheesy crack chicken, topped with green onions and chopped bacon.

Tips

  • Use a meat tenderizer to pound the chicken if one side of the chicken is a lot thicker than the other side. This will help it cook more evenly if you’re making crack chicken in the oven.
  • Don’t crowd the chicken – it’s important to give it space for even cooking.
  • You may need to warm your cream cheese a little to make it spreadable – or, simply purchase a tub of spreadable cream cheese instead.
  • Use this printable meat temperature chart to ensure doneness.

Scaling up, down or substituting? You’ll love this printable Measurement Conversion Chart!

Baked crack chicken breasts in a white baking dish, with a silver spatula lifting a serving out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called crack chicken?

This is a regional term that refers to a specific combination of ingredients: ranch seasoning, cheese, and bacon.

What is the best way to eat crack chicken?

It’s great as a sandwich, and that’s probably the most popular form! However, it’s wonderful in a tortilla wrap, on a salad, served with pasta, and even as a dip!

Why is my crack chicken watery?

If you’re using frozen chicken breasts in your slow cooker, they can release a lot more water as they defrost and cook. With that in mind, it’s best to use defrosted boneless skinless chicken breasts in this recipe.

A crack chicken tenderloin serving on a white plate with a gold fork.

Crack Chicken Serving Suggestions

For a wholesome, well rounded meal, serve this crack chicken with a side salad or one of your favorite veggie side dishes.

  • Serve plated as whole chicken tenders or chicken breasts, with a side salad or veggies.
  • Traditional, on a bun
  • Serve over pasta
  • As a dip with Crostini, chips, crackers or veggies
  • Serve on a baked potato or baked sweet potato
  • Serve it in a warm tortilla for Ranch Chicken Tacos
A crack chicken tenderloin serving on a white plate with a gold fork.

Don’t Skip These: If you love everything ranch, don’t miss my homemade ranch dip, and this classic ranch seasoning or fiesta ranch seasoning.

Dietary Considerations

  • Gluten Free
  • Nut Free
  • Keto Friendly
  • Whole 30 Friendly

How to Store

  • At Room Temperature – This chicken can sit out for up to two hours while serving. If you’re serving from a crockpot, that can be a little longer.
  • Refrigerate – You can refrigerate this crack chicken for up to 2-3 days.
  • Freeze – Store this crack chicken (after shredding) in an airtight container for up to three months in the freezer.
Baked crack chicken breasts in a white baking dish, with a silver spatula lifting a serving out.

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Baked crack chicken breasts in a white baking dish, with a silver spatula lifting a serving out.
5 from 4 votes
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Crack Chicken

If you love ranch flavored everything, you’re going to adore this classic crack chicken recipe! Made in the crockpot or in your oven, it’s a cheesy family favorite meal that is sure to please.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
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Ingredients  

  • 1.5 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (or use chicken tenders instead)
  • 3 Tablespoons Ranch Seasoning One Packet
  • 8 Ounces Cream Cheese room temperature

To Garnish

  • 1 Cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • ½ Cup Bacon cooked and crumbled
  • ¼ Cup green onions chopped

Instructions 

Slow Cooker

  • In a slow cooker, add chicken breasts or tenders so they do not overlap. Sprinkle with ranch seasoning and cover in cream cheese. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or 6 hours on low.
  • If desired, shred (or leave whole) and top with bacon, cheese and green onions. Serve as a dip, toss with pasta or serve on cocktail buns.

Oven

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a large baking dish (9×13).
  • Pound chicken breasts or tenders to same thickness. Place in baking dish so they do not overlap.
  • Sprinkle chicken with ranch seasoning. Spread cream cheese on top. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar, and bacon.
  • Bake 20 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165°F. If desired, shred at this point. Or, garnish with green onions and serve as-is.

Julie’s Tips

Variations

  • Choose your favorite type of cheese.
  • A little hot sauce or buffalo sauce is a great way to add heat to this dish. Add one teaspoon, or to your preference.
  • Try this recipe with Fiesta Ranch seasoning instead.
  • Add diced chilies or jalapenos for extra spice!

Tips

  • Use a meat tenderizer to pound the chicken if one side of the chicken is a lot thicker than the other side. This will help it cook more evenly if you’re making crack chicken in the oven.
  • Don’t crowd the chicken – it’s important to give it space for even cooking.
  • You may need to warm your cream cheese a little to make it spreadable – or, simply purchase a tub of spreadable cream cheese instead.
  • Use this printable meat temperature chart to ensure doneness.

Video

Calories: 443kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 1067mg | Potassium: 535mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 779IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 1mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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4 Comments

  1. Anyone use cream of ‘soup’ and not cream cheese (I don’t care for cream cheese)…assuming it will have a thinner ‘sauce’ …serve over rice?

  2. 5 stars
    This sounds so fabulous. But how do you shred the chicken? Do you bake without the cheese and bacon, then shred? Then add the cheese and bacon, popping back in oven until cheese melts? I want to make this for my daughter’s Christmas Eve get together. Thanks in advance for giving clarity!