Crack chicken casserole is creamy, cheesy, bacon-filled goodness that your family is going to want on repeat. It’s the perfect comfort food and ready in 30 minutes!
Crack chicken is just too good. You can’t go wrong with juicy chicken in a creamy ranch sauce, smothered in melted cheese. You can make it in the slow cooker as well as in dip form! Crack chicken dip is a must-make for any party or get-together.
Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole Recipe
If you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal that will have your kids licking their plates… this is it. Crack chicken casserole is easily one of my family’s favorite dinners. Made with shredded chicken, a cream cheese ranch sauce, crumbled bacon, and shredded colby jack cheese, it’s going to have everyone wanting seconds. (Or thirds! If you have ravenous teenagers like me, you may want to make a double batch.)
Crack chicken casserole is so easy to whip up and uses the simplest ingredients. Once you’ve got your tasty ranch sauce mixed up, all you have to is put everything in a baking dish and throw it in the oven! Dinner recipes that my picky eaters will actually touch and that are easy to make seem so few and far between, but crack chicken casserole checks all the boxes. It’s the ultimate comfort food and will have you hooked after the first bite!
Crack chicken casserole is a super affordable dinner and uses a lot of pantry staples to make your life a little easier! It’s a great recipe for using up leftover shredded chicken if you have it. You can find exact measurements for each ingredient in the recipe card below.
- Bowtie Pasta: You’ll want this to be cooked according to package directions and drained. You can also use elbow macaroni for a fun twist on mac and cheese.
- Shredded Chicken: You can cook and shred your own chicken breasts or pick up a rotisserie chicken from the store for easy prep. You can also use chicken thighs if you prefer.
- Cream Cheese: Acts as the base for the creamy sauce.
- Sour Cream: Gives the crack chicken casserole the perfect tangy flavor!
- Dry Ranch Dressing: Dry ranch dressing mix gives the creamy sauce delicious savory flavor. You can use prepackaged mix or make your own blend free of preservatives using my recipe here.
- Onion Powder: Adds rich, savory flavor throughout the dish.
- Black Pepper: Gives your casserole a boost of flavor.
- Half and Half: Adds the perfect creaminess!
- Bacon: Use precooked bacon or bacon bits for easy preparation.
- Shredded Colby Jack Cheese: Melty, flavorful cheese works the best here. You can substitute this with Monterey jack or cheddar cheese as well.
- Green Onion: Chopped green onions make the perfect flavorful garnish!
How to Make Crack Chicken Casserole
In just 30 minutes, you’ll have cheesy, bubbly goodness fresh out of the oven and ready to be devoured. It’s such an easy recipe but a real crowd-pleaser!
- Preheat Oven, Prep Casserole Dish: Preheat the oven to 375º Fahrenheit. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- Mix Sauce Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, ranch seasoning, onion powder, and pepper. Mix to combine using an electric hand mixer.
- Add Half and Half: Pour in the half and half and mix until incorporated.
- Combine: Fold in the cooked chicken, pasta, chopped bacon, and 1 cup of shredded cheese.
- Add to Casserole Dish, Bake: Transfer mixture to the prepared dish. Top with the remaining ½ cup shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
- Add Garnish and Serve: Top with diced green onions and more chopped bacon if you would like!
Tips for the Best Crack Chicken Casserole
Crack chicken casserole is as addictive as the name suggests! Here are a few simple ways to make it taste even better!
- Use Rotisserie Chicken: Picking up a rotisserie chicken from the store makes this recipe so easy! I also love how tender and flavorful rotisserie chicken is, it makes this casserole even yummier!
- Use Homemade Ranch Mix: Prepackaged ranch mix works great if you already have it on hand, but if you really want to take this recipe up a notch, try making your own blend of ranch seasoning mix! It has the most amazing flavor and is free of preservatives and artificial flavors! You can find my full recipe here.
- Grate Your Own Cheese: If you want the best possible flavor for your crack chicken casserole, grate your own cheese! It melts better and has a creamier flavor.
This crack chicken casserole stores and reheats perfectly! It’s such a tasty meal to have on hand throughout the week.
- In the Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
- To Reheat: Pop leftover crack chicken casserole in the microwave for 30-second intervals or until warmed through. You can also warm it over the stove on medium heat!
Crack Chicken Casserole
- 4 cups elbow pasta, cooked and drained (about 12 oz. uncooked)
- 3 cups boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 pkg dry ranch dressing
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 cup bacon chopped
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Colby jack cheese, divided
- green onion for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375º Fahrenheit. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, ranch seasoning, onion powder, and pepper. Mix to combine using an electric hand mixer.
Pour in the half and half and mix until incorporated.
Fold in the cooked chicken, pasta, chopped bacon, and 1 cup of shredded cheese.
Transfer mixture to the prepared dish. Top with the remaining ½ cup shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
Top with diced green onions and more chopped bacon if you would like!