Yes, you heard it right. There is such a thing called Crack Chicken. In fact, it’s very popular. Why? It is as good as it looks. It’s creamy, cheesy, and deliciously addictive. See, that’s why the name… crack chicken! And it’s a super easy recipe to make, which is a huge bonus.
This recipe only requires a handful of ingredients. And if you let that crockpot or even insta pot work for you, life couldn’t be easier. While it’s cooking on its own, you can just relax or do whatever else you want. When it’s ready, open the lid and just pause and drool for a minute! 🙂
Only one hitch… Do NOT count calories for this one… Just enjoy… 🙂
This might be one of the laziest recipes on GypsyPlate. It’s a “throw 5 ingredients in the crockpot” lazy recipe. You might want a couple of garnishings later when you are ready to serve. And boy, when it comes to serving you can serve it in a hundred different ways.
No wonder it quickly gained popularity among moms and bachelors alike. And if you look at the ingredients, you’ll see why it’s beloved by low carbers and keto followers.
What is Crack Chicken?
Any recipe or food with “crack” at the beginning of the name simply suggests it’s very addictive. Some super cheesy, creamy lusciousness.
For example, crack dip (by the way, crack chicken has its origin in this dip). You must be familiar with it from those potluck parties or get togethers.
That dip made from cream cheese, ranch seasoning, bacon bits, cheddar and maybe mayo or sour cream. Something to keep on dipping your crackers in indefinitely.
Well, some genius must have thought to add chicken into the mix. And just like that, crack chicken was born. Easy. No culinary expertise needed here.
Why this Recipe Works
- Bold Flavors: The combination of Ranch flavor, crispy bacon, and cheddar cheese gives this dish a mouthwatering, savory kick. Each bite is a flavor explosion that will leave you craving more!
- Ease of Preparation: Whether you’re using a crock pot or Instant Pot, this great recipe is incredibly easy to assemble. Toss in your simple ingredients and let the appliance do most of the work for you.
- Creamy Goodness: The addition of cream cheese provides an irresistible creamy texture. Combined with melted cheddar, this dish is a cheesy wonderland you won’t want to escape from.
- Crowd-Pleaser: Whether it’s a family dinner or a potluck with friends, this recipe is always a hit. The aromas alone will have everyone gathered around the table in anticipation.
- Meal Prep-Friendly: Make a large batch and you’ve got an easily reheatable meal for busy days.
- Perfect for a Keto Diet: This is a super low carb dish that the whole family will enjoy.
The first four are key ingredients to any crack chicken. After that you can take it wherever you fancy. For exact measurements, see the recipe card.
- Cheese – To create that creamy cheesiness, you need two types of cheese, full-fat cream cheese and cheddar cheese.
- Ranch seasoning – It gets that popular flavor from this seasoning. No other will do. 🙂
- Bacon – Albeit it goes as a garnishing in the end. But it elevates the flavor in every single bite. You can use store bought bacon bits, but we don’t recommend them. It’s worth every bite to cook that bacon in a pan and crumble for garnishing. This would only take 10 extra minutes.
- Chicken – Of course.
Additional ingredients we are using today:
- Chicken broth – This helps to make your crack chicken creamy rather than pasty.
- Green onion – Thinly sliced, as garnishing.
What Cut of Chicken to Use
Lots of people make their keto crack chicken with chicken breasts. It’s easy to shred once cooked.
Today we used boneless skinless chicken thighs, which are our favorite for their flavor and tenderness. At the end it’s a personal choice, or what’s available in your home.
Whether you prefer white or dark meat, I do suggest boneless skinless cuts.
How to Make Crockpot Crack Chicken
Simply add chicken into the crockpot along with chicken broth. Sprinkle ranch seasoning all over the chicken, followed by cream cheese (I cut the cream cheese into small pieces).
Cover the lid, and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6-7 hours… Yup, easy slow cooker recipe!!
Some time during the day, cook the bacon and crumble to sprinkle over the finished crack chicken later.
Once cooked, shred chicken with 2 forks right in the crock, no need to take it out to a plate to shred. That’s one less dish to wash later. Swirl it around with all the sauce.
Add in shredded cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Cover again with the lid and cook until the cheese melts into cheddary goodness. Sprinkle on the green onions and it’s ready to dig in.
Instant Pot Crack Chicken
Add chopped bacon to the instant pot and set to SAUTE mode. Cook until crisp and brown. Remove bacon and any extra fat.
Add in chicken broth, chicken and ranch seasoning. Secure pressure cooker lid, select MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK, and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Open the lid and shred the chicken with 2 forks.
Switch to SAUTE mode again. Stir in cream cheese and mix well till it melts. Add in shredded cheddar cheese, bacon bits and cook till cheddar cheese melts a bit. Garnish with green onions and serve.
- We used sharp cheddar cheese today, but you can play with your cheese. Try Monterey Jack or pimento cheese.
- You can use flavored cream cheese instead of plain. Think jalapeno, garlic or herb cream cheese.
- Try some more add-ins, like spinach. Or try additional toppings like sautéed mushrooms, French fried onions, sun dried tomatoes or olives.
- Top the crack chicken with BBQ sauce. Intrigued?? You will be amazed how well the flavors go together.
How to Serve Crack Chicken
- Serve it as crack chicken dip. It’s a sure shot winner at parties, pot lucks and get together. Dunk in crackers, tortilla chips, pretzels, carrots and celery sticks. Let them come.
- On hamburger buns, sliders or pitas. Toast the buns or pitas and load them with the shredded chicken. We like to add a splash of hot sauce too.
- Grilled crack chicken sandwich. Put some crack chicken between two bread slices. Butter up the sides and grill it as you would a grilled cheese sandwich.
- Wrapped in a tortilla or taco.
- It’s a great filling for quesadillas or crunchy wraps.
- Pasta & noodles. Stir fusilli or bow tie pasta with crack chicken and your wholesome dinner is DONE.
- Over good old white rice or mashed or baked potatoes.
- Stuff it in bell peppers and bake.
- Low carb options: Serve it over your favorite salad. Or heap it up over sautéed or steamed broccoli, asparagus or green beans… all yum. Have it over cauliflower fried rice or zoodles. Try it in lettuce wraps… Everything works with this crack chicken!
Try them all, and let me know your favorite way to enjoy!
Leftovers and Storage
You can actually double up this keto chicken recipe and save it for future meal options. It’s a great meal prep contender.
This refrigerates well for 3-4 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze it in freezer bags or containers up to a couple of months.
When ready to eat, simply thaw and reheat it in the microwave or oven.
- Quality Ingredients: Always go for fresh chicken and good quality cheese.
- Bacon Bits: Go for thick-cut bacon to get those hearty, crunchy bits that hold up well in the creamy mixture. The bacon is the star crunch factor here, don’t skimp on it!
- Cream Cheese Softening: Soften the cream cheese at room temperature before adding it to the pot. This helps it melt more easily and blend smoothly into the sauce.
- Don’t Rush the Cooking Time: The magic happens over time. Whether you’re using a crock pot or Instant Pot, resist the urge to rush the cooking process. The slower the chicken cooks, the more tender and flavorful it becomes.
- Garnish Generously: Don’t underestimate the power of garnish. Those diced scallions add a fresh crunch and a pop of color that makes the dish not only taste incredible but also look restaurant-worthy.
Give this online sensation a try this week. Who doesn’t want an easy and lazy meal that is crackingly addictive? This crack chicken… make it for your family on busy weeknights and dig in whichever way you want!
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Crack Chicken, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 2 lbs chicken - boneless skinless thighs or breasts
- 1 packet (1 oz) Ranch seasoning
- 2 (8oz) blocks cream cheese
- 6 strips bacon
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1.5 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3 scallions, diced
Crock pot method
- Add chicken and chicken broth into crock pot. Sprinkle ranch seasoning all over the chicken. Place cream cheese cubes over everything evenly. Close the lid and cook 4-5 hours on high or 6-7 on low.
- Cook the bacon crisp and crumble it to use later.
- Once chicken is cooked, remove lid and shred the chicken in crock pot itself with the help of 2 forks.
- Top with cheddar cheese and bacon. Replace lid and cook for a few minutes until cheese is melted.
- Garnish with diced scallion and serve.
Instant pot method
- Add chopped bacon to the instant pot and set to SAUTE mode. Cook until crisp and brown. Remove bacon and any extra fat.
- Add in chicken broth, chicken and ranch seasoning. Secure lid. Select MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
- Open the lid and shred the chicken with 2 forks. Switch IP to SAUTE mode again. Stir in cream cheese. Mix well till it melts. Add in shredded cheese and bacon and cook till cheddar melts.
- Switch off the IP. Garnish it with diced scallions
- Serve as a dip, in sandwiches, atop pasta or rice. For keto options, serve with zoodles or use a bell pepper stuffing.
- Soften the cream cheese at room temperature before adding it to the pot. This helps it melt more easily and blend smoothly into the sauce.
- Don't underestimate the power of garnish. Those diced scallions add a fresh crunch and a pop of color that makes the dish not only taste incredible but also look restaurant-worthy.
- This refrigerates well for 3-4 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze it in freezer bags or containers up to a couple of months.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 568Total Fat 38gSaturated Fat 14gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 20gCholesterol 215mgSodium 680mgCarbohydrates 2gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 52g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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