This amazing Crack Chicken Casserole is the perfect dinner for busy weeknights. This easy-to-make casserole is loaded with bits of bacon, gooey cheese, and a creamy ranch dressing sauce, making it easy to please everyone in your family.
Not only does it make a great dinner dish, but it also reheats well for lunch the next day! Best of all, it’s easy to make and ready and on the table in less than one hour!
Table of Contents
- Cheesy Creamy Chicken Casserole Recipe
- Why We Love This Crack Chicken Casserole Recipe
- Ingredients for Crack Chicken Casserole
- Additions & Substitutions
- How to Make Crack Chicken Casserole
- What to Serve with Crack Chicken
- How to Store Leftovers
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Great Casserole Recipes
- Crack Chicken Casserole Recipe
Cheesy Creamy Chicken Casserole Recipe
It is called crack chicken for a reason. It’s because it is so incredibly addicting. It’s one of my favorite casserole dishes to make because it always gets raving reviews from those enjoying it. Beyond it’s tastiness, it’s also hearty and filling.
Not only is this a go-to of mine because of its delicious flavors, but also because it is insanely easy to put together.
I tend to keep most of the ingredients on hand, so when I need to make this last minute, it’s never a problem. It’s the perfect recipe for family dinners, but it also makes for a great dish to pass at a gathering or potluck-style meal.
If you haven’t tried crack chicken yet, you and your taste buds are going to be in for one heck of a treat. This cheesy, flavorful, pasta and chicken dish is so good. Time to get cooking.
Ingredients for Crack Chicken Casserole
- Dry elbow macaroni – you can substitute your favorite type of pasta. Bowtie pasta, penne and rigatoni also work great.
- Cooked skinless – boneless chicken breast this even easier by using a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
- Bacon – use bacon bits for super easy prep.
- Yellow onion
- Cream of chicken soup
- Sour cream
- Cream cheese
- Ranch dressing seasoning packet
- Black pepper
- Kosher salt
- Onion powder
- Shredded cheddar cheese – Monterey Jack or Colby Jack work as well.
- Green onion
Additions & Substitutions
- Pasta: You could use any type of small noodle in this casserole. Some other great options would be shells, bowtie, penne, or rotini noodles. I usually use whatever I have in the cupboards at home!
- Chicken: I love to use rotisserie chicken for this recipe. It makes it super easy to grab one at the grocery store!
- Bacon: If you don’t want to cook your own bacon and dice it into bits, you can simply purchase store-bought bacon bits. They are usually in the salad aisle!
- Shredded cheese: Shredded cheddar is a delicious way to top this casserole off, but there are plenty of other cheese options that would taste just as good. I have used colby, provolone, mozzarella, and monterey jack. All of them were great. You could also use a combination of more than one type of cheese.
- Half-and-half: While the half-and-half will make the casserole rich and creamy, you could also replace this with milk. If switching to milk it works best to use whole or 2%, but low fat would work as well.
How to Make Crack Chicken Casserole
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- BOIL: Cook macaroni until al dente. Drain and set aside.
PRO-TIP: It’s important to make sure that your noodles are done al dente. The reason is that you will bake them in the casserole after cooking them on the stovetop. If they are overcooked the first time, they will get soggy when cooked in the oven.
- SAUTE: Cook butter and onions until translucent. Set aside.
- MIX: Using a hand mixer, combine cream cheese, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, half-and-half, and ranch dressing mix. Continue mixing while adding kosher salt, black pepper and the onion powder.
- MIX: Transfer the sour cream mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add in the cooked macaroni, the cubed chicken breast, cooked yellow onion, 1 ½ cups of cheddar cheese and ¾ of a cup of the cooked bacon. Stir until all the ingredients are completely combined.
- Pour the cooked chicken mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheddar cheese, bacon and the thinly sliced green onion on top.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
What to Serve with Crack Chicken
How to Store Leftovers
In the Fridge: Leftover casserole should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. This is one recipe that is just as great for leftovers as it is the first time.
In the Freezer: This cheesy crack chicken casserole makes a wonderful freezer meal. Place in a freezer safe dish or container and cover tightly. Freeze for up to 2 months.
To reheat: Simply pop it in the microwave until warm. To bake from frozen, bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until hot throughout.
Frequently Asked Questions
Crack chicken got its name from its addictively flavorful combination of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon, and ranch seasoning mix.
We love to save a step and grab a rotisserie chicken from Costco or the grocery store.
If you used frozen chicken, you may end up with a watery casserole. We always try to use either fresh chicken or rotisserie chicken for this recipe.
More Great Casserole Recipes
Chili Cornbread Casserole|Chicken Fajita Casserole |Pizza Casserole | Lasagna Casserole | Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole |Dorito Casserole | Chicken Pot Pie Casserole | Hamburger Casserole | Chicken Foil Packets | Chili Cheese Dog Casserole | Sweet Potato Casserole
Crack Chicken Casserole
- 1½ cups dry elbow macaroni
- 3 cups cooked skinless – boneless chicken breast cubed
- 16 slices bacon cooked and diced (this measures 1 ½ cups once cooked)
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup undiluted
- 2 cups sour cream
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- ¼ milk or half-and-half
- 1 ounce packet ranch dressing seasoning
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
- 1 green onion sliced thin
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Lightly spray a 9×13 baking dish.
- Fill a medium sized saucepan ¾ of the way with water. Bring to a low rolling boil and add elbow macaroni. Cook the macaroni until it is al dente. Drain the macaroni and set aside.
- In a medium size skillet add the butter and diced onions. Cook over a medium high heat, stirring the onions with a wooden spoon to ensure even cooking for about 5 – 7 minutes. They should be translucent and starting to turn golden/light golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, add the softened cream cheese,cream of chicken soup, sour cream, milk or half-and-half and the 1 oz pkg of ranch dressing powder.
- Using a handheld mixer, combine the sour cream mixture on medium speed until creamy.
- Continue mixing on low and add the kosher salt, black pepper and the onion powder. Mix until well combined.
- Transfer the sour cream mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add in the cooked macaroni, the cubed chicken breast, cooked yellow onion, 1 ½ cups of cheddar cheese and ¾ of a cup of the cooked bacon. Using a large wooden spoon, stir until all the ingredients are completely combined.
- Pour the chicken mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheddar cheese, bacon and the thinly sliced green onion.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top layer of cheese is melted and gooey.