crack chicken casserole featured image
Crack Chicken Casserole is a delicious pasta dish that’s full of ooey-gooey cheese, tender chicken, and topped off with crunchy bacon. This casserole is the perfect quick and easy menu item for a busy night.
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Table of Contents
  1. Cheesy Creamy Chicken Casserole Recipe
  2. Why We Love This Crack Chicken Casserole Recipe
  3. Ingredients for Crack Chicken Casserole
  4. Additions & Substitutions
  5. How to Make Crack Chicken Casserole
  6. What to Serve with Crack Chicken
  7. How to Store Leftovers
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. More Great Casserole Recipes
  10. Crack Chicken Casserole Recipe

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!

crack chicken casserole hero

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.

crack chicken casserole on a plate

Why We Love This Crack Chicken Casserole Recipe

  • Easy weeknight meal.
  • Freezer safe and great for meal-prepping or make-ahead meals.
  • Perfect weeknight comfort food recipe.
  • Picky-eater approved.

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.
  • Butter
  • Yellow onion
  • Cream of chicken soup
  • Sour cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Milk
  • 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.
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How to Make Crack Chicken Casserole

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. 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.
  3. SAUTE: Cook butter and onions until translucent. Set aside.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.
  6. Pour the cooked chicken mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheddar cheese, bacon and the thinly sliced green onion on top.
  8. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

What to Serve with Crack Chicken

Serve this casserole along side a garden salad, Cheesy Pull-Apart Garlic Bread and Broccoli Salad.

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.

More Great Crack Chicken Recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called Crack Chicken

Crack chicken got its name from its addictively flavorful combination of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon, and ranch seasoning mix.

Can I use pre-cooked chicken?

We love to save a step and grab a rotisserie chicken from Costco or the grocery store.

Why is my crack chicken casserole watery?

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.

crack chicken casserole on a spoon

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

4.89 from 17 votes
crack chicken casserole featured image

Crack Chicken Casserole

Serves — 8
Crack Chicken Casserole is a delicious pasta dish that’s full of ooey-gooey cheese, tender chicken, and topped off with crunchy bacon. This casserole is the perfect quick and easy menu item for a busy night.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Jenn’s Notes

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.

Video

Nutrition Info

Calories: 771kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 170mg | Sodium: 1342mg | Potassium: 546mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1223IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 407mg | Iron: 2mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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Comments

  1. Nice recipe but…I am so tired of recipes using “crack” in the recipe. Can’t you people think of another name for a delicious recipe? Makes me think of butt crack or the seductive substance. Get a new name!

    1. I’m pretty sure this is already a popular title and therefore would not make sense to call it something else or nobody would find Jenn’s version of this recipe. The old adage of “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” could be applied here. People who work to provide free content, like Jenn, can use appreciate for their effort. Thanks for the recipe Jenn. I wouldn’t have found it if you had called it something else.

    2. Hey Toni – Cara nailed it! It is all about helping people find the recipe – this is how people know it and if I call it something else, google won’t show it to you. I hear you and understand your comment – but unfortunately this is the name of the recipe!

    3. 5 stars
      I’m glad it is called that because that is what caught my eye and because my roommate makes cracked up mac and cheese and that is addicting. Just change the name of it when you make your own

  2. 5 stars
    This was very good. The word crack just means it’s addicting. The fact that your thinking “sexual substance and body parts, speaks volumes.
    Anyway, thanks for sharing your recipe.

    1. I think they were thinking drugs as far as crack goes. ANYWAY, I am making this for the super bowl today! Thanks for the recipe! 💖😃

  3. 3 stars
    Ordinarily, I would pass this by because of the calories but there are several places to cut calories. Love the ingredients and I’m sure this will be a great special event casserole.

  4. 5 stars
    I forgot the cream, but it still worked out beautifully! I used peameal bacon because I prefer it’s taste. I also didn’t have time for the fried onions. It was still great. It did take longer to prep but it was my first try, so I’m sure I can speed it up next time. Ooh! I also threw bread crumbs on the top to get that crispy topping. This is a new family fave! Thanks Jenn 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    I think I need to think about ways I may be able to cut down my prep time as if the way I did it my first time is how I did it every time…it would not be a busy work night dinner. LOL! But…even so it would be worth it! Thanks for this and all your other yummy recipes!!!

  6. BTW: I’m also from Michigan. Bloomfield Hills is a lovely community.
    My husband just gave this recipe a ‘fantastic’ and ‘love it’!

  7. I made this, thinking I had canned chicken. By the time I realized I did not, I didn’t want to take more time cooking chicken. But I had tuna. I used 3 cans, and my kids loved it! My 2 youngest (5 & 7) don’t even like tuna. It was delicious!