Crack Chicken Casserole is an easy recipe made with rotisserie chicken, cooked pasta, bacon and cheddar cheese in a creamy ranch sauce. A great recipe for busy weeknights and a delicious way to use up leftover chicken.
My whole family loves this easy crack chicken casserole recipe! It's rich, gooey, cheesy creamy -- in other words absolute comfort food!
This creamy chicken casserole is basically chicken bacon ranch casserole. It has the classic flavors of ranch, bacon, cheddar cheese and chicken in one delicious meal.
Personally, that's what I call it, but many people call this crack chicken because you can't stop eating once you start. My son went back for thirds!
You only need a few simple ingredients to make this easy chicken casserole. If you don't have them at home, you can find them in your grocery store.
- Leftover chicken -- cooked chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken. 3 to 4 cups cubed chicken works best.
- Pasta -- elbows, penne or shells work well in this dish. Cook the pasta before you start assembling the casserole
- Ranch packet -- dry ranch seasoning mix for that delicious ranch flavor
- Cream of chicken soup -- an easy way to add creaminess and flavor
- Sour cream -- adds flavor and enhances the ranch flavor
- Milk -- or cream to thin the cream soup a little
- Cheese -- shredded cheddar cheese, Colby Jack or cheddar blend work well. I highly recommend shredding your own cheese for extra creaminess.
- Bacon --because, bacon! At least 5 strips cooked crispy bacon, crumbled or chopped
- Seasoning -- onion powder, garlic powder and salt or pepper, to taste
- Green onions or fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
How to Make Easy Crack Chicken Casserole
First, make the ranch sauce. Add the ranch seasoning packet, seasoning, sour cream, cream of chicken soup and milk to a large bowl, and stir to combine.
I use a large spoon, but you can use a hand mixer if you like.
Next, add the chicken, cooked pasta, 1 cup of the cheese and half of the bacon to the bowl.
Mix everything together. The mixture should be thick and creamy.
Now, spread the chicken mixture into a prepared baking dish or casserole dish. I use a 9 x 13 baking dish for this easy meal.
Finally, add the remaining cheese on top of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle the remaining pieces of bacon on top of the cheese.
Place the casserole into an oven preheated to 350 degrees f. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until casserole is bubbling and cheese is melted.
How to Store, Freeze and Reheat
Store leftover chicken casserole in an airtight container in your refrigerator. It keeps fresh for up to 4 days. Reheat the casserole in your microwave or oven.
Freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. You can make crack chicken casserole ahead of time and freeze for later.
Freeze in a freezer safe container wrapped in aluminum foil. Omit the last layer of cheese and add right before baking.
Because this dish is so rich, you want to keep the side dishes light and simple. Serve a simple side salad of fresh greens. Cooked broccoli or green beans are a great choice, as well.
If you are making crack chicken without pasta, it will have more liquid. Crack chicken casserole is creamy, not watery.
For a low carb version, you can make this cheesy crack chicken casserole without pasta. Just omit the milk.
If you don't have cooked chicken on hand, cook chicken breasts in the oven. You can also make this with leftover turkey!
There are several ways to enjoy this easy crack chicken recipe. For an Instant Pot version, try my Instant Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta.
Crack Chicken Casserole Recipe
- 1 oz dry ranch seasoning 1 packet
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 can cream of chicken soup 10 oz
- ½ cup milk or cream
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 cups cooked chicken cubed
- 2 cups dry elbow macaroni cooked according to package directions
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 6 slices cooked bacon about 1 cup chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees f
- In a large bowl, add the dry ranch seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, sour cream, cream soup and milk, and stir to combine
- Add the cooked chicken, cooked pasta, 1 cup cheese and half the bacon. Mix well
- Grease baking pan with non stick spray or butter, and spread the chicken mixture evenly in baking pan
- Top with remaining shredded cheese and bacon
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
I hope you enjoy this baked crack chicken casserole as much as my entire family does. It's a great way to use up leftover chicken, and even my picky eaters had seconds!
If you do make this easy casserole, please leave a star rating and/or comment.
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