Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet

Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole is the perfect dish to feed a large crowd. Deliciously cheesy and loaded with tender chicken and topped with crispy bacon.

Crack Chicken has been a hit on the blog since I posted this easy Instant Pot Crack Chicken that also includes a crockpot version. The recipe was so popular that you guys asked for a casserole version and here it is, an easy Crack Chicken Casserole recipe. Loaded with chicken, pasta, lots of cheese and obviously bacon.

Casserole Recipes are very popular on the blog. Our Sweet Potato Casserole was made by hundreds of people and we have received many emails and comments about how great it is. This Chicken Spaghetti Casserole and Turkey Tetrazzini are great options for busy weeknights, making dinner easier and bonus point for delicious leftovers. Looking for more Mac and Cheese recipes? Our Mac and Cheese Casserole is incredibly popular, and it makes sense why it’s absolutely fantastic.

Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole

Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole

Crack Chicken Casserole is a hearty dinner that is perfect to feed a crowd, or if you are looking to have some delicious leftovers for the next day. It reheats pretty well, and omg it just tastes amazing. This casserole is actually a baked chicken Mac’n’Cheese, but hey, Crack Chicken sounds so much more appealing, right?

Please don’t ask me how many calories this has, I honestly don’t care, because it’s that amazing. If you stick to normal portions, don’t worry, you will be fine. This recipe is pretty easy to make, you have a few ingredients to brown, after that, you combine everything and bake it. You can even make a Buffalo version, by mixing in a cup of Buffalo sauce, how tasty does that sound?

Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole with Bacon

What do you need to make Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole Recipe?

  • Chicken – you can use chicken breasts or the same equivalent of boneless/skinless chicken thighs. Use your favorite sausage in this recipe, just brown it a bit.
  • You will need cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Replace the cheddar cheese with Mozzarella, Provolone, Mexican blend cheese, Italian blend cheese, Gruyere or Pepper Jack Cheese if you prefer so.
  • Dry Ranch Mix – mmmm this is what makes this dish so amazing, but you can totally skip it if you don’t like Ranch.
  • Pasta – I used elbow pasta, shells will also work great!
  • Veggies – I used some bell pepper and onion, you can also add some carrot, green peas, corn or mushrooms.

Can you freeze Crack Chicken Casserole?

  • To freeze, transfer the mixture to a buttered 9-by-13-inch freezer-to-oven baking dish.
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 2 months.
  • Bake, frozen and covered with foil, at 350°F, for 1 hour.

Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole Recipe from Scratch

Can you make Crack Chicken Casserole in the slow cooker?

Yes, yes  you can and here is how:

  • Do NOT cook the pasta.
  • Skip the flour.
  • Follow the instructions to brown all the ingredients.
  • Replace the 3 cups of milk with 2 cups whole milk and 2 12- ounce cans evaporated milk and skip preparing the Cheesy Mixture.
  • Add the uncooked pasta, browned chicken and veggies to the slow cooker. Cube the cream cheese and add it to the slow cooker. Add the cream of chicken soup.
  • Add the shredded cheese.
  • Stir all the ingredients to combine.
  • Cook on low for 90 minutes to 2 hours. Check after 60 minutes and give the mixture a stir. After that check every 20-30 minutes and stir.
  • Serve when ready.

Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole Tips:

  • You do not have to cover the casserole with foil when baking.
  • Skip the panko bread crumbs and use this Buttery Cracker mixture for extra flavor like in this Pineapple Casserole.
  • You can eat this Crack Chicken casserole without baking it, just make sure the chicken is fully cooked before adding it to the dish.
  • If you want a truly creamy texture, like unbelievably creamy, it is best to not use pre-shredded cheese. Take the extra few minutes and shred your own cheese.
  • You don’t need to rinse the cooked pasta for this recipe especially if you will be using pre-shredded cheese, this way the starch from the pasta will thicken the sauce.

Looking for more Casserole Recipes? Check these out:

Save Recipe
5 from 31 reviews
Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 8 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hr

Ingredients

  • 3 cups  uncooked elbow macaroni 

Bacon:

  • 2 tablespoons  butter 
  • 12 slices  bacon  (diced into 1-2 inch pieces)

Chicken:

  • 1.5-2 lbs  uncooked chicken  (cubed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon  ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 tablespoon  paprika 

Veggies:

  • 1  green bell pepper  (diced)
  • 1 medium  onion  (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons  minced garlic 

Cheesy Mixture:

  • 3 tablespoons  butter 
  • 1/3 cup  all-purpose flour 
  • 3 cups  milk 
  • 1 package  Dry Ranch Mix  (optional)
  • 1 package  (8oz) cream cheese  (room temperature)
  • 3 cups  shredded Cheddar cheese 
  • 1 can  (10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup, condensed 

Toppings:

  •  Cooked bacon 
  • 1 cup  shredded cheddar cheese 
  • 1/4 cup  panko crispy bread crumbs  (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cook and drain macaroni as directed on package.

Cook Bacon:

  1. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, melt two tablespoons of butter and cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until crispy. Remove from skillet and set aside. Drain grease, leaving only about 2 tablespoons in the skillet.

Cook Chicken:

  1. Add the cubed chicken to the skillet, season with salt, pepper and paprika. Cook stirring frequently, until golden and no longer pink in the center. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Cook Veggies:

  1. Add diced onion, diced bell pepper and minced garlic to the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and tender. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Cheesy Mixture:

  1. In same skillet, on medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in flour with whisk until a paste forms.
  2. Gradually stir in milk, beating with the whisk.
  3. Stir in Ranch Mix if using.
  4. Stir in condensed cream of chicken soup and cream cheese until fully combined.
  5. Stir in 3 cups of cheddar cheese. Remove from heat.

Combine:

  1. In a large bowl combine: cooked pasta, chicken, veggies and cheese mixture. Stir well to combine and transfer to a 13x9-inch (3-quart) baking dish.
  2. Top with the cooked bacon, 1 cup shredded cheese and sprinkle some bread crumbs on top if desired.

Bake:

  1. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and cheese is fully melted.

  2. Serve and enjoy!
0 Calories: 958 Carbohydrates: 58 Protein: 40 Fat: 62 Saturated Fat: 30 Cholesterol: 188 Sodium: 1172 Potassium: 590 Fiber: 2 Sugar: 8 Vitamin A: 1710 Vitamin C: 13.6 Calcium: 577 Iron: 2.7
Save Recipe

Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole

Get free recipes to your inbox!

Comments

Leave a reply

Dorothy at Shockinglydelish

My kids are going to go crazy for this! Four of their favorite things... chicken, bacon, ranch and cheese!

Reply

Loved this dish. Next time I will replace chicken with shrimp and crab.

Reply

Chrissie Baker

Oh YUM! Love everything about this recipe! Now, this recipe will be one of my favorites. Looks incredible!

Reply

Dan Zehr

Wow, how amazing does that look! I'm sure this is incredibly delicious!

Reply

Katerina @ diethood .com

My family would LOVE this!! It looks and sounds incredibly delicious!! YUM!!

Reply

Krista

I love a good cheesy dessert! I would have to have a big scoop!

Reply

Cathy

This would be a total winner!

Reply

Cathy Iona

Yum! Seems like a perfect dinner dish for happy family)))

Reply

Liren | Kitchen Confidante

Love that this can be made in the slow cooker!

Reply

Toni | Boulder Locavore

This would be an amazing dinner for tonight!

Reply

Stefano Caputo

Best Mac and Cheese Bacon combo ever had Big hit for Bar B-Q.

Reply

John

This must be an amazing ;)

Reply

Amber

I’ve made this recipe last weekend and I loved it. Was rich and something different than regula casserole. Was a fan!

Reply

Anaisa

Nice and delish dish, we wanted to try this one and we loved it! Thanks

Reply

Its so hearty and good!

Reply

Cindy

We saw this recipe and my husband wanted to try it, so we gave it a shot)) it was very tasty and we really loved it. Perfect for bigger gathering as well. 

Reply

I am very happy that you enjoyed it!

Reply

nancy

this is delicious. we loved it a lot this is delicious!

Reply

I just made this! Omg 😮  Is delish!! Ty for the recipe! i. e. .... increased salt ( variety )  And pepper. Used can. Chicken just added the spices to it ,did not cook. Everything else went by recipe.  Oooooohhhhhhh yummmmmmmm 👍👍👍👍👍

Reply

Candy

You mentioned chicken broth instead of water, but I don’t see water in the recipe. 

Reply

sorry, I have removed that.

Reply

Cole M Novotny

Whoa my heart just stopped looking at this! Clogged arteries aside I bet it tastes great.

Reply

Irina

I love this casserole its by far the best!! I made it for a church potluck and everyone loved it and kept asking for the recipe! The sauce, the flavors are AMAZING! Plan on making it for Thanksgiving again! Highly reccomend it! Thank you for the great recipe!

Reply

Hi Irina, happy that you liked it. Thank you for the feedback!

Reply

candy

This is one of those comfort foods that will warm you up and fill you up with all the carbs and that cream cheese makes it rich and creamy.  Sounds like something my family would like of course.

Reply

Lisa Murano

Thanks for the recipe, it sounds amazing! I'm not part of the instant pot crowd so an oven baked cassarole is more my speed!Lisa

Reply

Amber Myers

This looks like my kind of casserole. I love cheese and I love bacon, so I can see why it's called crack chicken casserole. Yum!

Reply

Jeanette

I think I'm definitely going to make this soon. This is making my mouth water just looking at the screen. There is nothing in this meal that we don't like. I cannot wait to try it.

Reply

MELANIE EDJOURIAN

OMG this sounds like heaven!!! I love all the ingredients and love that you have included bacon and cheese to add extra flavour. I'm sure my kids would be very happy if I made it for them for dinner tonight x

Reply

Tomi C

Love, love, love a good casserole. Thanks for including the crock pot instructions for this dish as I am all about set it and forget it.

Reply

Tasheena

This recipe looks so savory. I love that this can be made in the crockpot as well. It would be perfect for my upcoming meal plan. 

Reply

Melanie

I know some may like this for the cheese, but I am in it for the bacon! This looks like a great holiday casserole for gatherings.

Reply

Sarah Bailey

OK now this sounds like my kind of casserole - all that cheese! Definitely seems like it would feel like a bit of a comfort meal on a cold night.

Reply

Pam

This sounds like the perfect cold weather casserole. Everyone loves chicken with bacon and ranch.

Reply

Melissa

Wow! This cheesy crack chicken casserole looks AMAZING! I know my family would flip for it! Gotta add it to the menu plan!

Reply

Heather

So I don't eat meat BUT... my family would LOVE this! They are all about cheese. Add bacon in there and they are your bestie for life.

Reply

Jona Shares

Drool over the finish produch for a while. I definitely would try this out for my hubby. I am sure he would love it.

Reply

Gervin Khan

Yes I agree that this is a combination of mac and cheese and bacon cheese recipe. I can't really say that it's not delicious because it is delicious and a winner recipe for my whole family.

Reply

Chubskulit Rose

This is a dish my kids would love. You inspired me to try this recipe today since I have all the ingredients, thanks.

Reply

Marysa

I haven't made a casserole in ages. This sounds like a crowd pleaser and perfect for guests. Not to mention a nice, warm comfort meal for the cold weather!

Reply

Natalie

I am sharing this recipe with my family. I am sure they would really enjoy this casserole.

Reply

Terri Steffes

I can see why it is called crack! That looks so addicting. I also think it looks like an amazing fall dish, to serve when it's chilly outside and all you want to do is sit around a fire.

Reply

Debra

This sounds absolutely amazing! I am going to have to try this, as you had me at bacon!

Reply

Patricia Musil

Can you use egg noodles instead of elbow macaroni?

Reply

Yes!!! Use your favorite pasta :)

Reply

Doug

Looks amazing.  Can’t wait to try it!

Reply

Lisa

This was delicious!  I used rigatoni and bacon bits and added corn (since that's what I had on hand) and it was amazing!  Thanks for a great recipe!

Reply

Maria Lucci

This is an easy and very delicious casserole. My husband and son ate it all at once))) we love how easy and tasty this casserole is, really great and easy recipe!!!

Reply

Lee xian

Super easy, tasty and delicious recipe! I made it last night for our family and everyone loved it! Really easy to make and tastes amazing!

Reply

Carol Erhardt

Had all the ingredients in my house and have been wanting to make this! Love the all in one pan for bacon, chicken and veggies and cheesy mixture! Less dishes to wash! Had it for supper tonite and totally Delish! Also buttered broccoli! ONly  thing is I have enough for the whole week unless I can talk my coworker to have some tomorrow! Easy to make and the taste is great!

Reply

Dawn

Can you assemble this before hand and cook later?

Reply

yes!!!!! You can! Just cover and refrigerate, bake when ready!

Reply

Corina

The best chicken casserole I have ever made. It is so indulgent and fulm of flavor! I added lots of bacon through the mixture too and it was so good!

Reply

Lynn Szatkowski

Excellent! My 3 year old granddaughter is a picky eater but a huge fan of ranch dressing and cheese. She absolutely loved it! Everyone thought it was delicious.

Reply

Taylor

I tried this tonight but added my win little twist bc I hate cream cheese ? but it turned out so good 

Reply

Lisa Boysen

This is the BOMB..absolutely delicious!! The best ever!!! I have the whole extended family coming over tonight to share this wo wonderful new favorite!!!! Wish I could post a picture....

Reply

Hello Lisa, thanks for the kind words. We are really happy you enjoyed it, it's really an amazing and quick dish to make! Leftovers are equally delicious!

Reply

Shannon

I'm wanting to try this tonight but only have cream of mushroom on hand not cream of chicken, wondering if that would work with a little chicken bouillon? Had anyone tried this?

Reply

It will work fine and it will be delicious!

Reply

Pilcher

My husband is gluten-free so what alternative could I use for the all purpose flour? Thanks!

Reply

You can try gluten-free flour, or white rice flour, almond flour.

Reply

Linda

How many does this fees?

Reply

We noted the serving size on the recipe card but depends how hungry your guests are, would say about 6 to 8.

Reply

Katrina Rogers

I didn't have any whole chicken breasts on hand, but I did have 3 cans of the chuck chicken breast. Cut down the cooking time about 30 minutes and still tasted amazing! Also used real bacon bits instead of cooking bacon. We chose this last minute for dinner so we were kinda on a crunch for time. My husband and children loved it! Definitely have enough for left overs tonight. We are a family of 7, I'll definitely be making this again, thank you!

Reply

I am so happy that you loved it!!

Reply

dee

My family absolutely love this dish. Thank you so much.

Reply

Kristin

Made this ahead this morning to serve for dinner tonight.  So I cannot speak for my family, but I tasted as I was assembling.  It has a deliciously rich flavor and I know it will be a hit.For my family, I knew after tasting that I needed to add a little kick.  I dumped in a 7oz can of chopped green chilies.  Next time I will add some diced Serrano peppers to the onion/pepper mix as well.  Thanks for the recipe!  I was needing something new to have in my rotation.

Reply

I am so happy you loved it, its a great recipe!

Reply

Janice Accamando

I made this over the weekend. It is fantastic. My only problem was the prep time, the recipe said 30 minutes. Maybe it was me, but it took me 1 1/2 hours!My question is, since there was so much, I froze a good portion but didn't read your freezing instructions until after it was in the freezer and I didn't butter the baking dish. Will this be a problem when I reheat this?

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin
Share
Tweet