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 crock pot version. The recipe was so popular that you guys asked for a casserole version and here it is, and easy Crack Chicken Casserole recipe. Loaded with chicken, pasta, lots of cheese and obviously bacon.

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 its 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?

Looking for more Casserole Recipes? Check these out:

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Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole

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. You can also use your favorite sausage, just brown it a bit.
  • You will need cream cheese and cheddar cheese. You can also replace the cheddar cheese with Mozzarella, Provolone, Mexican blend cheese, Italian blend cheese, Gruyere or Pepper Jack Cheese.
  • 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

Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole Tips:

  • You do not have to cover the casserole with foil when baking.
  • You can skip the panko bread crumbs.
  • 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 shredded 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.

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 is the perfect dish to feed a large crowd. Deliciously cheesy and loaded with tender chicken and topped with crispy bacon.
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5 from 21 votes

Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole

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.

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!
Recipe Notes

Here is a step-by-step video of how to make the Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole Recipe:

Calories: 958, Fat: 62g, Saturated Fat: 30g, Cholesterol: 188mg, Sodium: 1172mg, Potassium: 590mg, Carbohydrates: 58g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 8g, Protein: 40g, Vitamin A: 34.2%, Vitamin C: 16.5%, Calcium: 57.7%, Iron: 14.9%

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