Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
Updated:
Published:
5 from 42 reviews

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 points 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.

image of baked cheesy crack chicken casserole topped with bacon

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?

picture of 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 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.

picture of baked cheesy crack chicken casserole topped with bacon

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 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 42 reviews

Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole

Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 8 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hr

Ingredients

Bacon:

Chicken:

Veggies:

Cheesy Mixture:

Toppings:

Instructions

Cook Bacon:

Cook Chicken:

Cook Veggies:

Cheesy Mixture:

Combine:

Bake:

Nutrition information

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
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Comments

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Dorothy at Shockinglydelish

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

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

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Chrissie Baker

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

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Dan Zehr

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

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Katerina @ diethood .com

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

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Krista

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

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Cathy

This would be a total winner!

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Cathy Iona

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

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Liren | Kitchen Confidante

Love that this can be made in the slow cooker!

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Toni | Boulder Locavore

This would be an amazing dinner for tonight!

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Stefano Caputo

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

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John

This must be an amazing ;)

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Amber

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

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Anaisa

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

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Its so hearty and good!

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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. 

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I am very happy that you enjoyed it!

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nancy

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

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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 👍👍👍👍👍

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Candy

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

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sorry, I have removed that.

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Cole M Novotny

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

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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!

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

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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.

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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

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Pam

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

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Melissa

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Natalie

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

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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.

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Debra

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

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Patricia Musil

Can you use egg noodles instead of elbow macaroni?

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Yes!!! Use your favorite pasta :)

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Doug

Looks amazing.  Can’t wait to try it!

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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!

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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!!!

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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!

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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!

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Dawn

Can you assemble this before hand and cook later?

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

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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!

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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.

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Taylor

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

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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....

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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!

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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?

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It will work fine and it will be delicious!

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Pilcher

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

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

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Linda

How many does this fees?

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

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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!

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I am so happy that you loved it!!

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dee

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

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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.

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

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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?

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Kim vac

Turned out awesome! But I switched the green peppers for mushrooms and rice instead of pasta, also added ritz crackers on top not Bread crumbs. Was to die for! But are the Calories that Much for a serving size or is that the total for all of it it doesn’t specify!

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Ariel

That sounds delicious!

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David

Great recipe! The richness of mac n cheese with the savory flavor of casserole. I used wheat bread flour since that's all i had and the sauce was a bit too thick so i think I'll cut the flour in half next time but otherwise it was amazing! I also didn't have bread crumbs so i used fried onions instead... our bellies are very happy! Thank you for sharing!

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Glad you enjoyed it David!

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Meredith

Cindy what side dish did you make with it? Salad etc?

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Jan

Could I use rotisserie chicken for this recipe? Thank you!

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Yes, you could.

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Amy

Can you use velveeta cheese instead of shredded cheese?

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yes, you can!

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Debi

I am so looking forward to making this for my church potluck tomorrow! Question...can I make this a day ahead?

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Yes, just make sure you place it in the oven to reheat it.

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Taj

Excellent!

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Mary

Can I substitute rice for the pasta? If so, does it need to be precooked?

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Yes, you can and yes it needs to be precooked. It will taste delicious!

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Ron

I can verify I used cream of mushroom and it was DELICIOUS

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Khani

Amazing!!!

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Lori Barra

Oh wow, we just made this and we are going crazy over this recipe! This is the best mac and cheese recipe EVER!!! The creaminess is AMAZING, the flavor is AMAZING! Hubby kept saying, this is going to be good, everything you prepped so far is all good food, bacon, chicken, onions, peppers and garlic, and the rue sauce came out PERFECT! The only thing we did different was to add 8oz bag of Greyere/Swiss shredded cheese along with the cheddar and we used extra sharp cheddar. The next time I make this (and I definitely will) I want to add a red pepper and maybe one more onion. We also added crushed Lays potato chips on top along with the panko and cheddar cheese. Wow! Thank you for an AWESOME recipe, my grandboys, age 4 and 7, will LOVE this! =)

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Lori Barra

This is the best mac and cheese recipe we ever made! I shared it on Facebook and couldn't stop saying how good this recipe is! Thank you so much for sharing this! It will definitely be my go to for any kind of mac and cheese recipe! WE LOVED IT!!! =)

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Thank you Lori!

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Needa

Can I use frozen peas? When would I add them

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Yes, it will taste delicious!

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Becca

How much macaroni am I supposed to use? 1 pound? 2? Please tell me

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We used 3 cups, as stated in the recipe card. But you can use more or less depending on your needs. 1 pound should be ok.

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Katie

This is sooo good! Everyone loves it, even my picky toddler. Added frozen steam bag broccoli cooked halfway the last time and it came out perfect.

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Troy

What a fancy casserole. It was delicious !

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Troy

Hate the name. Love the dish. It’s too fancy to be called “Crack”. Crack is whack ! I may add a couple ingredients and rename it. Call it my own. I do that all the time.

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Tania

Planning on making it but my kids don’t like elbow macaroni (I’m not a fan either). Can it be made with Rotini/spiral pasta? Don’t see why not but wondering if anyone has tried.

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Hi Tania, yes definitely you can swap the pasta. Either one will work just as well.

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Annie

I made once before and my family LOVED It! I want to make again – wondering if this could be done in the instant pot or if anyone has already tried??

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you can find the instant pot version of this recipe here: https://sweetandsavorymeals.com/instant-pot-crack-chicken/

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J

Sweet white rice flour works the best for white sauces and thickening! Just brown it lightly or brown it as coating on the meat.

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Great tip, thanks

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Kelly

I made this last night. This is so stupid good!! All I could think about was how good it was going to taste the next night. So right now, being the next night, I just finished eating some and it reheated perfectly! This is high on my list for comfort food must haves! Thank you for sharing this recipe! 😊

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I am so happy you loved it!

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Miranda

Could i do this recipe with shredded chicken instead?

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Yes, it will work great!

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Tammy

Can I substitute rice for the pasta

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yes

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Susan Spengler

Does this freeze well?

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Yes, very well.

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Realist Information

We just made this for our teenage daughters and a friend of my wife's. We all had seconds and would have more if We could physically fit it. It was worth the time it took to prepare because it made lots that we can enjoy for at least one more meal. Fantastic recipe, thanks so much!!

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