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Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole Recipe

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The Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole Recipe enriched with broccoli, bacon, and ranch is a great one-pot meal for the whole family to enjoy. Put together in just a few minutes, and this creamy deliciousness will be your family favorite.

Chicken ranch casserole baked in a dish.
Crack Chicken Casserole

Serve together with cauliflower rice, rutabaga fries and pickled daikon for additional blends of flavors.

Picking up clean real food can make a big difference not only in flavors, but it is excellent for all of us. I always try to get the best quality, unprocessed food.

With this in mind, even a casserole can be made using only the best.

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What is Crack Chicken?

Crack chicken is a dish that has become popular in recent years. It is a rich, creamy casserole with cheese, ranch dressing mix, cooked bacon, and shredded chicken, often served over rice, potatoes, or noodles.

The finished product can be served as an appetizer or main course.

This dish gets its name because it is so delicious – once you have a bite, you won’t be able to stop! The creamy sauce and crunchy bacon make this dish hard to resist. It’s a great comfort food and perfect for potlucks and family gatherings. It’s easy to make and reheat when needed. Crack Chicken is a hit wherever it’s served.

Why Do You Need to Make Ranch Chicken Casserole?

First, our chicken casserole is made from all clean ingredients, and I try to avoid processed food as much as possible.

Ranch chicken casserole is a great way to quickly get a delicious and easy meal on the table. It’s full of flavor from the ranch dressing, and it can be made with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry or refrigerator. It also makes great leftovers that can be reheated and enjoyed throughout the week.

What’s In an Easy Chicken Casserole?

Our delicious casserole consists of chicken, bacon, broccoli, cheese, and ranch dressing.

All the ingredients I have chosen are bio quality, which you will realize in flavor and aroma once baked.

Even though most of the crack chicken recipes contain cream cheese and cream of chicken soup, I have skipped that because it is not needed at all in this great recipe.

Broccoli casserole on a white plate.
Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Chicken

I always try and buy homegrown, grass-fed chicken, which is portioned and stored in the freezer.

Using an instant pot, it takes me only 10 minutes to transform it into perfectly cooked meat. You can prepare the chicken ahead of time.

Bacon

Regarding bacon, even though we should always eat it in moderation, it enhances the flavor of dishes and can be used.

Broccoli

Best if you can get fresh from your garden. But if not, farmers’ markets or bio shops are the second best bet.

There is nothing better when I cook our weekly chicken stock using bio meat s well as bio vegetables. The aroma is incomparable to the ingredients bought in the stores.

Cheese

Cheese should be only bought in blocks or wedges.

Shredded cheese or powdered version is 99% covered with starches to prolong the shelf life.

It takes a few minutes to take a block and shred it yourself before cooking.

As cheddar cheese is a big part of a recipe for crack chicken, I have used it. But here comes one tip again. Some cheddar cheeses are colored, so you must read the labels and ingredients properly.

It is not easy for me to find an orange cheddar block I am comfortable using in my area, and the same was this time. Therefore I have opted for bio white cheddar cheese.

Ranch

As the last part of the ingredients used in ranch dressing, buying a packaged ranch dressing will not only give you elements we disagree with but will be much more expensive to homemade.

In just a few minutes, you can whip up your own by combining 2 cups of sour cream, fresh herbs such as chives, parsley, and dill, two freshly pressed garlic cloves, and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Combine this all together in a large mixing bowl, add a bit of salt and pepper if needed, and you have your ranch dressing done in minutes.

To summarise, clean ingredients used:

  • Bacon – grass-fed, organic
  • Chicken – bio quality from the best source available for you
  • Broccoli – try and pick from farmers’ markets
  • Cheese – only block, which you shred yourself.
  • Ranch – make your own in minutes
Chicken Broccoli Casserole piece served.
Ultimate chicken casserole

Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole Recipe With Bacon and Ranch

Kitchen Gadgets Needed:

  • Casserole dish
  • Cheese grater
  • Mason jar

Ingredients Needed:

  • Chicken
  • Bacon
  • Broccoli
  • Ranch
  • Cheddar cheese

*Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.

FULL INSTRUCTIONS WITH STEPS FOR CREAMY CHICKEN CASSEROLE

First Step: Prepare Ingredients

First, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare all your ingredients.

As mentioned above, try to get all meat grass-fed and everything else bio-quality to keep up with our clean eating.

You can cook chicken from frozen in 10 minutes using an Instant pot. Alternatively, use leftover or rotisserie.

Make your ranch with 2 cups of sour cream, fresh herbs such as chives, parsley, and dill, two freshly pressed garlic cloves, and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix in a large bowl and add salt and pepper if needed.

Broccoli can be used raw, or you can blanch the whole head by placing it into the boiling water for 4 minutes and straight into the ice-cold water to preserve the beautiful green color.

To shred 2 cups of cheddar cheese takes only a minute or two, so please do it at home and do not buy.

Cut chicken and broccoli into smaller pieces, chop bacon and grate your cheese.

Chicken ranch casserole Ingredients needed.
Crack Chicken Casserole

Second Step: First Layer

Onto the prepared baking dish, start layering the first half of the veggie pieces, cubed chicken, bacon, and ranch mix.

You can add a cup shredded cheese or keep the whole lot.

Chicken Broccoli Casserole adding sauce.
Ultimate chicken casserole

Third Step: Second Layer

Onto it, add a second layer with the remaining broccoli, chicken, bacon, and the rest of the creamy ranch sauce.

Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole layering.
Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Fourth Step: Cheese and Bake

Cover the whole top of the chicken mixture with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese and bake for 30 minutes at 180 Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit.

Once baked, you can sprinkle fresh chopped green onion or parsley.

Crack Chicken Casserole with cheese before baking.
Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole

Tips For Best Chicken Casserole:

  • Cheese – please try to buy the best quality and only a whole block. Pre-shredded cheese is packed with unwanted starches. You can also use pepper jack cheese.
  • Broccoli – can be replaced with any cruciferous vegetables available.
  • Ranch seasoning mix – can be added for extra ranch flavor together with few tablespoons of gluten-free Worcestershire sauce.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

What To Serve With Crack Chicken?

Delicious sides to pair with crack chicken include roasted vegetables, Air fryer baby potatoes, mashed potatoes, baked riced cauliflower, cooked pasta, mac and cheese, roasted potato salad, green beans, coleslaw, macaroni, Italian potato salad, or a side salad like cucumber beet salad or Mediterranean quinoa salad. Additionally sprinkle with a bit of freshly grown broccoli sporuts.

Chicken Crack Casserole Substitutions

If you don’t want to use chicken in your casserole, you can use plenty of substitutions. Some options include:

  • Black beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein and add a great texture to any casserole.
  • Lentils – are another great plant-based protein option that works well in casseroles. They add a hearty texture and flavor.
  • Quinoa – is packed with protein and makes an excellent substitute for chicken in casseroles.

How to Make Crack Chicken Casserole in the Instant Pot?

1. Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of your Instant Pot. Pour water with spices or broth over the top.

2. Set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 8 minutes. When finished cooking, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure.

3. Remove the chicken from the pot and cut it into pieces set aside.

4. Turn the pot onto sauté mode and add bacon and broccoli. Sauté for about 5 minutes until softened. Add chicken pieces and ranch dressing into the pot and mix everything well. Turn off the heat.

5. Top with shredded cheese, and cover with lid or foil until cheese is melted (about 5 minutes). Serve hot.

Ultimate chicken casserole in a dish.
Chicken ranch casserole

Is This Also Keto Crack Chicken?

Using our ingredients, this casserole is a perfect fit for low-carb, keto, gluten-free, grain-free, real food, and clean eating, among others.

Can I Use Rotisserie Chicken in This Recipe?

Rotisserie chicken as well is an excellent idea to use in our recipe. I used chicken breasts, but any leftover juicy chicken, tender chicken thighs, or turkey from your Thanksgiving dinner can be a great replacement.

How To Store Leftovers From Casserole?

Leftovers from the casserole should be stored in a glass airtight container with a secure lid. Make sure the container is sealed correctly before storing it in the refrigerator. Leftovers should be eaten within 3-4 days.

Can I Freeze Crack Chicken Casserole?

If you want to freeze the leftovers, cool the dish entirely before freezing and consume it within 2-3 months.
I like to portion the casserole before freezing it for easier meal planning.
That way, I can pick only one or two pieces, exactly what I need for weeknights.

More Easy Chicken Dinner Recipes

A great addition is chicken marsala or smoked chicken breast which you are for sure going to enjoy.

For another great casserole, I would suggest this greek chicken casserole as a perfect family meal.

Pin for Later

Ultimate chicken casserole served on a plate.
Chicken ranch casserole

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Chicken ranch casserole baked in a dish.

Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole Recipe

Zuzana Paar
4.48 from 86 votes
The Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole Recipe enriched with broccoli, bacon, and ranch is a great one-pot meal for the whole family to enjoy. Put together in just a few minutes, and this creamy deliciousness will be your family favorite.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 965 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 3 Cooked Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Cup Bacon
  • 1 Broccoli
  • 2 Cups Ranch Dressing
  • 2 Cups Grated Cheese

Ranch Dressing

  • 2 Cups Sour Cream
  • 2 Tablespoon Fresh Chives
  • 2 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoon Fresh Dill
  • 2 Garlic Cloves pressed
  • 1 tablespoon squeezed Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions
 

  • First, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare all your ingredients. Broccoli can be used raw, or you can blanch the whole head by placing it into the boiling water for 4 minutes and straight into the ice-cold water to preserve the beautiful green color. Cut chicken and broccoli into smaller pieces, chop bacon and grate your cheese.
  • Onto the prepared baking dish, start layering the first half of the veggie pieces, cubed chicken, bacon, and ranch mix. You can add a cup shredded cheese or keep the whole lot.
  • Onto it, add a second layer with the remaining broccoli, chicken, bacon, and the rest of the creamy ranch sauce.
  • Cover the whole top of the chicken mixture with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese and bake for 30 minutes at 180 Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit.

Video

Notes

  • Cheese – please try to buy the best quality and only a whole block. Pre-shredded cheese is packed with unwanted starches. You can also use pepper jack cheese.
  • Broccoli – can be replaced with any crucifix vegetables available.
  • Ranch seasoning mix – can be added for extra ranch flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1plateCalories: 965kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 27gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 23gPolyunsaturated Fat: 29gMonounsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 178mgSodium: 1666mgPotassium: 773mgFiber: 5gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 1701IUVitamin C: 95mgCalcium: 448mgIron: 4mg

Disclaimer

Please note that nutrient values are estimates only. Variations can occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of origin, preparation, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More Chicken Recipes

Explore our clean eating chicken recipes. We have easy ones for cooking chicken in the oven that are healthy and tasty. Enjoy the goodness of clean eating with these simple and delicious chicken dishes.

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By Zuzana Paar on February 10th, 2023
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About Zuzana Paar

Zuzana is the creative force and mastermind behind this scrumptious clean eating heaven. She will guide you on this delicious journey as a content creator, recipe developer, food writer, movie maker, blogger, and photographer. With her diverse skills she is dedicated to sharing delicious, healthy recipes and helpful tips with readers.

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22 Comments on “Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole Recipe”

    • I do not oil the casserole. You can pick the size and shape of your casserole, depending on how high you want this crack chicken to be. Smaller casserole gives you an advantage of building even a third layer.

      Reply
    • Dear Stacy,
      Of course you can use bottled ranch dressing. It all depends on time and availability. There are some bottled ranch dressing that are filled with only good ingredients. I like to do my own, because it is quick, bu of course not always everyting we need is in the kitchen.

      Reply
  1. We can’t get enough of this Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole in our family! Seriously, the creamy, cheesy deliciousness is just irresistible, and it’s like a warm hug on a plate.

    Reply
  2. My family loves this dish! It’s so easy to make, and the name is spot on! it’s addictively good! I’m making this again this Thanksgiving!

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    It was difficult to find a healthy version of this dish, but this recipe was fantastic. Love that you shared the recipe to make ranch sauce from scratch, we don’t like buying already-made dressing. The taste was perfect, really enjoyed this recipe, thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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