Creamy, cheesy shredded chicken with tangy ranch seasoning that cooks it’s self in your slow cooker, then topped with bacon? Yes, please! This family favorite, easy recipe can be served as a sandwich OR as a snack on crackers.
What is Slow Cooker Creamy Ranch Chicken with Bacon?
I love a good crockpot meal during the busy days of the school year. Everyone is tired at night after a long day, it’s chilly outside, and belly’s need to be filled quickly. Setting up a slow cooker earlier in the day so dinner is ready when we walk in the door, is one of my favorite mom hacks for busy weeknights.
Chicken is one of our favorite dinner staples, and since it cooks well, low and slow in a crockpot, I am always looking for new, fun ways to serve it.
This combination of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, chicken and ranch seasoning is just out of this world. Top with bacon before you serve, and you have a meal that will please everyone at your table, every single time.
Plus, it’s so easy.
What Ingredients do you need for Slow Cooker Creamy Ranch Chicken?
- chicken breasts
- cream cheese (like this one)
- ranch seasoning mix (I prefer this brand)
- garlic powder
- freshly shredded cheddar cheese
- chopped bacon
- hoagie buns (like these) or crackers (like these)for serving
How do you make it?
In a crock pot, add 1lb of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and 2 T of water. Tip: cut them in half if you need to speed up the cooking time a little.
Using a sharp knife, cut your block of cream cheese into cubes and toss into the crockpot.
Sprinkle 2.5 T (or one packet) of ranch seasoning and .5t garlic powder over top of the chicken. Give everything a little stir to combine.
Place the lid on your slow cooker. Cook on the low setting for 5-6 hours or on the high setting for 3-4 hours.
Pro Tip: lift lid and give it a good stir a few times during the cooking process to prevent the cream cheese from scorching.
Meanwhile, cook 8 strips of bacon and let cool. Chop into small crumbles and set aside.
Once chicken is fully cooked, shred the chicken using two forks. Stir in 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and let it sit in the chicken mixture for a few minutes to melt. Tip: It’s important to shred the cheddar yourself instead of using the store bought, pre-shredded stuff which contains a coating that prevents it from melting well.
This recipe will make approximately 3 cups of chicken mixture. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon on top prior to serving. See below for different servings suggestions.
How do you serve Creamy Ranch Chicken?
I have TWO ways that I like serve this dish.
Serving Suggestion 1: Sandwich
I really like the King’s Hawaiian Mini Sub Rolls with this recipe as the rolls have a slightly sweet taste, which is a nice contrast the the saltiness of the chicken and bacon. But any soft roll or hoagie bun will work.
To serve as a sandwich, scoop about 1/2 cup of the creamy chicken mixture onto the sub roll. Top with the crumbled bacon and a bit more shredded cheddar cheese.
Serve with some of these fun sides:
- potato chips or pretzels (with this pretzel dip)
- fresh fruit
- pasta salads like this or this
- sliced veggies and ranch dip or curry dip
Serving Suggestion 2: Crackers
If I am serving this to a crowd at a party or on game day, I like to do it in bite size portions, and add a little “crunch” to contrast the creamy chicken. I use a sturdy, salty cracker like Triscuits to serve. You can set this spread up a couple of ways…
Spoon about 1T of the chicken mixture onto each cracker, and top with a few bacon crumbles and sliced chives or green onions (optional). Lay crackers out on a large serving tray for guests to help themselves.
Or you can serve this more dip style and scoop all of the chicken mixture from your crockpot into a serving dish or bowl. Top with the bacon crumbles, shredded cheddar or parmesan cheese, and even some chopped tomatoes or green onions for a little added color.
Serve with a basket of crackers, Fritos Scoops or even baby carrots and celery sticks, and let your guests spoon the dip on themselves. This is always a huge hit.
How to Store Leftovers
Place leftovers in an airtight container and store in fridge for up to 5 days.
To reheat, add a few splashes of skim milk or chicken broth and give it a good stir. Heat in a sauce pan over medium heat, or in a microwave safe dish in the microwave until heated through.
Honestly, sometimes I just eat it cold right-out of the leftover container the next day! It’s that good.
Yes! This is one of my favorite recipes when eating low carb. If you eat the chicken mixture on its own topped with bacon (without a bun or crackers), it has 7 grams of carbohydrates. Serve with a side salad or green beans.
The chicken mixture is great served over white rice or mashed potatoes. If you are serving it this way, stir in a can of cream of chicken soup OR 1 cup of whole milk to the chicken mixture during the last half hour of cooking. This will thin out the mixture a bit and give it more of a gravy like consistency while still maintaining the ranch flavor.
Sure. Follow the recipe directions to make the chicken mixture in your crockpot, but do not add the bacon. Let the chicken mixture cool, then transfer the mixture to an airtight container. Store in freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw on counter, then reheat in a saucepan on stove over medium heat. Add a few splashes of milk. Cook and chop bacon to add as topping before serving.
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Slow Cooker Creamy Ranch Chicken with Bacon
- 1 slow cooker
- 1 pan for bacon
- 1 sharp knife
- 1 spoon
- 1 cheese grater
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 8 oz cream cheese block
- 1 packet ranch seasoning mix
- .5 t garlic powder
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese freshly grated
- 8 slices bacon
- 6 hoagie rolls
- sliced green onions, optional
- In a crock pot, add 1lb of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and 2T of water. Tip: cut chicken breasts in half if you need to speed up the cooking time a little.
- Cut your block of cream cheese into cubes and toss into the crockpot.
- Sprinkle 2.5 T (or one packet) of ranch seasoning and .5 t garlic powder over top of the chicken. Give everything a little stir to combine.
- Place the lid on your slow cooker. Cook on the low setting for 5-6 hours or on the high setting for 3-4 hours. Tip: lift lid and stir a few times during cooking to prevent the cream cheese from scorching.
- Meanwhile, cook 8 strips of bacon and let cool. Chop into small crumbles and set aside.
- Once chicken is fully cooked, shred the chicken using two forks. Stir in 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and let it sit in the chicken mixture for a few minutes to melt. Tip: It's important to shred the cheddar yourself instead of using the store bought, pre-shredded stuff which contains a coating that prevents it from melting well.
- This recipe will make approximately 3 cups of chicken mixture.
- To serve as sandwich, scoop 1/2 c of chicken onto each roll. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon and more shredded cheese, then place top on roll.
- Or scoop 1T of chicken mixture onto each cracker and top with bacon crumbles and sliced chives or green onions (optional).
- See full blog post for detailed serving suggestions.
- potato chips or pretzels (with this pretzel dip)
- fresh fruit