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This Baked Crack Chicken Recipe is an incredible dish that’s super easy to make! Tender seasoned chicken breasts are seared until golden brown, and then topped with a flavorful cream cheese mixture and a slice of pepper jack cheese and baked until everything is creamy, cheesy, and irresistible!

Top view of 4 baked chicken breasts on a skillet topped with melted cheese.
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Crack chicken may sound like a silly name, but if you’ve never tried it, you’re in for a real treat. It gets the name because it’s deliciously addicting! The combination of ranch seasonings with chicken, cream cheese, and pepper jack cheese is SO good. Plus, it’s made with simple, minimal ingredients, most of which are pantry staple seasonings. This is one of those recipes you’re going to want to make again and again!

Reasons you will love this recipe

  • Super easy: This crack chicken recipe only requires 3 key ingredients, plus seasonings, that all cook together to make an amazing dish, all in one skillet. This means very little mess and cleanup is a breeze.
  • Super tasty! When combined, perfectly cooked chicken, two types of creamy cheese, and ranch seasoning create an unbelievably good meal that will please everyone at the table.
  • Crowd favorite: This is a great dish to serve when hosting guests because everyone loves cheesy chicken that can be served in a variety of ways! It’s kid-friendly too! This recipe is sure to become a regular in your weeknight meal rotation.
A fork stuck into a piece of cheesy chicken.

Ingredients needed

This crack chicken recipe is a satisfying, hearty meal with just a handful of ingredients. It’s a simple dish, yet the joining of these items creates the best flavor. Everyone will be requesting seconds! Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Chicken: We like to use boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. However, boneless skinless chicken thighs are another option, if you prefer.
  • Seasonings: The combination of garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, dried parsley, dried dill weed, kosher salt, and pepper offers a signature ranch flavor that tastes wonderful.
  • Olive oil: For cooking the chicken.
  • Cream cheese: Blends with the ranch seasoning to give the chicken a creamy, rich flavor.
  • Sliced cheese: Use pepper jack cheese in this recipe for a buttery flavor similar to Monterey Jack cheese, but with the added kick of spicy peppers.
  • Green onions: Optional, for a colorful garnish.
Chicken breast, cream cheese, pepper jack cheese and seasonings divided into bowls.

How to make this recipe

  1. Prep chicken: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Lightly pound the chicken breasts to a 1⁄2-inch even thickness and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.
  2. Sear the chicken: Preheat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle with the oil. Sear the chicken until golden brown on both sides, then set aside.
  1. Make the cream cheese sauce: In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and dried seasonings until well incorporated.
  2. Add cheese to chicken: Remove the skillet from heat and top each chicken breast with a spoonful of the cream cheese mixture; spread it to cover the entire chicken breast, then top with a slice of cheese.
  3. Bake chicken: Place in the oven and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted. Garnish with green onions and serve warm.

Expert Tips

  • Chicken breast size: Choose chicken breasts that are all about the same size and shape, so that they’ll cook at the same rate. Also, be sure to pound them out, so they are not too thick and all the same thickness.
  • Don’t overcook chicken: Only sear the chicken before adding the cheese. Be sure not to cook it all the way through, as it will finish cooking in the oven.
  • Cream cheese: We do not recommend using low-fat cream cheese. It won’t melt as well or be as rich as regular cream cheese.

Frequently asked questions

What is crack chicken made of?

Crack chicken is a popular recipe that is typically made with cream cheese, ranch seasonings, cheese, and sometimes bacon. It can be baked, made on the stovetop, in a crock pot, or in an instant pot. It is also often times shredded and piled on buns for sandwiches.

What does crack chicken mean?

This dish is often called crack chicken because the chicken, cream cheese, and ranch seasoning is an addictive combination. It’s a comforting meal that’s great for serving at potlucks, family gatherings, and for busy weeknights!

What does crack chicken go well with?

Because this recipe is fairly rich, we like to enjoy it served with a light salad or healthy vegetable on the side. Some of our go-to options are creamy garlic mushrooms, roasted honey mustard carrots, or Baked Balsamic Asparagus.

top view close up of chicken breast on skillet topped with melted cheese

Variations

Here are some new options, so you never get bored with this recipe:

  • Bacon: Serve with cooked, crumbled bacon over the top.
  • Cheese: Try a different type of cheese. Colby jack, cheddar cheese, or even Swiss are delicious choices.
  • Slow cooker: Let the crock pot do all of the work and have a delicious hands-off dinner ready for you! Simply, place chicken, seasonings, and cream cheese into the slow cooker for 6-8 hours on low, and then about 30 minutes before enjoying add the sliced cheese.

Serving suggestions

One of the great things about this crack chicken recipe is there are so many serving options. Many times we just serve it with a fresh green salad, but here are some other ways to mix it up:

  • Shred the chicken and serve it piled on hamburger buns or wrapped up in a tortilla.
  • Either shredded or un-shredded, this is fabulous atop a plate of pasta.
  • Shred it up and serve it as a dip with crackers, chips, and freshly chopped veggies.
  • Pair it with mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower for a low-carb, keto-friendly option.

Storage recommendations

  • Storing: Place leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to about 4 days. Pop individual servings in the microwave to reheat.
Crack chicken breast cut in half.

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5 from 2 votes

Baked Crack Chicken Recipe

By: Rena
Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
top view of 4 baked chicken breasts on a skillet topped with melted cheese
This Baked Crack Chicken Recipe is an incredible dish that's super easy to make! Tender seasoned chicken breasts are seared until golden brown, and then topped with a flavorful cream cheese mixture and a slice of pepper jack cheese and baked until everything is creamy, cheesy, and irresistible!

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
  • 4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 2-3 green onions, thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Lightly pound the chicken breasts to a 1⁄2-inch even thickness and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.
  • Preheat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle with the oil. Sear the chicken until golden brown on both sides, then set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and dried seasonings until well incorporated.
  • Remove the skillet from heat and top each chicken breast with a spoonful of the cream cheese mixture; spread it to cover the entire chicken breast, then top with a slice of cheese.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted. Garnish with green onions and serve warm.

Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to about 4 days.
  • You may use low-fat cheese
  • Swap chicken breast with boneless and skinless chicken thighs if needed

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 210kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 21gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 601mgPotassium: 342mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 509IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 128mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @healthyfitnessmeals or tag #healthyfitnessmeals!


Author

About Rena Awada

Hi, I’m Rena! I am here to help you prepare delicious, light, fresh meals that your whole family will love!

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