This keto-friendly Baked Crack Chicken combines chicken, cream cheese, bacon, shredded cheddar, and Ranch dressing mix into an irresistibly good main dish.
You’ve likely seen recipes for crack chicken on the Internet. For some time it was one of the most popular recipes on Pinterest, particularly among low-carb and keto dieters.
The original dish is made with shredded chicken, cream cheese, bacon, shredded cheddar, and Ranch dressing mix all mixed together. I love those ingredients, but I never really loved the way it was all mushed together.
So I reimagined it into a baked crack chicken, that has those ingredients as a topping for baked chicken breast.
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Ingredients in Baked Crack Chicken
A few simple ingredients make up this irresistible dish.
- Chicken Breasts – 2 large breasts cut in half lengthwise, so you end up with pieces that weigh around 3-4 ounces each.
- Cream Cheese – Having your cream cheese at room temperature makes this recipe easier.
- Cheddar Cheese – You can use mild to vintage, or use Colby or Monterey jack
- Bacon – Cooked and chopped or broken into bits.
- Ranch Dressing Mix – Try making your own homemade ranch powder with this recipe.
- Green Onions
Pro Tip Alert 🚨: When it comes to cheese, say no to pre-shredded options! These often contain additives to prevent sticking, which can impact their melting ability. For the best melt and flavor, opt for a block of cheese and shred it yourself.
How to Make Baked Crack Chicken
Slice the chicken breast in half lengthwise, so you end up with pieces that weigh around 3-4 ounces each. Lay those into a baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. It’s important to season all sides of the chicken well, so the entire dish has flavor.
Next, mix up the topping by combining softened cream cheese, half the shredded cheddar, half the bacon bits, and the Ranch dressing mix into a bowl.
Top the chicken with the mixture, spreading it out evenly over the top of the chicken. Top with the remaining cheddar cheese.
Bake the chicken for 25 minutes on 375° F. Once it’s removed from the oven, top it with the remaining bacon bits and sliced green onions.
What to Serve With Baked Crack Chicken
This Baked Crack Chicken is best served with a side of cauliflower rice, or a side salad like this Strawberry Spinach Salad. I also use this list of sides to serve with stuffed peppers as inspiration. All of these sides also go well with Crack Chicken.
Notes & Tips
- Try and make sure the chicken breasts are about the same thickness so they finish baking at the same time.
- You can also add onion powder or garlic powder before baking to this dish.
- Use regular or thick cut bacon – whatever you have on hand.
- You can also use chicken thighs in this recipe, which gives it a bit more flavor. I sometimes think chicken breasts are a bit too bland, even when you load it up with all these toppings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it Called Crack Chicken?
Originally this dish is called Ranch Chicken. People find the combination of ingredients addictively good (bacon, ranch, cheese), thus it was dubbed “crack” chicken. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll see why it’s so irresistible.
Should I Use Chicken Breasts or Chicken Thighs?
I typically use boneless skinless chicken breast for this recipe, because it’s firm and flat, making a good base for the ingredients. However, it’s perfectly fine to use chicken thigh too. Just make sure it’s boneless-skinless chicken thighs.
Chicken thighs are fine for keto and low-carb eaters. In fact, it has more fat so it can be a good substitution for hitting keto macros. It also tends to have more flavor and is less dry, so win / win.
Can I Make Crack Chicken Up Ahead of Time?
You can make this dish ahead of time by preparing it all up to the stage of baking, then cover it and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake it. You can also freeze crack chicken before baking. Let it defrost before baking, or increase the time to account for the frozen chicken.
Can I Freeze Baked Crack Chicken?
We don’t recommend freezing as a way to preserve this chicken. The texture of cream cheese changed when it is frozen. It becomes some what grainy and crumbly in texture. It won’t have its normal creaminess. Wrap the leftovers tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
More Recipes from Delightfully Low Carb
Other Recipes to Try
- Perfect Keto Cloud Bread
- Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus
- Easy Keto Stuffed Eggplant
- Low-Carb Cajun Chicken “Pasta”
Keto Baked Crack Chicken
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup cream cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese divided
- 1/2 cup bacon lardons divided
- 1 tablespoon Ranch dressing mix
- 2 green onions sliced
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Spread evenly in a baking dish.
- Mix together the cream cheese, half the cheddar, half the bacon, and the Ranch dressing mix in a bowl. Spoon over the top of the chicken pieces, spreading evenly. Top with the remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake for 25 minutes. When done, pull it out of the oven and top with the remaining bacon and green onions.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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Laura is dedicated to a low-carb lifestyle after losing 52 pounds on the keto diet. As many of us do, she struggles with her weight and has found that one of the only diet lifestyles that allows her to maintain a healthy weight is a low-carb diet. She shares her favorite low-carb recipes here that are both easy to make and full of flavor, so you don’t even miss the carbs.