Slow Cooker Crack Chicken Soup is filled with tender shredded white meat chicken, real crumbles of crispy bacon, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, homemade ranch seasoning, and kale. It’s cozy comfort in a bowl!
Cozy Slow Cooker Crack Chicken Soup
You might be wondering what in the world “crack” chicken is. If so, you’re not alone! I always get emails and comments asking about this odd recipe name! Honestly, it’s a reference to how absolutely addictive the combination of chicken, bacon, ranch, and cheese is in this soup!
This is a soup that I just love to pull together at this time of year, when you’re waiting for spring but still getting lots of cold and cloudy days. It’s warm and comfy, but with a lightness thanks to the chives, dill weed, and cream cheese. The baby kale adds a nice green touch, and the white meat chicken tastes divine along with the bacon crumbles.
This is the perfect cozy weekend dinner to serve up with a loaf of crusty bread, and the leftovers make a super-easy lunch that you can microwave in a mug, if you like!
What You’ll Need
One of the best things about this recipe is the seasoning mixture, which is basically a form of homemade ranch seasoning. If you like, you can double or even quadruple the recipe, and set aside the extra seasoning mixture in a small jar for another use.
- Chicken: You’ll need two pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
- Onion Powder: I use a whole tablespoon of this tasty spice to make my soup extra flavorful.
- Garlic Powder: Two teaspoons of garlic powder adds an intense flavor to the spice blend.
- Dill Weed and Chives: One teaspoon each of dried dill weed and dried chives bring out the ranch taste in this soup.
- Salt and Pepper: Start with ½ teaspoon each, and adjust as needed when the soup is done.
- Broth: I use about 6 cups of low-sodium chicken broth; you could substitute homemade chicken broth, bone broth, stock, or even vegetable broth.
- Bacon: You’ll need 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, plus more for garnish.
- Bacon Grease: Save the bacon grease to add extra flavor to the soup.
- Cream Cheese: This recipe uses one 8-ounce block of cream cheese, cut in cubes.
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese: You can use the amount that suits your taste. Anywhere from one to two cups is good.
- Baby Kale: I add 3 to 4 cups of chopped baby kale, but you can also use baby spinach, or leave this out entirely if you’d rather.
- Chopped Scallions: For garnish.
How to Make Crack Chicken Soup in the Crockpot
This super-easy recipe requires only your slow cooker and a skillet for cooking up the bacon. You’ll love how simple it is to make this cozy meal!
- Season the Chicken. Place the chicken breasts inside the slow cooker. Then season the chicken breasts generously with onion powder, garlic powder, dried dill weed, dried chives, salt, and pepper. Rub the seasoning all around the chicken breasts. Wash your hands.
- Add Broth, Bacon, and Cream Cheese. Pour the chicken broth around the chicken breasts, and cook up four slices of bacon. Remove the bacon to a plate and cool; then crumble into bits. Add the bacon bits and the bacon grease from the skillet into your slow cooker. Finally, add the cream cheese cubes.
- Cook. Cover your slow-cooker and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours, or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
- Shred the Chicken. Remove the slow-cooker lid and transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board. Using two forks or shredder claws, shred the chicken. Then return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker.
- Add Cheddar and Kale. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese, followed by the kale; cover and cook for about five more minutes, or until the kale has wilted and everything is heated through. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed.
- Enjoy! To serve, ladle into soup bowls and garnish with more bacon crumbles and scallions.
Tips for Success
This is almost a no-fail recipe, but even so, I do have a few tips to share! These are some of my top ideas for making the recipe your own, as well as making sure it comes out perfect every time.
- Don’t Overcook: Since we’re working with chicken breasts here, it’s important not to overcook it or the chicken will become dry and mushy. Not appetizing, right? I recommend setting a timer to half the cooking time, just so you can check in. Then set it again to ¾ of the cooking time. You can always turn the slow cooker off, if the chicken is done sooner than you expected.
- Substitute Thighs: Boneless, skinless thighs also work well in this recipe, and I often find them less expensive than white meat. It’s totally up to you!
- Add-Ins: Sometimes I like to stir cooked egg noodles, cubed potatoes, zucchini noodles, broccoli, or even macaroni elbows into the soup. If you do use pasta or zucchini, try cooking and storing separately, so that they don’t absorb too much liquid or become mushy in the soup.
What Goes with Crack Chicken Soup?
So what goes with this ultra-creamy, garlicky soup? Well, I do have a few ideas! Some are carb-y and some are not. I hope you enjoy!
- Bread: I like to serve any soup with bread! This one tastes especially good with some delicious homemade No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread, but you could also warm up some pita breads, naan, or even make biscuits! Whatever you love, just go for it!
- Fritters: If you’d rather skip the bread, you could make a batch of these super-tasty, deliciously textured Crispy Zucchini Fritters! They are low-carb and full of nutrition, packing in protein from the egg and plenty of veggie goodness.
- Salad: Soup and salad, anyone? Um, yes! I love combining a warm and hearty soup with the fresh crunch of a garden salad. Try my Tomato Avocado Salad for a healthy dish that will leave your tummy happy!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To refrigerate leftover soup, cover tightly or store in airtight food storage containers. Keep in the fridge for up to three days.
- To reheat, place the desired portion in a saucepan and set it over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through completely.
Can I Freeze Extras?
- Yes, you can definitely freeze leftover Crack Chicken Soup! Let the soup cool completely, and then pour into airtight freezer containers or freezer bags. Make sure to leave a little bit of room (¾ inch or so) at the top for the liquid to expand while freezing.
- This soup lasts for about three months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the fridge, before reheating.
SLOW COOKER CRACK CHICKEN SOUP
- 2 pounds chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1 teaspoon dried chives
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 6 to 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, plus more for garnish
- Bacon grease
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cut in cubes
- 1 to 2 cups Shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 cups chopped baby kale, optional (you can also use baby spinach)
- Chopped scallions
- Place chicken breasts inside the slow cooker.
- Season chicken breasts with onion powder, garlic powder, dried dill weed, dried chives, salt, and pepper. Rub seasoning all around the chicken breasts.
- Pour chicken broth around the chicken breasts and not over them.
- In the meantime cook 4 slices of bacon to a crisp. Crumble the bacon and add to the slow cooker. Add in the bacon grease, too.
- Add cubed cream cheese.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours OR Cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
- Remove lid and transfer chicken breasts to a cutting board; using two forks or shredder claws, shred the chicken.
- Return shredded chicken to the slow cooker and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese.
- Stir in the chopped kale.
- Cover and cook for 5 to 8 more minutes, or until cheese is melted, kale is wilted, and everything is heated through.
- Taste for salt and pepper; adjust accordingly.
- Ladle into soup bowls.
- Garnish with more bacon crumbles and scallions.
AmandaMar 18, 2021 at 9:56 pm
This soup is by far my favorite soup I have ever tried, I highly recommend it to everyone!
Katerina PetrovskaMar 22, 2021 at 8:35 pm
That’s great! I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂
BethMar 19, 2021 at 9:05 pm
Yummy! This looks amazing and so delicious! Can’t wait to give this a try!
Katerina PetrovskaMar 22, 2021 at 8:35 pm
Thank YOU! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂
William C ForemanMar 20, 2021 at 1:56 am
Is there a InstaPot version or recommended modifications for an InstaPot?
LizJul 27, 2022 at 7:16 pm
I just made this in the instapot! Huge success and thumbs up for the whole family. I cooked the breasts first under pressure with about half of the broth and seasonings. Mine took 8 minutes and 10 minute natural release; they were perfect for shredding at that point. After shredding and putting back in the pot, I add the cheeses until melted. I didn’t have any kale on hand when I decided to make this so I cooked some spiral pasta and threw it in with the cheeses. I also don’t eat pork so no bacon. I’m sure you could just precook diced bacon on the sauté setting before cooking the breasts. I really hope this is helpful 🙂
LizJul 27, 2022 at 7:18 pm
Edit: also add the rest of the broth (heated) when you take the chicken out to shred.
CatalinaMar 20, 2021 at 9:21 am
Love how creamy and flavorful this soup is! It’s perfect for me – I love using my Slow Cooker!
Katerina PetrovskaMar 22, 2021 at 8:34 pm
Thank YOU! I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
redteterMar 26, 2021 at 8:01 pm
Katerina PetrovskaMar 30, 2021 at 11:55 am
Thank YOU! 🙂
CraigAug 23, 2021 at 9:15 am
It was delicious.
AngieNov 12, 2021 at 10:31 am
I’d like to add noodles to this. When do you recommend adding them? Thank you in advance!
PollyNov 22, 2021 at 1:25 pm
Wow! This soup shot right up to the top of my must-must-again list. It was DELICIOUS! I served it to friends who asked for the recipe and I was delighted to share it. I think next time I’ll follow your suggestion to add noodles. Wonderful recipe!
Katerina PetrovskaNov 23, 2021 at 1:29 pm
That’s great to hear! I’m very happy everyone loved it! Thank you for chiming in! 🙂
Ally WarnerJan 16, 2022 at 9:01 pm
It sounded like a great recipe but basically just tasted like chicken broth with onion powder. Was able to make it better by adding some heavy cream, more garlic and some crushed red pepper. Also sautéed some uncooked ramen and added that as topping for texture. Overall just bland!
Erin CorbinJan 29, 2022 at 11:29 am
This soup looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it! I just have 2 quick questions:
1. Is the cream cheese a strong taste or does it mainly just add creaminess? I ask because my family isn’t a huge fan of cream cheese.
2. One of your suggested additions was cubed potatoes – do you add them in raw at the beginning or do you add cooked potatoes once the soup is done?
Thank you so much!
KaterinaJan 30, 2022 at 7:56 am
The cream cheese adds creaminess, but if you’re sensitive to the taste of cream cheese, then you might be able to taste it. 🤷♀️
Add the raw potatoes at the very beginning.
AmandaFeb 5, 2022 at 6:30 pm
Watery and not creamy / cheesy at all. Very disappointed after one small bowl.
CherylFeb 13, 2022 at 11:38 am
Mine wasn’t creamy either. The flavor was good but I was expecting a creamier soup. Also my cream cheese didn’t blend all that well. I had to take a spoon and smash it up cause I didn’t think I would want to bite into a cube of cream cheese….and I love cream cheese. I will definitely try it again though.
KaterinaFeb 14, 2022 at 7:38 am
My suggestion would be to let the cheese cook (melt) for a bit longer than the suggested time. Just cook it until it has melted, which may take up to 15 minutes. All slow cookers are not created equal, just as ovens, and with some slow cookers you may need to cook things longer, and with others, things are cooked through quicker.
RachaelMar 7, 2022 at 7:00 pm
This soup is not bad tasting at all, I was just expecting more creaminess. Husband said it needed something else. So he cooked rice to add to it and it makes it better. And the recipe mentioned at the start that it’s ranch flavored but I didn’t see anywhere in the ingredients for ranch seasoning. Was it supposed to have ranch seasoning?
BarbMar 22, 2022 at 5:28 pm
I thought it was fabulous…I did add a few very finely chopped carrots and precooked a little bit of pasta and added it near the end. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe
Katerina PetrovskaMar 24, 2022 at 6:38 am
That’s great! I am very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂
TrishMay 7, 2022 at 10:29 pm
This soup was awesome I added a can of creamed corn I could eat it every day 💛
Katerina PetrovskaMay 9, 2022 at 2:42 pm
That’s great to hear! I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂
ChristelleSep 11, 2022 at 11:47 pm
Definitively #1 on my crockpot recipe list from now on. I was not expecting to be so addicted to the taste. You warned us. All ingredients are well-balanced and it makes it so flavourful. Have shared this recipe with friends and family. ☺️
Katerina PetrovskaSep 12, 2022 at 3:31 am
That’s great! I’m very glad everyone enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂
KatherineOct 4, 2022 at 5:12 pm
It was a big hit! I think next time I’ll try the spinach instead of the kale.
Katerina PetrovskaOct 6, 2022 at 12:55 pm
That’s great! I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂
HerbOct 6, 2022 at 8:00 am
Can I use frozen chicken breast?
Cheryl COct 7, 2022 at 3:03 pm
Why are the carbs so high? Bring keto wondering what to omit to make friendlier as it sounds great!
JulieOct 16, 2022 at 9:41 am
What can I use instead of dried chives since I don’t have any?
KaterinaOct 17, 2022 at 8:40 am
You can use fresh scallions, chopped, and if you don’t have that, add some onion powder.
AmandaOct 25, 2022 at 5:27 am
I may have to try adding the heavy cream and red pepper, we were so excited until last night when we all looked at each other like.. something is absolutely missing in this, wished i made my favorite potato soup instead as now we are stuck with a whole crockpot of this mess.
KenzieDec 30, 2022 at 12:31 pm
Hi! This soup was amazing! Just wondering what the serving size is? 1 cup?
KaterinaDec 31, 2022 at 8:13 am
It’s about 1.5 cups. Happy you loved it!! 😊
HeatherJan 17, 2023 at 6:32 pm
I’m not doing keto so I skipped the bacon fat. I used crumbled bacon from the grocery instead. Also threw in some julienned carrots. When I saw that my soup was a little runny I just added a little cornstarch slurry to it to thicken it up. It’s not rocket science. But I guess for some people it’s easier to come to the comments section and complain. The soup was delicious!
Katerina PetrovskaJan 18, 2023 at 1:20 pm
I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂
SprengerJan 19, 2023 at 11:23 am
Very disappointing! Very watery with almost zero taste. How can you avoid covering the chicken with broth when it has at least six cups. It completely removes the seasoning from the chicken. After 5 hours I sampled and decided to add more vegetables, carrots and mushrooms , and additional seasoning but it was mediocre at best. Don’t waste your money or time.
KaterinaJan 21, 2023 at 9:11 am
Oh no. 😕 So sorry you didn’t like it. Judging by the comments, most people love this soup.
The chicken cooks in the seasoned broth for hours, so that shouldn’t be an issue. Adding a bit more salt might have helped with the flavor. Please keep in mind that your add-ins, like the veggies, carrots, and mushrooms, also change the taste and texture of the soup.
TazJan 30, 2023 at 8:49 pm
We made some changes due to warn we had and time.. We cut this recipe in half as we only had four people.
We added one carrot and half a rib of celery and about 1/3 cup diced onion (mirepoix). We also used butter instead of bacon and bacon grease. We added butter and mirepoix to the stockpot. Cooked those a few minutes then added cubed raw chicken tenders, and cooked the chicken until almost done. Then added 2 cloves garlic that were chopped up, and the herbs and spices in the recipe, plus a tablespoon of dried chives. Gave it a stir and added two small/medium russet potatoes that we peeled and small diced. Then added e cups chicken stock. Cooked this until the potatoes were done.
While that was cooking, I added a splash of chicken stock to a small saucepan and added the cream cheese and gently warmed and stirred until smooth. When potatoes were done we added the warm cream cheese and stirred in. Let that warm through, then we added 5 slices of provolone and one slice of cheddar that we diced up. We also added a cup of shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese and two tablespoons parmaigianq cheese. Gave it a stir and called everyone to dinner.
This was delicious.
Tonya MongerFeb 4, 2023 at 11:46 am
Really enjoyed this soup – it is flavorful and very satisfying. I love celery in soup, so I admit I added some while the chicken was cooking in the broth. I particularly enjoyed being able to add spinach in lieu of kale which I keep in the fridge and enjoy eating all the time. Can’t wait to make more of your recipes.
Katerina PetrovskaFeb 7, 2023 at 1:15 pm
That’s wonderful! I’m very glad you enjoyed this recipe! Thank YOU! 🙂
KathrynFeb 28, 2023 at 4:52 pm
My entire family (all 11 of them) LOVED this. some of them poured it over rice, some poured it over noodles and some of us ate it like it should be as soup. I had no issues with it being creamy or the cream cheese not blending in. I did exactly as your instructions said. I did add
one extra to the toppings little oyster crackers that taste just like saltines. Thank you for this
brilliant soup. Next time and there will be a next time, I’m going to add sliced onions, bell peppers and mushrooms at the end after I saute them. oh yum!
KathrynFeb 28, 2023 at 4:53 pm
the 7 year old just asked for 3rds!