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.