Slow Cooker Crack Chicken Soup

4.32 from 25 votes
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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!

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crack chicken soup in a black bowl garnished with bacon crumbles, scallions, and shredded cheese

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! 

slow cooker crack chicken soup

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.
three seasoned raw chicken breasts

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Cook. Cover your slow-cooker and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours, or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Enjoy! To serve, ladle into soup bowls and garnish with more bacon crumbles and scallions.
chicken broth, cubed cream cheese, bacon, chicken breasts, and seasonings inside the insert of a slow cooker

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.
crack chicken soup in a slow cooker

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. 
creamy crack chicken soup in a black bowl served with a spoon

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.
4.32 from 25 votes

SLOW COOKER CRACK CHICKEN SOUP

A creamy soup filled with shredded chicken, cheddar cheese, bacon crumbles, baby kale, and homemade ranch seasoning.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 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
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Instructions 

  • 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.
  • Serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 593mg | Potassium: 812mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3499IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 192mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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67 Comments

  1. Amanda says:

    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.

  2. Kenzie says:

    Hi! This soup was amazing! Just wondering what the serving size is? 1 cup?

    1. Katerina says:

      Hi!
      It’s about 1.5 cups. Happy you loved it!! 😊

  3. Heather says:

    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!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  4. Sprenger says:

    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.

    1. Katerina says:

      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.

  5. Taz says:

    4 stars
    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.

  6. Tonya Monger says:

    5 stars
    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.

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      That’s wonderful! I’m very glad you enjoyed this recipe! Thank YOU! 🙂

  7. Kathryn says:

    5 stars
    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!

  8. Kathryn says:

    5 stars
    the 7 year old just asked for 3rds!

  9. Faith says:

    I made this soup with leftover chicken and rice with sautéed onions and garlic. I also added a few leftover sautéed mushrooms. It’s divine.

    I served it with an Arugula salad and homemade Jalapeño cheddar bread.

  10. Tami says:

    I’m making this right now and I can’t wait to taste it. For the people complaining about it being to watery just lesson the amount of broth which will make it creamier. I hate when people get on here and complain because they obviously are not cookers, and they have NO idea how to adjust a recipe. I will let you know how mine turns out, but I’m super excited to taste it! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!