Hearty and creamy Crack Chicken Pasta is totally addictive! Made with bacon, chicken, a variety of cheeses, and pasta, there is so much to love about this skillet chicken recipe.
Crack Chicken Pasta Skillet
No more dinnertime rut with this flavorful and ultra creamy crack chicken pasta recipe! The combination of lean chicken breasts paired with salty bacon, creamy cheeses, ranch seasoning, and hearty pasta makes for one unforgettable dinner.
Why You’ll Love this Chicken Pasta Recipe:
- CHEESY: Made with 4 kinds of cheese, this creamy chicken pasta is for the ultimate cheese lover.
- ONE PAN: I love simple, one-pan recipes and crack chicken pasta is no exception. Prepare the entire recipe from start to finish in one skillet on the stovetop.
- KID FRIENDLY: My kids go crazy for this chicken pasta!
Quick, easy, and family-approved, add crack chicken pasta to your dinner rotation.
How to Make Crack Chicken Pasta
Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!
- Cook the bacon.
- Cook the chicken with ranch seasoning.
- Add the pasta and broth.
- Once the pasta is al dente, mix in the cream cheese.
- Stir in bacon crumbles and shredded cheeses.
- Heat until the cheese melts.
- Serve and enjoy.
Crack chicken gets it’s name from the deliciously addictive combination of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, ranch seasoning mix, and bacon. In this crack chicken pasta recipe, these ingredients are combined with pasta noodles for a truly epic meal!
I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into small pieces for this pasta recipe. Try to make sure the chicken pieces are similarly sized so they cook evenly.
No, use dry pasta noodles for this recipe. The penne will cook in step 4 with the chicken broth.
Use any large saucepan, skillet, or Dutch oven with a lid for this pasta recipe.
This skillet chicken pasta recipe has it all!
Store leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Stir in a splash of cream or broth before reheating. I don’t recommend freezing leftovers. Cream-based recipes don’t freeze and thaw well, becoming grainy once reheated.
Chicken Pasta Variations
Chicken: This is a great way to use up leftover cubed or shredded chicken. Skip steps 2 and 3, and add the ranch mix with the pasta in step 4. Stir in the cooked chicken once the pasta is cooked. Continue with the recipe as written
Cheese: Use any combination of your favorite kinds of shredded cheeses.
Pasta: Instead of penne, use 8 ounces of any short pasta like rotini, cavatappi, fusilli, farfelle, or tortiglioni.
Tip for Crack Chicken Pasta
Try not to overcook the chicken in step 2 – about 3 minutes should be enough time. It will finish cooking throughout the next steps of the recipe.
This easy, mess-free crack chicken pasta recipe is totally decadent and comforting!
If you’ve made this recipe, please be sure to let us know by leaving a star rating or a comment below. Enjoy!
Crack Chicken Pasta Recipe
- 4 strips frozen bacon see recipe note
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 ounce ranch seasoning mix 1 packet
- 8 ounces penne pasta dry
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley for garnish
- In a large sauté pan or cast iron skillet set over medium heat, cook the frozen bacon according to the recipe note instructions below. When crispy, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.4 strips frozen bacon
- Leave the bacon fat in the skillet and add the chicken. Cook for 2-3 minutes until it begins to brown.1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Sprinkle the ranch mix over the chicken and stir to coat.1 ounce ranch seasoning mix
- Add the pasta and pour in the chicken broth. Stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes until the pasta is just past al dente. Stir occasionally.8 ounces penne pasta, 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- Remove the lid and add the cream cheese. Stir until it has melted and becomes a creamy sauce.4 ounces cream cheese
- Add the bacon crumbles and 1 cup each of cheddar and mozzarella cheese into the skillet. Stir until well combined and melted.1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over the top of the pasta and cover with the lid for about 1 minute to allow the cheese to melt. Serve garnished with Parmesan and parsley.Grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley
- Storage: Store pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Stir in a splash of cream or broth before reheating. I don’t recommend freezing leftovers. Cream-based recipes don’t freeze and thaw well, becoming grainy once reheated.
- Bacon: Use this bacon crumble recipe to make bacon crumbles from frozen bacon strips.