Slow Cooker Chicken With Cream Cheese

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Hello there and welcome to my blog – I’m so glad you’re here! Slow Cooker Chicken With Cream Cheese is one of my favorite slow cooker recipes. It has a creamy, cool and tangy flavor that goes very well with the chicken. It is fancy enough to serve for a restaurant meal but it doesn’t require any special ingredients so it is easy to make at home too!

Slow Cooker Crack Chicken

Slow Cooker Crack Chicken has everything that is good and addicting in it! Filled with bacon, cheese, cream cheese, and ranch dressing mix.

Who doesn’t love a recipe with cream cheese in it! If you have extra cream cheese also try my olive garden chicken pasta or artichoke mushroom chicken.

shredded creamy chicken with bacon and cheese on top.

I finally got around to trying this Slow Cooker Crack Chicken recipe. My neighbor told me about this crack chicken, though she makes instant pot crack chicken.

This crack chicken recipe is a creation by Shelly from the website Cookies and Cups. I am so glad I gave this recipe a try the flavors go so good together and go great over white rice which helps take away a bit of the saltiness.

raw chicken with ranch dressing mix and 2 blocks of cream cheese top.

How to make Crack Chicken:

I start with chicken thighs instead of breasts. I feel the thighs have more moisture, and the overall dish turns out decadent with the thighs. I also only use one ranch packet to cut back on the sodium.

You will need these ingredients:

  • Chicken thighs – trim off excess fat
  • Ranch dressing seasoning mix (can use dip mix if that’s what you have)
  • Cream cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Cooked bacon
  • Green onions
cooked chicken, ranch dressing and cream cheese in slow cooker.
  • Add the chicken to the slow cooker.
  • Top with the ranch packet and cream cheese. Wait to add the other ingredients.

How long do I cook?

  • Place the lid on the slow cooker
  • Cook on low for 7 hours and do not open the lid during the cooking time.
Finished crack chicken in slow cooker with bacon, cheese and green onion on top.
  • After the cooking time is up, shred the chicken with 2 forks. I do this right in the slow cooker, no need to remove the chicken and dirty a plate.
  • Add the cooked bacon then top with the cheddar cheese. Place the lid back on to let the cheese melt. Sprinkle over green onions if desired.
shredded creamy chicken with cheese, bacon and green onion on top, in the slow cooker.

What to serve this with

  • Over white rice (my favorite option)
  • Eat it as is if you are on a low carb or keto diet
  • Over-toasted hamburger buns
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Inside of baked potatoes
  • With crackers; serve as a dip
  • Add a salad on the side with any of the above options
shredded chicken with cheese on top over rice on plate.

This dish is so rich and creamy! I am dreaming about making it again this week. Such a fun recipe to try for a Sunday dinner or even to entertain guests. Give this recipe a try and let me know how you like it. Have a great week.

Slow-Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken

Slow-Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken
  • Prep5 MIN
  • Total5 HR 0 MIN
  • Servings4

This easy, creamy slow-cooker chicken dish is quickly becoming the number one recipe on our site. Why? It’s wallet-friendly, kid-friendly, time-friendly and it only takes six ingredients to make (we don’t count the salt and pepper). The recipe is a simple one, and easy … More +

by: TBSP Kitchens

Updated Nov 18, 2019

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2cans (10.75 oz. each) condensed cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 1/3cups Progresso™ chicken broth (from a 32-oz. carton)
  • 1/4teaspoon garlic powder (or more to taste)
  • 1/2teaspoon ground black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1/2teaspoon kosher salt (or more to taste)
  • 8oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 6cups hot cooked rice or egg noodles

Steps

Hide Images

  • 1Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and place in bottom of slow cooker.
  • 2In a medium bowl, combine soup and broth and mix well. Add garlic powder and pour mixture over chicken. Cook on LOW for 5 hours or HIGH for 3 hours.
  • 3Fifteen minutes before end of cook time, remove chicken from the slow cooker. Break softened cream cheese into chunks and add to slow cooker, whisking until the sauce is smooth.
  • 4Shred chicken if desired and return to slow cooker. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  • 5Serve chicken over hot rice or egg noodles and top with sauce.

Expert Tips

  • tip 1Looking to lighten up this slow-cooker chicken recipe? Swap the cream cheese with Neufchatel cheese, which is made with milk rather than cream.
  • tip 2Any sautéed vegetable would taste great stirred into the sauce of this cream cheese chicken dish. Try adding baby spinach, chopped red and green bell peppers, zucchini or yellow squash for an extra boost of freshness.

CROCKPOT FIESTA RANCH CREAM CHEESE CHICKEN

CROCKPOT CREAM CHEESE CHICKEN IS WONDERFULLY CREAMY, SEASONED TO PERFECTION AND IS AS EASY AS DUMP AND RUN!   

This Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken makes the perfect make ahead filling for taquitos, tacos, enchiladas and burritos!  It’s the perfect busy weeknight dinner because you can virtually prep it and forget it until it’s time to load in enchiladas, quesadillas or  Baked Fiesta Ranch Chicken Tacos!

CREAM CHEESE CHICKEN

Everything is better when its creeeeeeeeeeamy, right?!  This Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken was inspired by the traditional crockpot cream cheese chicken, sometimes called “Crack Chicken” in which you slow cook chicken with Italian seasoning or ranch seasoning, shred it and mix with cream cheese.  It makes a wonderfully easy chicken pasta sauce or sauce over rice.  The last time I devoured it was at a large family gathering where its ease and deliciousness fit the bill.

While I enjoy that comforting version of crockpot cream cheese chicken, I looooove this spin into Crockpot Fiesta Ranch Cream Cheese Chicken with more depth of flavor,  endless possibilities and crazy little effort.

The chicken cooks in a marinade of spices until it is tender enough to shred, then is shredded and topped with with cubed cream cheese and ranch seasoning. until the cream cheese melts, then then stir it all together for creamy, tangy Mexican ranch chicken AKA the perfect canvas as is (I was devouring this chicken plain with a fork), or ready to make the best Mexican meal/tacos/enchiladas/nachos/burritos in minutes with beans, salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole and/or salsa verde.   Because I love you.

slow cooker cream cheese chicken in a white bowl

WHAT CHICKEN IS BEST FOR CREAM CHEESE CHICKEN?

You can use either boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs for this Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken recipe.

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts: I use chicken breasts in this recipe because they are leaner than thighs but still emerge wonderfully juicy from slow cooking all day.  You will want to check your chicken breasts towards the earlier end of the cooking window to make sure they don’t become overcooked.
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs: are dark meat and therefore inherently juicier and more forgiving than chicken breasts.

CAN I USE FROZEN CHICKEN?

  • Although it can be a time saver to add frozen chicken directly to your crockpot, this is not a safe practice.   The chicken spends too long at room temperature as it thaws and can grow bacteria.  Chicken – no matter what cut – needs to be thawed before it is added to the slow cooker.
  • It is best to thaw your chicken overnight in the refrigerator so it thaws evenly and completely.
  • To quickly thaw chicken, place chicken in a microwave safe dish and use the defrost setting, rotating the chicken occasionally.  Take care not to thaw to the point the chicken starts to cook or it will defrost unevenly.

CAN I SUBSTITUTE CREAM CHEESE WITH NEUFCHÂTEL CHEESE?

Yes you can!   Taste wise, they are so similar that most would never notice a difference and they can almost always be used interchangeably (a few exceptions are some cheesecakes and frostings).   Neufchatel is softer and spreads easier than cream cheese and has a lower fat content making it a great alternative in dips, appetizers, casseroles, and main dishes and this Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken!

showing how to make Cream Cheese Chicken by adding chicken to crockpot

HOW TO SEASON CREAM CHEESE CHICKEN?

What sets this chicken apart from traditional, often bland, Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken is the punch of Mexican seasonings.  We mix a tablespoon olive oil with cumin, ancho chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, oregano and  smoked paprika and rub it all over our chicken.

Although I personally use ancho chili powder a lot, I shy away from sharing it in recipes because I try and use common pantry spices so you don’t have to go buy more for one recipe – but this ancho chili powder makes this chicken.

Ancho chili powder comes from ground dried poblanos and  is more mild than cayenne or chipotle powder but still has a deep rich, smoky, mild sweet heat.  Chili powder, on the other hand, often has other spices mixed with it where as ancho chili powder is 100% poblano peppers with nothing else included.

I personally think ancho chile powder is perfect for this Fiesta Ranch Cream Cheese Chicken, so I promise if you buy ancho chili powder I will start using it more in my recipes so it won’t go to waste – and you can start with this recipe and my Blackened Fish Tacos  – so so good!

HOW TO MAKE CROCKPOT CREAM CHEESE CHICKEN

To make Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken:

  • Prepare slow cooker. Lightly grease slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add two tablespoons water.
  • Season Chicken.  In a small bowl, mix olive oil and seasonings EXCEPT Ranch seasoning. Rub mixture all over chicken then place chicken in the bottom of your slow cooker along with any remaining mixture.
  • Cook chicken until tender. Cook on high for 2-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours or until chicken is tender enough to shred.   If your chicken is not easily shredding, it simply needs more time to tenderize.
  • Shred chicken.  Remove chicken to a cutting board, and let rest 5 minutes then shred.  Drain excess liquid in slow cooker. Return shredded chicken to slow cooker.
  • Add cream cheese.  Top shredded chicken with cubed cream cheese and sprinkle with ranch seasoning. Cook on HIGH an additional 20 minutes then stir in cream cheese until chicken is evenly coated. Taste and add hot sauce to taste if desired.

CAN I FREEZE CREAM CHEESE CHICKEN?

I don’t recommend freezing Cream Cheese Chicken as freezing cream cheese will change the texture into unpleasantly dry, crumbly and grainy.

HOW TO REHEAT CREAM CHEESE CHICKEN?

Reheating cream cheese chicken by stove:

  • Place desired amount of chicken in a pot.
  • Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently – DON’T let it boil or the cream cheese can curdle.
  • Cook until evenly warmed through to 165 degrees, adding a little milk if needed to reach a creamier consistency.

Reheating cream cheese chicken by microwave:

  • Place desired amount of chicken in a microwave safe bowl or plate.
  • Heat on 50% power for 1-½ minutes.
  • Stir and repeat at 30 second intervals at 50% power until evenly warmed through.  Stir in a little milk if needed for creamier chicken.

adding Cream Cheese Chicken to tacos

HOW SHOULD I SERVE CROCKPOT CREAM CHEESE CHICKEN?

This make ahead Mexican Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken is the perfect busy weeknight dinner as you can prep the chicken and virtually forget it until dinner time then quickly assemble into tacos (like my Baked Fiesta Ranch Chicken Tacos!!), or whatever your heart belly desires.

In addition to using as a filling in tacos, taquitos, burritos, and enchiladas, you can serve cream cheese chicken over rice, pasta, quinoa, or spiralized veggies like zucchini.

IS CREAM CHEESE CHICKEN HEALTHY?

Cream Cheese Chicken only contains  chicken, spices, and cream cheese, so it is a great choice for those on low-carb diets.   If you are on a keto diet replace the ⅓ reduced fat cream cheese with regular.

Crockpot Cream cheese Chicken is also a great choice for those who are gluten-free as it does not contain any flour or grains.

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