Creamy crockpot chicken is the slow cooker ranch chicken recipe you’ve been looking for! With just three ingredients, you’ll only spend a few minutes getting your crock pot ready in the morning and you’ll have dinner ready in the evening!
You wouldn’t know it from reading here, but I’m a huge fan of my slow cooker. There’s something magical about an appliance that can make one-pot meals.
It’s also kind of amazing that you can drop in a bunch of ingredients, and then pull off a delicious family meal hours later with very little work in between!
Not to mention you can make all sorts of unexpected food in the crockpot. Growing up, our family slow cooker was used almost exclusively for barbecue chicken, Italian beef and chili.
Now I know I can make fun recipes, like treats and desserts in my slow cooker, and I’ve started sharing the best of what I’ve made! Like this crockpot caramel, or my favorite cinnamon roll casserole. And I can’t forget about the best peach butter recipe along with the easiest homemade apple butter recipe.
But I don’t think I’ve shared a single savory slow cooker recipe, which is a shame, because I have so many to share! The slow cooker chicken recipe that I’m sharing today is right up there with my chicken alfredo crescent roll ups and my copycat KFC fried chicken recipe!
And, while neither of those recipes are difficult, this one for creamy ranch chicken is seriously, ridiculously easy.
Why you’ll love this creamy crockpot chicken recipe
There are more than a few reasons why you’ll love this slow cooker cream cheese chicken recipe!
1. It’s a delicious chicken crockpot recipe.
I’m going to tell you right now:
If I see a crockpot recipe that looks complicated or has several steps, I’m skipping right over it. I’m making a crock pot meal because I’m trying to avoid time spent actively cooking.
2. It’s only four ingredients.
The most basic version of this recipe requires just 4 different ingredients: chicken, cream cheese, ranch seasoning and shredded cheese.
There are two optional ingredients, bacon and green onions, that make it even better, but they’re definitely not required to make a delicious meal.
3. It’s super versatile
You can make this recipe for creamy ranch slow cooker chicken and serve it for dinner right out of the crockpot. It goes great with a ton of different easy foods. Here are just a few ideas:
- garlic mashed potatoes
- egg noodles
- baked potatoes
- White rice
- Brown rice
- wild rice
Put your creamy ranch chicken together with one of those sides and quick vegetable (or salad) and dinner is ready to go!
4. It makes great tacos and enchiladas
If you’re not feeling like making this ranch chicken and serving it with a side, it works really well as a different protein in your Tex-Mex foods! The last step in the recipe is shredding the chicken. After you do that, use it in tacos, burritos, or enchiladas. Or scoop it up with tortilla chips. Yum.
5. The leftovers are amazing
Creamy crockpot chicken is are one of those foods where the leftovers are almost better than the original meal!
6. It’s a keto chicken recipe that works for everyone
If you’re cooking for anyone on a keto diet, they can eat this keto crack chicken recipe with no risk to their diet. It’s super low-carb, tasty and easy. Put it in lettuce wraps or low-carb tortillas or eat it over riced cauliflower. No recipe adaptations are needed to make this chicken keto.
Important ingredients in this creamy crockpot chicken recipe
These are notes on the key ingredients you’ll need for this recipe. You’ll find exact measurements and instructions in a printable card at the bottom of this post.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts – I’m not picky when it comes to the chicken breasts I put in the slow cooker. Sometimes I’ll start with frozen (see the extra instructions below if you want to use frozen chicken) Other times I’ll use fresh.
If you have extra chicken I highly recommend this crockpot chicken and noodles recipe!
Ranch seasoning mix – I like Hidden Valley ranch mix – it’s a classic for a reason! Use traditional or buttermilk ranch, whichever you like better.
You’ll save money in the long run if you buy your ranch salad dressing mix in a container instead of packets.
If you’re measuring your mix instead of using a packet, a single envelope of ranch mix equals two tablespoons of ranch mix.
Cream cheese – If you’re doing a keto diet or low-carb diet, name-brand Philadelphia cream cheese almost always has fewer carbs than store brands or lesser priced brands. Isn’t that weird?
You can also use low-fat cream cheese if that’s what you prefer.
Finally, this set it and forget it recipe is easiest to set up when the cream cheese is cold. So, there’s no need to soften it.
Cheddar cheese (optional) – This recipe is all about the easy factor. Use packaged shredded sharp cheddar cheese if you want to. No judgement here! Otherwise, grate your own from your favorite brand of block cheese.
While you have that cheddar cheese out, try making this cheddar cheese quick bread. It’s ready in an hour!
Optional ingredients – There are a few ingredients you can add if you want to change up this crock pot recipe. Those additions and alterations can be found below.
To be clear, this recipe is the easiest of the easiest, especially since it tastes SO GOOD. It doesn’t have:
- Sour cream
- heavy cream
- Cream of chicken soup
- Cream of mushroom soup
- Chicken broth or chicken stock
- Poultry seasoning
- Garlic powder, onion powder or special spices
Of course, you’re free to add and change things to make the meal your own. Just know that the simple ingredient list makes this slow cooker dinner both quick and delicious.
Tools to help you with this recipe:
Cook & Carry Programmable Crock Pot – If you’ve ever dropped a slow cooker, you know how important handles are! This one is programmable AND it automatically switches to warm when it’s done cooking.
Slow cooker liners – These will change your life! I used to avoid using my crockpot because I hated cleaning it. I don’t have to worry about that now.
Meat shredding claws – I got these for my brother for Christmas a few years ago. He loves them!
How to make creamy crockpot chicken
This is an overview of how to make this dish (with pictures). You’ll find exact instructions and times in a printable card at the end of this post.
The steps to making creamy crockpot chicken are so simple, any capable person in your family can do it!
1. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Or make cleanup a breeze with these crockpot liners!)
2. Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the crockpot, and sprinkle the ranch dressing mix evenly over the chicken.
3. Divide the block of cream cheese into 5 or 6 even chunks and drop them on top of the chicken and ranch. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, until it reaches 165 degrees.
4. When the chicken is cooked, use two forks to shred the chicken, then stir to combine the chicken with the ranch and cream cheese.
5. If you want cheese, sprinkle with two cups of shredded cheddar cheese and cover the crockpot until the cheese has melted.
Recipe questions and variations
This section is to give advice and address the frequently asked questions about this recipe.
Can I use Italian dressing mix instead of ranch?
Yes! This changes it up to a creamy Italian chicken recipe and it’s delicious. I recommend topping the chicken mixture with both mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Other than that, just follow the recipe and you’ll have a delicious meal.
Can I use chicken thighs in this recipe?
Yes. You’ll need to use a pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs in please of the boneless skinless chicken breast in the directions. The rest of the recipe stays the same.
Can I use frozen chicken in this recipe?
Yes. I love being able to cook frozen chicken breast in my crockpot, and I’m happy to tell you how to do it.
Just extend your cooking time to 8 hours on low. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the temperature is at least 165 degrees, then continue the recipe instructions with shredding the chicken.
Can I make this creamy chicken in an instant pot?
Absolutely! There are a few changes, but it’s a pretty easy switch.
How to make cream cheese crack chicken in an instant pot
- Add 1 cup of water or chicken broth when you put your chicken in the instant pot. Don’t add any other ingredients.
- Cook on high pressure for 9 minutes.
- Let it sit for 3 minutes, then release the pressure.
- Shred the hot chicken with two forks, then stir in the cream cheese and ranch seasoning. Top with cheese, if desired.
What can I add to this creamy crockpot chicken?
Anything that sounds good! I’d recommend adding additional ingredients at the end, after the chicken is cooked and shredded.
In some of my pictures, you can see I added sliced green onions and crisp crumbled bacon. Here are a few other additions:
- Sauteed or canned mushrooms
- Sliced almonds
- Steamed broccoli
- Fresh or frozen peas
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
- 1 8 ounce package cream cheese
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
- Spray the inside of your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Or make cleanup a breeze with these crockpot liners!)
- Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the crockpot, and sprinkle the ranch dressing mix evenly over the chicken.
- Divide the block of cream cheese into 5 or 6 even chunks and drop them on top of the chicken and ranch. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, until it reaches 165 degrees.
- When the chicken is cooked, use two forks to shred the chicken, then stir to combine the chicken with the ranch and cream cheese.
- If you want cheese, sprinkle with two cups of shredded cheddar cheese and cover the crockpot until the cheese has melted.
Serving Size:1/2 chicken breast
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 283Total Fat: 18.8gSaturated Fat: 9.8gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 379mgCarbohydrates: 2.5gSugar: .1gProtein: 24.7g
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.