Crack Chicken Penne is a cheesy, creamy addictive combination of chicken, bacon, cheese, and ranch seasoning.


  • ▢6 slices smoked bacon cut into ½-inch diced pieces, divided into ¼ cup, and remainder
  • ▢2 boneless skinless chicken breasts approximately 1 pound, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ▢½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • ▢½ teaspoon salt
  • ▢¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ▢1 ounce packet of Ranch seasoning
  • ▢4 cups chicken stock
  • ▢½ pound penne pasta
  • ▢6 ounces of cream cheese
  • ▢10.5 ounce can cream of chicken soup
  • ▢8 ounce block of Colby jack cheese shredded, divided into 1½ cups and ½ cup
  • ▢2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley divided in half


  • In a large 12-inch skillet, on medium heat, add the diced bacon and cook for 9-11 minutes or until the fat has been rendered and the bacon pieces are crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve ¼ cup of the cooked bacon for garnish. Set aside all the bacon. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the skillet.6 slices smoked bacon
  • On medium-high heat, add the cubed boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced yellow onion, salt, and black pepper to the skillet. Cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes or until lightly browned. The chicken may not be all the way cooked through. That is fine because the chicken will continue to cook with the pasta.2 boneless skinless chicken breasts,½ cup chopped yellow onion,½ teaspoon salt,¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Once the chicken has been lightly browned and the onions are tender, add the ranch seasoning and chicken stock. Bring the chicken stock to a boil, then add the penne pasta. Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet with the lid, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the pasta is tender.1 ounce packet of Ranch seasoning,4 cups chicken stock,½ pound penne pasta
  • Remove the lid from the skillet and stir in the cream cheese and cream of chicken soup until fully combined and no lumps remain.6 ounces of cream cheese,10.5 ounce can cream of chicken soup
  • Add 1½ cups of the shredded Colby jack cheese, the cooked bacon pieces (except for the reserved ¼ cup), and 1 tablespoon of the chopped fresh parsley. Stir to combine.8 ounce block of Colby jack cheese
  • Top the crack chicken penne with the remaining ½ cup shredded Colby jack cheese (do not stir in) and cover the skillet again with the lid for 3-4 minutes or just until the cheese has melted on top.
  • Remove the lid and garnish the melted cheese with the reserved ¼ cup of bacon and the remaining 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley.6 slices smoked bacon,2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley


Yields: 6 (approximately 1 ⅓ cup) servings


  • To Store: Store leftovers in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 2 days.
  • To Freeze: I do not recommend freezing this dish.
  • To Reheat: Reheat on the stovetop or microwave until heated through.


  • This crack chicken penne should be served while warm. As this dish cools, the sauce will continue to thicken up.
  • You can place your package of bacon in the freezer for about an hour to firm up the bacon to make it easier to dice it into smaller pieces.
  • If you only have a larger container of the ranch seasoning mix, you will use about 2 tablespoons for this recipe.
  • I prefer to use full-fat cream cheese for this recipe. You can use reduced-fat cream cheese, but it won’t be as thick or creamy.
  • Use freshly shredded cheese instead of packaged pre-shredded cheese. They have additives in the bags to prevent clumping and they do not melt as well as a block of cheese that you shred yourself.
  • You can make this dish in a slow cooker or instant pot. Simply saute your bacon first and then dump all ingredients, including the uncooked pasta, in the crock pot and cook.