This recipe takes the classic combo of tender chicken, crispy bacon, and zesty ranch to a whole new level by letting your slow cooker do the heavy lifting. With creamy textures, a touch of spinach, and cheddar cheese, this Crock Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta is a true winner for any day of the week!
Chicken bacon ranch pasta is a mouthwatering dish that brings together the savory goodness of tender chicken, smoky bacon, and the tangy kick of ranch seasoning. The flavors complement each other perfectly. the chicken adds a protein-packed base, the bacon contributes its smoky saltiness, and the ranch seasoning infuses a zesty, herby punch that ties everything together.
The best part is how easy it is to make! Use the slow cooker to your advantage using simple steps. Toss in your chicken, broth, and seasonings, then let the slow-cooking magic unfold. The low and slow approach not only tenderizes the chicken but also allows the creamy to come together. Once the chicken is cooked, add the rest of the ingredients to thicken it up. This chicken dish makes an excellent base for cooked pasta, which really makes the meal a satisfying comfort dish.
Whether you're feeding a hungry family or are in need of a quick weeknight dinner solution, this crock pot creamy chicken pasta fits the bill. Its hearty flavors and hands-off crock pot cooking make it a versatile go-to option for any occasion!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Everyone loves a flavor that combines tender chicken, crispy bacon, creamy ranch, and cheesy goodness in every bite.
- With your crock pot doing the heavy lifting, you’ll be able to create a well-rounded meal with little effort.
- Perfect for feeding a hungry family, whipping up a quick and satisfying weeknight dinner, or for meal prep.
- With only one pot to wash, clean-up is a breeze, especially if you use a crock pot liner!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Chicken Breast - This protein-packed star of the show forms the hearty base of the dish, becoming tender and infused with all the flavors as it slow-cooks.
- Low Sodium Chicken Broth - Adding depth and moisture, chicken broth serves as the cooking liquid that helps infuse the chicken with a savory flavor.
- Black Pepper - Brings a touch of warmth and enhances the overall flavor profile of the dish.
- Ranch Seasoning - This seasoning blend injects the dish with its characteristic zesty and herby notes.
- Cream Cheese - Melting into velvety goodness, cream cheese lends a tang and creaminess that binds all the elements together.
- Cheddar Cheese - Adds richness and a satisfying cheesy texture and flavor.
- Heavy Whipping Cream - Infuses the dish with a silky smooth texture and a smooth mouthfeel.
- Fresh Spinach - Adds a pop of vibrant color and a touch of freshness along with nutrition.
- Cooked Bacon - Provides a smoky, salty kick that enhances the overall taste while adding texture.
- Rotini Pasta - Acts as the perfect vehicle for delivering all the flavors, soaking up the creamy goodness and ensuring a satisfying bite every time.
How To Make Creamy Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta In The Crock Pot
Prepare the chicken: Trim any excess fat off of the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken in the bottom of a 6-quart crock pot and pour chicken broth over the top.
Season and cook: Sprinkle the ranch seasoning and black pepper on top of the chicken, then place the cream cheese on top. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or HIGH for 2½-3½ hours.
Finish the sauce: Remove chicken and mix in cheddar cheese, heavy cream, spinach, and bacon. Mix until well combined. Then add the chicken back in and continue to cook for 30 minutes.
Cook the pasta: While the sauce is thickening, cook pasta to al dente per directions on the package.
Plate and serve: Mix pasta into the sauce and serve while hot. Enjoy!
- To ensure even melting, cut the cream cheese into smaller cubes. Distribute them evenly over the chicken, allowing them to dissolve into the sauce as they cook.
- Reserve some chopped cooked bacon as a flavorful garnish when serving, adding a delightful crunch to each dish.
- You can leave the chicken whole or shred it using two forks or a stand mixer for a different texture.
- Cook the pasta to al dente. This is to make sure that the pasta does not get soggy when added to the sauce, as it will continue cooking slightly.
- For easy cleanup, use a crock pot liner to cook the chicken.
- Add a kick by mixing in diced jalapeños or a dash of red pepper flakes when you add the ranch seasoning. This transforms the dish into a zesty and spicy delight.
- For a savory boost, sautéed mushrooms can be a great addition. Cook them separately and stir them into the sauce along with the bacon and spinach.
- Amp up the herb flavors by incorporating fresh chopped herbs like parsley, chives, or dill. Sprinkle them over the dish just before serving for a burst of freshness.
- Opt for turkey bacon instead of regular bacon for a leaner protein source while maintaining that smoky and salty bacon goodness.
- Substituting some or all of the heavy whipping cream with plain Greek yogurt offers a tangy twist with higher protein.
- Amp up the vegetable content by adding diced bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, or even broccoli florets. These colorful additions bring more textures and nutrients to the dish.
- Combine the creamy ranch flavors with a touch of Alfredo by swapping the cheddar cheese for Parmesan cheese and using Alfredo sauce instead of heavy whipping cream.
- Feel free to mix and match these variations to create a custom version that suits your taste buds perfectly. Cooking is an adventure, so don't be afraid to get creative!
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Cool leftovers to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. When reheating, microwave or stovetop over low heat works well. Keep in mind that creamy dishes might thicken slightly after refrigeration, so you can add a splash of chicken broth or milk when reheating to restore the desired consistency.
Freezing: If you're planning to freeze portions of this dish, it's best to do so before adding the pasta. Allow the cooked chicken and sauce to cool completely, then portion them into airtight freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Leave some space at the top for expansion. Freeze for up to 2-3 months. Thaw the dish in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding the freshly cooked pasta to complete the meal.
Yes, you can use frozen chicken breasts, but keep in mind that they might release more liquid during cooking. To prevent excess moisture, reduce the amount of chicken broth slightly and adjust the cooking time, as frozen chicken will take a bit longer to cook through.
If you're looking to reduce the richness, you can replace the heavy whipping cream with half-and-half or whole milk. Just be aware that the sauce might be slightly less creamy but still delicious.
To prevent cream cheese clumps, ensure your cream cheese is at room temperature before adding it to the crock pot. Cut it into small cubes and distribute them evenly over the chicken, allowing them to melt gradually into the sauce.
Crock Pot Chicken Pasta Recipes
- Crock Pot Angel Chicken
- Crock Pot Creamy Chicken Pasta
- Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- Crock Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta
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Crock Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
- 1½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 (1 oz) packet of dry ranch mix
- 8 oz cream cheese (cut into 8 cubes
- 1½ cup cheddar cheese
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups fresh spinach (chopped)
- 8 strips bacon (cooked and chopped)
- 1 lb rotini pasta (cooked to al dente)
- Place chicken in the bottom of a 6-quart crock pot and pour chicken broth over the top.
- Season the chicken with black pepper and ranch seasoning mix. Then, place the cream cheese on top.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 2½-3½ hours.
- Remove chicken and mix in cheddar cheese until well combined. Add heavy cream, spinach, and bacon. Mix until well combined. Then add the chicken back in and continue to cook for 30 minutes. (* See Notes)
- While the new ingredients are cooking, cook pasta to al dente per directions on the package.
- Mix pasta into the sauce and serve while hot. Enjoy!
- Cubed Chicken - Cut into 1-inch chunks before adding it into the crock pot. If you use this method, you will not need to remove the chicken when adding the final ingredients.
- Shredded Chicken - If you use this method, in step four, shred the chicken with two forks before adding it back into the crock pot.
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.