Crack Chicken Penne


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In the world of pasta dishes, there’s always room for innovation and flavor. One such culinary creation that has been capturing the hearts of food lovers is the Crack Chicken Penne. This dish combines the savory goodness of chicken and bacon with the creamy texture of cheese and cream, all enveloped in perfectly cooked penne pasta. If you’re looking for a recipe that’s sure to impress at your next dinner party or simply want to treat yourself to a decadent meal, look no further. Let’s dive into the delicious details of making Decadent Creamy Crack Chicken Penne Delight.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • 1 lb penne pasta: The base of our dish, penne holds the sauce beautifully with its cylindrical shape.
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken: Adds protein and depth of flavor.
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning mix: For that irresistible herby and tangy kick.
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened: The cornerstone of creaminess in our sauce.
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded: Brings a delightful cheesy pull and taste.
  • 3/4 cup bacon, cooked and chopped: Introduces a smoky, crunchy texture.
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth: Enhances the sauce with a subtle, savory depth.
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream: Elevates the sauce to luxurious creaminess.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil: For sautéing the onion and garlic to perfection.
  • 1/2 onion, diced: Adds sweetness and aroma.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced: A must for that essential garlic flavor.
  • Salt and pepper to taste: For seasoning.
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish: Adds a fresh, colorful finishing touch.

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Pasta Prep: Start by cooking the penne pasta as per the package instructions. Once done, drain and set aside.
  2. Sautéing the Aromatics: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and minced garlic, sautéing until they turn translucent.
  3. Creamy Sauce Creation: Turn the heat to low, then add the cream cheese and ranch seasoning mix into the skillet. Stir until you achieve a smooth and creamy consistency. Gradually introduce the chicken broth and heavy cream, stirring continuously to combine everything into a rich sauce.
  4. Adding the Main Ingredients: To the skillet, add the shredded chicken, half of the cooked bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese. Mix until the cheese melts and the ingredients are well incorporated.
  5. Combining Pasta and Sauce: Bring the cooked penne into the mix, stirring thoroughly to ensure each piece is coated in the creamy sauce.
  6. Garnishing and Serving: Finish off by sprinkling the remaining bacon and fresh parsley over the top for a dish that’s as appealing to the eye as it is to the palate.

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Serving Tips for Decadent Creamy Crack Chicken Penne Delight

Presentation Matters: Serve this rich and creamy pasta on a pre-warmed plate to keep it nice and hot. A sprinkle of fresh parsley not just adds a pop of color but also introduces a fresh contrast to the dish’s rich flavors. For a more rustic look, consider serving it in a cast-iron skillet right at the table.

Pairing Suggestions: Despite its richness, Crack Chicken Penne pairs wonderfully with a variety of sides. Consider a light, crisp green salad dressed with a vinaigrette to cut through the creaminess of the pasta. For wine enthusiasts, a glass of Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc complements the dish’s creamy texture and savory flavors beautifully.

Adding a Crunch: For an added texture, consider serving this dish with a side of garlic bread or a sprinkle of toasted breadcrumbs on top. The additional crunch provides a delightful contrast to the creamy pasta.

Storage Tips for Crack Chicken Penne

Refrigerating Leftovers: If you have leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The sauce may thicken upon cooling, so you might need to add a little milk or chicken broth when reheating to bring back its creamy consistency.

How to Reheat: Reheat leftovers in a microwave, using short intervals and stirring in between, or on the stove over low heat. If using the stove, add a splash of milk or chicken broth to help loosen the sauce. It’s important to reheat gently to prevent the sauce from separating.

Freezing Instructions: Crack Chicken Penne can be frozen, although the cream-based sauce may change texture slightly upon thawing. To freeze, let the dish cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. It can be stored for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat slowly on the stove, adding liquid as needed to adjust the consistency.

Quick Tips for Optimal Enjoyment

  • Fresh is Best: Garnish with fresh parsley right before serving to maintain its vibrant color and flavor.
  • Cheese Variations: Experiment with different types of cheese for varying flavors; smoked gouda or mozzarella can offer interesting twists.
  • Personal Touch: Feel free to adjust the amount of ranch seasoning to suit your taste preferences. More for a tangier flavor, less for a subtler taste.

By following these serving and storage tips, you’ll ensure that your Decadent Creamy Crack Chicken Penne Delight remains a tantalizing treat, whether enjoyed fresh or as a delicious leftover.


1. Can I make Crack Chicken Penne ahead of time?

Yes, Crack Chicken Penne can be prepared ahead of time, making it a perfect dish for meal prep or entertaining. You can cook the pasta and prepare the sauce in advance, storing them separately in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, reheat the sauce, combine with the pasta, and add a little extra cream or broth if needed to adjust the consistency. This approach ensures the pasta doesn’t become too soft and the sauce retains its creamy texture.

2. Is there a way to make Crack Chicken Penne healthier?

To make Crack Chicken Penne a bit healthier without sacrificing flavor, you can make a few adjustments:

  • Substitute whole wheat or legume-based penne to increase fiber content.
  • Use low-fat cream cheese and replace heavy cream with a lighter alternative, such as half-and-half or a plant-based cream.
  • Opt for turkey bacon instead of regular bacon to reduce fat content.
  • Increase the amount of chicken and add vegetables like spinach, bell peppers, or mushrooms to boost the dish’s nutritional profile.

3. What can I use if I don’t have ranch seasoning mix?

If you don’t have a packet of ranch seasoning mix, you can easily make a homemade version using common pantry spices. Mix together dried parsley, dried dill, garlic powder, onion powder, dried onion flakes, salt, pepper, and a pinch of dried thyme. Adjust the quantities according to taste preference. This homemade mix can be stored in an airtight container for future use.

4. How can I make Crack Chicken Penne vegetarian?

To create a vegetarian version of Crack Chicken Penne, omit the chicken and bacon. You can substitute these with a variety of vegetables like roasted red peppers, artichokes, spinach, and mushrooms for added flavor and texture. For a protein boost, consider adding cooked lentils or chickpeas. Use a vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to ensure the dish remains vegetarian-friendly. These substitutions allow vegetarians to enjoy the creamy, savory flavors of this dish without compromising on dietary preferences.


The Decadent Creamy Crack Chicken Penne Delight is more than just a pasta dish; it’s a celebration of flavors and textures that come together to create a truly memorable meal. Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or just looking to spice up your dinner routine, this recipe promises satisfaction in every bite. So, grab your apron, and let’s bring this culinary delight to life!

📖 Recipe

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Crack Chicken Penne

  • Author: Isabella
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


Discover how to make the ultimate comfort food with our Decadent Creamy Crack Chicken Penne Delight. This mouthwatering recipe combines tender penne pasta with a rich, creamy sauce, succulent shredded chicken, crispy bacon, and a blend of cheeses, seasoned to perfection with ranch mix. Ideal for family dinners or special occasions, this dish is sure to impress. Follow our easy instructions to create a meal that’s not only delicious but also a feast for the eyes.


1 lb penne pasta

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 packet ranch seasoning mix

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

3/4 cup bacon, cooked and chopped

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Cook penne pasta according to package instructions; drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and minced garlic, sautéing until translucent.
  3. Reduce heat to low, add cream cheese and ranch seasoning mix, stirring until smooth.
  4. Gradually pour in chicken broth and heavy cream, stirring continuously until well combined.
  5. Add shredded chicken, half of the cooked bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese to the skillet, stirring until melted and mixed.
  6. Combine the cooked penne with the creamy chicken mixture, mixing thoroughly.
  7. Garnish with remaining bacon and fresh parsley before serving.


Substitute the cream cheese and heavy cream with low-fat versions for a lighter dish.

Customize with your choice of vegetables for added nutrition.

Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Sautéing
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Crack Chicken Penne, Creamy Pasta Recipe, Decadent Chicken Pasta, Comfort Food, Family Dinner Recipe, Easy Pasta Dish, Cheesy Penne Recipe, Bacon Chicken Pasta

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