clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Crack Chicken Penne

  • Author: Easy Recipes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes


Dive into the world of comfort food with this irresistible Crack Chicken Penne recipe, a dish that promises to satisfy your cravings with its creamy, cheesy goodness. Perfectly cooked penne pasta is tossed in a rich sauce made from cream cheese, sharp cheddar, and ranch seasoning, then combined with tender shredded chicken and crispy bacon for a meal that’s bursting with flavor. This dish is a crowd-pleaser, ideal for family dinners, potlucks, or any occasion that calls for a hearty, comforting meal. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is straightforward and guarantees delicious results that will have everyone asking for seconds.



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 and creamy.
  4. Gradually pour in chicken broth and heavy cream, stirring continuously until the sauce is well combined.
  5. Add shredded chicken, half of the cooked bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese to the skillet, stirring until the cheese is melted and the ingredients are well mixed.
  6. Combine the cooked penne with the creamy chicken mixture, mixing thoroughly.
  7. Garnish with the remaining bacon and fresh parsley before serving.


  • Pasta Choice: While penne is recommended for its ability to hold the sauce, feel free to experiment with other pasta shapes. Just ensure the pasta is cooked to al dente to maintain texture after mixing with the sauce.
  • Protein Variations: Chicken is the protein of choice for this recipe, but leftover turkey works well too, especially after holiday meals.
  • Vegetarian Option: For a vegetarian version, omit the chicken and bacon and add roasted vegetables or a plant-based protein.
  • Cheese Substitutions: If sharp cheddar isn’t your preference, try using mozzarella for a milder flavor or a smoked gouda for a deeper taste.
  • Make-Ahead Tips: To save time, cook the pasta and prepare the chicken and bacon in advance. The sauce can also be made ahead and refrigerated. Combine and reheat gently when ready to serve.
  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For best results, reheat on the stove with a little added liquid to revive the sauce.
  • Freezing: This dish can be frozen, though the sauce may separate slightly upon thawing. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat carefully, stirring well to recombine the sauce.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • Serving Size: 6 servings
  • Calories: 689 kcal