This cream cheese chicken recipe has a delicious topping of ranch-infused cream cheese, bacon, and melty cheddar cheese that's baked to perfection.
This recipe is kinda like stuffed chicken... but easier/less messy to prepare, and the cheesy layer is on top rather than inside. This way, you're also able to get more of it, which is never a bad thing in my books. This recipe doesn't take a long to make and isn't too involved (20 minutes of it is baking time), so it's great for busy weeknights when you're in need of some comfort food.
I've seen recipes that use similar ingredients that are referred to as "Crack Chicken" (presumably because the flavors are addictive). Not sure I like that title, so we're going with the mouthful of a title that I came up with. 😉 This recipe also happens to be low-carb if that's important to you or you're cooking for someone who eats that way.
How to make ranch chicken with bacon and cheddar (overview):
Cook the bacon pieces until crispy; transfer to a plate and leave 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the skillet. Sear the chicken for 5 minutes/side. Meanwhile, make the cream cheese/bacon/scallion/ranch mixture, then spread it on top of each piece of chicken. Top the chicken pieces with the cheddar and remaining bacon. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until it's cooked through. (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
Recipe notes & tips:
- I recommend using an oven-proof skillet for this recipe, but you can use a regular skillet and transfer the chicken to a baking dish for the oven step if you prefer.
- The recipe will go much smoother if you let the cream cheese soften up first (you can leave it on the counter for an hour+ or microwave it until soft).
- If you happen to have some cooked bacon on hand, you can skip the chicken searing step if you wish (like just add the raw chicken straight to a baking dish), but timing will need to be increased to compensate for not searing the chicken in the skillet first.
- If you want to make this recipe a little lighter, try this: use only half the cream cheese and/or use 2 large chicken breasts and cut them in half lengthwise so you have 4 thinner pieces of chicken. You could also use less bacon if you absolutely need to... just make sure there's enough that the fat leftover is enough to sear the chicken in (I'd say at least 3 strips).
- Ranch seasoning and bacon are both salty, so be mindful if you're watching your sodium intake. You can always make your own homemade ranch seasoning to control the salt.
- Chicken is done when an instant read meat thermometer shows 165F in the thickest part. Its temperature will continue to rise while resting, so if it's over 160F, you can take it out of the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes or so before eating it.
Give these tasty recipes a try:
- Creamy Bacon Chicken
- Easy Ranch Chicken
- Bacon Ranch Mashed Potatoes
- Cream Cheese Smoked Sausage Pasta
- Bacon Cream Cheese Tortellini
Questions about this cream cheese topped chicken? Let me know in the comments below! Hope you enjoy it.
Cheddar Bacon Ranch Cream Cheese Chicken
- 6 strips bacon cut into small pieces
- 4 large chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pepper to taste
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning I used Hidden Valley
- 1/3 cup scallions chopped
- 1 cup cheddar cheese grated
- Preheat your oven to 375F and move the rack to the top third of the oven.
- Cook the bacon in a large oven-proof skillet until crispy (I cut it up quickly using kitchen shears). Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate, and leave about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the skillet.
- Season the chicken breasts with the garlic powder and pepper, then add them to the skillet and sear for 5 minutes/side over medium-high heat.
- Meanwhile, add the cream cheese (microwave it for 30 seconds or until soft if it's straight out of the fridge), ranch seasoning, scallions, and about half of the cooked bacon to a bowl. Stir until smooth.
- Once the chicken has been seared, take the skillet off the heat. Spread the cream cheese mixture equally over the top of each piece of chicken, then sprinkle the cheddar over top, followed by the rest of the bacon. If you don't have an oven-proof skillet, transfer the chicken to a baking dish for this step.
- Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. If your chicken breasts are on the smaller side, try 15 minutes then test for doneness (chicken is cooked at 165F).
- Let the chicken rest for a few minutes prior to serving so it's nice and juicy.
- I don't add extra salt to the chicken because bacon and ranch seasoning are quite salty. Before adding salt to this dish, be sure to taste it first.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.