I’ve been going through a salad phase lately and was recently looking to make a big batch of protein to top my salads. At the same time, I wanted to find a family friendly recipe that could be used in versatile ways. My three year old loves salads and my one and a half year old has yet to meet a food she doesn’t like. I started looking at chicken with ranch recipes, hoping to appease our Midwestern tastebuds.
I found a few recipes that I liked and decided to switch things around and make one that I thought my family would enjoy most. The result was that we ate one batch for three days straight and then made another double batch by request of everyone in our house. The picture below doesn’t do it justice. It’s not the prettiest shredded chicken. Let me promise you, this is a crowd pleaser!
My husband commented that the chicken tasted really decadent, and while it does have a lovely combo of cheese going on, it isn’t as decadent as it tastes. It is delicious topped on salads, in wraps or burritos, or simply for dinner with some veggies and rice on the side.
This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to prep and then does it’s thing in the slow cooker while you are doing your own thing.
I threw down a bed of romaine and added diced tomatoes, red onion, a variety of beans, and corn. When I make salads I chop up a variety of veggies and keep them in the fridge so I have quick options for dinners or lunches during the week. You can also grab a microwaveable pack of rice and add a bit to your salads or wraps too.
The fun thing about salads is that you can change the fixings and feel like you are having a different meal every night.
Slowcooker Creamy Ranch Chicken:
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth (or water)
2 packets ranch dressing mix
1- 8 ounce package cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
Spray the inside of your slow cooker and then place chicken breasts in the bottom. Pour broth or water on top of chicken and sprinkle one packet of ranch on top. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Remove lid and discard most of the liquid, leaving a few tablespoons inside. Shred the chicken and then add cream cheese and another packet of ranch to the slow cooker. Let cook for 30 minutes and then remove lid and stir ingredients. Add the cheese and stir again. Put lid back on and keep on warm until everything is well mixed and you are ready to eat.
Note: I added the second packet of ranch because when you discard the juices, much of the mix is also removed. Since most of the liquid is removed before the rest of the ingredients are added, it might not be necessary to use broth, as it doesn’t add a lot of flavor. The liquid simply keeps the meat from sticking to the bottom of the pot. If you are concerned about sodium intake, it might be helpful for you to skip the broth.
We also served this at a party as a dip. Try it with crackers, pieces of tortilla, bread, or veggies. A few people even made mini quesadillas.