Instant Pot Crack Chicken Pasta – chicken pasta loaded with cheddar, bacon and ranch! Seriously delicious! 4 minutes of cook time. We ate this two days in a row. Chicken, ranch dressing mix, bacon, chicken broth, water, cream cheese, penne pasta and cheddar cheese. Everyone cleaned their plate! Even our picky eaters!!
Remember this recipe.
Pin this recipe to your favorite board now to remember it later!Pin This Recipe
How many of you LOVE the Instant Pot?!?! I’ve owned one for over a year, but I just started using it. In case you aren’t familiar with the Instant Pot, it is an electric pressure cooker. You can cook just about anything in the Instant Pot. You can cook it fast or use it as a slow cooker.
Today I am sharing one of our favorite pasta dishes – Crack Chicken Pasta. Chicken and pasta loaded with cheddar, bacon and ranch. This is seriously DELICIOUS! The best part is that it takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish. Everything cooks in the Instant Pot – even the pasta! Woot Woot!
We made this Instant Pot Crack Chicken Pasta for lunch two days in a row. It was that GOOD!! I loved that I could cook everything in the Instant Pot. Only one pot to clean! I sautéed the chicken and then dumped everything else in and closed the lid. It takes the Instant Pot a few minutes to come to full steam, but once it is locked the pasta is ready in about 4 minutes. LOVE that!! Can’t wait to experiment more with the Instant Pot!
Instant Pot Crack Chicken Pasta
- 1- lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 (1-oz) package dry Ranch dressing mix
- 1/4 cup cooked chopped bacon
- 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese
- 1- lb dry penne pasta
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat Instant Pot on “Sauté” setting; add oil, chicken, and ranch packet, stirring to coat. Cook chicken 2–3 minutes.
- Add pasta, broth, and water to pot.
- Close lid, lock pot, select “Manual” setting and 4 minutes time. Cook pasta until time is up, then quick release and open Pot.
- Stir in cream cheese, cheddar cheese and cooked bacon until combined; let pasta set
- 5 minutes to thicken. Serve immediately.
Remember this recipe.
Pin this recipe to your favorite board now to remember it later!Pin This Recipe
Honestly, so so so good. Would be easy to add veggies (peas, chopped asparagus, broccoli, spinach, etc) but of course, we loved it as is even without the bacon! I’m attempting to make this a freezer meal so I will let you know how that goes. My favorite part of this meal is how inexpensive it is, my family’s favorite part is eating it!
Thought I had cream cheese and I don’t!!! Hopefully heavy cream will be a decent supplement??
I wouldn’t use heavy cream. The sauce would be SUPER thin, but you can make this any way that you would like.
It I double the recipe and all it’s ingredients will it fit in an 8 qt ninja foodi? Also can I use rotisserie chicken?
I don’t know. I’ve only made this in a 6-qt Instant Pot.
I made this the other night, but instead of 3 cups of broth and two cups of water, I used 4 cups of broth (an entire carton), 1/8 cup of dry sherry and 7/8 cup of water. It was delicious.
Could I use bow tie pasta?
I used rotini and it was awesome!
Sorry, I also fry my bacon in the instant pot, take out all except about 1 tbsp of the grease, add the bacon so the chicken is fried in bacon grease.
Has anyone used ranch dressing rather than the dry ranch seasoning? Curious as that’s what I have on hand at the moment!
For how long to cook I read somewhere and what I use is whatever the time it says to cook the pasta divide it in half and take off 2 minutes, If cooking in a instant pot. My pasta says 8 min so half is 4 min take away 2 min. My pot can only go down to 5 min at 2 min I start letting the pressure out that takes about 5 min or so.. I set it on Pasta setting and pressure of 7 I have a kuraidori pot. Works like a dream..
How can I adapt this for the 3qt IP?? Its just my husband n I and an apartment sized frig for leftovers 😊
I’ve made this a dozen times, as I made it once and my husband deemed it his favorite. It’s really easy so I don’t mind lol. I usually dump a little leftover liquid before I add cheese and I add green onion as garnish to mine.
Do you leave the chicken in there while the pasta cooks or do you remove it? Thanks!
leave it in
Made this today as a maiden voyage on my instapot. Added chopped tomato and added 2 min pressure cooking to cook noodles until soft. Perfect flavors and tender chicken. Will be doing this recipe again as it is delicious.
Can I use red lentil or chickpea pasta and would the cook time be the same?
Made this last night and it is delicious! Would like to make it for my Bunco group next week. Do you think making ahead and keeping it warm in a crock pot would be ok? I’m sure I’ll need to make 2 batches.
I think that would work great. Hope everyone loves it!
What do you think about freezing?
We love this but it makes a lot! Would be great if we could freze half!
I’ve never frozen this dish, so I can not say how it would taste reheated. If you try freezing it, let us know how it turns out.
Can you use rotisserie chicken instead of uncooked?
This recipe was simply amazing!!! Perfect Sunday dinner comfort food!! Picky kiddos gobbled it all up!!
This turned out very delicious and I would definitely make it again! It took a long time for the cream cheese to melt into the pasta though, so I would recommend cubing it or softening it to room temp before adding it in. Mine turned out a little watery even after letting it sit for 10 minutes, so I think I may try omitting 1/2 C water next time.
So great! Add a little old bay to your bowl…. thank me later!
Absolutely love this recipe! It is a favorite in our house. I do have one question though, what is the serving size or how many people would one batch of this feed? I’m assuming 8 since I have so much left over but was wondering if anyone knew the serving size off hand.
All serving sizes are listed under the recipe title.
This recipe does not have the servings under the title, as per your reply to someone that it does.
Yes it does
It says 6 people
I have an 8 quart instant pot/air fryer duo. Do I need to add more liquid or should that be enough, if so, how much? Also, I don’t have a manual button?? Not sure what to do since this is my first time using it… making this tonight, help please!!
SO. AMAZING! Definitely addictive! Going to try adding broccoli next time.
Planning to make tonight. Has anyone thrown in frozen veggies?
I’ve made this several times now. It’s my favorite, however I use 1/2 the chicken and sub Smoke sausage. Then sprinkle slap your Mama cajun seasoning on it. Oh so good!
Hello! Have you tried this with spaghetti or other types of pasta? Would that change the cook time?
Thanks so much!
Can this’ recipe be cut in half? If so would cooking time change?
I want to try this, but have to eat gluten free. Is the cook time in the pressure cooker just to cook the pasta? I’ve seen that gf noodles take different timing than regular. thx.
I only have a 3qt instant pot. Do you have any tips for adjusting the recipe?
Can you use frozen chicken? If so, how would the cooking time be adjusted? Thanks!
Made this for dinner last night. I slightly tweaked it to our tastes by sautéing a small onion and 3 garlic cloves in the oil before adding the chicken. I also added 3 diced red Thai chili peppers. It was a huge hit. This will definitely go on the easy and quick rotation.
Can this be made in the 8 quart?
What a tasty treat. I added spinach, to make it be a bit healthier
. Going to try broccoli next time. Thanks
Can I use mozzarella cheese instead?
Can you use frozen chicken?
I haven’t made this with frozen chicken, so I can not say how to adjust the recipe.
Great simple recipe! I’ve made this a bunch of times. One trick I learned is that you can actually cook the bacon beforehand using the sauté function and then use the leftover bacon fat in lieu of the olive oil.
Just cooked this! Very simple recipe thanks for sharing! I added some rotel tomatoes and some slap your mama seasoning and cooked just as the directions stated and it was amazing! So good, thanks so much for sharing! I will definitely be making this again!!
I know im late to the crack chicken game but man i just made this tonight and its great!. I was a wee bit hesitant on how watery it was when i took the lid off however it set up beautifully!
I made this and followed exactly but it’s not thickening up. Any solution?
This isn’t a very thick sauce. It will thicken some as it cools. You can try stirring in some cornstarch if you want the sauce thicker.
Could I double all the ingredients if I had a big family
Sure – as long as it fits in your Instant Pot
This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it. I was wondering about the cream cheese. Do I need to soften the cream cheese in the microwave first? Thank you!
I did not do that, but you can if you prefer.
Hey I have the duo nova and i too dont have a manual button. I googled it and found to use the pressure cooker buttom and put it on 4 mins for time and it came out perfectly.
I made this with an extra pound of chicken but left everything the same. Didn’t stir in the bacon cause we have a family member who does care for it in pasta. I also added red chili flake to mine for a little spice and it was really good. I plan to use this method for homemade blackened chicken alfredo. Couldn’t believe how fast this came together, thank you for sharing!
My whole family loved it!
I made this last night for dinner. My daughter (19 yo) said it was the best thing she ever had. My husband loved it as well. My only issue was that the chicken was dry so next time (and there will be a next time) I will only sautee the chicken with the oil and ranch mix for a minute just to coat it. And we have leftovers so dinner tonight, especially since I work until 6 tonight.
Easy and Yummy!
Do I have to add more chicken broth or water if I have an 8 quart so it doesn’t burn?
If I wanted to double the recipe, would I double everything and would that all fit in the instant pot?!
If I double the recipe, should liquid be doubled as well or stay the same? Thank you!
Did you pre cook the chicken at all?!
Since there are so many Instant Pot sizes, what size pot is this recipe intended for. I understand that most recipes are for the original 6 qt but I need to check as mine is only a 3 qt and I have to half the recipes.
I used a 6-qt Instant Pot
Would these ingredient amounts be suitable for a 3 qt size instantpot or would they need to be cut down somehow?
What setting would I use for the ninja foodi, it doesn’t have a manual option
High pressure – I’m not familiar with the Ninja foodi.
Just made this and it’s super easy and perfect!!! Yummy!! Thx!!!
I made everything to the recipe, but after 4 minutes on high pressure, there was still a lot of liquid in the pot. Is this normal?
The sauce should thicken as it cools.
I made this and both my husband and I loved it. Is there a trick to the quick release that doesn’t send steam loaded with the ranch dressing particles spewing all over my cabinets?
Can breasts be substituted with boneless thighs?
I made this on the stove top and I would NOT normally experiment but it sounded to delicious! I’m stuck at home for a month so I’m need new recipes!!
I started with the chicken olive oil and ranch in a pan. Once that got going I put the chicken both, water and pasta in a pot and kept that boiling. Once the chicken was cooked I dumped everything into the pot and let that cook until the pasta was complete then added the rest on simmer until everything melted. Only thing I’d do different is to add more bacon next time. Hope this helps anyone!!
Can u use ranch dressing instead of the dry ranch seasoning,?
I have read in other recipes no it adds to much liquid you have to use the dry powder
The Ranch Powder flavors it….so you need it dry….also thickens it a bit
My instapot doesn’t have a manual button either but when I watched the video when you set the time for 4 minutes I see @ your end it’s on “high pressure” so I’m assuming you use “high pressure” then for the 4 minutes? I can do that if that’s the right pressure you should use??
yes – high pressure would work for this recipe
Any other seasoning ideas? I’m not a ranch fan 🥴
Great flavor! I used 2 breasts/1 lb and 4 slices of bacon (which was at least the amount called for). Next time, I’ll use a full package of bacon and a 3rd (maybe even 4) breasts. OR maybe I’ll just use less pasta. This recipe makes plenty, but the ratio of pasta to chicken and bacon = too much pasta. I think when the cheeses are stirred in and melted, I might also toss in a couple of handfuls of spinach. Good recipe!
Added some Harry and David roasted peppers to this. Used the original flavor. Great stuff!
Absolutely amazing and so simple to make! Thank you!!
Amazing! Have made this twice so far and I just recently got my instant pot. It's mine and my boyfriend's go to dinner option because it's so easy and cheap to make! I had to adjust the recipe a little. I cooked the chicken on Saute for seven (7) minutes and we added bacon bits instead of cooked bacon. So delicious!!!!
Hello! I am new to instant pot and didn't see this in the comment thread – would using whole wheat pasta make a difference on cooking times? Thanks!
Needed a fast and easy dinner that tasted delicious, this was it! So good and so easy! Thanks!
Any other pastas tried on this recipe? Like, would No-Yolk Egg Noodles work?
Don't love penne.
After pressure cooking, should there still be a lot of liquid in the pot?
There will be a good amount of liquid in the pot. This is what makes the sauce. It will thicken upon standing.
Can I use left over chicken? If so, would time remain the same?
The cooking time would remain the same. You can add the cooked chicken in before cooking or stir it in with the cheese.
Silly question, does the chicken have to cook thoroughly before I stop starting it and turn on the pressure cooker mode?
No – it will finish cooking with the rest of the ingredients.
Has anyone tried adding potatoes to this?
If I halved this recipe would the cooking time still be the same?
5 cups of liquid….is this correct? Seems like a lot of liquid for that amount of pasta. Just don't want to ruin it.
The recipe above is correct…..
I just tried this and loved it. I made the original version for a meal to take to a new mom in our church, and I made a gluten free version for our family. I used the Tinkyada gluten free pasta, 1 bag, and just put it up to 6 minutes. It worked well, and both of my kids loved it. Thanks!
This turned out great and was beyond easy! I added some sautéed mushrooms and extra bacon. Yummy! Thanks!
Love the addition of mushrooms and you can never have too much bacon!
How do I copy just the recipe without all the other advertisements
This is such an awesome recipe. I have made it quite a few times since I got my Instapot. Turns out perfect every time. My husband is a very picky eater and he loves it. Thank you for such a delicious recipe.��
Can you double the batch in a 6 quart size instant pot
I don't think a double batch would fit. I made this in a 6-qt IP and it was pretty full.
Love your instant pot recipes! Made this last night, all 5 of us liked it and ate every bit! I did accidentally read the amount of cheese wrong and added 2- 8oz bags of shredded cheese. It was extremely cheesy, but no one complained. I'll probably follow your recipe correctly and use only 1 bag next time.
My first time making crack chicken. I’ve seen several recipes but decided to use this one. Very good after thickening up a bit. I think I’ll add a bit of hot sauce next time for some kick. The only hiccup was that I definitely had to deglaze after sauté. Those new to IP might not know this step is crucial to prevent that dreaded notice ��
Is it supposed to be watery? I put in the right amount of stock and water but when done cooking it was watery? Is this how it's supposed to be?
It should thicken after adding the cheeses and sitting for a couple of minutes
I made this tonight and it was still pretty runny after only 5 minutes. After about 10 minutes, it was nice and thick. I also added frozen peas and frozen corn at the end with the cheeses. It was very good!
Once cooked, how much would be one serving? I'm new and still leaving about serving sized
Finally I have found the perfect Crack Chicken recipe for my pressure cooker! Followed the recipe to as is and wow! My family devoured it! Thank you for sharing! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thank you so much for this! I doubled the recipe and did not add extra cooking time and it turned out great. The family who came over said it was their new favorite meal and could not say enough good things about it.
I made this recipe tonight and it was sooooo good definitely a hit with the family. We were out of cream cheese so I used heavy whipping cream and it tasted so good. I don’t think it changed the flavor at all.
If I want to cut this recipe in half is there any ingredieny that can't be halved? Broth, water, etc? I assume cooking times would remain the same ?thanks!!
I always have trouble with pasta measurements. What would one pound of penne be in cups, ounces or even grams? Thank you!
A pound of pasta is 16 ounces. Most brands sell 16-oz boxes.
Just to be clear, since this is the first time I am using my instant pot, you preheat Instant Pot on “Sauté” setting. Do you do this before you add the oil, chicken and ranch packet?
Yes – turn the pot on Sauté and then cook the chicken. Just let it heat up for a minute or two before adding the oil and chicken
What size instant pot did you use? I made this tonight, and it tastes amazing but when I released the pressure I had liquid spewing from the vent.
Do you leave the chicken in the pot when you cook the pasta? n
If the 45 mins includes how long it takes to come to pressure, then that's probably about right. I've not made this recipe yet, but pretty much everything I make in the instant pot takes at least 30 mins to come to pressure, sometimes more.
Made this tonight and it was great! Any idea on the caloric count? I am sure I could figure it out, but thought you might already know. Thanks for the recipe!
Can I just cut this recipe in half if I'm using a Mini instant pot?
I've never used a mini instant pot, but I assume it would work.
Made this for the second time and used small shell pasta instead of the penne. It tastes so good!
Just made this for dinner tonight in the Crock-Pot express crock! We were short on cheddar, so I had to substitute a cup of mozzarella. It was amazing!
I have a little over 1 pound of thin chicken breast, can I just put in pot without sauteing so it doesn't dry out?
You can certainly give that a try. Enjoy!
I just made this tonight and it was very good! I substituted cauliflower for the pasta and I only put in 1 cup chicken broth and no water, it turned out amazing! I wanted to go back for seconds but too full. Thank you for the great recipes!
I made this last night with Barilla gluten free penne pasta. Cut cook time to 3 minutes and turned out perfect
How long does the leftovers last for in the Fridge?
Does the chicken have to be thawed first?
What size pot do you have? My pot took 20 minutes to come up to pressure.
Manual setting on HIGH for 4 minutes?
My chicken came out dry in this recipe, suggestions?
Maybe cut down on the sauté cooking time
Dont cook the chicken all the way when you add it to the bacon. I make sure it is white all over no pink on the outside so a few min thats all. Then it will finish cooking when pasta is cooking. I have made it a lot and never had it dry.
My husband doesn't like cheese. Crazy I know!!! Will this be ok without the cheddar cheese? I can get by without it?
I haven’t tried this recipe without cheddar cheese, so I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.
I don't have a manual button so I'm assuming it's the Pressure cook button on normal for 4 minutes and it says high pressure? I'm very new to this Instant pot business!
Yes – high pressure
I need recipe for serving 6 people. Can you help me know how to adjust recipe. Thanks
The recipe as written will serve 6
I made this and it's delicious. I used 4 oz of jalapeno cream cheese and 4 oz of regular cream cheese and it gave it that kick I love
That sounds delicious!! Glad you enjoyed it!????
Is the cheddar cheese 2 cups or 8oz (=1 cup)?
Both – 8 ounces of shredded cheese is 2 cups not 1 cup as you are saying.
If you look at bags of cheese in the store you will see they are sold as 8 ounces and equal 2 cups.
8oz is 1 cup.
Unknown – you are incorrect. 8 ounces of cheese is 2 cups.
Eight ounces of cheese refers to 8 ounces by weight. When you see 1 cup as 8 ounces that means 8 fluid ounces which is a measure of volume. The weight of 1 cup of will vary greatly on what that cup contains.
I accidentally put the cheddar cheese in with all the ingredients and went already locked the lid and pushed manual time for 4 mins. Hopefully it won’t turn out bad. What do you think?
If I cook this just on the stove cooking the penne as usual, would I still need to add the 2 cups of water?
I haven’t made this on the stove top, so I can’t give you exact directions. I would say that you don’t need the water if making it in the stove
Do You have to use cheddar cheese
use any cheese you want
Made this exactly as your recipe said and it turned out awesome. WAS wondering if I could freeze the leftovers to use at a later date?
I haven't frozen the leftovers,but you could give it a try! Glad you enjoyed it.
This looks great! You say you cooked everything in the one pot. Does that include the bacon? I didn't see that part.
You can. I used precooked bacon so it didn't need to be cooked in the pot.
I would think you could cook the bacon in the IP then leave the bacon grease in there to cook the chicken instead of oil. More bacony 🙂
I was thinking the same thing! I’m going to try it that way.
This comment has been removed by the author.
Can you make without cream cheese????
you can certainly give it a try. The cream cheese just makes it nice and creamy. You could also try stirring in some sour cream after the pasta cooks.
Made this tonight exactly as written. It was delicious, and double toddler-approved! Thank you so much for the recipe!
Awesome!!! So glad it was a hit!
I tried this tonight with my Power Cooker Plus!! Overall it came out pretty good but I had trouble and didn't know which setting to cook the 4 minutes on since my cooker doesn't have a "manual" option. At first it seemed way took watery, even after adding the cheese, so I cooked on high level "saute" but definitely took longer than expected, more like 45 to make …any idea which option I should have chosen instead?
It shouldn’t take 45 minutes to make – it wouldn’t take that long on the stovetop. I’m not familiar with your pressure cooker, but a google search tells me that you need to look at the owners manual to find the preset that has a 4 minute cook time.
Made this tonight for the first time, added cooked drained spinach when we added the cheeses and let it all sit! Turned out amazing! Had leftovers even after we had second helpings! Made for an easy dinner on a hot summer day! Thanks!
Can I double this for a family of 4-5 and double the cooking time?
I just made it right now. We are a family of 7 (well 6 that eat by mouth) and it fed 5 us us with leftovers. I know sounds weird. One child is at my parents for the summer and my youngest eats via gtube. Only 3 of the 5 kids ate it and LOVED it. Definently making it again. It was hubby and kids approved. 🙂
Can I double this for a family of 4-5 and just double the cooking time?
omg—I just made this, and it is delicious! Sunday plans fell through, so had to have something in a hurry (Yay! Instant Pot!) Had one huge chicken breast, a packet of Fiesta Ranch, leftover bacon crumbles, the last bit in a jar of fire roasted tomatoes, not quite enough cream cheese, and a mix of the ends of a couple of bags of cheese, and pasta. It worked! Thank you!
Woohoo!! Sounds delicious!!
Been having issues with pasta not cooking all the way is there a trick?
Did you have problems with the pasta in this recipe? It turned out perfect for me. I used Barilla pasta. Make sure to push the pasta into the liquid before sealing the pot.
Yumm!! I can't wait for more instant pot recipes!
Outstanding – thank you so much, Stephanie! Best!
Carol – an Instant Pot is just an electric pressure cooker
should work in a pressure cooker to
How much Cheddar cheese? It's not listed in the ingredients. Glad to see you are enjoying your Instant Pot and I look forward to more recipes!
I fixed it! Thanks for catching that.