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October 31, 2019

Instant Pot Crack Chicken Pasta

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Instant Pot Crack Chicken Pasta is the quick and easy family loved dinner recipe you’ve been looking for!  Delicious, creamy, cheesy and packed with tons of flavor! 

 

If you love pasta in your pressure cooker, I can almost guarantee Instant Pot Crack Chicken Pasta will be a new family loved favorite.  Over the last year, this is still one of our most popular recipes in the Instant Pot.  It’s so delicious and creamy.  

My beautiful friend, Lauren of The Tasty Travelers, and I made this pasta recipe together a few months back.  We had heard mixed reviews about crack chicken pasta online so we made a few modifications to the recipe to get it just right. 

The dish turned out so flavorful, creamy and absolutel delicious.  Even better, it serves up to 6 people in under 20 minutes in a pressure cooker.  If you also have a Ninja Foodie, be sure to check out Lauren’s site for tons of great Ninja Foodi recipes!

Like many of our other Instant Pot recipes (if you haven’t tried the Instant Pot Creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta, it’s also a must!), it can be modified to your or your families liking. 

For example, if you’d prefer your Instant Pot Crack Chicken Pasta be made with penne pasta as opposed to bow-tie, go for it!  If you want it take out the crispy bacon, do that, too.  Prefer to add a bit more shredded cheddar cheese?  Us, too!  Sounds delicious!  

What’s better than a dish with tender chicken, crispy bacon, cheese and ranch? We’ll take a double dose!  

Below, we’re sharing our tips, key ingredients and suggestions on how to make this the best Instant Pot Crack Chicken Pasta you’ll ever try.  If you make it, be sure to share online and tag us!  Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!  

Also, if you have other Instant Pot chicken recipes you love, we’d love to hear that too!  

 

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Using links to these sites means I may earn a percentage of the purchase at no cost to you. As an Amazon affiliate, I may recieve a percentage of qualifying purchases. 

 

TIPS FOR MAKING INSTANT POT CRACK CHICKEN PASTA:

For this Instant Pot Crack Chicken recipe, be sure you are using the ranch seasoning mix as opposed to liquid ranch dressing.  Ranch dressing will make a mess when you release the pressure and will not coat the chicken like the seasoning mix does. 

You can typically find ranch dressing mix or ranch packets at any grocery store, Target or Walmart.  

 

 

WHAT TYPE OF PASTA SHOULD I USE?

What is great about this Instant Pot Crack Chicken recipe is you can use any pasta of your choosing.  However, with a creamy pasta such as this, we love to use pasta shells that hold on to the cream sauce well.  Pasta shells such as penne pasta, fettuccini, rigatoni and more are our favorites. 

When cooking pasta in your pressure cooker, be sure to follow the tip before for cooking time.  

 

TIPS FOR COOKING PASTA IN YOUR INSTANT POT

When cooking Instant Pot recipes with pasta feel free to choose any pasta shell you might prefer.  Regardless of which pasta you choose, be sure to follow the cooking times indicated on the box of your pasta choice.  Whatever the box says – cut it in half and subtract 2 minutes. 

For example, if the box says to cook for 10 minutes, you will cut that in half (5) and subtract 2.  All together you would cook for 3 minutes.  

If for any reason you don’t feel as though your pasta is cooked enough, you can always place the lid back on your Instant Pot and pressure cook again for 0 minutes.  That should do the trick!

 

CAN I USE FROZEN CHICKEN BREASTS IN CRACK CHICKEN PASTA?

Yes, you certainly can!  If you need to use frozen bonesless skinless chicken breasts simply place the chicken in your pressure cooker and keep the cooking time the same.  It will be important to not that it will take the Instant Pot longer to come to pressure or to cook throughly.  

 

OTHER VARIATIONS TO USE:

If you are looking for additional ways to serve your crack chicken pasta, here are just a few additional items I love to add to give this family loved recipe a bit jazz!

  • Add veggies!  Broccoli and carrots would be a really great addition to this pasta dish.  It’s a great way to get the kiddos to eat their greens, too.  
  • Add a bit of buffalo sauce to your chicken to give it a tad bit of extra flavor or kick!  

 

 

INGREDIENTS FOR INSTANT POT CRACK CHICKEN PASTA:

  • 4 Slices bacon
  • 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning Mix
  • 1 pound of your favorite pasta- I recommend using bowtie, penne or rotini.  If you use long pasta like spaghetti or fettuccini the cook times for the pasta may under cook the chicken.
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth or chicken stock
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 
  • 1 cup milk (you can also use half and half, if preferred.  Feel free to use less or more depending on how creamy you like the pasta.)
  • Fresh parsley to garnish- it’s okay to skip this ingredient if you don’t like parsley or don’t have any on hand

 

 

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT CRACK CHICKEN PASTA:

  1. Turn on your Instant Pot and select the ‘Saute’ function.
  2. While the Instant Pot is heating up, slice bacon into 1/2 inch pieces.
  3. Once Instant Pot is “Hot” add bacon and sauté until fully cooked.
  4. Depending on the fat content of your bacon, you may need to remove some of the bacon fat from the Instant Pot.  Ideally, you want to remove all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the Instant Pot.  Remove excess bacon fat from Instant Pot with a ladle.
  5. Cut bonesless skinless chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes.
  6. Add chicken to Instant Pot and stir together with bacon until chicken is lightly browned.  Do not fully cook the chicken.
  7. Sprinkle ranch mix into the Instant Pot and coat bacon and chicken with seasoning.
  8. Select the ‘Cancel’ function to turn off your pot and reset the cooking function.
  9. Pour in chicken broth or chicken stock and pasta.
  10. Try to cover pasta with chicken broth by pushing pasta down in pot.
  11. Close the Instant Pot with the lid and move valve to “seal” position.
  12. Select the ‘Pressure Cook’ on high for time associated with the pasta that you are using.  Calculate cook time based on pasta of your choice.  Look at the box and take the suggested cooking time and cut it in half and subtract 2 minutes.  If the box says 10 minutes, cut it in half (5 minutes) and subtract 2.  So your total cook time will be 3 minutes.
  13. When timer beeps, quick release all pressure.  If a substantial amount of liquid sprays out of the valve, quickly move valve back to seal and wait a minute or 2 and then move valve back to release.
  14. Remove the lid and add in cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese. 
  15. STIR!!  This is when the cheesy goodness magic happens.  Stir everything together until it is well combined.  
  16. Slowly add in milk or half and half until you have reached your desired creaminess.  
  17. Add any additional salt and pepper, to taste.  
  18. Garnish with just a bit of fresh parsley.
  19. IT IS TIME!!!  Time for you to indulge in this creamy cheesy delicious goodness!  Go for it!  You deserve it!

 

LOOKING FOR OTHER DELICIOUS DINNER IDEAS?  HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF OUR FAVORITES:

 

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Instant Pot Crack Chicken Pasta

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SERVES/MAKES: 6 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning Mix
  • 1 pound your favorite pasta- I recommend using bowtiepenne or rotini.  If you use long pasta like spaghetti or fettuccini the cook times for the pasta may under cook the chicken.
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth or chicken stock
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup milk (you can also use half and half, if preferred.  Feel free to use less or more depending on how creamy you like the pasta.)
  • Fresh parsley to garnish- it’s okay to skip this ingredient if you don’t like parsley or don’t have any on hand

Instructions:

  • Turn on your Instant Pot and select the ‘Saute’ function.
  • While the Instant Pot is heating up, slice bacon into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Once Instant Pot is “Hot” add bacon and sauté until fully cooked.
  • Depending on the fat content of your bacon, you may need to remove some of the bacon fat from the Instant Pot.  Ideally, you want to remove all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the Instant Pot.  Remove excess bacon fat from Instant Pot with a ladle.
  • Cut bonesless skinless chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes.
  • Add chicken to Instant Pot and stir together with bacon until chicken is lightly browned.  Do not fully cook the chicken.
  • Sprinkle ranch mix into the Instant Pot and coat bacon and chicken with seasoning.
  • Select the ‘Cancel’ function to turn off your pot and reset the cooking function.
  • Pour in chicken broth or chicken stock and pasta.
  • Try to cover pasta with chicken broth by pushing pasta down in pot.
  • Close the Instant Pot with the lid and move valve to “seal” position.
  • Select the ‘Pressure Cook’ on high for time associated with the pasta that you are using.  Calculate cook time based on pasta of your choice.  Look at the box and take the suggested cooking time and cut it in half and subtract 2 minutes.  If the box says 10 minutes, cut it in half (5 minutes) and subtract 2.  So your total cook time will be 3 minutes.
  • When timer beeps, quick release all pressure.  If a substantial amount of liquid sprays out of the valve, quickly move valve back to seal and wait a minute or 2 and then move valve back to release.
  • Remove the lid and add in cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese.
  • STIR!!  This is when the cheesy goodness magic happens.  Stir everything together until it is well combined.  
  • Slowly add in milk or half and half until you have reached your desired creaminess.  
  • Add any additional salt and pepper, to taste.  
  • Garnish with just a bit of fresh parsley.
  • IT IS TIME!!!  Time for you to indulge in this creamy cheesy delicious goodness!  Go for it!  You deserve it!

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WHAT DID YOU THINK?




  1. This was delish. Next time I will probably add another ranch packet. I used more than a pound of chicken, so that’s probably why it tasted like it could use more. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hi Becca – It’s not a must, but I find it melts better with the pasta when it is closer to room temperature.

    • Standard “I had to add o e extra cup of water for my ninja foodie, and for spices I used an extra ranch packet, plus 2 tbps garlic powder and onion powder, black pepper, and a whole pack of bacon, I think 10 slices because I was a little short on chicken), but it cooked perfectly and was ridiculously delicious. A cardiologist may be in my future, thanks to this meal. Also added a pack of frozen broccoli and a cup of frozen peas. Easy, fast, tasty recipe.

      • Shannon, I am so glad you liked it! I love the additions you made to the recipe, as well! I have been meaning to add veggies, too! I’ll definitely have to try it your way next time – which will likely be next week since we have it so often these days! It’s a definite favorite in our house 🙂

    • I see 3 cups of chicken broth listed, so roughly 24 oz of chicken broth. Did you use 32 ounces? Which equals 4 cups?

      Asking because I am making this soon and would like to alter recipe so soup doesn’t happen!

      • Hi Ashley – I originally used 32 ounces in when cooking in my IP, but never had it come out watery. I did update the instructions this week to indicate using 3 cups (I tried that out this week) and it also worked. When using the 32 ounces, some mentioned it came out really flavorful, but had a more soup-like content. With that said, I would recommend going with the 3 cups as instructed now. Hope that helps! It is honestly one of our families favorites! Hope you love it!

    • Hi Tanya – I’m so sorry it came out more watery than you were expecting! This may be a silly question, but is the pressure cooker sealed correctly? Also, after pressure cooking, did you add the additional ingredients and it was still watery? We’ve made the recipe many times and never had an issue! I’m so sorry!