Instant Pot Creamy Bacon Ranch Crack Chicken

*2019 Update: new pictures & recipe tips, PLUS a bonus video of how to quickly & easily shred chicken!*

Holy cow, this Instant Pot Crack Chicken recipe has taken off! If you’re joining me from Pinterest, welcome! Be sure to check out the FAQs & recipe tips below the Crack Chicken recipe, and feel free to comment with any other questions you have.

Don’t forget to check out some of my favorite family-friendly Instant Pot recipes, like Honey BBQ Chicken Tacos, Italian Sausage Penne, and Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal

If you’re just getting started with your Instant Pot, you’ve come to the right place – this is a GREAT first recipe to try out in your new electric pressure cooker. 

But first, since this thing can be intimidating as hell, let me give you a few quick tips to get you started. Every recipe has all kinds of acronyms and jargon – QR, NPR, LO, WTF?! – and I know I was completely lost trying to figure it all out on my own.

Instant Pot Basics

First things first, I want to clear up one thing that almost turned me off of the Instant Pot altogether when I first started testing it out. It’s obviously called an “Instant Pot” and nearly everything recipe touts that you can cook “a whole chicken in just 20 minutes!” or “a baked potato in 10 minutes flat!” and it will “revolutionize your meals.”

I was really expecting this to be a game changer for my work nights, when I need to get dinner for my family on the table in 20 minutes flat with two toddlers spinning in circles around me.

Well, I’m sorry to break it to you, but this machine is not that magnificent (for the most part). If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

See, the catch is, the food might cook for 10 minutes, but it also takes the machine anywhere from 10-30 minutes to pressurize (build up enough heat and steam to seal the pot and cook your food), and then sometimes you have to do a natural pressure release (NPR) after it’s done cooking for 10-20 more minutes (translation: let the pot sit and release pressure on its own for an extra 10 minutes, after the cooking timer goes off. The alternative is a Quick Release (QR), which means you flip the valve and release the pressure immediately when the timer goes off.).

That time adds up real fast, especially if the meal requires any chopping, mixing, or sautéing before cooking.

The benefit, though, is that you can do more of your cooking all in one pot. For example, if your meal has a sauté step (like this one does), you can do it right in the pot, without dirtying another pan (+1,000 points in my book).

So, when you’re ready to dive in and try your very first Instant Pot meal, take that added time into account and plan accordingly, because I did not, and I ended up with a hangry baby and husband to contend with.

In the recipes you’ll find on this blog, I always account for the time it takes to build pressure and release pressure, so you can count on the total time shown being pretty close to accurate. 

NOW, on to the best Instant Pot chicken recipe ever!

Instant Pot Creamy Bacon Ranch Crack Chicken

Creamy Bacon Ranch Instant Pot Crack Chicken is the ultimate family friendly recipe! It takes less than 45 minutes, beginning to end, all in one pot, and is a major family-pleaser. Even toddlers will love it!

With ingredients like bacon, cream cheese, and ranch dressing, you already know this recipe will be a family-pleaser. But when you add in the fact that this recipe is also a one-pot meal, you know it’s gonna be a MOM-pleaser, too.

First, turn on the Instant Pot and press the Sauté button. While it heats up, chop up the bacon, then toss it into the pot. Stir frequently until the bacon is nice and crispy.

Scoop out the bacon onto a paper towel, and drain the grease from the pan. Make sure to scrape any stuck bacon bits off the bottom of the pot.

Put the bacon back in the pan, along with the chicken broth, ranch seasoning, and chicken, and stir it all up.

Place the lid on the pot and seal it, making sure the valve on top is pointed to “sealing.” Press Manual, and set the timer to 12 minutes. Since the pot has been sautéing for a bit and is already hot, it should only take 5-7 minutes to reach pressure, and then it will start counting down from 12 minutes.

After the timer goes off, let it naturally release pressure for 5-10 minutes. This basically means just leave it alone; it’ll automatically switch to “keep warm” mode, and the clock will start counting up again, to mark how long it’s been naturally releasing pressure.

Once it reads at least L0:05, flip the valve to “Vent” to quick release the rest of the pressure. Be careful! I recommend using a wooden spoon to do this, so you don’t accidentally burn yourself with the steam.

When the pressure is released and the pin has dropped back down, unlock the lid and remove the chicken from the pot to shred.

Pro tip: shred your chicken in a stand mixer and save yourself the agony of shredding it with two forks. Yes, it adds another dish to this one-pot meal, but it’s so worth it in this case. Just drop the whole cooked breasts into the mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, turn the mixer to low for about 30 seconds, then get on with your life. See for yourself!

Turn the pot back to Sauté and add the softened cream cheese to the broth mixture. Stir it for a few minutes, until it melts into this creamy goodness – I use a whisk at the end to really combine it all.

Add the shredded chicken back into the pot and stir it all up, ’til it’s all nice and evenly coated in your creamy, bacon-y, ranch-y sauce. Serve it over brown rice or penne pasta, or on slider buns (my family’s favorite), and top it with shredded cheese and chopped green onions.

Creamy Bacon Ranch Instant Pot Crack Chicken is the ultimate family friendly recipe! It takes less than 45 minutes, beginning to end, all in one pot, and is a major family-pleaser. Even toddlers will love it!

Trust me, y’all, your family is going to love this recipe. Even my TODDLER eats it willingly! I know, I know, I wouldn’t believe me either, so I documented him happily sitting in his chair, taking bites of his own volition.{Cue shock & awe!}

Creamy Bacon Ranch Instant Pot Crack Chicken is the ultimate family friendly recipe! It takes less than 45 minutes, beginning to end, all in one pot, and is a major family-pleaser. Even toddlers will love it!

Instant Pot Crack Chicken FAQs

You’ll find the full Crack Chicken recipe below – but first, I wanted to go over some of the questions I’ve gotten on this recipe over the years. I’ve compiled the most common ones here. Leave me a comment if you have any other questions!

What if my Instant Pot doesn’t have a “Manual” button?

Since all electric pressure cookers (even the various Instant Pot models) are a little bit different, yours may not say “manual” like mine does. It just means High Pressure – so use whatever setting your pot has that cooks on high pressure.

Can I use frozen chicken breasts in my Instant Pot?

You sure can! That’s the beauty of a pressure cooker. Generally, the cook time will remain the same, but it will take a few extra minutes to reach pressure. You can always add 1-2 minutes to the cook time, if it makes you feel better.

Why is my chicken still raw after I the Instant Pot finished cooking?

This has never happened to me with this recipe, but several commenters have reported it happening to them. Here’s my best guess: the pot may never have reached pressure. Sometimes, if there’s something stuck to the bottom of the pot (like the bacon bits), it’ll prevent the pot from sealing; therefore it never actually gets to the pressure cook stage.

Unfortunately, the Instant Pot doesn’t give a warning or an indication that something is wrong most of the time, so there’s no way to know it hasn’t properly sealed unless you’ve been watching it, and see that it never kicks on to the timer.

Another possibility is that your sealing ring wasn’t fully in place, also preventing the pot from sealing. This has happened to me many times. The pot will start counting down, but you might see that there’s still steam coming out the top – that’s a good indicator that the sealing ring is out of place, so you should turn the pot off, flip the valve to vent, and remove the lid. Double check the ring, and make sure it’s really firmly in place, and try again.

Why isn’t my cream cheese mixing in smoothly?

Make sure the cream cheese has softened to near room temperature before combining with the sauce. Cut it into smaller cubes and allow it to melt a little bit into the hot broth. Use a whisk (or even an immersion blender) to really combine it.

What do you serve Crack Chicken with?

My family loves Crack Chicken on Hawaiian Rolls. I’ve also served it on regular slider buns, on top of a baked potato, and over rice or pasta – they’re all delicious!

Yield: 4 servings

Instant Pot Creamy Bacon Ranch Crack Chicken

Instant Pot Creamy Bacon Ranch Crack Chicken

This creamy bacon ranch Crack Chicken is the perfect family-friendly recipe for the Instant Pot. Your family will be hooked!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6-9 pieces bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 pkt. ranch seasoning
  • 2 lbs. chicken breasts
  • 8 oz. light cream cheese, softened and cubed
  • 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 4-5 green onions, chopped

Instructions

  1. Turn Instant Pot on to Sauté mode, and cook the chopped bacon for 5-7 minutes until crisped. Scoop out the bacon onto a paper towel, and drain the grease from the pan. Make sure to scrape any bacon bits off the bottom of the pot.
  2. Put bacon back in the pan, and add chicken broth, ranch seasoning, and chicken. Seal the Instant Pot, press Manual, and set the timer for 12 minutes. Since the pot has been sautéing for a bit and is already hot, it should only take around 5-7 minutes to reach pressure.
  3. When the timer goes off, allow 5 minutes for natural pressure release, and then turn the valve to “vent” to quick release the rest.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pot, and shred using two forks or a stand mixer.
  5. Set the pot back to Sauté and add cream cheese, whisking for a few minutes until melted.
  6. Put shredded chicken back in the pot, and stir to combine.
  7. Serve over rice or pasta. Top with shredded cheese and chopped green onions.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 692 Total Fat: 30g Saturated Fat: 13g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 14g Cholesterol: 263mg Sodium: 1683mg Carbohydrates: 11g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 5g Protein: 89g
Creamy Bacon Ranch Instant Pot Crack Chicken is the ultimate family friendly recipe! It takes less than 45 minutes, beginning to end, all in one pot, and is a major family-pleaser. Even toddlers will love it!

66 Comments

  1. For everyone looking for nutrient information, I calculated the following using the site https://nutritiondata.self.com/

    I also calculated based on 1.5 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and a 1 oz packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing:

    For the entire recipe/a serving (1/4 of the total recipe):
    1024 / 256 grams – weight
    2,626 / 656 calories
    36.8 / 9.2 grams carbohydrates
    214.3 / 53.58 grams protein
    173.74 / 43.44 grams fat

    I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did 🙂

    • Thanks for this, Robert! I actually just upgraded my recipe plugin as well, so nutrition info is now included with the recipe card, for anyone else still looking. 🙂

  2. Do you happen to have any nutritional information for this recipe? I made it tonight over rice for dinner tonight and it was delicious!!

    • Very yummy! Me, my husband and toddler all loved it! Using an immersion blender really helped to mix the cream cheese smoothly. I served it with sweet Hawaiian rolls and over broccoli for lower carbs.

  3. WOW! This recipe is delicious! I used a whole bag of frozen chicken breasts, which was 2.5lbs. Upped the broth by .5 cup just to be safe on having enough liquid. Turned out perfectly creamy. We are having it over pasta but will definitely make it again to have over rice. Thank you so much, it’s a keeper!

  4. I made this and we loved it!!! we put over spaghetti noodles and it was amazing! I actually had a little less than 2 pounds of chicken and it was perfect.

  5. I made it tonight and use directions for 8 servings and it seems there was to much liquid more of a soup or sauce. I was thinking it would come out like a chicken salad. Any ideas what I did wrong or is it supposed to be liquid like?

    • After I removed the cook chicken from the instant pot I strain all of the liquid into a bowl separating out all of the solids. I add the strained solids back into my shredded chicken and only use as much of the reserved liquid as I need to make my sauce. That way you can adjust the consistency.

  6. This was very yummy. I used frozen chicken cooked it for 20 mins with the 5 min cool down then I had to put it back in for another 5 minutes and that was perfect.

  7. Has anyone made this with the rice in the pot also? Curious how to make this as a one pot stop.

    • I will next time for sure! I think as long as you use enough broth to account for what’s needed for the rice-or a little less it will turn out!

  8. Oh no…… I put everything together ( even cream cheese) with chicken.. Guess thats what happens when you have crying baby… Hopefully will still work

  9. Hi- my fab kids bought me an insta pot for Christmas- so excited – my youngest has requested a comfort meal so I really like the above crack chick recipe but since I am a seriously new user I’m looking for input how to make it a casserole by cooking the rice with the crack recipe – anybody do this or have experience adding rice to the existing instapot recipe? If not any suggestions on a serious comfort insta pot dinner? Sorry no healthy – full blown comfort meal! Than you so much!

  10. Has anyone made this with pasta in the instant pot at the same time? Wondering if this would work. Thanks!

    • That’s the magic question! Mine was frozen and after the time was up I still had raw chicken, but it smelled good. sigh. I have asked and not gotten any replies. I’m TRYING to cook this tonight. I ran it trough again… It just sounded. We’ll see. May have to throw it out and start over another night. Frustrated!

      • I’ve only cooked this particular recipe with thawed chicken, but when using frozen chicken for other Instant Pot recipes, I typically add one minute or two (depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts), and it always cooks through. It tends to not get as tender and easily shreddable though, so I prefer thawed chicken breasts!

  11. I have made this dish several times in my Crock-Pot. Tonight will be my first time making this in my IP

  12. I am cooking for a crowd tomorrow and I used your recipe adjuster to adjust to 12 servings. I have an 8qt IP. Would I need to adjust the time for the 6lbs of chicken breasts?

    • You shouldn’t need to adjust the time — the beauty of pressure cooking! Hope your guests like it!

  13. The chicken wasn’t done in 12 minutes. Took over 20 and wasn’t frozen. I wonder why mines so different.

  14. Made tonight with light cream cheese and only 5 slices of bacon plus a little lite shredded on top. Served it over cauliflower rice for 6 freestyle points. Delish! I added a little hot sauce for some spice

    • Oh my goodness, this sounds so great! I loved that you added the SP from WW for me. I am so going to try this over the weekend! Thank you! I cannot wait to try it!

  15. Can this be made using frozen chicken breasts? If so, do I need to adjust the cooking time?

    • Sure! You’d just need to cook the bacon separately in a pan first. I’d probably do the chicken in a crock pot on high for 4 hours and still add the cream cheese at the end, after shredding the chicken. I haven’t tried it in the crock pot yet though, so you’ll have to let me know how it turns out, if you do.

  16. Trying this tonight! My first IP try 😀 I’m doubling the recipe… suggestion on altering cooking time? Thank you!!

    • You shouldn’t need to adjust the cook time for doubling the recipe; just know that it may take longer to reach pressure, since you’ll have more liquid in there.

  17. I was so excited to make this, I put it all in and started it and realized I forgot to mix it altogether, sigh* hope it still taste good!
    **This was my first Insta-pot meal
    Live and learn….live and learn.

  18. My IP says I need a minimum of 2 1/4 cup liquid. How should I modify for this requirement? Thanks!!

    • What size IP do you have? I’ve never seen that high of a requirement — most require 1 cup of liquid. You could always add more chicken broth if you think it needs it, though.

  19. Would Turkey bacon work? I don’t eat pork…. the turkey bacon doesn’t give off much grease so just wondering…. has anyone tried?

    • It should work! I typically drain out the grease anyways, so I don’t think that would have any effect.

  20. Fixing this tonight but will be using chicken thighs due to more moisture in them. Not sure what I’ll serve it over but I bet a baked potato or baked sweet potato would be really good!

    • Those both sound delicious! The last time I made it, I served them on Hawaiian rolls, and that was super yummy too.

    • The Duo only has the pressure button. Just press that and you can adjust the time from there with the plus/minus buttons

  21. I’m making this right now with the same ingredients, same IP, and *25* min for chicken. Chicken was frozen, but I read you don’t have to increase the cook time because the time to pressurize will adjust automatically, and that’s been fine for other recipes. However even at 25 minutes the chicken is still half raw 🙁

    • Oh no! I’ve never had that happen, but I’ve never used frozen chicken. I would imagine 25 minutes on high pressure should be plenty, regardless, though. Are they really large chicken breasts? That’s the only thing I could thing of that would cause that. So sorry! I’d just reseal it and give it 5 more minutes until it’s done.

      • when you cooked the frozen chicken breasts for 20 minutes did you leave the bacon in the pot with the frozen chicken?

  22. This sounds so good! I love bacon, ranch, and chicken! I don’t have a pressure cooker, but I do have a slow cooker. I wonder if there’s a variation for a crockpot!

    • Larissa, the original recipe for this chicken uses a crockpot, so that should be easy to find. 🙂 I was thrilled to find an Instant Pot recipe for this though! I have it cooking right now! Can’t wait to try it!!

  23. Thanks Chrissie. Never heard of this pot. Will investigate! Give my baby cousin a hug!!!

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