Instant Pot Crack Chicken

With this easy Instant Pot Crack Chicken recipe, you'll find the rich flavors of ranch, cheddar, and bacon in a creamy sauce. It's perfect to use on sandwiches or over pasta!

instant pot crack chicken on a sandwich bun, on a plate.

Why You'll Love This Recipe

It's versatile, it's easy, and it's loaded with flavor!

In each bite of Instant Pot Crack Chicken, you're going to get the flavors of rich cheddar cheese, smokey bacon, and a hint of spice from ranch seasoning mix. It's packed with tasty ingredients and really easy to make - ready in just minutes in an Instant Pot!

You can use this one in so many ways. My personal favorite is just a simple Crack Chicken Sandwich - just put some of this heavenly shredded chicken mixture on a hamburger bun for an easy, tasty dinner. It's also great over almost any kind of pasta and even works over rice.

And, as an added bonus, it's keto-friendly!

Ingredients

ingredients for instant pot crack chicken.
  • butter
  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • chicken broth
  • ranch dressing mix
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • dried parsley
  • cream cheese
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • cooked and crumbled bacon
  • chopped green onions

Variations & Additions

  • One great variation you can make is subbing an equal amount of boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of the boneless skinless chicken breasts. They tend to give the dish more flavor.
  • You can add fresh/dried seasonings, like onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, or red chili flakes to dial up the flavor. I would stick to about a teaspoon of any given seasoning.
  • If you have it on hand, add a flavor boost by using chicken stock instead of chicken broth.
  • Don't love cheddar cheese? You could use Pepper Jack, Monterey Jack, or Mozzarella instead.

If you're a fan of easy dinner recipes that are loaded with flavor, you'll want to try these Pork Tenderloin Sheet Pan Dinner or even this French Onion Baked Chicken!

Why use an Instant Pot?

This dish can be made in a variety of ways (scroll down for Crock Pot instructions) - the Instant Pot is just the fastest and most efficient.

In the Instant Pot, you can sear the meat, pressure cook it quickly, and add ingredients that will make your sauce perfectly creamy and cheesy without being overcooked. It's a one-stop shop that's going to cut down on the time it takes to cook your meal and how many dishes you have to wash afterward.

How to Make Instant Pot Crack Chicken

Step 1: Sear chicken breasts.

chicken breast halves in an instant pot.

Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and add butter. Once the pressure cooker is hot and the butter is melted, add chicken breasts in a single layer.

Cook chicken breasts on each side for 2-3 minutes, until lightly browned. (They won't be cooked all the way through after this - that's ok!)

Step 2: Pressure cook the chicken.

seared chicken topped with spices in an instant pot.

Turn off saute mode. Add chicken broth, ranch seasoning, salt, pepper, and dried parsley., Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the Instant Pot liner.

Lock on the lid and set the Instant Pot to manual, 12 minutes, high pressure. Once the cook cycle is over, allow pressure to naturally release for 5-10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.

While chicken is pressure cooking, cook bacon until crisp and crumbly.

Step 3: Add cheese and bacon.

cream cheese, bacon, cheddar, and green onions over chicken in an instant pot.

Once the cook cycle is over and pressure is released, shred the chicken with two forks.

Add cubed cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, and green onions. Stir until blended.

Can I make this in the slow cooker?

Yes, this recipe is great in the slow cooker (Crock Pot) as well! Add all ingredients (minus the bacon and cheddar) to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. At the end, shred chicken with 2 forks and mix in cheddar/bacon.

How to Serve Crack Chicken

This super versatile recipe can be used in many different ways!

  • On hamburger buns
  • Over pasta
  • In lettuce wraps
  • Over rice
  • Over mashed potatoes
  • Over a salad (chill first)
  • Rolled in tortillas
  • In taco shells
  • As a baked potato topping
close up of crack chicken, covered in bacon, cheddar cheese, and green onions.

Leftovers & Storage

Once the chicken is cool, you can place it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days after cooking.

The best way to reheat this dish is in the microwave. I recommend microwaving single-servings for about 45 seconds, stirring well after cooking.

Can I freeze this recipe?

This is a great freezer recipe. Simply cook as directed, cool, and freeze in a freezer bag. It's good in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Once you're ready to enjoy your freezer meal, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.

More Expert Tips & Tricks

  • My favorite way to shred chicken is with 2 forks. Just hold one in each hand and go to town! You can also use a hand mixer on low to shred your chicken.
  • If there are any browned bits in your pot after searing the chicken, make sure to scrape them up with a wooden spoon after adding the liquid. Food that's stuck to the bottom of an Instant Pot can prevent the pot from coming to pressure. (Plus, those browned bits are going to give your creamy sauce a really yummy depth of flavor!)

Instant Pot Crack Chicken FAQs

I wouldn't use frozen chicken in this recipe. I like to sear my chicken a little bit at first to add flavor - this isn't possible with frozen chicken. Just thaw it first!

If your creamy sauce is a little thin at the end of cooking, remove about ½ cup and mix with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch; add this slurry back to the chicken.

One of the most important things you need to know about pressure cooking is that there has to be liquid to create the steam that will pressurize your pot. I usually recommend having about a cup of liquid in your Instant Pot. With this one, you can get away with about ½ cup, but that's the absolute minimum. No liquid, no pressure!

I hope you love this simple dinner idea! If you make it, I'd love to hear what you think of the dish. You can either rate and review ⭐️ this recipe using the recipe card below or show it off on social media 📸 by tagging me at @lambertslately.

xo, Leslie - signature at the end of blog post.
instant pot crack chicken on a sandwich bun, on a plate.

Instant Pot Crack Chicken

With this easy Instant Pot Crack Chicken recipe, you'll find the rich flavors of ranch, cheddar, and bacon in a creamy sauce. It's perfect to use on sandwiches or over pasta!
5 from 23 votes

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 525 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and add butter. Once pressure cooker is hot and butter is melted, add chicken breasts in a single layer.
  • Cook chicken breasts on each side for 2-3 minutes, until lightly browned. (They won't be cooked through after this - that's ok!)
  • Turn off saute mode. Add chicken broth, ranch seasoning, salt, pepper, and dried parsley. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the Instant Pot liner.
  • Set the Instant Pot to manual, 12 minutes, high pressure. Once cook cycle is over, allow pressure to naturally release for 5-10 minutes before releasing remaining pressure.
  • While chicken is pressure cooking, cook bacon until crisp and crumbly.
  • Once cook cycle is over and pressure is released, shred the chicken with two forks.
  • Add cubed cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, and green onions. Stir until blended.

Notes

    • This recipe works in the slow cooker (Crock Pot) as well. Add all ingredients (minus the bacon and cheddar) to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. At the end, shred chicken with 2 forks and mix in cheddar/bacon.
    • This is a great freezer recipe. Simply cook as directed, cool, and freeze in a freezer bag. It's good in the freezer for up to 6 months.
    • My favorite way to shred chicken is with 2 forks. Just hold one in each hand and go to town! You can also use a hand mixer on low to shred your chicken.
    • If there are any browned bits in your pot after searing the chicken, make sure to scrape them up with a wooden spoon after adding the liquid. Food that's stuck to the bottom of an Instant Pot can prevent the pot from coming to pressure. (Plus, those browned bits are going to give your creamy sauce a really yummy depth of flavor!)

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 525kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 42gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 1935mgPotassium: 683mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 408IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 284mgIron: 1mg
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