Instant Pot Crack Chicken is so flavorful, and will easily become your new dinner obsession! This creamy shredded chicken is flavored with ranch, crispy bacon, fresh green onions, and takes only 15 minutes in the Instant Pot. Serve it on sandwich buns, over pasta, or in lettuce cups for an easy weeknight meal.
Instant Pot Crack Chicken
Crack chicken cooked anyway is always a family favorite in my house! I love cooking it in the Instant Pot because it’s so quick and easy.
The juicy, tender, shredded chicken breasts are flavored with ranch, then mixed with a blend of three cheeses, green onions, and crispy bacon. It’s such a winning flavor combination.
I love adding a bit of buffalo hot sauce – it doesn’t add any heat, but it adds tons of flavor.
My favorite way to serve it is on toasted brioche buns. Everyone in my family (adults and kids alike) goes crazy for these sandwiches when I make them!
If you’re looking for a soup version of this recipe, be sure to check out our Crack Chicken Noodle Soup – it’s seriously SO good and perfect for warming up on a cool day!
Chicken: Air chilled boneless skinless chicken breasts are the way to go for this recipe. Boneless skinless chicken makes it so much easier to shred and air chilled chicken releases less moisture when it cooks. That means that your finished dish will have the right consistency and won’t be too watery. You can use chicken thighs if you prefer (or if that’s all you have on hand.)
Cheese: A combination of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and parmesan cheese adds tons of flavor and creaminess to this pulled chicken. I recommend using freshly shredded cheeses because the pre-shredded cheeses are coated in an anti-caking agent (which changes their texture and stops them from melting smoothly).
Broth: You need a bit of liquid to cook the chicken in an Instant Pot, and I like using chicken broth because it adds additional flavor.
Spices and Seasonings: A combination of ranch seasoning and dried parsley adds so much flavor to this creamy chicken dish! Ranch flavor really pairs so well with creamy dishes, and that definitely holds true with this shredded chicken.
Bacon: Crispy bacon pieces add a bit of a salty flavor, and a lovely crunch that pairs nicely with the chicken. You can replace this with turkey bacon if you’d like to make a dish using only poultry.
Green Onions: The green onions add flavor and a lovely little bit of freshness that livens up this creamy chicken dish.
Hot Sauce: Because there’s plenty of fat in this dish, the Buffalo hot sauce really doesn’t add any spice (the fat coats the spice so that you’re only left with the flavor). It does add a really delicious layer of flavor though! Even the kids I served this to liked it with the hot sauce, so I definitely recommend including it.
How To Make Crack Chicken In The Instant Pot
Start by adding the chicken breasts to the bottom of the stainless steel pot of your Instant Pot. On top of the chicken, add the cream cheese, chicken broth, ranch seasoning, and dried parsley. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
Close the lid and make sure the valve is set to “seal”. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, allowing the Instant Pot to naturally release for a bit before switching the valve to the “vent” position.
Remove the chicken breasts and shred them on a plate. Set the Instant Pot to the “Saute” mode and whisk the liquid left in the pot until the cream cheese has fully incorporated into the liquid.
Add the shredded chicken back to the Instant Pot. Add in the cooked crispy bacon pieces, green onion, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, and Buffalo hot sauce. Mix everything together until the cheese has melted.
Serve the chicken on buns, in lettuce cups, or serve it over salad! See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.
How Long Does It Take Raw Chicken To Cook In Instant Pot?
It takes anywhere from 8-15 minutes to cook raw boneless skinless chicken breasts in the Instant Pot (depending on the thickness of your chicken and whether or not it’s frozen or fresh).
Can You Put Frozen Chicken In An Instant Pot?
Yes! Pressure cookers cook food quickly, so the Instant Pot will get the temperature hot enough fast enough to safely cook frozen chicken.
The only thing that’s important to remember is to freeze the chicken breasts separately. If you add several chicken breasts in that are all frozen together, the chicken will cook unevenly (the edges will be finished cooking before the parts that are frozen to another piece of chicken).
I do think this recipe works better with thawed chicken, just because frozen chicken can make the dish a bit more watery. If you run into that problem, just use the “Saute” function to reduce the liquid for a bit longer.
Why Is My Crack Chicken Watery?
If your crack chicken is watery, it likely means that you either used frozen chicken or didn’t use air chilled chicken. Frozen chicken releases more moisture as it cooks, as does chicken that’s been chilled in a water bath (as opposed to air chilled chicken). To counteract this, use the “Saute” function to reduce the liquid for a bit longer.
What Should I Serve With Crack Chicken
My favorite way to serve crack chicken is on a toasted bun, but it’s also amazing in lettuce cups, on a salad, mixed into pasta, with rice, with mashed potatoes, and with Roasted Baby Potatoes.
Keep In Touch
I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime
- Crack Chicken Noodle Soup
- Cream Cheese Chicken Chili
- Fiesta Chicken
- Crock Pot Chicken Alfredo
- Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts*
- 4 ounces cream cheese (half a brick)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 packet ranch seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 8 slices bacon (cooked and crumbled)
- 1 1/2 cups freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese**
- 1/3 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese**
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- 1 Tablespoon hot sauce (optional, I used Franks Red Hot)
- Buns (optional, for serving)
- Add the chicken breasts to the bottom of the stainless steel inner pot of your Instant Pot. Add in the cream cheese, chicken broth, ranch seasoning, and dried parsley.
- Close the lid, and set the pressure release valve to the sealing position. Program the Instant Pot on Manual mode for 15 minutes.
- Once the chicken finishes cooking, allow it to natural release for 10 minutes before turning the pressure release valve to the venting position (be careful when you do this step because the steam will be very hot coming out).
- Once the steam has fully released and the float valve drops, carefully remove the lid. Remove only the chicken from the pot and place it onto a separate dish to shred.
- Set the Instant Pot to the saute mode, and whisk the cream cheese mixture together in the pot. (It’s important to never put the lid on the Instant Pot when using the saute mode.)
- Using two forks, shred the chicken to your desired size, then add the chicken back into the pot. Stir in the cooked bacon pieces, chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded parmesan cheese, and hot sauce. Thoroughly mix together until combined and the cheese has melted.
- If you would like to reduce the juices further, leave the saute mode on until the liquid has reduced.
- Serve on some fresh buns and enjoy!
*I recommend using air chilled chicken because it will release less moisture than chicken that has been chilled in water. This means that your finished dish will have a better texture and won’t be too runny.
**I recommend using freshly shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheeses are coated in an anti-caking agent that changes the texture and stops them from melting smoothly.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 580Total Fat: 28.6gCarbohydrates: 13.3gFiber: 0.1gSugar: 1.4gProtein: 61.2g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate. Optional ingredients are not included.
If you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner, you’ll love this Crack Chicken made in the Instant Pot! Cooking it in the pressure cooker makes it so quick and easy to enjoy this creamy shredded chicken with cream cheese and ranch.