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Instant Pot Crack Chicken combines the perfect ‘crack chicken’ combination of ranch + cheese + bacon made really easy in the Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker! Crack chicken is an easy dinner idea & delicious served as sandwiches or over rice.
For more Instant Pot family favorite dinner recipes try Instant Pot Mac & Cheese or Instant Pot Santa Fe Chicken Burrito Bowls.
Crack Chicken In The Instant Pot
Crack chicken is an irresistible flavor combination that is a hit with everyone! Try this easy dinner recipe tonight for a family favorite that everyone will love.
Chicken breasts cook in just minutes inside the instant pot alongside ranch seasoning and chicken broth. The chicken gets really tender and easily shreds with two forks. Mix in the delicious ‘crack’ combo of cheddar cheese and bacon. Dinner is ready!
My family loves this chicken served inside rolls or hamburger buns (think sloppy joe). There are lots of serving options so be sure to read below for all my tips when making this recipe.
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast – This recipe calls for 3 large chicken breasts. I like to trim off any of the extra fat pieces or white cartilage type pieces before I place them inside the Instant Pot.
- Seasoning Salt – This is a dry seasoning that easily found. It is usually labeled as ‘seasoned salt’.
- Chicken Broth – Regular chicken broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth will both work in this recipe. Use whatever you have in your pantry or whichever one you prefer.
- Ranch Seasoning Mix Packet
- Cream Cheese
- Bacon Bits/Chopped Bacon – Use bacon bits for ease, microwave bacon that you cook and chop, oven baked bacon, or cook bacon in the fry pan. Anyway works!
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese – I prefer using medium cheddar cheese in this recipe.
How To Make Instant Pot Crack Chicken
Learn how to make this easy recipe with the simple steps below. Be sure and read to the bottom of this page where there is a detailed recipe card, a printable option, and a pin it button so you can save this recipe for later.
- Chicken : Season both sides of each chicken breast with the seasoned salt. Set aside.
- Instant Pot : Pour the chicken broth and ranch seasoning mix into the insert and stir with a whisk to combine. Add the chicken breast into the broth and turn them over to coat both sides in the broth mixture.
- Cook : Cover with the lid and cook on HIGH pressure for 14 minutes. I set a manual time to 14 minutes on my Instant Pot. Make sure the valve is to the ‘sealed position’. When the cook time is done do a quick release, which means you move the valve to the venting position, and let all the pressure release before opening it up.
- Crack Chicken : Shred the chicken with two forks and mix everything together including the broth leftover inside the insert. Add the softened cream cheese, bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese and mix well to combine everything together.
What Is Crack Chicken?
The name is silly and a play on words when it comes to crack chicken. Crack chicken is essentially the flavor combo of ranch + cheddar cheese + bacon. That irresistible flavor combination is so good on a variety of things. It’s referred to as ‘crack’ because it may very possibly be addicting to your taste buds.
For this recipe, chicken cooks inside the pressure cooker with chicken broth, seasoned salt, and ranch seasoning mix. Shred the chicken and then add the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and bacon. It’s ready to eat!
Easy Crack Chicken FAQ’s
- Sandwiches : The most common way to serve this crack chicken is as sandwiches inside a hamburger bun, roll, or slider bun. Think sloppy joes but with a crack chicken twist and not as ‘sloppy’.
- Over Rice : Another options is to serve the chicken over some cooked white rice.
- Lettuce Wraps : For a low-carb option try serving it inside some crispy iceberg lettuce or butter lettuce as a lettuce wrap.
- Baked Potatoes : Make some Air Fryer Baked Potatoes and use this crack chicken as a hearty topping.
- Pasta or Egg Noodles : Cook up some pasta (any shape) or egg noodles. Kids love eating it this way!
How To Store Leftovers
- Leftovers will store in a covered container, inside the fridge, for up to 3 days.
- Heat up leftovers using the microwave or stove top. You may want to add some additional liquid such as water, broth, or milk when reheating leftovers.
Can I Freeze Crack Chicken?
- I don’t recommend freezing this recipe because of the cream cheese. Once thawed, the cream cheese tends to be chunky & seperated (not smooth and creamy) like it is when you first make it.
Variations For This Crack Chicken Recipe
- Make It Spicy! : Use a packet of spicy ranch seasoning mix. Use Pepper Jack cheese. Add some hot sauce in with the cheese, bacon, and cream cheese.
- Cream Cheese : Use a flavored variation of cream cheese. I have seen chive & onion, jalapeño, or even bacon cream cheese. I prefer using the classic cream cheese in this recipe.
Can I Make It In a Slow Cooker Instead?
- Yes! To make this recipe in a slow cooker or crockpot here is what you do.
- Pour the chicken broth + ranch seasoning into the slow cooker and whisk it to combine. Sprinkle the seasoned salt on both sides of the chicken breast and lay them inside the broth. Add the bar of cream cheese on top of the chicken. Cover the slow cooker with the lid and cook on LOW heat for 6-7 hours. Shred the chicken and mix it together with the cream cheese. Add the bacon and shredded cheddar cheese and mix together well. Serve!
- You may need to add additional chicken broth when using the slow cooker. Maybe 1 cup instead of the 3/4 cup called for.
- Yes! To make this recipe in a slow cooker or crockpot here is what you do.
Here are a few of my helpful tips so that you can have success recreating this recipe in your own kitchen ♥
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese : I highly recommend shredding the cheddar cheese yourself from a block. It melts much smoother and I am convinced that it tastes better too. I prefer using medium cheddar cheese but you can also use mild cheddar cheese (does not have as much flavor) or for a punch of cheddar flavor use sharp cheddar cheese.
- Full Fat Softened Cream Cheese : For the best taste and creamy texture use regular fat cream cheese instead of the 1/3 reduced-fat cream cheese. It’s also really important to make sure it’s very soft before adding it into the Instant Pot. I put the cream cheese bar (unwrapped) into the microwave for about 40 seconds to get it nice and soft & slightly warmed before adding it into the insert of the Instant Pot.
- Bacon : I normally just use bacon bits because it’s really easy and I think they taste great in this recipe. But there are lots of ways to cook bacon and then chop it; oven baked bacon, air fryer bacon, skillet pan bacon, microwave bacon, etc.
- Easily Shred Chicken : You can use two forks to easily shred the chicken or place the chicken breast into a mixing bowl (or use a stand mixer) and use an electric hand mixer to easily shred the chicken.
More Family Favorite Chicken Dinner Recipes You’ll Love
- Honey Lime Chicken Taquitos – A delicious sweet & savory combo of chicken + honey + lime juice + chili powder. These taquitos are baked in the oven for a healthier crispy taquito.
- Oven Baked Chicken Quesadillas – Make several quesadillas at once with this easy oven method.
- Chicken and Rice Casserole – One pan and everything cooks together!
- Slow Cooker Zesty BBQ Chicken – One of our favorites. Only a few ingredients to the most flavorful, moist, and delicious chicken ever.
- Buffalo Chicken Pillows – A little spicy but still family-friendly.
Instant Pot Crack Chicken
- 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1½ teaspoons seasoning salt
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 packet ranch seasoning mix
- 8 ounces cream cheese very softened
- 1/2 cup cooked & chopped bacon
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I use medium cheddar cheese)
- Season both sides of each chicken breast with seasoning salt. Set aside.
- Spray the insert of the Instant Pot with cooking spray. Pour the chicken broth inside and then sprinkle the ranch seasoning mix over top. Use a whisk to mix it together.
- Add the seasoned chicken breasts into the broth and turn to coat both sides of the chicken with the broth mixture.
- Cover the Instant Pot with the lid and make sure the valve is in the 'sealing' position. Cook on HIGH pressure for 14 minutes. * My instant pot has a 'manual' where I manually set the cook time to 14 minutes. Instant Pots vary slightly in the buttons so make sure you have the correct cook time and pressure level.
- When the cook time is done do a quick release. This means turn the valve to the 'venting' position and allow all the pressure to release before removing the lid.
- Use two forks to shred the chicken breasts. Add the softened cream cheese and chopped bacon pieces. Stir well to combine everything together.* The cream cheese should be well softened so it mixes in easily and smoothly. I put the unwrapped bar into the microwave for about 40 seconds to ensure that it is well softened and slightly warm before I add it into the chicken.
- Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese.
- Serve inside hamburger buns, rolls, or slider buns. You can also serve it over cooked white rice, pasta, or egg noodles. Garnish with sliced green onions if wanted.
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