Instant Pot Crack chicken is filled with juicy Chicken, Ranch, cream cheese, Cheddar, and crispy bacon is incredibly delicious. This low-carb, Keto chicken recipe takes only 15 minutes to make.
When I came across this Crack Chicken recipe, knew I had to go for it. And I can give you two wonderful reasons why you might make this again and again. I shall keep on sharing such Instant pot winner recipes.
Tasty & Versatile - Not only did this turn out to be so delicious, but it is also super versatile too. I guess this goes into both as a finger-food category as well the main course dish too. This worked great for both. Ranch seasoning gives it flavor and you can add a bit of sriracha for a little heat (works great for sandwich and burgers)
Keto - Though I do not follow keto, there are many times I want to have a more balanced protein, fat & fiber meal. So I keep an eye out for such recipes. This one turned out to be a great find.
That this can be done in an instant pot just made it more compelling. If a dish can be done equally well in an instant pot, I am all for it. Just love the convenience of it.
What is Crack Chicken?
Crack Chicken sounds like an unusual name and I don't have any idea how it got its name. Delicious chicken bites are just referred to as crack chicken. In some states like Michigan, delicious chicken wings done in secret spices are referred to as crack chicken.
This instant pot crack chicken recipe is a keeper. Six ingredients and 15 minutes are what you need to make this Instant Pot crack chicken.
It is creamy, cheesy, and with crispy bacon in every bite(yum..). You can have this in so many ways. Pile it onto a sandwich, serve it over pasta, or make a wrap, this makes an awesome meal.
Crack chicken is Keto-friendly
And did I tell you these are absolutely gluten-free, low carb, and can be made keto-friendly?
This keto crack chicken recipe has nothing fried in it. Chicken and bacon have loads of protein which is your principal component of the keto diet. The carbs are very limited to what the chicken and cheese have.
Cream cheese and cheddar provide healthy fat in this recipe. All you need is some greens to go with this.
- Chicken - Prefer chicken breasts which is tender and easy to shred and cook.
- Ranch Seasoning - Double the quantity in the recipe card if you like the flavour to pop.
- Cream Cheese - Can be substituted with sour cream and milk.
- Cheddar Cheese
- Chicken Stock / Water
- Garlic ( Optional) - Have used minced garlic. You may use garlic powder but reduce the quantity.
- Sriracha ( Optional but I would recommend for that extra kick)
- Green Onions for serving.
Most of the recipes call for the first 6 ingredients. I have tried the recipe with/without garlic and sriracha. But adding garlic adds a lot of flavors. For little extra heat, I love to add Sriracha but you can skip it.
How to make?
Cooking Chicken in an Instant pot is so convenient. It takes less than 15 minutes (including the time to come to full pressure) to bring the meal to the table. The chicken turns out juicy and tender every single time.
Making crack Chicken in an Instant pot is really easy. Starting from cooking bacon and till the end, everything can be done in the Instant Pot itself.
You could cook bacon separately on the stovetop. But when cooked in the IP itself, all those brown bits at the bottom will add lots of flavors. I prefer doing it this way and have found those caramelized bits on the bottom imparting some deliciousness to the stock.
Most of the recipes call for adding cream cheese and cheese along with the chicken to cook. But cooking cream cheese and cheddar for so long kills the subtle flavors and gives a wired taste. So first cook chicken, along with seasoning. Then to the end add cream cheese and cheese.
Another best thing about making Crack Chicken in the instant pot is you can use frozen chicken as well. Please refer to the FAQs on how to use frozen chicken.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are new to an Instant Pot, just follow the next instructions carefully. Do not be intimidated by the controls and buttons on the instant pot.
It works just like a pressure cooker but along with a timer it gives you some additional convenient controls.
To cook this crack chicken recipe in the pot-
1. Plugin the Pot to 'ON'.
2. Saute mode - Change the mode to SAUTE. This should be to saute all the bacon and other ingredients.
3. After adding the chicken breast to the pot, close the lid to the SEALED position.
4. Manual mode - For cooking chicken. Set the mode to 'MANUAL'. Now it's time to set the timer. Use the ( + ) button to increase the time to 7 minutes.
5. The countdown starts and the pressure cooker starts building pressure.
6. At the end of the countdown, you will hear a beep. It automatically goes to the 'Reheat' mode and keeps the content warm.
7. Leave it sealed for another 10 minutes.
8. Turn the handle to the VENTING position. This will release all the pressure inside and you can open the lid.
9. Shred chicken - Take the chicken breasts out and shred them using a fork.
10. Saute mode again - Turn the mode to SAUTE. We need to stir the cream and cheddar cheese so that they mix well. Add the shredded chicken and mix.
11. Switch off the IP.
12. Top off with bacon and green onion while serving.
When it comes to any other recipe not using an instant pot, cooking with frozen chicken is always more cumbersome and difficult. You will need to thaw it and carefully watch it to make sure the chicken is cooked properly.
God bless the guy who invented Instant pot. It just made cooking with frozen chicken so easy. The only adjustment needed is to allow a little more time. You do not have to thaw it outside thus saving a lot of time.
Just add frozen chicken straight from the freezer to the pot and close the lid. Set the timer to 15 minutes (i.e. double the time) and lo behold your frozen chicken is cooked as well as that of room temperature.
This crack chicken recipe can be made easily in a crockpot too. Just follow the important steps below:
- Another easy way of making crack chicken is to cook slowly in a crockpot.
- Dump Chicken, Ranch Seasoning, Cream Cheese, and cheese in the crockpot and let it cook on high for 3-4 hours.
- Cook bacon separately and add it to the end.
You won't be needing chicken stock when cooking in the slow cooker.
What to serve with Keto crack chicken
Such creamy and juicy shredded chicken allows you to get creative. Since it acts as a great filler for a bun, sandwich, or wrap, you can just layer this on a bun and add some toppings. Having it with just Garlic bread or other bread also makes this a great combo.
This also is a hit on a plate of white rice. Tastes like a million bucks. Substitute with brown rice if you are nutrient conscious.
What about noodles or pasta? I suppose that will be good too. I haven't tried it out yet. Let me know if you make it.
If you are into Keto, just serve this crack chicken with some greens and you have your perfect combination of protein, fat, and minimal carbohydrates.
How to Store / Freeze
Store it in an air-tight container or zip-lock bag and you can freeze it for up to 3 months. In the refrigerator, you can store it for 4 days.
When you need to serve it -
- From the freezer - bring it down to the refrigerator and keep it overnight. Then follow the instruction for the 'Refrigerator' method.
- Refrigerator - Thaw it outside up to 2 hours. You can heat it in the microwave or over the stove. You can add little stock if it seems dry before heating.
Other Instant Pot recipes you might like
If you are in the mood for some juicy and saucy hot and sweet chicken, then try out my Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken recipe. It goes very well on a plate of rice. Another delicious meal option is Instant Pot Balsamic Chicken and Potatoes recipe. It works out a wholesome meal by itself.
- Healthy Spinach Soup Recipe
- Instant Pot Ranch Chicken And Rice
- Cheesy Ranch Potatoes
- Cheesy Bacon Shrimp Dip
- Instant Pot Chicken In Creamy Tomato Sauce
- Instant Pot
- 3 Chicken Breast 500 grams / 1 pound
- 1 package Ranch Seasoning
- 1 cup Cheddar Cheese
- 250 grams Cream Cheese Can be substituted with sour cream
- ½ cup Chicken Stock
- 6-8 slices Bacon
- ½ tbsp Minced Garlic (optional). Use fresh garlic. Reduce quantity if you use garlic powder.
- 1 tspn Sriracha (optional)
- green onion to garnish. You may also go with white onions
- Jalapeno (Optional)
- Bring Instant pot to SAUTE mode. When it turns hot, add chopped bacon. Cook bacon until crisp and brown.
- Remove bacon and any extra fat.
- Add chicken, chicken stock, ranch seasoning, garlic, and Sriracha(if using).
- Set IP to MANUAL mode. Set time to 7 minutes. It will cook on high. Then do natural pressure release for 10 minutes followed by a quick release. The time depends on the size of the chicken and if it's frozen. For frozen chicken refer to the Notes.
- Once the pressure is completely released, take out the chicken breast. Using two forks shred it.
- If you feel the amount of liquid is more, then reserve ½ cup of liquid from the pot and keep aside.
- Switch IP to SAUTE mode again. Stir in cream cheese, cheddar until mixed well.
- Add shredded chicken back to the pot. Mix well. If the chicken looks too dry, then add back the reserved liquid in the previous step as required.
- Switch off the IP.
- Top crack chicken with crispy bacon and green onion while serving.
- As I have mentioned in the post, garlic and sriracha are optional here. I like to add it for the extra flavor and a bit of heat. You may skip these but I highly recommend them.
- For the crack chicken to pop, you can double the amount of ranch seasoning.
- If you are using frozen chicken breast instead, then the steps would be the same. Instead of 7 minutes, cook chicken for 15 minutes on high pressure. But frozen chicken breast when cooked releases considerably more liquid. So once the chicken is cooked, scoop out extra liquid and keep aside. If you feel the chicken looks too thick, then add back the reserved liquid.
- Chicken thighs can be used instead of breast. While cooking chicken thighs, cook it for 10 minutes.
- An easy and time-saving method to shred chicken is to use an electric hand mixer.