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Instant Pot Crack Chicken

Creamy shredded chicken breasts made in the Instant Pot pressure cooker in just 15 minutes! This shredded Instant Pot Crack Chicken is our newest cheese and ranch obsession. Serve on sandwich buns or on lettuce wraps with bacon and green onions for a quick weeknight dinner recipe. For the latest Instant Pot recipes, try my Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Pasta or Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken recipe. Now featuring a step by step video tutorial.

An instant pot pressure cooker on a wooden board with a white napkin. The inside of the metal bowl features shredded chicken covered in a rich yellow cheddar cheese sauce that's thick but soft in nature. Topped with pieces of bacon, green onions, parsley, and red pepper flakes with shreds of parmesan cheese throughout.

The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker is taking over my kitchen. I find myself using it well throughout the week. It’s great because most times, I can have dinner on the table in under an hour, without ever having to watch a pot or mix ingredients together throughout the course of the meal cooking.

Instant Pot Crack Chicken is just the latest of my obsession. This chicken recipe is quick to cook and features a lot of cheese varieties to assist in its creamy texture. Sandwich the creamy shredded chicken between a toasted bun and it’s pure magic!

Last week, I made the most amazing Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta in the Instant Pot. That too is magical. If these recipe ingredients aren’t for you, be sure to head over to the chicken pasta recipe because that one is a winner.

Shredded chicken on top of a bright cheddar cheese yellow sauce with bacon pieces, green onions, red pepper flakes, parsley. Styled in the pressure cooker bowl on a wooden board with white napkin.

How to make Crack Chicken in the Instant Pot?

If you’re just getting started with the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, be sure to follow my directions. You’ll want to insert the stainless steel insert into the pressure cooker. In the insert, add in the chicken broth, chicken breasts, ranch seasoning, Italian seasoning, and the cream cheese cut into 1 oz. squares. Yes, the cream cheese gets added to the pressure cooker before it cooks. Sometimes it will hold its shape while cooking and other times, it will just help to soften it.

Shredded cheddar cheese coating shredded chicken in the instant pot pressure cooker bowl. Shreds of white parmesan sprinkled on top with diced green onions,, red pepper flakes, and parsley. A wooden spoon submerged into metal pressure cooker bowl. Styled with the instant pot pressure cooker on a white nakpin.

Next, plug the pressure cooker in and turn it to “ON”.  Secure the lid on top and set the Steam Release Handle to the SEALED position. This is the knob on top of the pressure cooker by the handle. Select the “MANUAL” or “PRESSURE COOK” button on the panel. Use the ( + ) and set it to 15 minutes. The pressure cooker should then beep and say “ON” which means it is working to come to pressure. Once it comes to pressure, it will beep and count down from 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, the Instant Pot will beep to indicate it’s done. Since meat should always be naturally released, keep the “SEAL” position on for at least 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the Steam Release Handle to the “VENTING” position.

Instant Pot Crack Chicken Ingredients - Ingredients that include chopped bacon, pepper, parsley, hot sauce, green onions, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, and chicken broth in a variety of bowls on a white backdrop with chicken breasts.

Once the pressure pin drops, it’s safe to open. Open the lid and remove the chicken to a bowl. Shred the chicken breasts with two forks. Whisk to the mixture in the pot until smooth then stir in cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, hot sauce, dried parsley, and shredded chicken. Turn the pressure cooker “OFF” then unplug it from the wall.

Pressure cooking chicken is my go-to method in the kitchen nowadays. Honestly, I got tired of having the same chicken dishes every night for dinner. I just wasn’t a fan of baking chicken anymore. What I love about the pressure cooker is that it can cook the chicken to the point of falling off the bone or to create shredded chicken that’s juicy which makes it an easy weeknight instant pot chicken recipe. 

Pressure cooking chicken can come out much like a store-bought rotisserie chicken. It’s tender, soft and just so juicy. This week, I’ll share my Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken recipe as it’s just another way to cook chicken in the Instant Pot. For a quick weeknight dinner, try this Instant Pot Spaghetti. It can be made with fresh ground beef, frozen ground beef, or frozen meatballs. 

Instant Pot Crack Chicken - Creamy ranch chicken cooked and shredded in the instant pot with a creamy cheese sauce.

What is Crack Chicken?

My Crack Chicken recipe is delicious and it’s named such because ranch seasoning, bacon, and cheddar are a winning combination that so many people love together. I’ve come to learn that you either love or hate this cream cheese ranch chicken recipe. For every 10 people that love it, there is one that doesn’t and that’s okay. If you’re suspect to the ingredients, try adding only 4 oz. cream cheese and reducing the ranch seasoning. Then, if you’d like, add more cream cheese to the mixture once everything is tossed together. I like to add some hot sauce into the mix because it adds additional flavor without the distinct “hot sauce” taste.

My favorite way to serve up this cheesy shredded chicken is on a toasted bun or wrapped in lettuce. The Crack Chicken filling is perfect for a sandwich in much the same way Sloppy Joes are, too.

Instant Pot Crack Chicken - The ONLY Instant Pot chicken recipe you'll need. Everyone loves this cheese, ranch, and bacon chicken recipe. Perfect served on a sandwich.

How to make a small batch of Instant Pot Crack Chicken. 

Want to make more or fewer servings? Hover over the serving size and choose how many servings you’d like to make. The recipe will update the correct measurements, however, the nutritional facts are based on the full servings that I’ve stated!

Try my CRACK CHICKEN LETTUCE CUPS recipe for a new and improved ranch crack chicken recipe. You’ll find a small batch shredded crack chicken recipe that’s the perfect shredded chicken meal plan recipe. Plus you’ll love these crack chicken lettuce cups because they are keto, gluten-free, and the perfect ranch and cheddar cheese, cream cheese mixture for perfect crack shredded chicken with bacon. 

Crack Chicken Tips & Questions

Do I add the cream cheese to the instant pot before or after cooking? Before. Cut it into 1-inch cubes and place the cheese on top of the chicken.

It came out soupy, how can I thicken it? Simply stir in more cream cheese or cheddar cheese or sprinkle it with a little cornstarch.

My cream cheese clumped when I whisked it? What went wrong? Just keep stirring. Once the cheddar cheese is stirred in, it will all blend together. NOTE: Using a low fat or fat free cream cheese may alter the results.

What is the best way to reheat it? On the stovetop in a pan.

USING FROZEN CHICKEN BREASTS

Can I use frozen chicken or should it be thawed?

  • Pour 1 cup water into your pressure cooking pot and place a trivet in the bottom.
  • Balance the frozen chicken breasts on the trivet, stacking crosswise if necessary.
  • Lock the lid in place.
  • Select High Pressure and 1 minute cook time.
  • Quick-release when done. Use chicken in the desired recipe as normal.

If you like pressure cooker recipes, try these favorite Instant Pot recipes next. For more ranch inspired recipes like this one, try these Crack Brussels Sprouts next.

Instant Pot Crack Chicken recipe in a creamy rich sauce.

Instant Pot Crack Chicken

Creamy cheddar cheese, ranch, and bacon shredded chicken breasts. This Crack Chicken recipe is made in the Instant Pot in just 15 minutes! Serve on a sandwich roll. 
4.67 from 36 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheese, Crack Chicken, Cream Cheese, Instant Pot Chicken
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Pressurize Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 564kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds chicken breasts
  • ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons Greek or Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning dry powder (about 1 oz.)
  • 5 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1 oz squares
  • teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 7 green onion stalks, diced
  • 1 package bread buns, optional to serve on

Instructions

  • Cook bacon according to package directions. Chop; set aside. 
  • In an Instant Pot ( or pressure cooker ) insert, add chicken broth, chicken breasts, Greek or Italian seasoning, dry ranch seasoning powder, and cream cheese.
  • Turn device on. Secure lid.
    Set pressure valve to SEALING.
    Select MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK; cook on high-pressure 15 minutes. 
  • Select CANCEL to turn off device. Allow the pressure valve to Natural Pressure Release at least 10 minutes. 
    Quick-release pressure after 10 minutes by venting the seal. Once pressure pin drops, open lid and turn off device.
  • Remove only the chicken to bowl. Shred with two forks. 
  • Whisk remaining cream cheese mixture. Add in shredded cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, hot sauce, dried parsley, and bacon.
  • Toss in shredded chicken, and green onions; mix well.
  • Serve on bread rolls.

Notes

USING FROZEN CHICKEN BREASTS
  • Pour 1 cup water into your pressure cooking pot and place a trivet in the bottom.
  • Balance the frozen chicken breasts on the trivet, stacking crosswise if necessary.
  • Lock the lid in place.
  • Select High Pressure and 1 minute cook time.
  • Quick-release when done. Use chicken in the desired recipe as normal.

Nutrition

Calories:564kcal | Carbohydrates:6g | Protein:60g | Fat:31g | Saturated Fat:14g | Cholesterol:211mg | Sodium:1146mg | Potassium:1014mg | Sugar:1g | Vitamin A:790IU | Vitamin C:6.5mg | Calcium:293mg | Iron:1.8mg

Shredded cheddar cheese coating shredded chicken in the instant pot pressure cooker bowl. Shreds of white parmesan sprinkled on top with diced green onions,, red pepper flakes, and parsley. Text in blue green border reads Instant Pot Crack Chicken. Second image is a close up of the creamy yellow cheddar and shredded chicken in a thick yellow sauce served on a white bowl with bacon pieces, green onions, parsley and red pepper flakes.

updated 4/21

93 Comments

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Linda
    08/18/2019 at 5:40 pm

    I am excited to try your recipe. It looks so good. Thank you for sharing.

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    JoAnn
    09/07/2019 at 11:49 am

    Hi can I use frozen chicken breasts in this recipe or should they be thawed first?

    • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
      Reply
      Jessica Knott
      10/07/2019 at 12:10 pm

      To use frozen chicken, first “thaw” it in the pressure cooker. Then proceed to use it in the crack chicken recipe.
      DIRECTIONS: Pour 1 cup water into your pressure cooking pot and place a trivet in the bottom. Balance the frozen chicken breasts on the trivet, stacking crosswise if necessary. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 1 minute cook time. Quick-release when done. Use chicken in the desired recipe as normal.

      • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
        Reply
        Teila
        12/08/2019 at 8:23 pm

        2 stars
        I’m still learning how to cook, and this recipe confused me. Do I keep the ip on while shredding the chicken, then add the chicken amd cheeses back to the ip, so they melt together? How does the shredded cheese melt? In addition, AFTER making this, I read that the parmesan cheese should be shreded, and I had the kind you put on spaghetti. Instructions and recipe were not explained very well for this.

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Heather
    09/11/2019 at 7:34 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve heard so much about crack chicken lately but haven’t gotten around to trying it. And I got a new Instant Pot recently. I think it’s a sign! I can’t wait to try this for dinner this week.

    • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
      Reply
      Lauren Rallis
      01/16/2020 at 9:03 am

      My daughter in law told me.about this recipe. I love it. I put the leftovers in single servings bags in my freezer so now I have a quick meal when I don’t want to cook. I love the flavor. It. Is a great dish.

      • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
        Reply
        Jessica Knott
        02/04/2020 at 10:01 am

        Thanks, Lauren, it’s perfect to pair with spaghetti or serve on lettuce or buns to mix things up, too!

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Lizzy
    09/12/2019 at 8:20 am

    Love the recipe name 🙂 This looks so savory and easy!

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Mama Maggie's Kitchen
    09/12/2019 at 4:20 pm

    5 stars
    And I am so obsessed with Instant Pot recipes recently, too! This recipe looks really appetizing. I love that it’s also cheesy. My son and especially my husband will love this.

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Analida Braeger
    09/12/2019 at 7:43 pm

    5 stars
    I am always looking for a fast chicken dish for the week. I love the cheddar and bacon! Thanks for sharing!

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Debbie
    09/12/2019 at 9:09 pm

    5 stars
    First off you had me at Instant Pot..I love a quick IP chicken recipe. This creamy chicken ooziness mixed with ranch and cheeses. This will be making an appearance at our next game day party on Saturday!! My guys would love this and they can make their on sandwiches.

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Anne Lawton
    09/13/2019 at 10:44 am

    5 stars
    I have not had this, but it sounds so amazing! I can’t wait to give it a try!

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Linda
    09/13/2019 at 8:03 pm

    5 stars
    Oh wow, this dish looks so creamy comforting. I’m adding this to my dinner rotation next week.

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Eva
    09/14/2019 at 1:25 pm

    5 stars
    Cheddar and bacon are definitely a yes combination to me! Love the name of the dish, too!!

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Leslie
    09/14/2019 at 4:35 pm

    You had me at Instant, crack, and chicken! haha…this dish looks so amazing! Definitely a fan of all these flavors together! YUM!!!

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Donna
    09/15/2019 at 7:19 pm

    5 stars
    So quick and easy for a weeknight meal, and so much flavour in so little time!

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Lindsay
    09/19/2019 at 9:05 am

    Hello–
    I tried to make this last night. I decreased the recipe down to 1.5lbs of chicken. Shortly after starting the Instant Pop, a “burn” notification popped up. Would you suggest making the full recipe to prevent the burn notice? Looks good, smelled great! Can’t wait to try it again!

    • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
      Reply
      Jessica Knott
      10/07/2019 at 12:07 pm

      My only thought is to not reduce the liquid in the pot as the pressure cooker does need liquid to convert to steam in order to pressure cook. Otherwise, just make sure the chicken and the broth go in first. I know some pressure cookers are more sensitive than others so this may be the case if you didn’t reduce the liquid. I will do a video of this soon.

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Christina
    10/24/2019 at 1:11 pm

    5 stars
    I made this with one 10 oz chicken breast as that’s all i had. left all other ingredient quantities the same. Did not use bacon or green onions. when I took the chicken out to shred, the sauce was thin and the cream cheese was lumpy. I added the cheddar and it smoothed out. I think there is a mistake in the recipe instructions regarding the cream cheese unless I am missing something. Once I shred the chicken and mixed it with the sauce, I served it over white rice. I have 3 picky eaters and they all loved it. The chicken was perfectly cooked. They all eat like birds so we literally had enough leftover for 1 lunch today believe it or not. I don’t eat meat so I have to get feedback to know if recipes are good or not.

    • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
      Reply
      Jessica Knott
      10/26/2019 at 11:00 am

      The cream cheese will retain its shape until it is smoothed into the sauce. The purpose is to bring it to a hot enough temperature so that it can be whisked with the liquid. This is very normal and it’s the same way a stovetop sauce with cream cheese works. It needs to be heated and then whisked with other liquid in order for it to smooth out. Hope this helps!

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Lauren
    10/24/2019 at 5:25 pm

    I am using 6 chicken breasts that I had in the freezer and was contemplating doubling all the ingredients. Do you think this would be ok? Can’t wait to try this!

    • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
      Reply
      Jessica Knott
      10/26/2019 at 10:57 am

      Yes, I think you can do that. To use frozen chicken, first “thaw” it in the pressure cooker. Then proceed to use it in the crack chicken recipe.
      DIRECTIONS: Pour 1 cup water into your pressure cooking pot and place a trivet in the bottom. Balance the frozen chicken breasts on the trivet, stacking crosswise if necessary. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 1 minute cook time. Quick-release when done. Use chicken in the desired recipe as normal.

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Jordan martin
    10/29/2019 at 5:23 pm

    What kind of Parmesan cheese do I use? Shredded or grated?

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Anthony Cortez
    11/04/2019 at 11:10 pm

    5 stars
    Me and wife just make this as a meal for our diet. We love it tastes amazing and we even added some buttery mashed potatoes to make it a on the go meal.

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Liz McGrath
    11/06/2019 at 9:43 pm

    5 stars
    This was amazing! I’m just learning how to use my Instant Pot and this first recipe was easy to follow and a great success. My husband had seconds and wanted to go back again! Our hot sauce is Scorned Woman Hot Sauce and I only used 1/2 teaspoon. It was perfect…added a little zip without overpowering the dish.

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
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    krisT
    12/18/2019 at 7:02 pm

    5 stars
    This was fantastic! The whole family loved it. I threw in some of the bacon grease with the chicken and it just made the flavor all the more amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
    Reply
    Lanetra Kofoed
    12/20/2019 at 9:32 am

    5 stars
    Made this for my family, and it was a great success! We all loved what great flavor it had, will definitely be making this quite often.

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