Instant Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta is a tasty, cheesy one-pot meal. This easy pasta recipe has a ton of flavor, and is fast to make. If your bacon is cooked, it is a dump and start recipe. Pressure cooker chicken bacon ranch pasta is filling and yummy!
Originally published 1/5/18, Recipe has been updated
Instant Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
So you like bacon, I mean, of course you do, and you want to make something tasty with it. How about Instant Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta! This recipe has lots of flavor, and is very hearty. Best of all, it has bacon in it!
Well, I was going to say it's a one-pot meal, but bacon is better!
I wanted to bring you something a little more hearty. This is like a loaded mac and cheese, with chicken, bacon, and lots of flavor!
There's always room for more pasta, and if it's easy to make, and loaded with great flavor, there's a better chance of the family liking it!
Why cook a pasta dish in the Instant Pot?
I love to cook pasta in my Instant Pot. To me, not having to drain the water, and the pasta soaking up the flavor, are the two big reasons to cook pasta in the pressure cooker!
Plus this is a one-pot meal and it is done in about 30 minutes!
Which pasta works the best in this recipe?
I like to use penne, rotini, or ziti. You can use just about any pasta, as the chicken will cook in a short amount of time, so use what you have!
The ratio of pasta to liquid is important, so make sure you are using 16 oz for this recipe. You can't go by the cup as different pastas have different shapes/sizes.
Using a nice thick-cut smoky bacon makes this recipe even better. If you don't have that kind, any bacon you have will do.
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Instant Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta has great flavor, and is a hearty pasta meal. A casserole style dish in less time than baking in the oven.
- 6 slices Thick Cut Bacon, cooked or uncooked, cut in bite-sized pieces
- 3 Tbsp Butter, unsalted
- 4 cups Chicken Broth, low sodium
- ½ cup Heavy Cream or Half and Half, (more if you like it saucier)
- 1 packet Ranch Dressing Powder (3 Tbsp)
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- 16 oz Penne Pasta (or rotini, ziti, etc.)
- 2 (8 oz) Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (cubed slightly larger than bite sized)
- 8 oz Cream Cheese, cubed
- 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (optional)
Prepare all of the ingredients before you start. Cut the bacon and chicken, have the butter measured. Shred the cheese, and measure out the ranch & garlic powders, broth, and pasta. It will make the cooking process much easier and faster. Less stress!
If you have uncooked bacon: Turn on the Sauté function (Normal/Med heat). Add the chopped bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until done. Remove to a paper towel and drain all of the fat from the pot. Set aside.
Add the butter and a splash or two of the broth to the pot and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot so you can to get up all of the brown bits (fond).
Add the broth, heavy cream, ranch powder, and garlic powder, and stir well.
Add the pasta and stir.
Add the chicken and the cubes of cream cheese. Don't stir, but gently push down, using a spoon, to submerge the chicken and pasta.
Cancel the Sauté function.
Place the pressure cooker lid on the pot and turn the steam release knob to the Sealing position.
Press Pressure Cook or Manual button, and then the + or - button to choose 5 minutes. Your pasta may need a different time. Usually half the time on the package directions.
When the cooking cycle ends, do a controlled Quick Release of the pressure, just until you are sure no sauce will spew out with the steam, then turn the knob all the way and let it all out.
When the pin in the lid drops down, open it and give the contents a stir. It will be fairly soupy at this point.
Stir in the cheese and let it melt.
Stir in the bacon. Mix well. It will thicken as it cools.
This pasta dish will thicken as it cools. To reheat you may need to add a little broth, milk, or water.
RESOURCES TO MAKE Instant Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Recipe and More
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Mary Jo Harbour
Had to change a couple things, but love Sandy's recipes. Chicken wasn't thawed, it was getting late, so we used 1/2 lb. pork sausage. Also both of us thought the recipe needed a bit of onion so i diced about 1/2 of a medium onion and added to the sausage as Sara browned it. We made 1/2 recipe in my 3 qt IP. Thanks, Sandy Clifton, for a great recipe that i will make again, next time with chicken to see how it compares!
Can you freeze the leftovers? If so, how?
You can, though I am not a big fan of freezing cooked pasta. I would portion it out first, then add to a freezer container.