• Abby

Instant Pot Creamy Ranch Chicken Pasta (Two Ways: Dairy Free or Regular)

Pressure cooker chicken bacon ranch crack pasta dairy free

Instant pot chicken bacon ranch pasta dairy free pinterest
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Also known as "Crack" Chicken Pasta, this dish is so creamy and full of flavor. Ranch, bacon, cheddar, and cream cheese, what else could you want? This recipe is so easy, quick, and makes very few dishes with the use of an Instant Pot. Both a regular and a dairy free options are available. The perfect family dinner!


If you are making the dairy free option, start by making my Dairy Free Ranch Seasoning Mix. If you are making regular, all you need is a single ranch seasoning packet.



For the dairy free option, I like to use Tofutti cream cheese. Feel free to use your favorite dairy free cheese and cream cheese brands. For regular, I recommend Neufchatel cream cheese to cut down on fat, it tastes just as good. Parmesan is optional, but adds just a touch more flavor.



Cook up about 3-5 pieces of bacon and crumble it, or for a quicker and easier option, use bacon bits. I love to add this .8 ounce bag for the perfect amount of bacon for this dish. But the amount is up to you!



I personally use a Crockpot brand pressure cooker, but the Instant Pot will work as well. Cook up your chicken in your pressure cooker on the sauté function. Then add your seasoning and turn of the heat. Add your pasta and broth, then your water to just cover the noodles. Press them down into the water. Set your Instant Pot to manual on high for 4 minutes, or for the Crockpot, high on steam for 4 minutes and make sure the valve is closed. After the 4 minutes is up, stop the cooker and open the valve carefully to let out all the steam. It will spray some water so be careful.


Once all the pressure is released, open it up and add your cream cheese, cheddar and parmesan if you are adding it. Stir until all the cheese is melted. There will be extra water when you open it, this is needed to make the sauce and it will help melt the cheeses. When everything is melted, add your bacon and serve! Makes great leftovers!



 

Ingredients

[Serves 8-10]

Regular

1 lb chicken breast diced into bite sized pieces

1 Tbsp oil to cook chicken

1 ranch seasoning packet

1 lb penne pasta (I used whole wheat, you can also use gluten free)

4 cups (32 oz) low sodium chicken broth

1 cup water

3-5 pieces of bacon cooked and crumbled or bacon bits to taste

8 ounces Neufchatel cream cheese

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup parmesan (optional)


Dairy Free

1 lb chicken breast diced into bite sized pieces

1 Tbsp oil to cook chicken

1 lb penne pasta (I used whole wheat, you can also use gluten free)

4 cups (32 oz) low sodium chicken broth

1 cup water

3-5 pieces of bacon cooked and crumbled or bacon bits to taste

8 ounces dairy free cream cheese (I used Tofutti)

1 cup dairy free cheddar cheese shreds

1/4 cup dairy free parmesan (optional)

Dairy Free Ranch Seasoning Mix:

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried parsley

1 1/2 tsp freeze dried chives

1 tsp freeze dried dill

1/2 tsp coarse salt

1/2 tsp pepper


Directions

  1. Start by making your Dairy Free Ranch Seasoning Mix.

  2. Next cut up your chicken into bite sized pieces.

  3. Add oil to your Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker and turn on the sauté function.

  4. Add your chicken and cook fully, should take about 3-5 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, turn off the heat. Then add your ranch seasoning and stir until coated.

  5. Now add your noodles on top of the chicken, don't stir. Then pour over your broth and water until the noodles are just covered. Press down any noodles sticking out of the water.

  6. Turn on your pressure cooker to the steam function, or for Instant Pot to manual, on high heat for 4 minutes. Close the valve.

  7. Let the pasta cook for the 4 minutes then stop the cooker and carefully open the valve to quick release the pressure. This part can be dangerous, quite a bit of steam will come out, so do this with caution.

  8. Once all the pressure is released, open the cooker and add your cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and parmesan if you are adding it. Stir until all the cheese is fully melted. There will be extra water when you open it up, this is needed to create the sauce and will help melt your cheese. Just keep stirring!

  9. Now add your bacon bits and stir in.

  10. Serve topped with more bacon, parmesan, or fresh parsley. Makes fantastic leftovers!



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