Instant Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta is a creamy and satisfying dish that the whole family will love! Ready in minutes, it makes for a quick hearty dinner!
I love using my IP in pasta dishes because I do not have to cook the noodles separately. If you love cooking in the IP, check out my other recipes for Sweet Potato Soup, Refried Beans, and Mongolian Chicken!
Pressure Cooker Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
Instant Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta is a full meal on its own. It has carbs from the pasta, protein from the meat, and the fiber coming from the spinach. It is comforting, hearty and delicious.
And the bite-sized noodles make for an easy meal for kids! Put it in their lunchboxes along with other veggies and fruits and they’re off to a great lunch together with friends. And I am pretty sure that they will be proud to share their meal.
It is delicious, easy to eat, and the flavors are all there to enjoy. It is always fulfilling for me to hear that my family and friends enjoy delicious meals! Make it now and let me know how it turns out!
Which pasta is best to use to make this dish?
Any small and short pasta will do for this kind of dish. You can use any of the following:
But since this recipe calls for 3 cups of shells, then, get the equivalent of that in weight, preferably in ounces. Then, use that to measure the other types of noodles. This is important since the ratio to the liquid must be maintained.
How to make Instant Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta:
Here is an overview of the process but for the details, refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Brown the chicken: Use the sauté function in the IP and put oil when it turns hot. In a bowl, mix the spices and seasonings. Coat the white meat with this mixture, then, cook it in the IP until golden. Then, set it aside.
- Prep the bacon: Put the bacon in and cook until crispy then, set aside. Remove some of the drippings and leave only about a tablespoon.
- Add the broth and shells: In the remaining oil, sauté the aromatics. Then, add the broth and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Stir in the shells, cream, and ranch seasoning mix. Put the breasts back in and add the cream cheese.
- Cook: Close the lid making sure that everything is sealed. Turn to Manual setting and set 4 minutes to cook. When time is up, do a quick release, and then, carefully open the lid.
- Add the cheese and spinach: Remove the breasts and put them on a cutting board. Stir in the cheddar cheese and spinach.
- Slice: Slice the chicken into cubes. Then, put the cubes back into the pot along with the bacon pieces.
- Serve: Stir everything, garnish, then, serve.
What to Serve with Instant Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta:
Pair this dish with a serving of veggies! Here are some suggested dishes that are equally easy to prepare:
- Heirloom Tomato Pizza
- Italian Chopped Salad
- Rainbow Roasted Vegetables
- Cucumber Salad
- Roasted Cauliflower
What type of cheese is best to use?
Cheddar is easily the most popular cheese to use in this dish. If you are feeling adventurous, go ahead and try some other kinds like parmesan, mozzarella, and Monterey Jack. You may want to opt for an Italian cheese blend, too.
Can you make it in advance?
Yes! Since this is dairy-based and the pasta may turn mushy, it is still better not freeze them. Instead, prepare the chicken and bacon in advance.
Then, when you are ready to serve, simply put everything in the IP and you will be done in no time.
- This recipe calls for skinless chicken breasts, but any other part will do like the thighs.
- This dish is a nice meal to prepare when you have leftover chicken. Use that and you will cut the prep time.
- If you love the flavor combinations in this recipe, then, you will also love our recipes like the crack mashed potatoes, crack chicken and dumplings, and crack corn salad. Do check them out!
Prep time: 26 minutes Cook time: 4 minutes Total time: 4 mins
Chicken & Bacon:
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 regular boneless (skinless chicken breasts)
- 10 bacon slices
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 oz package ranch seasoning mix
- 1 cup cooked bacon (chopped)
- 2 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups shell pasta (medium or small)
- 8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- Add salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder to a large shallow bowl and stir to combine.
- Set Instant Pot to Sauté. Once the IP is hot, add the oil.
- Toss chicken in the seasoning mix to coat on both sides and add to the hot oil.
- Cook on both sides for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pot and set aside on a plate, cover with aluminum foil to keep it warm.
- Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove and set aside.
- Drain bacon grease, leaving only about 1 tablespoon in the pot.
- Add the diced onion and minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add chicken broth and using a wooden spoon, scrape well the bottom of the pot, trying to remove any bits that stuck to it.
- Add the pasta, heavy cream and Ranch seasoning mix. Stir gently and top with the chicken breasts and cubed cream cheese.
- Cover and seal the lid. Make sure the valve points to Sealed. Change the setting to manual and adjust the time to 4 minutes on High Pressure.
- Once Instant Pot beeps to show that it's done, do a quick release, by changing the position of the valve to Vent. Carefully remove the cover.
- Remove chicken from pot, and set aside on a cutting board.
- Add the cheddar cheese and gently stir to combine for 1 minute.
- Add the spinach and stir to combine.
- Turn off the pressure cooker.
- Cut the chicken into cubes and add to the pot, add the chopped bacon as well gently give everything a final stir.
- Serve immediately garnished with bacon and parsley.