Enjoy the flavors and textures of this gourmet-style bacon ranch chicken pasta in a fraction of the time by making this delicious dish in the Instant Pot.
Using ingredients you most likely already have in the fridge, you’ll be able to whip up this instant pot bacon ranch chicken pasta in less than 25 minutes!
Everyone Loves Chicken Bacon Ranch
This hearty and extremely satisfying dish is sure to put a smile on the face of everyone who tries it.
Bacon ranch chicken pasta perfectly combines classic American flavors with the creamy richness and nourishment of an Italian inspired pasta dish. Serve this pasta as a fun weeknight dinner, a substantial side dish, or bring it to a potluck and please a crowd.
What’s in Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta?
- Thick Cut Bacon—Buying a bacon that has a good amount of fat on it will help to increase the smoky, salty flavor of your finished pasta. Uncooked bacon is preferred over precooked, but either should work.
- Chicken Tenderloins—Boneless, skinless chicken breast would also work in this recipe. Just be sure to cut your chicken into 1” cubes or smaller to ensure that it cooks through.
- Pasta—Any shape or kind will do. My family loves organic penne, but you could easily use gluten free as well.
- Cream Cheese—I recommend using a brick of cream cheese cut into 1” cubes; it tends to be easier to measure than whipped cream cheese.
- Cheddar Cheese—Adding a small amount of cheddar cheese at the end of the cooking process will help bring all the textures and flavors of your dish together.
- Heavy Cream—Using heavy cream will help to make your pasta sauce thick and luscious. For a slightly lighter alternative, you can use half and half.
- Butter—The addition of butter adds richness and flavor to your dish.
- Ranch Dressing Powder—Adding a few tablespoons of ranch dressing powder will bring a unique, savory, tangy flavor to your finished pasta dish that’s sure to please the kids without overwhelming the other flavors.
- Other Spices—Chicken bouillon cubes, garlic powder, garlic salt, and onion powder help to add depth of flavor to your finished dish.
- Water—A couple of cups of water is needed to ensure that your pasta and chicken pressure cook thoroughly and evenly.
How to soften cream cheese
Looking for a quick method to soften cream cheese? Check out our post – How to Soften Cream Cheese – 4 Ways! Here you’ll learn 4 unique (and quick!) methods to softening cream cheese the perfect amount for baking and cooking.
How do I make Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta?
- Sauté the bacon. Using the sauté function on your pressure cooker, cook your chopped bacon until it is as crispy as you like.
- Deglaze your pot. Once the bacon is finished cooking, remove it from the pot and do your best to remove all of the bacon grease. Next, add your butter and a splash of water to the pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape all of the fond off of the bottom.
- Add your liquids and spices. Add your water and heavy cream to the pot along with your bouillon cubes, ranch powder, garlic powder, garlic salt, and onion powder. Give the mixture a good stir.
- Add pasta and chicken. To your water mixture, add your pasta and cubed chicken. Stir and make sure that as much of the pasta and chicken is submerged in the liquid as possible.
- Pressure cook. Place the lid onto your instant pot and pressure cook on high for 6 minutes. Once the 6 minutes are up, perform a quick release.
- Add your cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and bacon. After all the pressure has escaped from your instant pot, open the lid and quickly add your cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and bacon. Stir until thoroughly combined.
- Plate, serve, and enjoy! Spoon your pasta into bowls, serve, and (thoroughly) enjoy!
Can I Make this on the Stove Top?
Absolutely! To do this, you’ll need to cook your pasta according to directions in a separate pot from everything else.
- In a large frying pan with high sides, sauté your bacon. Once crispy, remove the bacon from the pan along with as much of the grease as you can.
- To your pan, add your butter and a splash of water and deglaze. Add the bouillon cubes, ranch powder, garlic powder, garlic salt, and onion powder to your pan and mix. (Since you aren’t cooking your pasta in this mixture, you will not need to add the additional water.)
- Add your chicken and cook until no longer pink.
- Finally, add your cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and heavy cream and mix until a thick sauce forms. Add your sauce and chicken to your cooked pasta, top with bacon, and enjoy!
Crisp up the Top of Your Pasta!
If you have the air fryer lid attachment for your instant pot or a pressure cooker/air fryer combo like a ninja foodie, then you’re in luck!
To add a crunchy, buttery crust to your bacon chicken ranch pasta, simply add a mixture of breadcrumbs and butter to the top of your pasta.
Be sure to do this after you’ve added in the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and bacon.
Air fry the pasta for 5-10 minutes depending on how toasty you like your breadcrumb topping.
Serve and enjoy the extra fun texture of this recipe variation!
If you have any leftover instant pot bacon chicken ranch pasta, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
To reheat, simply place in a pot on the stove and heat until warm. You can add splashes of milk and extra cheddar cheese as needed to keep the sauce from getting too thick.
Instant Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
- 8 oz. thick cut bacon chopped
- 8 oz. chicken tenderloin cut into 1” cubes
- 16 oz. uncooked pasta
- 8 oz. cream cheese cut into 1” cubes
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons ranch dressing powder
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- ½ teaspoons garlic salt
- ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- ½ teaspoons onion powder
- 4 cups water
- Measure and chop your ingredients before beginning the cooking process. This will help things go a little smoother!
- Sauté your bacon using the sear/sauté function on your pressure cooker. Once cooked to your liking, remove the bacon from your pot and set aside. Clean out as much of the bacon grease as possible.
- Add your butter and a splash of water to your pot and use this mixture to scrape any fond off of the bottom.
- To your butter mixture, add the rest of your water, heavy cream, ranch powder, garlic powder, garlic salt, and onion powder. Give the mixture a stir.
- Add your pasta and cubed chicken to your pot and stir, making sure that as much of the pasta and chicken is submerged in the liquid as possible.
- Cancel the sauté function on your pressure cooker, place the lid on, and pressure cook on high for 6 minutes. Quick release the pressure.
- Once all the pressure has been released, open the lid of your pressure cooker and add the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and bacon. Stir until all the cheese is melted and everything is thoroughly combined.
- Serve and enjoy!