Effortless and Delicious: Instant Pot Chicken Ranch Pasta
Gather close, dear readers, for I have a delectable recipe to share with you today. Are you ready to indulge in the savory flavors of chicken, bacon, and ranch combined with creamy pasta? This Instant Pot Chicken Ranch Pasta With Bacon Recipe is sure to win over the hearts and taste buds of anyone lucky enough to try it.
Imagine a dish where tender chicken pieces and crispy bacon bits are nestled in a bed of penne pasta. The mixture is blended with a creamy sauce that combines cream cheese, milk, low-sodium chicken broth and olive oil. On top of that, we add flavor-packed ranch seasoning mix, for an added punch of tanginess. And all of these gooey ingredients come together in the steamy goodness of an Instant Pot!
The beauty of this dish is that it’s so simple to make but tastes complex enough to fit right into an elegant dinner party. In just under 30 minutes from prep time to plate time, you’ll have yourself a meal beyond compare. Trust me when I say, one bite and you’ll be hooked.
Are you ready for the ultimate comfort food? Then let’s get cooking!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
My dear readers, if there is one recipe you must try in your Instant Pot, it’s the Instant Pot Chicken Ranch Pasta with Bacon. Whether you are a busy parent trying to prepare a quick and delicious meal for your family or a young adult desiring to impress your loved ones with your cooking skills, this recipe is a must-have in your repertoire.
Let me tell you why you’ll fall head over heels in love with this pasta dish. First and foremost, it’s loaded with flavor! The combination of tangy ranch dressing mix, savory bacon, and succulent chicken makes a harmonious melody on your taste buds. The freshness of dried herbs and the pungency of minced garlic take it up a notch, making it hard to resist going back for seconds.
Additionally, this recipe is effortless to make. With the use of an Instant Pot, all ingredients cook evenly and quickly, while the pasta turns out al dente to perfection. So you won’t be slaving over the stove for hours or anxiously watching over the pot’s progress. You can prep it in the morning and let it cook while you go about your day. All you have to do is crack some chicken, cut some bacon into small pieces, mix everything up with ranch seasoning and other necessary items from our ingredient list.
Finally, who can resist comfort food that can be served hot or cold? This chicken bacon ranch pasta is perfect as a warm dinner on chilly evenings but equally good as a cold lunchtime salad or buffet addition for parties.
All in all, I urge you not to waste any more time! Gather these simple ingredients and make yourself some Instant Pot Chicken Ranch Pasta with Bacon tonight!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this Instant Pot Chicken Ranch Pasta with Bacon Recipe:
Meat and Poultry:
- 1 pound chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, cut into bite-size pieces
- 6 slices bacon, cut into bite-size pieces
- 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
Pasta and Sauces:
- 1 lb dry penne pasta
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 (1 oz) packet ranch dressing mix
- 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, softened
Spices and Seasonings:
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetables and Herbs:
Make sure to have all the ingredients ready before starting!
Note: Low sodium chicken broth is recommended to control the saltiness of your dish. Plain or flavored cream cheese can also be used as a substitute for the block cream cheese.
The Recipe How-To
Now let’s get down to business and create a delicious meal that is sure to impress. With my Instant Pot Chicken Ranch Pasta with Bacon recipe, you can enjoy a hearty and flavorful dish with minimal effort.
Step 1: Preparing the Ingredients
Start by gathering all the required ingredients. Dice 6 slices of bacon into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Cut 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season them with 1 tablespoon of ranch seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Step 2: Sauté Setting
Preheat your Instant Pot using the sauté setting. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot, then add the diced bacon and cook until crispy (around 4-5 minutes). Remove the bacon from the pot, but leave the grease to cook the chicken.
Step 3: Cooking Chicken
In the same pot, add another 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook the seasoned chicken for around 3-4 minutes or until it is cooked through. Remove it from the pot and set it aside.
Step 4: Adding Pasta
Add in 3 cups of dry penne pasta and stir well until they are coated in the bacon grease. Then add in 4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth, 2 cups of milk, 4 ounces of cream cheese, 1/2 cup prepared ranch dressing, garlic powder and ranch seasoning. Mix everything together well.
Step5: Adding Chicken & Bacon Back
Now we can add back in our cooked chicken and bacon to our Instant Pot full of pasta goodness. Mix it all together until combined.
Step 6: Pressure Cooker Settings
Put on the lid securely on your pressure cooker with valve being set to “SEALING”. Set the Instant Pot to cook for 6 minutes on HIGH PRESSURE.
Step 7: Quick Release and Serving
Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure cooker to perform a quick release. By this I mean you need to turn the valve from SEALING to VENTING to release the extra steam. Once all the steam has been released, remove lid and give everything a good stir.
Serve your Instant Pot Chicken Ranch Pasta with Bacon hot with some 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese sprinkled on top if desired!
Substitutions and Variations
In case you don’t have all the ingredients on hand or just want to switch things up a bit, here are some substitutions and variations for this Instant Pot Chicken Ranch Pasta with Bacon:
– Instead of chicken thighs, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You’ll need to adjust the cook time a bit, as chicken breasts may take longer to cook than thighs.
– For a lower-fat option, you can use turkey bacon instead of regular bacon. You could also omit the bacon altogether if you prefer.
– Don’t have ranch dressing mix on hand? You can make your own by combining 1 tablespoon each of dried parsley, dill weed, and chives with 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder and onion powder.
– If you’re vegetarian, you can omit the chicken and bacon and add some sliced mushrooms instead for a hearty vegetarian pasta dish.
– For a spicier kick, you could add some sliced jalapenos or red pepper flakes.
– For a creamier texture, try adding a bit of cream cheese or sour cream to the sauce.
Whatever substitutions or variations you choose to make, this flavorful pasta dish is sure to be a hit with your family or guests.
Serving and Pairing
Once you have finished cooking the Instant Pot Chicken Ranch Pasta with Bacon Recipe, it’s time to plate and serve this delectable dish. This creamy and savory recipe is perfect for a weeknight dinner or when hosting a small gathering with friends and family.
To serve the Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta, start by scooping some of the pasta into your serving bowl. Be sure to include plenty of chicken, bacon, and sauce in each scoop. You can also sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top for added flavor.
For pairing options, you can serve this pasta dish alongside a simple green salad or roasted vegetables. The freshness of the greens will help balance out the richness of the dish, while adding some color to your meal. Roasted vegetables like broccoli or asparagus would also be a great option as they provide some slight bitterness and earthiness to the rich flavors of the pasta.
To complement the creamy ranch flavor, a crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio would be perfect choices. If wine is not your preference, you can always opt for a cold beer or even sparkling water.
Whatever you choose to pair with this delightful recipe, be sure to enjoy every bite of this satisfying meal!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
As with any Instant Pot recipe, it can be helpful to plan ahead for your meals. This Instant Pot Chicken Ranch Pasta With Bacon Recipe is no exception. Fortunately, it can be easily made ahead of time and reheated when you’re ready to eat.
To make things a bit easier, you could cook the pasta in advance and store it separately from the rest of the dish. Simply let it cool to room temperature and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
If you choose to make the entire recipe ahead of time, follow these simple steps:
1. After cooking, let the dish cool to room temperature.
2. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
When reheating, you’ll want to add some liquid to prevent the pasta from drying out. Add broth or milk in small increments until the desired consistency is reached.
For best results, reheat individual servings in the microwave or reheat the entire dish on the stove over low heat until heated through.
With proper planning and storage, this Instant Pot Chicken Ranch Pasta With Bacon Recipe can still taste just as delicious on day two or three as it did on day one.
Tips for Perfect Results
Now that you’ve gone through the ingredient list and directions in making Instant Pot Chicken Ranch Pasta with Bacon, let me share with you some tips for perfect results.
First, make sure to use boneless, skinless chicken in this recipe. It cuts down on cooking time and makes it easier to shred the chicken later on. If you choose to use chicken thighs, remove any excess fat to avoid making the pasta too greasy.
Next, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the Instant Pot before adding the chicken. This will prevent the chicken from sticking to the bottom and make cleaning up much easier.
When adding bacon to the recipe, cut it into bite-sized pieces before cooking. This way it cooks evenly and won’t clump together while stirring.
For best results, mix the ranch seasoning packet with a cup of milk instead of water. This adds extra creaminess and flavor to your dish.
Once you add dry pasta to the Instant Pot, be sure to stir it well with a wooden spoon or spatula. This helps in preventing clumps or sticking to each other.
Lastly, before draining any excess liquid from the pasta mixture, allow it to rest for a few minutes. This allows time for the sauce to thicken and coat the pasta evenly.
Utilizing these tips will result in a perfect Instant Pot Chicken Ranch Pasta with Bacon every time.
In conclusion, the Instant Pot Chicken Ranch Pasta with Bacon recipe is an absolute must-try for anyone who loves a good pasta dish. It’s creamy, flavorful, and easy to make – all thanks to the Instant Pot!
By following the step-by-step instructions outlined above, you’ll be able to whip up this delicious meal in no time at all. Feel free to experiment with different substitutions and variations to make it your own. And don’t forget to pair it with your favorite salad or bread for a complete meal.
Trust me, once you try this chicken bacon ranch pasta recipe, it will become a regular on your dinner rotation. So what are you waiting for? Grab your Instant Pot and get cooking!
Instant Pot Chicken Ranch Pasta With Bacon Recipe
- 1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs (or breast meat)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups milk
- 1 ounce ranch dressing mix
- 1 lb dry penne pasta
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 6 slices cooked bacon
- Step 1: Cut chicken into one-inch pieces. Salt & pepper to taste.
- Step 2: Turn Instant Pot to Saute function. Add olive oil and saute chicken for a couple minutes. Scrape any remaining bits on the bottom of the pot.
- Step 3: Stir in ranch dressing mix, milk, broth, and uncooked pasta.
- Step 4: Secure lid. Turn valve to "sealing", and set the Instant Pot to 4 minutes on Manual or High.
- Step 5: After done, do a quick release on pressure. Tip: Use the back of a wooden spoon to move the valve when releasing pressure, and if any liquid starts releasing, loosely cover with a kitchen towel.
- Step 6: Remove lid and stir in the cream cheese, shredded cheese, and bacon.
- Step 7: Serve warm.