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Easy Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken and Rice

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken and Rice – An amazing, flavorful meal that pairs shredded buffalo chicken, ranch dressing, and tender, long grain white rice. Buffalo chicken and rice is quick and easy, because it’s made in the pressure cooker with only a handful of ingredients and minimal cleanup!

A little over a year ago, we shared our Instant Pot Ranch Chicken and Rice recipe. I’m shocked by how quickly it grew in popularity.

In less than a year, it became one of our 5 most popular recipes out of almost 600 published recipes to date. That’s insane!

It’s right up there with the Instant Pot Jambalaya, Easy Cinnamon Rolls, and Cranberry Orange Bread. We’ve received lots of comments about it, along with some questions, and variations.

Some people have even requested a buffalo chicken version. If you like our Instant Pot Chicken and Rice, Instant Pot Chicken Broccoli Rice, or Instant Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch this Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken and Rice may be right up your alley!

The recipes are prepared in similar ways, and the only major differences are a couple of ingredients. It’s a great way to add some variation to weekly dinners or use as meal prep for lunches.

Two bowls of buffalo chicken and rice.
We like buffalo chicken and rice topped with melted cheese and chopped green onions.

How to Make Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken and Rice:

Turn on the Instant Pot using the “saute” function. While you wait for the liner to get hot, season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.

When the stainless steel liner gets hot, add the oil and the chicken. Cook the chicken for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, just long enough to brown it. Remove the chicken, and set it aside.

Next, add the onions. Use a wooden spoon to stir the onions, and cook until the they begin to soften.

The moisture from the onions should be enough to loosen any browned bits that may be stuck to liner. If not, pour in 1/4 cup of water or broth to loosen the bits and scrape the up.

Make sure all the bits are removed from the liner before moving to the next step.

This is called deglazing. If the stainless steel liner isn’t properly deglazed before the food is pressurized, the food is more likely to stick and burn.

Chicken, onions, rice, and broth in the Instant Pot.
Deglazing not only keeps food from sticking and burning while it cooks, but it also imparts a lot of flavor.

After the onions cook and the liner is deglazed, add the chicken breasts back to the liner. Pour the rice in next. I try to pour the rice around the chicken, so it will get submerged into the broth.

Add the broth next, and use a spoon or spatula to press the rice below the broth. Last, add half the buffalo sauce (1/4 cup) to the liner.

I pour this directly onto the chicken. Don’t stir any of the ingredients!

Chicken and rice with buffalo sauce in the Instant Pot.
Pouring the buffalo sauce directly on the chicken helps flavor the chicken while it cooks!

Close the lid (check to be sure the seal is in place), and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. After the 8 minutes is up, let the pressure release on its own for 10 minutes (natural pressure release) before opening the valve to release any remaining pressure.

*While the Instant Pot is completing the natural release, I turn it off completely. In my experience, the heat from the keep warm setting is enough to continue to cook the rice and dry it out causing it to stick.

Remove the lid, and use two forks to shred the chicken. Alternatively, use tongs to transfer the chicken out to a waiting plate or cutting board, shred it, and return it to the liner.

Add the remaining 1/4 cup buffalo sauce and ranch dressing. Stir to combine. Top the chicken and rice with shredded cheese.

Place the lid back on the Instant Pot, and make sure it’s set to “keep warm.” The residual heat from the “keep warm” setting will melt the cheese.

It usually takes about 5 minutes. Since we’ve added some moisture to the liner, the rice isn’t likely to dry out and stick. Remove the lid and serve!

Shredded cheese on buffalo chicken and rice in the Instant Pot.
Off the block cheese makes a great option, because it melts to a creamier consistency than pre-shredded cheese.

Tips for Successful Buffalo Chicken and Rice:

If your Instant Pot has a history of burning rice or rice has a tendency to stick, make sure to deglaze the liner well. Consider adding a touch of extra cooking oil or a bit of extra broth. Additionally, after the Instant Pot finishes cooking, turn it off and use a microwave, smart phone, or oven timer to keep track of the 10 minute natural pressure release. This keeps the rice from drying out.

Adjust the buffalo sauce and ranch to your tastes! This is so important, because we want you to enjoy the recipe. The amount of buffalo sauce and ranch dressing does not have an impact on the cooking process, so add more or less to taste. The same goes for the cheese.

Use bleu cheese instead of ranch. Bleu cheese dressing is a popular option that pairs well with buffalo chicken. Swap it out for the ranch dressing if you like. Using a ranch dressing dry mix (or a partial packet of dry mix) is also a great idea instead of using bottled ranch dressing. Just sprinkle it over the chicken along with the buffalo sauce before it’s cooked.

Substitutes for long grain white rice? The only thing that might work (we haven’t tested it) is instant brown rice with very thinly sliced chicken or chicken cut into small pieces before it’s cooked.

The instant rice doesn’t require a natural pressure release which may cause the chicken to become rubbery. It’s very important to cut the chicken small/thin enough so it’s thoroughly cooked.

Long grain brown rice takes too long to cook, so we don’t recommend it. Instant white rice cooks too quickly, so it isn’t recommended either.

Frozen chicken? We haven’t tried this recipe using frozen chicken. However, readers have commented on our other recipes with similar preparation and ingredients that frozen chicken works well.

It may take longer to come to pressure, though, and the rice may be a little softer. Please leave us a comment if you try it, and let us know how it works out. 🙂

Chicken and rice with cheese in a white bowl.
Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken and Rice is a great meal prep option!

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Buffalo chicken and rice with green onions

Easy Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken and Rice

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Come to Pressure and Natural Release: 15 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken and Rice - An amazing, flavorful meal that pairs shredded buffalo chicken, ranch dressing, and tender, long grain white rice. Buffalo chicken and rice is quick and easy, because it's made in the pressure cooker with only a handful of ingredients and minimal cleanup!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 Pound Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Cup White Onion, diced
  • 1 Cup Long Grain White Rice
  • 1 1/4 Cup Chicken Broth or Water
  • 1/2 Cup Buffalo Sauce, divided (can be adjusted to taste)
  • 1/4 Cup Ranch Dressing, (can be adjusted to taste)
  • 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. Turn on the Instant Pot using the “saute” function. After the stainless steel liner gets hot, add the cooking oil. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, then add it to the pot. Cook the chicken on both sides for about 3 to 5 minutes, just long enough to brown it. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
  2. Leave the Instant Pot on “saute” and add the onions. Cook the onions for 3 to 5 minutes until they become translucent and begin to soften. The moisture from the onions should be enough to loosen and remove any browned bits from the bottom of the liner. If not, pour in ¼ cup of water or broth, and use a wooden spoon to scrape off the bits before moving on to the next step.
  3. Place the chicken back to the liner followed by the rice. Next, add the broth, making sure the rice is submerged. Add ¼ cup buffalo sauce on top of the chicken. DO NOT STIR!
  4. Close the lid, ensure the valve is set to “sealing,” and press the manual (pressure cook) button. Adjust the time to 8 minutes. After the time is up, allow a 10 minute natural release before opening the valve to release any remaining pressure.
  5. Carefully open the lid. Use two forks to shred the chicken, or remove it from the liner, shred it and return it to the liner. Add the remaining ¼ cup buffalo sauce and ¼ cup ranch dressing. Stir to combine. Cover the chicken and rice with shredded cheese. Close the lid and set the Instant Pot to “keep warm.” Leave for about 5 minutes and allow the cheese to melt.
  6. Serve hot! Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Notes

*The nutrition facts listed are an estimation only! They are gathered from a third party application and meant to be used as a guideline. Actual calories may vary depending on ingredients and serving size.

*Please see the post for additional information about the recipe including tips, step-by-step instructions, photos, and answers to frequently asked questions.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 Cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 377Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 9gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 1138mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 24g

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