Instant Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta - Seasoned chicken, crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, and pasta are tossed in creamy ranch dressing. It makes a quick and easy meal perfect for weeknight dinners!
Chicken bacon ranch has been a family favorite for years! We started using that flavor combination almost 20 years when John used it on his chicken bacon ranch pizza.
When our son was little, we started making chicken bacon ranch pasta salad. He's 17 now, and that pasta salad is one of his favorites.
It only seemed fitting that we'd adapt the pasta salad recipe and make an Instant Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta. This recipe is similar to the original pasta salad with a few minor tweaks.
If you're looking for a dish that has similar flavor but without the pasta, take a look at our Instant Pot Ranch Chicken and Rice. It's ranch flavored chicken with rice and cheddar cheese.
All it needs is a little bacon, and it's technically a chicken bacon ranch dish, too!
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta:
Cook the Bacon:
There are a few different ways to cook the bacon. It can be fried on the stove top, microwaved, or baked.
My preferred method is to bake it while the other ingredients are cooking the in Instant Pot. However, for this post, I'm cooking the bacon in the Instant to make a one pot meal.
Turn the Instant Pot on using the "saute" button. I use the lowest saute setting (change the setting by pressing the button multiple times).
When the stainless steel liner gets hot, add the diced bacon. Cook the bacon for 7 to 8 minutes or until the desired crispiness is reached.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the liner and drain on a paper towel. Turn off the Instant Pot by pressing the "cancel" button, and wipe any excess grease and browned bits away from the liner.
Cook the chicken:
Press the "saute" button again, and wait for the stainless steel liner to get hot. After it is hot, add the oil and the chicken.
Sprinkle the chicken with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to spread the chicken into an even layer.
Stir the chicken frequently, and cook until it's white on all sides. The chicken does not need to be cooked completely.
Use a spoon to remove it from the Instant Pot to a waiting bowl separate from the bacon. Press the "cancel" button on the Instant Pot.
Add the Noodles and Broth:
Check to make sure there are no browned bits stuck to the bottom of the liner. If there are, turn it back on to saute, let it get hot, and add ¼ cup of broth or water.
Using a wooden spoon, gently scrape the bits off the bottom then turn off the Instant Pot.
If there are no browned bits stuck to the bottom of the liner, pour in the pasta noodles and the broth. The broth should just barely cover the noodles.
Add a touch of extra broth if needed to ensure the noodles are covered.
Add the Chicken and Cook:
Place the chicken pieces on top of the noodles in an even layer.
Close the lid, set the valve to "sealing," and press the manual (pressure cook) button. Adjust the time to 5 minutes.
Add the Remaining Ingredients:
After the time is up, open the valve to release the pressure. Carefully remove the lid, and drain any excess liquid that may be in the bottom of the liner.
Depending on the type and brand of pasta, sometimes there is leftover liquid. If the liquid is not poured off, it can water down the ranch dressing and make a "soupy" pasta.
Add the ranch dressing, cheese, and some of the cooked bacon. You may want to save some bacon as a garnish.
Stir everything together, and serve hot. Add extra cheese, bacon, or green onions as a garnish.
Tips and Variations for Instant Pot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta:
- We have not tried to double this recipe. If you would like to double it, we recommend doubling all ingredients equally, leaving the time the same, and do not fill the liner above the max fill line.
- Adjust the dressing, cheddar cheese, and bacon to your tastes. Those ingredients do not change the way the dish cooks. On the same note, all of those ingredients may be salty in taste, so consider using a low-sodium broth or water if you're salt sensitive.
- We have only tested this dish in a 6 Quart Duo Plus Instant Pot. If you have a different size or model, please check the user manual for the proper adjustments in liquid and/or time.
- Short, tube-shaped pasta works best. We like rigatoni, ziti, or penne. Other noodles don't absorb liquid or cook the same, so results may vary.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- ½ pound bacon, diced into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil, your choice
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small, bite sized pieces
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 ounces short pasta, rigatoni, ziti, or penne works best
- 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth, or water
- 1 cup ranch dressing, homemade or store bought
- ¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
- ¼ cup green onions, diced
- Turn on the Instant Pot using the “saute” function. After the stainless steel liner gets hot, add the bacon. Stir frequently to keep it from sticking. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the bacon reaches the desired crispiness. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a waiting paper towel lined plate. Turn off the Instant Pot, and clean the stainless steel liner.½ pound bacon
- Return the stainless steel liner to the pot, and press “saute.” When the liner gets hot, add the oil and diced chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook the chicken for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure all sides are lightly browned. The chicken does not need to be cooked all the way through. Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot, and press the “cancel” button.1 tablespoon cooking oil1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts½ teaspoon garlic powder¼ teaspoon kosher salt¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pour in the pasta noodles and spread into an even layer. Next, add the broth. The broth should come just over the top of the noodles. If it doesn’t add a little extra. Place the chicken pieces back to the pot on top of the uncooked noodles. Close the lid, ensure the valve is set to “sealing,” and press the manual (pressure cook) button. Adjust the time to 5 minutes.8 ounces short pasta1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- After the time is up, open the valve for a quick release of pressure. Carefully remove the lid. If there is any residual water in the bottom of the stainless steel liner, drain it off before adding additional ingredients.
- Next, add the ranch dressing, cheese, and cooked bacon (reserve some for garnish). Stir to combine. Serve with extra cheese, bacon, and green onions as garnish.1 cup ranch dressing¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese¼ cup green onions
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This pasta can be enjoyed hot or cold.