Instant Pot Chicken Ranch Mac & Cheese–pasta with white cheddar, crumbled bacon and tender rotisserie chicken. A one pot meal that is a family favorite!
Instant Pot Chicken Ranch Mac & Cheese
This macaroni and cheese recipe has lots of flavor from dry ranch dressing mix, white cheddar and bacon. It’s more of a main dish than a side dish because it has chicken in it too. My family ate it up until it was gone.
I like regular mac and cheese but I prefer this version because it has more than one note of flavor thanks to the ranch seasoning and crispy crumbled bacon. I like using Hidden Valley brand (I buy the big container at Costco). While you’re at Costco pick up a rotisserie chicken and use it for the chicken in this recipe. You can also make basic shredded chicken at home in your Instant Pot with frozen chicken breasts and use that instead. I love cooking my bacon in my air fryer*. It always turns out so crispy and limits the splattering and mess.
- Cooked, chopped chicken–this is a good recipe to use with rotisserie chicken
- Olive oil
- Hidden Valley dry ranch dressing mix
- Chicken broth–or water and Better than Bouillon chicken base
- Elbow macaroni–or penne pasta
- Garlic powder
- Kosher salt
- White cheddar cheese–you can also use normal cheddar cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
- Bacon–cooked and crumbled. You can also use a half cup of real bacon crumbles.
- Coat chicken in seasonings: Add the chicken, olive oil and 2 Tbsp of the ranch dressing mix into the Instant Pot. Stir to coat the chicken.
- Add in ingredients: Pour in the chicken broth. Evenly sprinkle in the macaroni. Add in the remaining 2 Tbsp of ranch dressing mix, garlic powder, salt and butter.
- Pressure cook: Cover Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 4 minutes. Move valve to venting and remove the lid.
- Cheese it up: Stir the milk, cheeses and bacon into Instant Pot.
- Serve and enjoy!
- If you like it more cheesy than double the amount of cheese.
- Make it a one pot meal by stirring in some steamed broccoli florets when you stir in the cheese.
- I used my 6 quart Instant Pot*. You can also make this in a 3 or 8 quart pot.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container* in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Other recipes you can make with ranch dressing mix are Instant Pot Mashed Ranch Cauliflower, Instant Pot Ranch Chicken Taco Rice and Instant Pot Parmesan Ranch Potatoes.
More Mac and Cheese Inspired Recipes…
- Instant Pot Broccoli Chicken Mac And Cheese
- Mac And Cheese Meatloaf Casserole
- Instant Pot Chick-Fil-A Mac And Cheese
- Instant Pot Breakfast Mac And Cheese
Did you know you can filter the recipes on my website to search by meat type, IP or Crockpot, low carb, gluten free, etc.? Use the filter to find exactly what you are looking for.
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Instant Pot Chicken Ranch Mac & Cheese
Pasta with white cheddar, crumbled bacon and tender rotisserie chicken. A one pot meal that is a family favorite!
- 2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 Tbsp Hidden Valley dry ranch dressing mix, divided
- 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Add the chicken, olive oil and 2 Tbsp of the ranch dressing mix into the Instant Pot. Stir to coat the chicken.
- Pour in the chicken broth. Evenly sprinkle in the macaroni. Add in the remaining 2 Tbsp of ranch dressing mix, garlic powder, salt and butter.
- Cover Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 4 minutes. Move valve to venting and remove the lid.
- Stir the milk, cheeses and bacon into Instant Pot.
- Serve and enjoy!
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I used a different type of pasta (Cellentani) and the pasta was a little too hard still. Should I have increased the cook time by a few minutes? You mentioned substituting Penne which has an 11 minute cook time like the Cellentani does so I thought I would be okay. I know you recommend when cookng pasta to use the cook time halved and add a minute so I’m thinking 6 minutes at least.
The other thing with pasta you normally don’t do a quick release, if you would have waited say 4-5 mins probably would have been not as crunchy.
Darrell, I was just following the instructions so my question is should the directions be modified to have an NPR or should the time be changed when using any pasta other than elbows?
Yea, I just made a batch but with the elbows, she nailed it for time with those. I’m gonna try the noodles you said next time, I like to tinker, see how turns out, will write back.
But if you hear of a guy in Wisconsin who blew up his instspot making Mac n cheese, just know it was me…
Well I’ll look for your results. I ended up putting the lid back on and cooked another 3 minutes which did soften up much of the pasta but there were still around 20 or so that were still a bit hard.
I might try 6 minutes for cellentani next time
Would you still omit any NPR?
Perhaps let it sit for 5 minutes and then move valve to venting.
Sandy Gotter says
Can you cook this in the slow cooker or oven?
I haven’t tried it in any other way than the IP. So I can’t say for sure how it would turn out. If you do try it let me know how it goes!
Delicious! I made this tonight! I doubled the recipe in my 8qt. I didn’t have a rotisserie chicken so I cooked 4 chicken thighs in 1 cup of broth with 4 tbsp ranch seasoning in the instant pot first and went and ran a bunch of errands, came home and took them out and then shredded it and then added everything in to cook together. The only other substitute was whole grain noodles and I didn’t have white cheddar cheese so I used Colby shredded cheese, I also omitted the butter and oil because when I cook chicken thighs in the instant pot they don’t typically need it. My husband and kids loved it with a salad and there are no leftovers! Thank you for an easy dump and go recipe!
yum yum sounds like an awesome version!!
How long did you cook chicken?