Instant Pot Chicken Pasta

Chicken Pasta takes weeknight comfort food to a new level. Made in the Instant Pot, this creamy chicken pasta packed with cheese, spinach, and bacon is cooked in 30 minutes!

Love pasta in the pressure cooker? This cheesy Pizza Pasta recipe is ready in 30 minutes, so perfect! Or give our classic Instant Pot chicken alfredo recipe a try for an easy dinner.

Crack chicken pasta being ladled out of a pressure cooker.

Why this Recipe is Best

I’m back with another Instant Pot dinner! This time, we’re talking all about how to make Chicken Pasta.

You may remember my Crack Chicken recipe from last year. I took the basics of that recipe, added more cheese, and pasta for a complete meal!

In the Midwest, you’ll be hard pressed to find any potluck or meal train without at least one “cheesy pasta” dish. Whether it’s Baked Ziti or Chicken Tetrazzini, casseroles with chicken and pasta are always a hit.

Everyone has their own spin on this chicken pasta dish, but it always involves

  • lots of cream
  • lots of cheese
  • lots of bacon

Ranch dressing mix adds instant zesty flavor and few handfuls of fresh baby spinach brings the touch of green freshness to balance the heaviness of the cream cheese.

Crack chicken pasta ingredients on a white counter.

Why make dinner in the Instant Pot?

Instead of making this in the oven, I reached for my trusty Instant Pot. Why?

Because with just a few minutes of of cooking time, I had a hot and totally homemade dinner ready to serve. Chicken Stroganoff and Pot Roast have excellent results in the pressure cooker!

The chicken marinates in the cheesy ranch-flavored sauce and the noodles cooked to perfection. No bland mushy noodles like you sometimes get in one pan pastas.

With all the components of a balanced meal cooked in, you’ll love the convenience of this pasta dinner. If you’re in a real rush, you can even use ready made chicken!

Plus, it’s only ONE POT to clean! Now THAT’S a win.

Step by Step Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make crack chicken pasta in pressure cooker.
Step by step photos showing how to finish making crack chicken pasta in Instant Pot.

Cook the chicken

  • Saute diced raw chicken in the instant pot with olive oil for about 5 minutes or until it turns white (no pink remaining).
  • Skip this step if you’re using cooked chicken.

Pressure cook

  • Add a ranch dressing packet to the pot and stir with chicken. Add uncooked pasta on top of chicken and pour chicken broth over everything. Do not stir!
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for a total time of 4 minutes.

Add cheese

  • After quickly releasing the pressure, stir cream cheese into the pot along with shredded cheese, bacon and spinach and stir until cheese is melted.
  • Ladle into bowls or onto plates and serve immediately.


  • Rotisserie chicken – A favorite hack for quick chicken dinners, rotisserie chicken from the grocery store tastes great in this recipe (or you can make my roasted chicken for this dinner too)! Skip the saute step and just add it right to the pot with the pasta, broth and ranch dressing packet. Leftover turkey would be tasty in this meal too.
  • Noodles – Instead of rotini noodles, use penne or bowtie pasta. Any smaller sized pasta noodle works well. Try rainbow rotini noodles for even more color.
  • Kale – Swap out the spinach for kale, swiss chard or another leafy green.
  • Cooked bacon – If you have the time, you can cook the bacon on the stove top or in the oven yourself fresh for this recipe. I’ll often make bacon for breakfast in the morning and keep leftovers to throw into chicken pasta for dinner. You can also purchase precooked bacon to use in a pinch!
Crack chicken pasta in white serving bowl.

Recipe FAQs

How long are leftovers good for?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy within 3 days. The noodles may get soft with time, as they marinate in the sauce.

Can you freeze Chicken Pasta?

Yes! After cooling, store in freezer safe container for up to 30 days. The pasta may be slightly soft when reheating.

Can I make this without pasta?

Definitely. Skip the pasta and only add 1 cup of the broth. Cook as directed and enjoy on buns or scooped up with tortilla chips.

More Easy Weeknight Meals

Don’t forget dessert! Be sure to whip up a pot of our Instant Pot Rice Pudding for a complete meal.

Easy Dinner Recipes

See all Main Dish recipes

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section below!

Instant Pot Chicken Pasta

4.78 from 111 votes
By: Aimee
Chicken Pasta takes weeknight comfort food to a new level. Made in the Instant Pot, this creamy chicken pasta packed with cheese, spinach, and bacon is cooked in 30 minutes!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 packet dry Ranch Dressing mix
  • 1 lb box of rotini pasta uncooked
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup 8 oz cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz block Cream Cheese
  • 5 ounces baby fresh spinach
  • 8 slices cooked bacon crumbled


  • Pour olive oil into Instant Pot pan and select SAUTE. Heat for 1 minute.
  • Add the diced chicken and sauté for approximately 5 minutes or until no longer pink.
  • Add Ranch dressing packet and stir to combine well. Add pasta on top of chicken and pour chicken broth over pasta (do not stir pasta in broth).
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the valve on top to "SEALING".
  • Set on “Manual or High Pressure“ for 4 minutes.
  • When timer goes off, quick release the pressure valve carefully.
  • Stir in cream cheese, shredded cheese, bacon and spinach and stir until cheese is melted.
  • Serve immediately.


  • Recipe tested in 6qt Instant Pot
  • Penne or bowtie pasta are great alternatives to rotini.
  • Use precooked bacon for a quick alternative. Also can use rotisserie cooked chicken. Skip the saute step if using precooked chicken.


Calories: 481kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 119mg, Sodium: 708mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

When you forgot to make any plans for dinner and everyone’s hungry, it’s Crack Chicken Pasta to the rescue! In less than 15 minutes, you’ll have a completely homemade meal ready to enjoy!

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on September 3, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. This was a good recipe but feel that it would benefit from adding more veggies. The recipe did fill my pot and we used egg noodles. The egg noodles were great. Next time I’m thinking to double up on the spinach, maybe add mushrooms and cherry tomatoes as well. I think broccoli would go good but as I mentioned the pot was already filled.

  2. I just made this dish tonight. I let the instant pot naturally release due to the broth sprayed out when I tried the quick release. I had no problem with my noodles cooking within those 4 minutes. I also used the 4 cups of broth and it turned out perfect. I will be making it again!

  3. The flavors were on point. I would do it again. However the pasta was too mich al dente for me. I will cook the past for 2 minutes longer.

  4. I live in Germany and they don’t have Ranch packets here. Is there anything I can substitute?

  5. Made with gardein chickn (vegetarian) and omitted the bacon and used veggie broth. Came out great! I let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes before opening after reading the reviews. No problems. Thanks!

  6. Definitely needs more than 4 minutes to cook…my pasta wasn’t done after 4 minutes. And it made a GIANT mess when I did the quick release…the chicken ranch broth came flying out everywhere and I had so much clean up to do. It needs a natural release for sure!!

  7. I just made this and it was quick,easy,and DELICIOUS!!!
    I did make a few adjustments…..

    1)I added onion amd minced garlic to chicken while sautéing.

    2)I added in some sun-dried tomatoes.

    3) I cooked 4 min.,did a quick release. I added cubed cream cheese,cheese and spinach(without stirring)set pressure cooked it for 1min. Quick release,stir,and serve.

    1. SO good! I followed these adjustments, love the addition of sun-dried tomatoes.
      My son who is a very picky eater ate it right up and had seconds! Definitely making this one again.

  8. Made this tonight, it was incredible! I used spaghetti noodles bc it’s all I had and it turned out great. Sharing this, it’s a 5 star recipe!

  9. I just made this (halted the recipe) but cooked for the 4 minutes. The pasta wasn’t done yet.
    I pressurized again and cooked another 3 minutes. It was perfect and the sauce is WONDERFUL. I will be making this again. ☺️

    1. This was fun and quick to make. My husband loves it!! I did omit the bacon because I I didn’t have it and he was none the wiser. Thank you for a great new addition to my dinner menu!

  10. I made this with a 12 package of rotini noodles with the 4 cups broth, a small bag of cooked real bacon bits, a small box of frozen spinach thawed or heated and doubled the cheese and cream cheese, also used leftover rotisserie chicken and of course the package of dry ranch seasoning. It’s a keeper. Going in our rotation. Yum!

  11. Very good, and easy to make. However, I believe instructions should say to let pressure to down naturally. When I carefully opened the valve, the steam exploded all over, including the low ceiling, making a huge mess! Also, I made half a recipe and it filled my 6 quart pot. A full recipe would overflow it!
    Tasty and rich. I’ll make again.

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