Our Instant Pot Keto Crack Chicken Recipe is THE BEST we've ever had and we've tried them all. The carbs on this simple dish are extremely low while the bacon, onion, and fresh garlic pack it full of flavor.
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This rich, creamy, and flavor-packed dish is both KETO and KID friendly.
Are you looking for a new keto chicken recipe that doesn’t actually “feel keto?” Do you know what I mean? Something that you can feed the kids or your non-keto spouse (maybe on a bun or inside a tortilla) while still staying super low-carb and keto friendly for yourself?
Look no further than our low-carb Keto Crack Chicken Recipe. It takes less than 30 minutes start to finish, has less than 10 grams of carbs per serving, and only requires a handful of ingredients, making it perfect for a busy weeknight.
What Is Keto Crack Chicken
If you’re new to the Instant Pot or (like me) a little slow on the uptake, you might be wondering what exactly IS keto crack chicken? I kept seeing it float around my Pinterest boards but had never tried it in real life (IRL as my 11-year old likes to say).
Suffice it to say, the collective brain of the Internet has decided that the delicious combo of ranch seasoning, cheese, and bacon is now simply termed “crack.”
So naturally, Crack Chicken is simply cheese, bacon, and ranch (the “crack” part) and…you guessed it…chicken! It’s super popular and tastes just as good as it sounds.
Keto Crack Chicken In The Instant Pot
After we jumped on the Instant Pot train a few months ago, crack chicken was at the top of my list of things to try. Unfortunately, many of the recipes I found were either not keto-friendly, or they were just plain bland and gross.
What we've come up with here is (I believe) the best Instant Pot Keto Crack Chicken recipe on the Internet.
Go ahead, try it for yourself, and let us know what you think.
A Few Notes On Our Keto Crack Chicken Recipe
The Chicken - Chicken Breast vs. Chicken Thighs vs. Chicken Tenders
With the chicken, you have several options.
The first is to use just regular, non-frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts. That’s what we used for this recipe and it turned out super good.
If you’re using non-frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts just follow the cooking times in the recipe below.
If you’re using the smaller chicken tenders or boneless skinless chicken thighs, reduce the pressure cooking time to 12 minutes. This will help keep your chicken from getting tough and chewy during the cooking process.
Can you use frozen chicken to make Keto Crack Chicken in the Instant Pot?
The short answer is YES! Yes you can. But you need to make a few adjustments.
You need to add 5 minutes to your pressure cooking time if you’re using frozen chicken.
That means if you are using frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts, you need to increase the time and cook the Keto Crack Chicken for 20 minutes on manual high pressure.
If you’re using the frozen chicken tenders or frozen chicken thighs, you need to cook your Keto Crack Chicken for 17 minutes on manual high pressure.
What about leftover roasted chicken? Can I use that?
You bet you can! That’s the great thing about the Instant Pot (along with a little Ketowize knowledge), it’s super adaptable.
If you’ve been on the keto diet for very long, you’ve probably realized those roasted chickens from the grocery store or Costco can be a lifesaver on a busy weeknight. Your kids love them (mine think it’s like Thanksgiving), your non-keto spouse loves them, and you love them (super easy main course dinner with practically zero carbs)!
But even with a small family, there are almost always leftovers. And this leftover roasted chicken is the perfect protein for our Keto Crack Chicken recipe.
The two caveats are 1) use the biggest pieces possible from the leftover chicken and 2) decrease your pressure cooking time down to 5 minutes on Manual High Pressure.
A quick note note on the ranch dressing mix (for the Keto Police)
We wanted to make this Keto Crack Chicken recipe as EASY AND DELICIOUS as possible while still staying low-carb and keto friendly.
In this recipe, we used Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning which adds about 2 grams of carbs per serving. I have a busy life and am forced to find some easy shortcuts here and there. That is why I lean a bit more to the side of “dirty keto.” As long as I stay under on my carbs for the day, I stay in ketosis, which means I continue to lose weight.
But, for the keto purists out there or those doing “Strict Keto” you may not want to use the commercial ranch seasoning because it contains maltodextrin.
If that’s you, replace the ranch dressing seasoning with the following:
- 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1 Tbsp. dried chives
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. dried dill
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
This should get you very close to the taste of using the Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning. The maltodextrin in the commercial ranch seasoning is used as a thickening agent. The two cheeses in our Keto Crack Chicken recipe should be enough to adequately thicken the sauce, but if you are eliminating the Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning you may want to add a keto approved thickener like Xanthum Gum powder. 1/4 teaspoon should be plenty.
Keto Crack Chicken Step-By-Step Directions
Just a handful of simple ingredients create this award winning dish!
Cook the bacon in the Instant Pot using the Sauté setting. Remove the cooked bacon with a slotted spoon and put it on a plate, preserving as much of the delicious bacon drippings in the pot. This step is going to seriously amp up the flavor of our Keto Crack Chicken.
Sauté the onion in the bacon drippings for 2-5 minutes until nice and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Press "Cancel" on the Instant Pot to stop sautéing. Remove the onion/garlic mixture from the pot with your slotted spoon and place it with the bacon. We'll want to properly layer our ingredients before pressure cooking so don't leave it in the pot.
Cutting the cream cheese blocks into smaller chunks will ensure it melts evenly and creates and rich and creamy sauce.
Place the ingredients into the Instant Pot in the following order: chicken broth, chicken breast, cream cheese, ranch seasoning, onion, garlic, bacon.
After the pressure cook, remove the chicken breasts from the Instant Pot using a pair of tongs. Use 2 forks or a set of Bear Claws to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
After shredding the chicken, go ahead and return it to the pot. Add the shredded cheddar cheese and stir the mixture to incorporate the chicken and the cheese. With the Instant Pot turned off, place the lid back on the pot for about 5 minutes. This will help melt the cheddar cheese and thicken the sauce.
Toppings For Keto Crack Chicken
As mentioned in the Recipe Card below, we saved back about 1/3 of the bacon for topping and topped our Keto Crack Chicken with the bacon bits and some sliced green onions. The crunch of the bacon and green onions go really well with the creaminess of the dish.
But there are numerous other toppings that would go great on this dish.
Try fresh or pickled jalapeño peppers, fresh cilantro, Frank's Red Hot sauce, or Chipotle Tabasco.
Let us know what your favorite Keto Crack Chicken toppings are in the comments below.
The Best Instant Pot Keto Crack Chicken Recipe
- 6 slices Bacon (chopped)
- 3/4 cup Onion (finely chopped)
- 4 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 1 cup Chicken Broth
- 2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
- 2 8 oz blocks Cream Cheese
- 1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
- 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese (grated)
- 3-4 Green Onions (thinly sliced (for topping))
- Turn your Instant Pot on to the Sauté setting and allow the pot to heat up for about 2 minutes. Add the chopped bacon and cook until crispy, scraping browned bits off the bottom as you stir. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked bacon to a plate, preserving the drippings in the pot. Set aside 1/3 of bacon for topping.
- Add chopped onion to the bacon drippings and sauté for 2-5 minutes until tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently, being careful not to burn the garlic. Remove onion/garlic mixture and transfer to plate with bacon.
- Prep the cream cheese by cutting the blocks into 1-inch cubes. See photo above.
- Add ingredients to the Instant Pot in the following order: chicken broth, chicken breast, cream cheese, ranch seasoning, onion/garlic, bacon. Set the Instant Pot to Manual, High Pressure for 15 minutes. Once time is up, do a quick release.
- After the pressure cook, transfer the chicken breasts to a large plate using a pair of tongs. Use 2 forks or a set of Bear Claws to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Return chicken to the pot and stir in shredded cheddar cheese. Place the lid back on the Instant Pot (but don't turn it on) for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese and allow the sauce to thicken.
- Serve warm topping each bowl with the remaining bacon and sliced green onions.