Rich, creamy, and full of flavor, this Keto Instant Pot Crack Chicken Recipe is sure to be a favorite family dinner.
This recipe is from our e-book, 10 Low-Carb Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Recipes. In the e-book we call it “Better Than Crack Chicken”, which it really is! We switched up the seasoning a little (omitted the Ranch mix and added our own keto-friendly seasonings), and this takes it over the top in terms of deliciousness. Our e-book is now on sale on Amazon for just $2.99!
What is Crack Chicken
The wildly popular Crack Chicken is actually pretty simple in its ingredient list: chicken, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon, scallion, and Ranch seasoning! The end result is creamy and rich, and packed with flavor. It’s proof that a recipe doesn’t have to be complicated to taste great. Crack Chicken is deliciously addictive, which is where the name comes from.
Using Frozen Chicken to Make Crack Chicken in an Instant Pot
A question we frequently get asked is whether you have to defrost boneless, skinless chicken breasts before making this recipe, or if you can just use them frozen. If you forgot to pull the chicken out of the freezer in the morning, we have good news for you! Crack Chicken can easily be made using frozen chicken. If using an Instant Pot, just add 5 minutes on to the cooking time (for a total of 20 minutes on Manual High Pressure).
Note that the U.S. Department of Agriculture advises against cooking frozen chicken in a slow cooker or crock pot because slow cookers cook at a low temperature and may not heat chicken up to 165F, which is the minimum temperature to destroy any dangerous bacteria and ensure that chicken is fully cooked. So if you’re using a crock pot or slow cooker to make Crack Chicken, make sure to defrost it first!
Using Leftover Chicken to Make Crack Chicken
Sometimes we all have leftover chicken on hand that needs to be used up. Maybe you roasted a couple of chickens on the weekend to prep for the week ahead, maybe you had company over and grilled up too many chicken breasts, or maybe rotisserie chicken was on sale at your local grocery store and it was too good a bargain to pass up. Whatever the reason, we all can use a few ideas on how to use up leftover chicken.
If you have cooked chicken in your fridge just waiting to be used up, we have good news for you! Leftover chicken works great for making Crack Chicken. If using an Instant Pot, keep the chicken breasts whole if possible (don’t pre-shred them), and decrease the cooking time to 5 minutes (for a total of 5 minutes on Manual High Pressure).
How to Make Crack Chicken in a Slow Cooker or Crock Pot
One of the things we love most about Crack Chicken is that there are so many different ways you can make it! We love our electric pressure cooker, but if you’d rather throw everything together in the slow cooker in the morning and come home to dinner waiting for you, you’ll be happy to know that Crack Chicken can also be made in a crock pot.
To make Crack Chicken in a slow cooker, add the chicken and cream cheese to the slow cooker. Whisk together the water, vinegar, chives, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, dill, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl and pour on top. Cook on LOW for 8 hours. Remove the chicken and shred it, and then add it back to the pot and stir in the cheddar. Cook the bacon in a skillet on the stovetop until crispy; cool the bacon and then crumble it on top.
How to Shred Cooked Chicken Breasts
There are a number of methods that can be used to shred cooked chicken breasts, most of which take less than a minute! Choose the one that works best for you. Note that all of these methods work best when the chicken is still warm, so be sure to shred it before it cools, but not when it’s still too hot to safely handle.
Stand Mixer Method to Shred Chicken
Add the chicken to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Put on the splatter guard. Turn the mixer on until the chicken is shredded, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
Hand Mixer Method to Shred Chicken
Add the chicken to a large bowl. Beat the chicken on low speed with a handheld electric mixer until the chicken is shredded, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
Food Processor Method to Shred Chicken
High Speed Blender Method to Shred Chicken
Add the chicken to a high speed blender (such as a Vitamix or Blendtec) and pulse a few times until the chicken is shredded.
Two Forks Method to Shred Chicken
Place the cooked chicken breasts onto a cutting board. Pierce the center of a piece of chicken with one fork and use the other fork to pull the chicken into shreds.
What Makes This Crack Chicken Keto/Low-Carb
The main ingredients in this recipe (chicken, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and bacon) are all part of a low-carb, ketogenic diet. We skipped the store-bought Ranch seasoning mix because it usually contains sugar, quite a bit of salt, and preservatives that we try to avoid if possible. Instead we used a keto-friendly mix of dried chives, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, dried dill, salt, and black pepper to season our Crack Chicken.
To keep this meal keto, an important thing to keep in mind is what you serve with this Crack Chicken; we share a few keto-friendly serving suggestions below.
How to Serve Keto Crack Chicken (And Keep it Keto-Friendly)
Here are a few of our favorite keto-friendly ways to serve Crack Chicken:
- On top of zucchini noodles
- On a bed of baby spinach
- Along with Cauliflower Rice
- As sliders, using our favorite keto cheddar biscuits (the biscuit recipe is in our Freezer-Friendly Family Dinner Recipes e-book)
- 2 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 lbs (910 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 (8 oz/227 g) blocks cream cheese
- ½ cup (120 ml) water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dried chives
- 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1½ teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup (2 oz/57 g) shredded cheddar
- 1 scallion, green and white parts, thinly sliced
- Turn pressure cooker on, press “Sauté”, and wait 2 minutes for the pot to heat up. Add the chopped bacon and cook until crispy. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Press “Cancel” to stop sautéing.
- Add the chicken, cream cheese, water, vinegar, chives, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper to the pot. Turn the pot on Manual, High Pressure for 15 minutes and then do a quick release.
- Use tongs to transfer the chicken to a large plate, shred it with 2 forks, and return it back to the pot.
- Stir in the cheddar cheese.
- Top with the crispy bacon and scallion, and serve.
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products we believe in, which means that even though it doesn’t cost you anything extra, The Keto Queens will receive a small amount of money from the sale of these items.