Instant Pot Gourmet Crack Chicken

Instant Pot Gourmet Crack Chicken in a black/wooden bowl with black spoon on a cutting board with red onion, rosemary and flowers in the background

This Instant Pot Gourmet Crack Chicken is so good, you’re going to want to eat more than one serving! I’ve added my gourmet touches and lightened it up a bit using low fat (reduced) cream cheese, bacon crumbles instead of frying the bacon in the Instant Pot. Even though it’s “lightened up,” it’s still super delicious. Serve it over cauliflower rice or cold in lettuce wraps for a low carb option. 

Why is it called “Crack Chicken?”

It’s called Crack Chicken because it’s so addicting and you want to eat more! You’ll find other similar recipes (not so healthy maybe) on the internet – it’s a widely popular recipe. Interestingly enough there is actually a trademark on the name, “Crack Chicken,” from Eastside Fish Fry & Grill in Lansing, Michigan. Customers call their chicken, “Crack Chicken,” because of the special seasoning they use on their fried chicken that makes it so yummy. But it’s totally different from this recipe.

How is this recipe lightened up?

I do try to keep my main recipe dishes under 9 WW Smart Points (Green Plan) but this one is worth a little splurge every now and then. While this recipe still contains quite a few calories and points, this version is a bit healthier for these reasons:

  • Low fat/reduced cream cheese – No it doesn’t melt as well as the full fat cream cheese but it does save some calories and points.
  • Bacon crumbles instead of frying bacon pieces – While my favorite way to make this is to fry strips of bacon right in the Instant Pot and use the grease to brown the onions, it’s definitely not the healthiest, but it sure tastes great! By using bacon crumbles (I like the ones from Costco) you eliminate most of the bacon grease, thus healthier for you.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese -By using sharp cheddar, you can use less cheese because the sharp has more flavor than other cheeses. Swiss cheese would also be a great cheese for this dish.
  • Low carb options for serving – Serve it over cauliflower rice, serve it cold in lettuce wraps, over a salad, or as an open faced sandwich (using 1/2 bun instead of the whole bun).

Is this a Keto Crack Chicken recipe?

Actually this crack chicken recipe is keto friendly with the exception of the tablespoon of sherry. I’m always trying to balance my ww friendly diet with my husband’s keto diet. Often times they do not mesh well. But this recipe, while a little higher in points/calories for me, is perfectly fine for his keto diet.

Can you substitute something besides Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning?

In my opinion, “No!” The Hidden Valley Ranch (paid link) seasoning mix is what makes the dish taste so great. If you’re worried about sodium, try reducing the amount of seasoning but don’t completely cut it out.

Close up of Instant Pot Gourmet Crack Chicken in a black bowl with black spoon over rice
I bet you can’t just eat one serving! Easy, healthy, cozy comfort food!

How to serve Crack Chicken

  • over cauliflower rice/brown/white rice
  • serve cold over salad
  • serve cold in lettuce wraps
  • as Crack Chicken Dip – use jicama, celery and carrots for “chips,” for a lower carb option
  • on a bun (or do an open-faced sandwich for lower carbs)

How to Make Instant Pot Gourmet Crack Chicken in Pictures:

red onions browning in Instant Pot with wooden spoon on granite counter

Brown the onions and garlic in the butter.

Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning, measuring cup with chicken broth, rosemary in a tablespoon on a wooden board with Instant Pot in the background

Add chicken broth, ranch dressing mix and rosemary.

bacon crumbles bag, raw chicken in a bowl, bacon crumbles in a tablespoon with Instant Pot in the background

Add chicken and bacon crumbles. Stir.

Instant Pot with chicken, bacon and cream cheese and wooden spoon

Place low fat cream cheese chunks on top of chicken mixture. Do not stir. Otherwise you might get the “burn,” message on the Instant Pot if the cream cheese settles at the bottom.
Press manual and pressure cook (with vent sealed) on high for 8 min. Allow to natural release for 5 min, then release pressure.

white cheddar cheese in a measuring cup and chopped green onions on a cutting board with a bottle of sherry

Add cheddar cheese, sherry and green onions. Stir well.

Instant POt with cheese, chicken, bacon, green onions and wooden spoon

Serve over cauliflower rice/rice and garnish with a little more green onions.

white bowl with buffalo chicken, cabbage, celery, blue cheese, green onions, cabbage and carrots in plastic containers

If you like this dish, try my Instant Pot Shredded Buffalo Chicken!

 

Instant Pot Gourmet Crack Chicken

Amy Lawrence
This Instant Pot Gourmet Crack Chicken is so good, you're going to want to eat more than one serving!  I've added my gourmet touches and lightened it up a bit using low fat (reduced) cream cheese, bacon crumbles instead of frying the bacon in the Instant Pot.  Even though it's "lightened up," it's still super delicious. Serve it over cauliflower rice or cold in lettuce wraps for a low carb option. It's great reheated as leftovers!
Weight Watchers Points: 8 Smart Point per cup for Blue and Purple Plans; 10 Smart Points per cup for Green Plan
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main
Cuisine American
Calories 353 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lb. chicken breasts or thighs cut into bite size pieces;( if using thighs, add 1 Smart Point)
  • 10 T. crumbled bacon I use Costco Kirkland Brand
  • 1/2 T. butter
  • 1/2 onion chopped finely
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2/3 c. chicken broth or Homemade Parmesan Chicken Broth even better!
  • 1 T. sherry/white wine
  • 1 T. fresh rosemary chopped
  • 8 oz low fat cream cheese I use Philadelphia Brand 1/3 less fat, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2-3 T.Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix about 1 packet
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 c. sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 bunch of green onion chopped

Instructions
 

  • Press sauté on Instant Pot. When hot, add butter.
  • Add onions and garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes. Turn off Instant Pot.
  • Add chicken broth, ranch dressing mix and rosemary.
  • Add chicken and bacon crumbles. Stir.
  • Place low fat cream cheese chunks on top of chicken mixture. Do not stir! If the cream cheese ends up on the bottom of the Instant Pot, you may get the "burn," message. If you do for some reason, open it back up and add 1/4 c. more chicken broth.
  • Press manual and pressure cook (with vent sealed) on high for 8 min. Allow to natural release for 5 min, then release pressure.
  • Add cheddar cheese, sherry and green onions. Stir well. Serve over cauliflower rice/rice and garnish with a little more green onions. 

Notes

The sauce is thin when it's hot but will thicken up as it cools.  If you want it thicker, you can always mix 1 T. cornstarch in a small bowl, add a few tablespoons of the sauce. Stir well, then pour mixture back into Instant Pot and cook for a few minutes until thickened.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 353kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 39.2gFat: 17.9gSaturated Fat: 8.9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 145.7mgSodium: 665.7mgPotassium: 565.5mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 2.6gVitamin A: 135.8IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 201.1mgIron: 0.8mg
Keyword Crack Chicken, healthy comfort food
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Amy Lawrence

Amy Lawrence is passionate about good food, losing and maintaining weight. She has combined her talents and love of cooking to produce delicious healthy recipes to help her followers stay on track. A military brat who has lived all over the U.S and Germany is an example for women who have had many successful careers in life, including special ed teacher, tea room owner, cookbook author, and publisher.

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