Whip up a tasty Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac in less than 20 minutes for a zesty crowd-pleasing meal!
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My plan was to go full on buffalo chicken mac and cheese with tons of ooey gooey cheese. Until I thought about how much cheese I consumed on vacation last week and I started to feel guilty. Don't get me wrong, this recipe isn't low-cal or anything but I did decide it's more of a creamy mac rather than a full mac & cheese, which is why I omitted the term "mac & cheese" from the title.
Since my brain and my energy level seems to still be on Maine Vacation Time, I kept things easy by using pre-cooked chicken.
What If I Don't Have Pre-Cooked Chicken?
If pre-cooked isn't an option for you, start off by sauteeing chopped chicken in a bit of oil, deglaze (add liquid to scrape up the bits from the bottom) the pot with broth and then proceed to the recipe as written.
How To Make Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac
Start off by adding broth & ranch seasoning to the pot. After that, add in the pasta and butter. I can't believe I'm going to say this but you don't need to salt the pasta before cooking. That's painful to say, salting the pasta water is imperative in just about every other scenario I can think of, just not this one.
Cover, seal and set to high pressure for 5 minutes. When done pressure cooking, use a quick release.
After pressure is released, remove cover and stir in cooked chicken, wing sauce, cream cheese and ¼ C cheddar. Once that is all mixed in, top with remaining ¼ C cheese and pop the cover on just to hold in the heat to melt the cheese.
You can also add in some blue cheese crumbles if you want (I want, I always want).
That's it! Easy, right? The actual cooking time is about 5 minutes. However, it will take several minutes for the pot to come to pressure. I know how sometimes you all get your panties in a bunch if I don't include the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure. To recap, 5 minutes actual cook time, about 15 minutes total time.
What If I Don't Have an Instant Pot?
I have an adjustment just for those of you who don't have an Instant Pot (why not though?). Cook pasta per box instructions, drain and then stir all ingredients into cooked pasta.
I also like to top mine with a garnish of chives.
Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac
- 2 ¼ C chicken broth
- 8 oz rotini or other similar pasta
- 2 T dry ranch seasoning
- 2 T butter
- 8 oz pre-cooked chicken chopped
- ½ C wing sauce more or less to suit your taste
- 2 oz cream cheese softened
- ½ C shredded cheddar blend cheese
- Blue cheese crumbles
- Stir broth and ranch together in Instant Pot. Add pasta and butter. Cover, seal and set Instant Pot to high pressure with the manual button for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes use quick release method (move lever to venting).
- Remove cover (but keep on warm setting). Stir in chicken,cream cheese, wing sauce and half of the cheese.
- Once everything is distributed evenly, top pasta with remaining cheese. Pop the cover back on to aid in cheese melting just for about 2 minutes.