Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese is so quick and easy to whip up in one pot! This recipe has a mouthwatering cheesy buffalo sauce and is ready fast!
This one is for the buffalo sauce lovers, and the instant pot lovers! I could probably drink buffalo sauce, I love it in Buffalo Chicken Dip and Cheesy Buffalo Stuffed Chicken Breast. Put it on all the things! Since my original Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is one of my most popular recipes around here, I thought it was time to do another fun version! This one doesn’t disappoint! It’s just spicy enough, with chunks of juicy chicken breasts, cream cheese, and cheddar!
How to Make Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese:
This mac and cheese is super simple to make, and we are including a video below if you’d like to see the step by step for reference!
- First, you will dice up your chicken breasts and remove any fat. Toss the chicken with a packet of ranch mix and garlic powder.
- Heat olive oil up in your instant pot (on saute/more) until nice and hot.
- Sear the chicken just until slightly golden, it doesn’t need to be cooked through. This step shouldn’t take you more than 3-4 minutes, otherwise your chicken might be dry.
- Now, deglaze the pot! It’s very important to pour in about 1/4 cup of the water used in the recipe, and use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- At this point you can return your chicken to the pot along with the macaroni, the rest of your water, half of the buffalo sauce, a bit of butter, and salt and pepper if desired. I recommend going easy on the salt!
- Place the lid on your pot and set the valve to seal. Now, set the timer for 5 minutes. Keep in mind that depending on which pressure cooker you have this will take 5-10 minutes to come to pressure.
- Once cooked, do a quick release.
- Stir in your cream cheese, remaining buffalo sauce, milk, and cheddar.
Best Tips for This Recipe:
- We can say for certain that this recipe can be made easily, as well as doubled in a 6 quart or larger pressure cooker. In the photo, I have used my 8 quart pot.
- PLEASE deglaze your pot! As stated above, it’s very important. This is a quick step, but, it will keep you from getting the dreaded “burn” notice during cooking.
- You have to add the cheese in 3-4 handfuls, stirring after each addition. If you don’t, your macaroni and cheese may not mix together very well.
- Experiment with the amount of milk used if you prefer. I find 1/2 Cup to be perfect, but, you can add more milk, stirring in between each addition until your mac is a creamy as you’d like it!
- Go easy on the salt & pepper. The ranch mix is salty, and the buffalo sauce adds plenty of spice. I usually find it best to salt and pepper this one at the very end.
- MAKE SURE you are using BUFFALO sauce, not regular hot sauce! If you use regular hot sauce, this would be unbelievably spicy! I generally always use Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wings sauce.
Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 Pounds Chicken Breasts Cut into bite sized cubes
- 1 (1 Ounce) Package Ranch Dressing Mix
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 16 Ounces Uncooked Elbow Macaroni
- 3 1/2 Cups Water
- 1 Cup Buffalo Wing Sauce DIVIDED
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 6 Ounces Cream Cheese Softened
- 2 1/2 Cups Cheddar Cheese Shredded
- Turn the instant pot to saute mode (higand add the olive oil.
- In a large bowl, add the cubed chicken and coat with the ranch mix and garlic powder.
- Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and saute until golden on all sides. Turn the pot off.
- Remove the chicken to a plate. Pour in about 1/4 cup of the water and use a wooden spoon to deglaze the bottom of the pot.
- Add the macaroni, remaining water, HALF of the buffalo sauce, butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Return the chicken to the pot.
- Place the lid on the pot and set the valve to sealing.
- Cook on manual, high pressure for 5 minutes. Then, carefully do a quick release.
- Add the milk, cream cheese and remaining buffalo sauce to the pot and stir well. Add the cheese in 3-4 handfuls, stirring in between each addition, until smooth and creamy.
- Serve immediately.