This Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken is so tender and juicy, with the perfect amount of spicy kick. Serve it over crispy baked waffle fries, sprinkle if with cheddar and blue cheese crumbles, then drizzle it with Cilantro Lime Dressing for an incredible dinner or party platter.
I know what you’re thinking. “I will never eat out again.”
Because why would you when there can be food like this happening in your kitchen!
It’s a dang good thing I don’t have to actually talk my way through this post because one look at these pictures and I turn into a salivating dog.
The layers of these waffle fry “nachos”, as I like to call them, are so wonderfully orchestrated, I insist you don’t change a single thing. Unless you do, and it’s insanely delicious, which if that’s the case, please share!
Here’s how these layers play out:
Crispy oven baked waffle fries, topped with a mildly spicy mix of Pressure Cooker Buffalo Chicken and diced carrots and celery, sprinkled with sharp cheddar cheese and blue cheese crumbles. This goes under the broiler to make that cheese glorious.
Then in comes the “cool it down” ingredients – diced avocado and a Cilantro Lime Dressing that will have you volunteering for dish duty so you can lick those plates clean . . . Just me?
Lets talk about pressure cooked chicken for a sec. It can be a tricky thing and I’ll be straight with you and admit that I’ve had several incidents where my chicken came out dry and chewy. This method here is the best way I’ve found to get tender, juicy chicken from a pressure cooker.
I learned this from Rich Lum who is an Instant Pot fanatic like myself and I’m proud to call this kind Hawaiian my friend, even though I’ve never met him in person.
Rich Lum’s Perfect Pressure Cooker Chicken
Weigh each chicken breast in ounces. Find the average weight and cook your chicken for 1 minute per ounce. So if you have a 7 ounce chicken and a 9 ounce, you’d cook them for 8 minutes. Arrange the chicken on racks in a single layer to cook. Stacking them directly on top of each other will increase the cooking time needed and will dry out your chicken. Unplug the pressure cooker when they are done cooking, and use a natural release to keep those juices in the chicken.
There you have it! Tender, juicy chicken from an Instant Pot!
If your trivet has large gaps in it that the chicken fall through, here’s another tip for you. Wrap the trivet with foil then stab holes into the foil so the juices can drain (see example below). For this recipe I also used a second trivet to make another layer so that my diced carrots and celery could steam cook along with the chicken (again, see example image below). If you’d rather double the chicken, use this rack to stack another layer of chicken and steam your carrots and celery in the microwave instead.
In regards to the waffle fries, the Alexia brand in the frozen isle is my favorite. Their seasonings on their products are on point and I can’t recommend them enough. I also love their sweet potato puffs, onion rings, and their 98% fat free crinkle cut fries. This brand can sometimes be tricky to find, so if you find it, try them all! (no affiliate here, I just really, really like their products)
Or if you need another impressive game day type food, this Meat and Bean Taco Filling is amazing in both taco and nacho form. I could eat it 20 times a month and never get tired of it’s possibilities!
Tools/Products used to make Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Buffalo Chicken Waffle Fries
Instant Pot or
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Pressure Cooker Buffalo Chicken Waffle Fries
A bed of waffle fries meets buffalo chicken and then gets covered in a blanket of sharp cheddar and bleu cheese and a drizzle of Cilantro Lime Sauce. Perfectly spicy and loaded with veggies too!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: About 10 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 5 servings
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup small diced celery
- 1/2 cup small diced carrot
- 20 ounce bag Frozen Waffle Fries (I like the Alexia brand)
- Buffalo Sauce (see below)
- For topping: shredded cheddar cheese, blue cheese crumbles, diced avocado, Cilantro Lime Dressing (see below)
For the Buffalo Sauce
- 1/3 cup tomato sauce
- 1/3 cup Franks Red Hot Wing Buffalo Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
For the Cilantro Lime Dressing
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- juice of 2 limes
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- Preheat oven and cook waffle fries according to package directions.
- Tip: Put the fries in the oven to cook at the same time you start the chicken cooking below and they should all be done about the same time.
- Weigh each chicken breast individually to find out how many ounces it weighs. This will determine your cook time later and is important for moist chicken.
- In a small bowl, combine paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle the seasonings all over the chicken breasts. Place diced celery and carrots in a square of tinfoil and close to make a small pouch.
- Place chicken on a sturdy trivet or a pan with holes in the bottom. If you don’t have either, simply use what trivet you have, place a piece of tinfoil on top of it to make it more stable, and poke holes into it with a knife or fork so that the extra juices of the chicken can drain while cooking.
- Pour 1 cup of water into the pressure cooker pot and place the trivet with chicken inside. Top with a second trivet and place pouch of carrots and celery on top (or squeeze them in to the side of the chicken.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 1 minute per ounce of each chicken breast (for example if each of your chicken breasts weigh about 8 ounces, you’ll cook for 8 minutes. If one weighs 8 ounces and the other 10 ounces, cook for 9 minutes).
- While the chicken and veggies cook, prepare the Buffalo Sauce by whisking together the tomato sauce, Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce, and Worcestershire sauce until smooth, set aside.
- Prepare the Cilantro Lime Dressing by placing all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth (this could be prepared up to 5 days in advance)
- When pressure cooking is complete, use a natural release (this will take 10-15 minutes). Could do a quick release, but this can potentially dry the meat out.
- Remove veggie pouch and set to the side. Place chicken on a plate or cutting board and shred or dice into bite size pieces.
- Discard the remaining liquid from the pot and give it a quick rinse. Pour Buffalo Sauce ingredients inside pot and add the chicken and veggies back inside and stir to combine everything. Use the saute function to warm everything through.
- Waffle fries should be done cooking at this point. Top them with the buffalo chicken mixture, cheddar cheese, and blue cheese crumbles. Place under the broiler to melt the cheese, 1-2 minutes. Turn off the oven.
- Top the fries with diced avocado and a drizzle of Cilantro Lime Sauce.
- Serve immediately! Enjoy!
- Coat chicken breasts in seasoning mix then place in a freezer safe ziplock to freeze. Don’t stack them on top of one another.
- When read to cook, cook them for 1 1/2 minutes of the thawed version. Example: If the chicken cooks for 8 minutes raw, cook it for 12 minutes frozen.
- If more chicken is needed, steam the celery and carrots in the microwave or on the stove top and stack extra chicken on the rack instead.
- Diced carrots and celery will still have bit of a crunch to them which I love. If you want them more tender you can saute them in the pan prior to cooking the chicken.
- Even though I completely adore the Cilantro Lime Sauce with all my heart and would drench just about anything in it, you can skip this step and drizzle it with ranch or dollops of sour cream.
- Nutrition facts do not include the Cilantro Lime Sauce