This Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Pasta is an easy one pot meal made hands off in the pressure cooker! It’s so creamy, the whole family loves it!
Instant Pot, again?!?
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Honestly, it’s just fun having a new toy to play and experiment with! I also love how hands off the Instant Pot pressure cooker is once you get it going — you’ve got no choice but to wait around, which gives me a chance to prep veggies or make the kids lunches for the next day (or help them to do it!).
This Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo pasta is a new favorite around our house! It’s easy and soooo creamy, it’s the perfect hearty meal for a cool day.
And if your kids are tired of sandwiches for lunch, the leftovers make a great lunch in a thermos the next day!
How to make Instant Pot pasta:
Pasta is actually very easy to cook in the Instant Pot, but you do have to be careful. Here are a few tips:
- Size and shape do matter: You can definitely use longer cuts of pasta in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker, but I’ve found that there’s more of a chance they will stick together and it’s harder to get them submerged in the liquid. I generally prefer short cuts of pasta in Instant Pot recipes.
- Cook time: For this recipe, I use a cook time of half the time listed on the box of pasta I used (if it’s an odd number, I go to the lesser half). If you’re getting crazy and mixing up your pasta shapes, keep in mind that the cook time may change.
- Finishing on saute: Some Instant Pot pasta recipes call for a longer cook time, but when you are finishing the sauce on saute, you really need to make sure that the pasta is on the firmer side when you open it. You don’t want a big mushy mess in the end!
- Don’t stir: Honestly, I have stirred pasta, and not stirred pasta, and it has all turned out well for me in the end. But as a rule, when you add the pasta, you should press down into the liquid but not stir, as pasta on the bottom can lead to a “burn” message as it gets stuck.
Tips for making Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo:
- Know your Instant Pot: not all Instant Pots cook the same way. I have a 6 quart Instant Pot, and that’s how my recipes are tested. Keep in mind that the 8 quart may have a different minimum liquid requirement and cook differently. Since we are using a large amount of liquid to begin with, this recipe should work just fine in either.
- Pick your chicken: you can use chicken breasts or boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this recipe, depending on your tastes. You can also mix it up and swap the chicken for precooked sausage or ham instead.
- Pick your add ins: This is a basic Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo pasta recipe. Feel free to stir in broccoli at the end, or saute mushrooms with the chicken at the beginning, or stir in a spoonful of basil pesto or even Sriracha at the end to truly make it your own.
Tips for making a healthier version of this Instant Pot pasta:
I use light cream cheese to make my sauce because it makes it thick and creamy. You can also use a thickened milk mixture (whisk together two tablespoons of flour and a cup of milk, and cook in the Instant Pot on saute until thickened.
You can also add a ton of vegetables (try a frozen veggie mix to easily bump up the nutritional value without having to cook veggies — simply heat them on saute until warm), or use a low fat cheese.
Looking for more Instant Pot pasta recipes? Try these:
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Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/2" cubes (about 1½ lbs)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4½ cups low sodium chicken broth
- 375 grams penne pasta or other short pasta (4½-5 cups)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 250 grams light cream cheese (1 8oz package)
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- Turn Instant Pot to saute. When it reads "hot" add oil and let the oil heat for a couple minutes.
- Add the chicken breasts and cook just until no longer pink, about 2 minutes each side.
- Add the garlic, salt, parsley, oregano and pepper and stir and cook 1 minute.
- Add the chicken broth, and scrape the bottom of the pot with a hard metal spoon to remove any stuck on bits. Turn the Instant Pot off.
- Add the pasta — don’t stir — and press down into the liquid. The liquid will just barely cover the pasta.
- Put the lid on, turn the valve to sealing, and select Manual or Pressure Cook for 2 minutes (3 for bowtie pasta or a softer texture).
- When the cook time is over, do a quick release (open the valve all the way) and remove the lid. Turn the Instant Pot to saute.
- Stir together the water and corn starch and stir into the pasta. Allow to cook and thicken slightly.
- Turn off the Instant Pot. Cut the cream cheese into small cubes. (You can warm it slightly in the microwave to make it easier to incorporate as well)
- Stir in the cream cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Stir until melted. Serve.
- Feel free to add in different flavors you enjoy! You could sprinkle some Cajun seasoning on the chicken before cooking, use flavored cream cheese, or explore your spice drawer.
- I find 2 minutes is perfect for Instant Pot pasta — we don’t want it overcooked because we do need a little time to thicken the sauce and melt the cheese. If you prefer softer pasta, you might find 3 minutes is more to your tastes.
- Try swapping the chicken for Italian sausage or bacon (browned first)!
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