This Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Pasta is an easy, one-pot meal that’s ready in under 20 minutes. It’s creamy, flavorful, cheesy, and loaded with tender bites of chicken.
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This Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Pasta is a new favorite around our house. It’s so easy and so creamy, and makes the perfect hearty meal. The whole family loves it!
Plus, if your kiddos are tired of sandwiches for lunch, the leftovers make a great thermos lunch the next day
- Oil: you’ll need a little bit of oil to sauté the chicken before cooking.
- Chicken: you can use boneless and skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs. Cut them into 1/2″ cubes so they cook quickly.
- Garlic: use freshly minced garlic for the best flavor.
- Seasonings: a blend of salt, dried parsley, dried oregano, and black pepper gives the sauce that classic Alfredo flavor.
- Chicken Broth: I use low sodium chicken broth to control the saltiness of the pasta.
- Pasta: penne pasta is my favorite, but any other short pasta shape will work.
- Water and Cornstarch: whisked together to form a slurry which helps thicken the sauce.
- Cream Cheese: the secret to the perfect creamy Alfredo sauce.
- Cheeses: we’re melting shredded mozzarella and shredded parmesan for the Alfredo.
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Pasta
- Brown the chicken: Turn the instant pot to sauté and heat a drizzle of oil. Add in the chicken and cook until no longer pink, then season with garlic, salt, parsley, oregano, and pepper.
- Add the broth and deglaze the pot — scrape the bottom with a metal spoon to remove any browned bits from the bottom.
- Add the uncooked pasta: simply press down into the liquid but do not stir.
- Pressure cook: Cover with the lid and cook on manual or pressure cook for 2-3 minutes. When the cook time is up, release the pressure, then turn the instant pot back to sauté.
- Make the sauce: Mix together water and cornstarch until smooth, then stir that into the pasta. Turn the instant pot off, cut the cream cheese into small cubes, then add that into the pot along with mozzarella and parmesan.
- Stir until melted and creamy.
FAQs for Chicken Alfredo in the Instant Pot
We’re seasoning our Alfredo sauce with a simple combination of salt, dried parsley, dried oregano, and black pepper, which adds just the right amount of flavor!
The key to moist chicken Alfredo is to serve it right away. As it sits, the sauce will thicken up and dry out slightly. If this does happen, you can add a splash of milk or cream to moisten it up again before serving.
Leftover chicken Alfredo will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat, warm with a splash of milk or cream on the stove or in the microwave until heated through.
Tips and Notes
- Shred your own cheese. Pre-shredded cheeses don’t melt nearly as smooth and creamy. I recommend shredding your own for the best texture.
- Know your instant pot. Not all instant pots cook the same way. I have a 6-quart instant pot, and that’s what I use to test my recipes. Keep in mind that the 8-quart may have a different liquid requirement and cook differently. This particular recipe should work just fine in either.
- Cook time: I set the timer for 2 minutes and it comes out perfectly, but if you prefer softer noodles, or if you’re using bowtie pasta, set the timer for 3 minutes instead.
- Swap the meat. 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.
- Switch it up. This is a basic Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Pasta recipe, so feel free to mix in other things to add more flavor. A spoonful of basil pesto, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, or even a drizzle of Sriracha would be delicious.
- Add veggies. Try mixing in cooked broccoli, sautéed mushrooms, or frozen mixed veggies to boost the nutrition.
- Make it vegetarian. Just leave out the chicken and use veggie broth in place of the chicken broth.
- Lighten it up. I use light cream cheese to make my sauce because it makes it thick and creamy, but you can also use a thickened milk mixture. Just whisk together two tablespoons of flour and a cup of milk, then cook until thickened. You can also swap the cheese our for a low-fat variety.
More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes You’ll Love
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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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