Pesto Parmesan Instant Pot Chicken Breast and Potatoes

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings

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This Pesto Parmesan Instant Pot Chicken Breast and Potatoes is a healthy dinner recipe that is loaded with flavor and comes together in no time! Includes recipe video.

instant pot chicken and potatoes in pressure cooker with herbs and garlic

I know, it’s a mouthful.

But I promise you once you’ve had one taste you’ll know it is worth all eight words 😉

We are in the thick of school craziness and gearing up for Thanksgiving (it is October 8th here in Canada) and holiday shopping and planning and just the general chaos that comes with a 6 year old, 3 year old and almost 1 year old who doesn’t ever sit still.

A one pot, hands-off meal is where we are at these days.

This Pesto Parmesan Instant Pot Chicken Breast and Potatoes has called my name a time or two before, and I’m never disappointed when I listen. It cooks quickly, and all at the same time, in the same pot.

instant pot chicken and potatoes in grey plate on grey background with bag of little potatoes in the background

There’s no stopping or starting the pressure cooker (which can really add a lot of extra time as it has to come back up to pressure), and I don’t have to be concerned about any pots boiling over or hot stovetops or casseroles burning in the oven while I change my millionth diaper of the day.

You can definitely add even more veggies to this dish, but I wanted to keep it simple, and serve with extra raw vegetables or a salad on the side because my girls actually prefer raw or a salad over cooked vegetables.

I used Blushing Belle Creamer potatoes from The Little Potato Company because they are smooth, and creamy, and there’s no extra prep like washing or slicing (which is a lifesaver these days since I’d probably have to do that one-handed). They are packed with protein, fiber, iron and potassium — all important things for growing girls!

More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes:

Chicken is one of my favorite things to cook in the pressure cooker because it turns out so tender every time! If you’re looking for more Instant Pot Chicken recipes, try these:

Didn’t plan ahead? I also have a post on how to cook chicken breasts from frozen in the Instant Pot.

instant pot parmesan chicken and potatoes on grey plate with fresh greens on the side and blue striped towel beside the plate
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Tips for making this Instant Pot Chicken Breast and Potatoes:

  • Make sure that when you’re going to sear your chicken, you don’t move it until it moves easily. If you try to flip it before it’s ready, you’ll leave half of it in the bottom of the pan!
  • You can absolutely use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe if you prefer — they swap easily and no other changes to the recipe are needed.
  • If you want to have more of a sauce for this chicken, simply remove the chicken and potatoes when they are done cooking. Thicken the remaining juices with equal parts corn starch and water combined (I would start with 1 tablespoon each), and then stir in the pesto and Parmesan cheese.
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Pesto Parmesan Instant Pot Chicken Breast and Potatoes

4.28 from 22 votes
This Pesto Parmesan Instant Pot Chicken Breast and Potatoes is a healthy dinner recipe that is loaded with flavor and comes together in no time! Includes recipe video.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings
Calories 314cal


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lb Little Potatoes (about 20)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  • Turn Instant Pot to saute. When the Instant Pot says “hot”, add the oil.
  • Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. Place in the Instant Pot and sear on each side, about 3 minutes each, until it releases easily from the pan. (NOTE: you can absolutely skip this step but you will need to add cook time to your chicken, so I don’t recommend it).
  • Add garlic, chicken broth, and potatoes to Instant Pot and sprinkle with salt. 
  • Put the lid on, turn valve to sealing, and select Manual or Pressure Cook for 4 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to build pressure and begin counting down.
  • Once the cook time is over, let the pressure release naturally for 8-10 minutes and then open the valve completely. Drain the remaining liquid.
  • Stir in pesto and Parmesan and stir to coat. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 314cal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 612mg | Potassium: 946mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Vitamin C: 24.1mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 1.5mg
Keywords instant pot chicken and potatoes, pressure cooker chicken breast

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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  1. Tiffany says

    This was so good, another recipe my picky eater will eat. I was so surprised that he cleaned his plate! The chicken flavor was good and the potatoes were perfect! I added broccoli and we had a delicious meal. This will be a regular for us going forward.

  2. Alexis Peralta says

    I made this recipe tonight, I think if you follow it exactly it would be perfect for a nursing home or for people with sensitive stomachs. Though I was bullied for this incredibly bland meal by my family. I even added a lot of extras spices ( oregano , thyme, basil, adobo, celery seed, onion, and even some mojo) to attempt to dress it up but even that didn’t help. I personally don’t recommend, if you actually enjoy seasoning. No offense, just honest.
    You’d be better off throwing the red potatoes in the oven with butter garlic and parsley. Then cooking the chicken in a skillet with pesto, salt pepper, adobo, garlic and onion. Unfortunately this dump recipe was a fail on all levels, cooking it separately would certainly create a better level of flavors as well as textures.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Alexis, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it! This is one of our favorites and lots of others have loved the flavor, but I know we all have different taste.

  3. Natalie says

    I made this last week and it was delicious! Everyone in my house ate it up and said the chicken came out wonderfully. I recommend being liberal with the pesto and parmesan if you desire a stronger flavor.

  4. Rachel says

    Do you do this on high? I just saw pressure cook for 4 minutes but I’ve seen some chicken recipes that call for it to be on low and some that call for it to be on high.

  5. aprylb says

    I am sorry but I was not impressed. I could not taste any basil or parmesan at all. I followed the directions exactly. The chicken WAS very tender.

  6. Sarah D says

    Tried this using regular PEI potatoes. Usually have the ones you used but not today. Had to cook them 5mins extra but all in all this turned out fantastic. Made the “sauce” and it was awesome.

  7. Jonnie says

    Used 8 chicken thighs, olive oil, tripled the garlic, added more spices overall and it was next-level delicious!

  8. AnnMarie says

    Hi Ashley, this is going to be my first pressure cooker recipe (just got it). I’ve made pesto chicken in the oven and it’s delicious. I don’t have your exact brand of potatoes as I’m in the southern us, but my question is… could I put the potatoes on the bottom and the chicken on the trivet thing on top of the potatoes? I’m going to be butterflying the chicken and putting some of the pesto in the middle of the chicken breasts like I did when I baked them.

  9. Joanna says

    This was the first meal I made in the instant pot and it was delicious! I added in sliced carrots and my family loved it.

  10. Melissa says

    I made this today and it was so delicious! I changed it up slightly, ever so slightly, and did the gravy as you noted above, fantastic!

  11. Jane says

    This will be my first instant pot meal. Can I cook 6 chicken breasts in a 6 quart pot? Would I need to adjust any other ingredients?

  12. Marilyn says

    The written instructions do not say to drain the chicken and potatoes before adding the pesto and cheese. Please edit. I seldom watch videos. I wondered when I added them to the pot, including the liquid!

  13. Chris says

    This is really good. I added carrots in too, so the complete meal was done in the instant pot.
    Husband went back for seconds & son five it high marks too.

  14. Diana Znavor says

    I will be making this recipe using only two chicken breasts at a time. Can I use two frozen breasts? If so, should I increase cook time and if so, by how much. Can I add a few carrots and onion slices to the recipe?

    • Ashley Fehr says

      You can definitely add veggies to this recipe! The only problem with using frozen chicken might be that it will need to cook 10-12 minutes, and your vegetables will be quite soft by then. You might want to either thaw and saute your chicken first or cook the chicken first, then open the Instant Pot and add the vegetables and turn it on for another 3 minutes.

  15. Dan jones says

    The video says to drain it but the directions don’t. Definitely drain the pot before adding pesto, after step 5 before 6. I didn’t. Sad day.

  16. Travis Pendleton says

    Hi, Love your recipes. Quick question on this one. I am familiar with your frozen chicken breast cooking method, but how does that work with the searing step. Can I sear frozen chicken breasts? I’m also not sure how to adjust the time.


    • TeachTeach says

      I agree that sooooo many instant pot recipes call for sauteing the chicken, and I more often need to use frozen chicken breasts for busy nights. Can you saute/sear frozen or skip that step and then still need to adjust cook times (especially for the veggies)? I’m not an experienced cook and want this to work with my schedule (meaning, boneless chicken straight out of the freezer).

4.28 from 22 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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