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Instant Pot Italian Chicken Pasta

Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 12 mins
Servings 4 servings

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This Instant Pot Italian Chicken Pasta is an easy Instant Pot recipe that is loaded with flavor — no mushy pasta in sight! A simple sauce made of Italian herbs, roasted red peppers, spinach and Parmesan.

instant pot italian chicken pasta overhead on light blue plate on white background

Ever since I made these Creamy Italian Instant Pot Chicken Breasts and people went crazy for them, I’ve been asked over and over again how to cook this recipe and just add the pasta right in the Instant Pot.

It has taken me entirely too long, but here I am with a post dedicated to all of this Instant Pot pasta deliciousness.

This Italian Chicken Pasta is an easy Instant Pot dinner recipe that our whole family loves!

I love that I can make a delicious meal and only dirty one pot.

I love that my family will eat it, eagerly.

The family loves that it’s pasta (hey, we all have our favorites), and that creamy, delicious, flavorful sauce. It’s a hard one to beat!

instant pot chicken pasta in pressure cooker with metal scoop pulling some out

Their other favorites? This Instant Pot Spaghetti (made healthier!) and Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Pasta.

How to make this Instant Pot Italian Chicken Pasta:

  • Chop up your chicken — because pasta cooks so quickly, we need to minimize the cook time required for the chicken. The way to do this is to cut it up into bite-sized pieces.
  • Searing — I’m not really searing the chicken, but cooking it just slightly on the outside ensures that you don’t end up with one big clump of chicken cooked together. It also ensures that the cook time for the chicken and the pasta will be the same.
  • Stir together your broth and seasonings. Add your chicken, tomato, spinach, peppers and stir, then top with your pasta. It’s best not to stir your pasta as it will potentially stick to the bottom and cause a burn message. Simply press it down into the liquid — it doesn’t matter if it’s covered or not.
  • Pressure cook — use the manual or pressure cook button on your Instant Pot, mine is a 6 quart and I know that they are all a little different.
  • Quick release — pasta is so easily overcooked, so we want to do a controlled quick release once the cook time is up. This means that we will use a towel (or something that will prevent you from splattering yourself) and hold the valve open slightly so that the steam escapes gradually and not in one swoop.
  • Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients, and heat on saute just until thickened.

Tips for making the best Instant Pot Pasta:

I understand the general rule of them is half of the cook time listed on the box.

I’m going to be bold enough here to say that I think this is, in fact, generally incorrect. That cook time is way too long.

Cook time for short cuts of pasta:

For most short cuts of pasta, 2 minutes is plenty, and if you like your pasta very al dente, even 1 minute is likely enough for some cuts.

This includes:

  • penne
  • fusili
  • rotini
  • macaroni
  • and anything roughly the same size

The cook time will really depend on your preference when it comes to pasta, but I would never ever go over 2 minutes for most short pasta cuts in the Instant Pot. Even with spaghetti, because it is so thin, 2 minutes is plenty and many people overdo it.

instant pot italian chicken pasta on plate with roasted red peppers and fresh parsley

Cook times for white pasta v. whole grain:

I’ve used both, many times, and I’ve tested both in different recipes.

I haven’t found there to be a significant difference between whole grain and white pasta — I still always do 2 minutes.

I don’t generally use thicker long cuts like fettucine in the Instant Pot, because I’m worried it will end up in one big clump. Short cuts and spaghettti do the best for me.

Variations on this Italian Chicken Pasta:

  • Add in different vegetables: mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, broccoli (though I would steam the broccoli separately and add it in after the cook time) would all be great!
  • Swap the chicken for Italian sausage for a spicy twist!
  • Go vegetarian — skip the chicken, add extra veggies and use vegetable broth for a meatless meal. Optional: add canned white beans for a hit of protein!

More easy Instant Pot recipes you’ll love!

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Instant Pot Italian Chicken Pasta

5 from 6 votes
This Instant Pot Italian Chicken Pasta is an easy Instant Pot recipe that is loaded with flavor — no mushy pasta in sight! A simple sauce made of Italian herbs, roasted red peppers, spinach and Parmesan.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Total Time 12 mins
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings
Calories 498kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped spinach
  • 1/3 cup roasted red peppers (from the jar, chopped)
  • 3 cups whole grain fusili or other short cut pasta
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon basil pesto
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Turn the Instant Pot to saute and add the chicken and drizzle with oil. Stir and cook for 2 minutes (it won’t be browned, just slightly cooked on the outside).
  • Add the salt, garlic, Italian seasoning and pepper. Cook and stir 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken broth, and scrape the bottom well to remove any bits that may have stuck.
  • Turn the Instant Pot off.
  • Stir in the tomato, spinach and red peppers. Top with pasta, and gently press the pasta into the liquid but don’t stir (it’s best if it’s not touching the bottom of the pot).
  • Put the lid on, turn the valve to sealing, and select Pressure Cook or Manual for 2 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure and begin counting down.
  • When the cook time is over, turn the Instant Pot off and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
  • Gradually release the pressure by holding the valve open slightly, so that it releases gradually and not all at once.
  • Stir together the cream, corn starch and pesto. Turn the Instant Pot to saute, and add in the cream mixture. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
  • Stir in Parmesan cheese and serve.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 1296mg | Potassium: 627mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 755IU | Vitamin C: 10.7mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 3.7mg
Keywords instant pot pasta

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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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Comments

  1. Christine Odom says

    Is there a video of you making this? Specifically of you holding the release valve like your instructions indicated. Last night I made this and it was delicious. Today for lunch I had it for leftovers and while it was still good the pasta was mushy. This was also my first time ever using my new instant pot, so I am sure it is user error. I learn best by doing and seeing so if I saw a video of how to slowly release it like the instructions say then I think I wouldn’t have mushy pasta today. Please help me on my learning curve of the instant pot.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Christine! I’m sorry, I don’t have a video of this recipe! The goal is to let the pressure out gradually, so you just hold it open slightly with your finger, and not flip it wide open in one shot. This just lets out a bit of steam at a time, and not all at once, and helps to prevent a mess in the kitchen if the steam is foamy!

  2. Irma Romero says

    Hi I’d like to ask if basil pesto is really necessary I don’t want to purchase it just for this recipe. I really am intrigued by this recipe it looks so good.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Irma! The pesto is probably the predominant flavor in this recipe, so you can omit it but it will be lacking in flavor. You would want to add in some additional herbs and spices.

  3. Valerie Laing says

    This is the first thing I’ve made in my instant Pot and it’s fab!!! If I want to use diced lean pork, would I just saute the the pork a little longer until it’s cooked a bit more? Thanks

  4. Krissy Allori says

    The fact that you make this in an instant pot makes it a thousand times better than it already is! So yummy and easy!

  5. Kara says

    This looks like a dinner recipe my whole family will love. I’m trying to use my Instant Pot more often now that it’s getting hot, so I’m adding this to my list!

  6. Beth Pierce says

    This will make a lovely dinner this evening! Looks so robust and full of flavor; excited to give this a try!

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