This Instant Pot Italian Chicken Pasta is an easy instant pot recipe that’s loaded with flavor. Perfectly al dente pasta is tossed in a simple sauce made of Italian herbs, roasted red peppers, spinach, and parmesan.
Table of Contents
Ever since I made my Creamy Italian Chicken Breasts, I’ve been asked over and over again how the chicken can be cooked right along with the pasta for serving.
While it has taken me entirely too long, I’ve finally put together the Instant Pot Italian Chicken Pasta. It’s your favorite Italian Chicken Breasts made into a one pot pasta dinner. This creamy, delicious, flavorful meal is hard to beat!
- Chicken: you’ll need 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts chopped into 1″ pieces.
- Oil: used to brown the chicken. Any cooking oil will work.
- Seasonings: we’re seasoning the chicken with a combination of salt, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and black pepper.
- Chicken Broth: I use low sodium broth so I can add salt to taste later on.
- Canned Tomatoes: use canned diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning. Don’t drain! That liquid and flavor goes into the sauce.
- Roasted Red Peppers: jarred, chopped roasted red peppers add a delicious richness and more texture to the pasta.
- Pasta: I use lumaconi pasta, but any short pasta shape will work.
- Heavy Cream and Cornstarch: whisked together to form a slurry which creates a thick and creamy sauce.
- Spinach: you’ll add fresh, chopped spinach at the end for some extra nutrition and a pop of color.
- Basil Pesto: store-bought or homemade will work. Just use your favorite!
- Parmesan Cheese: finish your pasta off with a sprinkle of salty parmesan.
How to Make Instant Pot Italian Chicken Pasta
This instant pot chicken pasta is about as easy as dinner can get. Just 12 minutes and your meal is served!
- Brown the chicken: Turn the instant pot to sauté, then drizzle in oil. Add in the chicken, then cook until no longer pink. Mix in the seasonings, then continue to cook for another minute.
- Deglaze the pot: add the chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the pot so that there are no brown bits stuck on.
- Combine and cook: Turn the instant pot off, then stir in the tomatoes, red peppers, and pasta. Press the pasta into the liquid, then put the lid on. Cook on manual for 2 minutes.
- Release the pressure, let the pasta sit for a couple of minutes, then remove the lid.
- Make the sauce: In a bowl, stir together cream and cornstarch. Stir that into the pasta along with spinach, pesto, and cheese.
- Finish and serve: Turn the instant pot to sauté again, then let the pasta cook for another 2 minutes until the sauce is thickened.
Instant Pot Italian Chicken Pasta FAQs
Absolutely! As long as you add a liquid, which we do in this recipe, you can easily cook dried pasta right in the instant pot. And it’s so much quicker!
Two minutes! (Sort of.) You’ll set the timer on the instant pot for just two minutes to cook the pasta, but the pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure before the timer starts. During that time, the pasta will be cooking.
Leftover Instant Pot Italian Chicken Pasta will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat, warm on the stove or on sauté back in the instant pot with a splash of chicken broth to moisten.
Tips and Notes
- Chop into 1″ pieces. You’ll need to dice the chicken up into pieces that are about 1 inch so they cook quickly. Make sure they’re evenly chopped too so that they cook at the same rate.
- Use a small pasta shape. I don’t like thicker, longer cuts of pasta like fettuccine because they clump up more easily in the instant pot. Short cuts or spaghetti work best.
- Don’t stir. When you add the pasta, don’t stir it. Just gently push it down to submerge it in the broth before cooking.
- Let it rest. After the cooking time is up, let the pasta sit for a 2-3 minutes in the pot before you remove the lid to give it a little extra time to absorb the flavor and liquid.
Chicken Pasta Variations
- Use other veggies. Try mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, broccoli, you name it. If you decide to do broccoli, I recommend steaming it separately, then adding it in after the cook time.
- Make it vegetarian. Skip the chicken and add extra veggies, then swap the chicken broth out for veggie broth. Optionally, add some plant based protein with a can of white beans.
- Swap the meat. Swap the chicken out for Italian sausage for a spicy twist.
- Make it whole grain. If you’d prefer to use a whole grain pasta feel free. I have and the 2 minute cooking time still works great.
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Instant Pot Italian Chicken Pasta
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (chopped into 1" pieces) about 1 lb
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning (not drained)
- ⅓ cup roasted red peppers (from the jar, chopped)
- 3 cups lumaconi pasta (or other short cut pasta) 240 grams
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 cup chopped spinach
- 1 tablespoon basil pesto
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute and wait until it reads 'hot'. Add the oil and then the chicken. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes until no longer pink 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 tomatoes 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 and corn starch and stir into the pasta with the spinach, pesto and Parmesan. Turn the Instant Pot to saute. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
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