This Instant Pot Chicken Pasta is filling and comforting meal with a tonne of flavour. The Instant pot cooks chicken and pasta to perfection in just 7 minutes. It's cheesy and delicious and perfect for a quick week-night meal.
Pasta is the ultimate comfort food and it just got even easier as this is all done in the instant pot. Packed full of vegetables, it's a great batch cook meal as it freezes really well. Use it as a fridge raid meal at the end of the week and add a few different vegetables and cheeses, so nothing goes to waste.
Why you will love it
- On the table in 30 minutes
- Less than 400 calories per portion
- A great way to use up vegetables
- Easy to customise to your own taste
- Freezes well
- Oil - We used a really good quality olive oil.
- Onion - You can use a red or a brown onion, or even swap them for shallots.
- Red bell pepper - You can use any colour bell pepper, but we think that red peppers add a nice sweeter flavour.
- Carrot - Make sure the dice the carrot up fairly small, to ensure that it softens enough with the short cooking time.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic is always best, however you could use ready chopped garlic in a jar
- Chicken thighs (boneless and skinless) - You can use chicken breasts instead to keep it leaner, however we find that chicken thighs have a lot more flavour.
- Pasta sauce - We have included the recipe for our easy homemade pasta sauce. However, you could use a good quality store bought ones instead.
- Water - This helps to loosen the pasta sauce.
- Pasta - Any pasta shaped will work with this recipe.
- Spinach - This is an easy way to give a green veggie boost to the recipe.
- Cheddar cheese - We use a mature cheddar, as it has a stronger flavour, meaning that you don't have to use as much.
- Basil - This really lightens up the whole dish when serving.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Set your Instant Pot to Saute on "less" mode. When it reaches hot, add the oil, onion, pepper, carrot and garlic. Stirring frequently for 2 minute.
Two: Add the chicken pieces and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Three: Press Cancel and add the pasta sauce, water, pasta and seasoning. Stir well making sure all the pasta is covered.
Four: Close and lock the lid. Make sure the valve is set to "sealing". Select Pressure Cook on "normal" and set the time to 7 minutes. After the Instant Pot has finished cooking, let the steam release naturally for 5 minutes then quick release the valve.
Five: Open the pot and stir in the spinach and close the lid again for 1 minute to let the spinach wilt.
Six: Open the lid again and stir in the cheese until it has melted.
Seven: Serve with chopped basil.
What pressure cooker to use?
We have an Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 6 Qt, which works perfectly. It has loads of functions and is really easy to clean once you've finished cooking in it. Not only is it a pressure cooker but it can also be used as a slow cooker and a yogurt maker!
How long does it really take?
How many times have you seen an Instant Pot recipe that says "7 Minute Instant Pot Chicken" and then you realise that the times don't include any pressure build up and release?! This recipe takes 30 minutes from start to finish. That time includes getting to temperature, sauteing the vegetables and chicken, building the pressure, pressure cooking, steam release and adding the final ingredients.
What vegetables to add
This recipe is a great opportunity to use up whatever you have in your fridge. We used red onion, bell pepper and some diced carrot then finished with some spinach. The Instant Pot cooks vegetables really well though, so almost anything works. You could use mushrooms, courgette (zucchini) or aubergine (eggplant). Even broccoli could be chopped up and added.
We used fresh spinach, but frozen could be used instead. You would just need to cook it for longer.
What to serve it with
A portion of this is quite filling just on it's own, but we went with a simple side salad and some garlic bread. Pasta and garlic bread were born to be with each other! Also, a salad just adds more greens to your meal - which is always a good thing.
This reheats well, so if you make extra, you have yourself an easy lunch for the next day. It also freezes well, so it’s a nice batch cook meal to save you time in the week. Just remove it from the Instant Pot first and let it cool completely. Put in some containers and put it in the freezer, where it will still be good for up to 2 months.
Like with vegetables, the Instant Pot cooks chicken really well, so any chicken will work. We have used chicken thighs for this recipe, but chicken breast would work well too. While thighs are higher in calories, they are really moist and juicy and they also tend to be cheaper in the shops. This is a good hearty budget meal.
We used skinless and boneless for this recipe as the meat needs cutting into chunks, which is easier than if it is on the bone. Also, if the skin is cooked in this method, it goes really limp and isn't very appetising!
• Add some extra flavour to this dish with a sprinkle of chilli flakes before serving.
• We used grated mature cheddar for this, but mozzarella would work really well.
• You can swap the spinach for kale, but make sure it is chopped up small and add it when the pasta goes in.
• You can add any veggies that you have that need using up. Mushrooms, aubergine (eggplant) and courgette (zucchini) all work well.
• We used fusilli pasta because it holds the sauce well, but you can use any pasta shape you have - penne and rigatoni would both work.
More pasta recipes
If you’ve tried this instant pot chicken pasta recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Instant Pot Chicken Pasta
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- 0.5 Red onion - finely chopped
- 1 Red bell pepper - diced
- 0.5 Carrot - diced
- 2 Garlic clove - crushed
- 250 g (9 oz) Chicken thighs - boneless and skinless; chopped into chunks
- 300 g (1.25 cups) Tomato pasta sauce
- 250 ml (1 cups) Water
- 220 g (8 oz) Pasta - penne or fusilli
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 60 g (2 cups) Spinach
- 60 g (0.5 cups) Light mature cheddar - grated
- 10 g (0.5 cups) Fresh basil - chopped
- Set your Instant Pot to Saute on "less" mode. When it reaches hot, add 2 tablespoon Olive oil, 0.5 Red onion, 1 Red bell pepper, 0.5 Carrot and 2 Garlic clove. Stirring frequently for 2 minute.
- Add 250 g Chicken thighs and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Close and lock the lid. Make sure the valve is set to "sealing". Select Pressure Cook on "normal" and set the time to 7 minutes.
- After the Instant Pot has finished cooking, let the steam release naturally for 5 minutes then quick release the valve.
- Open the pot and stir in 60 g Spinach and close the lid again for 1 minute to let the spinach wilt.
- Open the lid again and stir in 60 g Light mature cheddar until it has melted.
- Serve with 10 g Fresh basil.
- Add some extra flavour to this dish with a sprinkle of chilli flakes before serving.
- We used grated mature cheddar for this, but mozzarella would work really well.
- You can swap the spinach for kale, but make sure it is chopped up small and add it when the pasta goes in.
- You can add any veggies that you have that need using up. Mushrooms, aubergine (eggplant) and courgette (zucchini) all work well.
- We used fusilli pasta because it holds the sauce well, but you can use any pasta shape you have - penne and rigatoni would both work.