Instant Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta
Instant Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta is a delicious, healthy one-pot pasta dinner consisting of a slightly creamy sauce, juicy chicken, crisp broccoli & tender cherry tomatoes. Kids friendly Instant pot chicken pesto pasta is a quick dinner.
- 1⁄2 lb Rotini Pasta
- 8 penne pasta
- 11⁄2 pounds chicken (use chicken breast or thighs diced into inch cubes.)
- 1 Cup onion (use yellow onion roughly chopped.)
- 1 teaspoon garlic (minced.)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Paprika (not smoked.)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon thyme
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Italian spices
- 1 head small Broccoli (made into florets. About cups. Use blanched broccoli.)
- 3⁄4 Cup cherry tomatoes (halved.)
- 0.2 Cup pesto store bought or homemade.
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (use extra light or light olive oil.)
- to taste salt
Seasonings for chicken
- 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Black Pepper (crushed.)
- pinch salt a
- 2 cups Water (slightly warm.)
- 2 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon (chicken base stirred in the warm water to form a flavor packed instant chicken stock.)
- 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream (slightly warm. Use the microwave oven.)
- 1⁄4 Cup Parmesan Cheese (finely grated. We used it as a garnish. But you can add it along with the heavy cream to make the sauce more creamy.)
Season chicken & Saute: Seasong the chicken pieces with ingredients mentioned above in the "Seasonings for chicken" section. Rub the chicken well. Set the instant pot on SAUTE & set it on HIGH heat, add oil. When the oil becomes moderately hot gently release the seasoned chicken and saute until the pieces turn golden around the edges. Set them aside.
Saute aromatics: In the same pot add the chopped onion and minced garlic and saute for about 2 minute
Deglaze pot: Now, stir the better the bouillon chicken base in 2 cups warm water to form an instant flavorful homemade chicken stock and pour this into the instant pot. Deglaze the pot very well by scarpping the sides & the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. This will help loosen any stuck food particles and prevent the BURN error. Cancel the SAUTE function.
Layer Pasta and chicken: Add the seasonings – ½ teaspoon each paprika, Italian seasoning & thyme. Stir to mix well. Now, add the uncooked pasta, DO NOT stir or mix, press the pasta down gently with a spatula so that they get a nice coat of the liquid. Now, transfer back the sauteed chicken and layer them on top of the pasta. DO NOT mix or stir.
Pressure cook: Secure the lid of the instant pot, seal the valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for just 3 mins. Once, the cooking cycle is over the instant pot will begin to beep. Immediately perform a quick pressure release by moving the valve from the sealing to the venting position. Open the lid carefully when the metal pin on top of the lid drops. Give everything a good stir. Hit the keep warm mode and set it on normal.
Make creamy pesto sauce: Now add the basil pesto and slightly warm heavy whipping cream . Stir everything in the pot to mix well. Now, at this point you can add ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese if you prefer extra creamy sauce. We have used the parm as a garnish in this recipe. You can so a taste test now and add some salt if you feel like, this will help pop the flavor. Add salt according to your personal taste preference.
Add veggies & serve: Now, add the blanched broccoli florets (**read NOTES below) and the halved cherry tomatoes. Stir everything in the pot to mix well. Turn off the instant pot. The residual heat will wilt the outer skin of the cherry tomatoes and you'll love the flavor. Serve immediately and garnish individual serving with grated parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Enjoy.