Why you’ll love this recipe:
You can make this heavenly Instant Pot chicken alfredo pasta in just 30 minutes with minimal effort thanks to the convenience of using just one pot! It’s a quick, hands-free recipe that tastes like it came from a fancy restaurant.
- Easy – Only a handful of ingredients are required, and my step-by-step Instant Pot instructions make this an effortless weeknight dinner.
- Flavor – This is the BEST alfredo sauce with loads of savory parmesan cheese, cream cheese, and two types of garlic.
- Kid-approved – Cheesy pasta is pretty much a primary food group in our house. I make this chicken alfredo pasta recipe when we’re in the mood for a slightly elevated dish the kids will still devour!
It’s similar to my Instant Pot sun-dried tomato chicken tortellini but without veggies, making it 100% picky-eater-approved!
Key Ingredient Notes:
- Chicken breasts – Stick with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. These are easier to shred into fork-tender pieces and won’t add more fat to the dish like skin-on chicken would. Chicken thighs will also work if that’s what you prefer.
- Olive oil – Use this to create a beautiful golden-brown sear on the outside of the chicken breast.
- Hot chicken stock – Heated-up chicken stock is my #1 secret to shaving minutes off Instant Pot recipes because it cuts down the amount of time needed for the pot to come up to pressure and begin cooking!
- Pasta – Large noodles that capture the creamy alfredo sauce, such as penne, fettuccine, or ziti, are my favorite. You can use the instant pot to cook any type of pasta, though!
- Garlic – This is a signature flavor in alfredo sauce, so I add freshly minced garlic and garlic powder.
- Heavy whipping cream – This helps thicken the alfredo sauce, adding a lusciously smooth texture.
- Cream cheese – Whenever a sauce contains cream cheese, you know it will cling well to the pasta! Be sure to use a brick of cream cheese, not spreadable or whipped varieties.
- Parmesan cheese – The most essential ingredient in all alfredo sauce recipes. Parmesan cheese gives alfredo its rich, savory flavor and creamy texture. For the best results, I highly recommend choosing a high-quality variety labeled as Parmigiano Reggiano and grating it fresh yourself.
How to make this chicken alfredo pasta recipe:
Before you get started, set your Instant Pot to “saute.”
1. Sear the chicken
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper using only 1 teaspoon of salt, reserving the remaining teaspoon.
- Add the olive oil to the instant pot when the display reads, “HOT.”
- Sear the chicken breast in the hot oil until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side.
- Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot, and set it aside.
2. Add the remaining ingredients
- Deglaze the instant pot pan with ½ cup of hot chicken stock.
- Add the pasta, minced garlic, garlic powder, the remaining teaspoon of salt, and the rest of the chicken stock.
- Place the browned chicken breasts back into the Instant Pot, on top of the rest of the ingredients.
TIP – Properly layering your ingredients is a key to success with Instant Pot cooking. Place the remaining ingredients into the Instant Pot in the exact order listed in the recipe, and do not stir! We’ll give it a good stir at the end of the cooking time to make sure everything is well combined.
3. Pressure cook the chicken alfredo pasta
- Close the Instant Pot lid, and turn the valve to “sealing.”
- Set the Instant Pot to “pressure cook/manual” for 10 minutes on high. It may take 10 minutes or more for pressure to build in your Instant Pot before it actually begins pressure cooking.
- Release the pressure using quick release, by carefully turning the valve to “venting,” then carefully open the lid.
4. Prepare and serve
- Transfer the cooked chicken breasts to a cutting board. Then, add the heavy cream, cream cheese, and parmesan cheese to the pot.
- Cover the Instant Pot, and allow the mixture to sit for 2-3 minutes, or until the cream cheese has softened.
- Slice or shred the chicken breasts while the cheese is melting.
- Add the sliced chicken back to the pot, stir the Instant Pot chicken alfredo pasta well, then serve, and enjoy!
The best thing you can do to save time while making this recipe is to know the ins and outs of Instant Pot cooking. If you’re familiar with operating your Instant Pot, learning how to make chicken alfredo pasta in it will be a breeze!
- Start with my beginner’s guide to Instant Pot cooking.
- Familiarize yourself with pot-in-pot Instant Pot cooking to save time while making side dishes.
- If you still have questions, I guarantee I’ve answered them in Instant Pot FAQs.
- Don’t forget my tip on using hot chicken stock! This will shave off some of the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure.
Mistakes to Avoid:
There are 4 major mistakes that may cause the Instant Pot burn message. Here are a few potential issues relating to this Instant Pot chicken alfredo pasta recipe.
- Not deglazing the pot after searing the meat. Make sure to de-glaze the bottom of the inner pot after you sauté the chicken. This removes all the stuck-on bits and pieces. If you don’t, the instant pot won’t come up to pressure, resulting in the dreaded “burn” warning.
- Not taking into account the time it takes to come to pressure. Don’t call the family to the dinner table as you set the cooking time. That 10 minutes of cooking time will start after the Instant Pot comes to pressure, which can take up to 20 minutes.
- Using dairy as the liquid when pressure cooking. Dairy-based liquids prevent the pot from building up pressure, which can cause a “burn” warning, as milk usually curdles during pressure cooking, which is not an appetizing sight!
- Allow the pasta to cool to room temperature, and transfer it to an airtight container.
- This Instant Pot chicken alfredo pasta recipe will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stove. If the sauce isn’t as creamy as you’d like, add a splash of milk or heavy cream to freshen it back up.
Chicken Alfredo Pasta FAQs:
Fettucini is best for thick, creamy sauces like alfredo. The wide, flat noodles have more surface area, making them hold up better to heavy sauces. Any type of noodle will work though. So, feel free to use what you have on hand!
Add dried oregano, pesto sauce, fresh basil, or sundried tomatoes to make chicken alfredo even more flavorful. Fresh veggies, such as broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower, are also common additions.
You can freeze instant pot chicken alfredo pasta for up to 3 months. Let the pasta cool to room temperature. Then, place it in a freezer bag, squeezing out any air in the bag. Be aware that freezing dairy-based sauces can change their texture from smooth to slightly grainy.
The BEST EVER Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Pasta
- Instant Pot
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts Note 1
- 2 teaspoons salt divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb pasta of your choice
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 cups hot chicken stock Note 2
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup (2oz) parmesan cheese
- Set the Instant Pot to Sauté.
- Salt and pepper chicken breasts, using half of the salt.2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper
- When the display reads “HOT”, add olive oil.1 tablespoon olive oil
- When the oil is hot, put the chicken breasts and brown on each side, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken onto a plate.
- Deglaze the pan with ½ cup of chicken stock.
- Add pasta, minced garlic, garlic powder, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and rest of the chicken stock.1 lb pasta of your choice, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 4 cups hot chicken stock
- Place the browned chicken breasts on top.
- Close the lid and make sure the valve is set to “sealing”.
- Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook/Manual for 10 minutes on high. (NOTE: It took 10 minutes for my IP to come to pressure.)
- Do quick release by carefully turning the valve to venting. And carefully open the lid.
- Using kitchen tongs, take the chicken breasts out onto a cutting board.
- Add heavy cream, cream cheese and parmesan cheese. Cover and let sit for 2-3 minutes, or until cream cheese is softened.½ cup heavy whipping cream, 4 oz cream cheese, 1 cup (2oz) parmesan cheese
- Meanwhile, slice or shred the chicken breasts. And add it to the pot.
- Stir well and serve.
* Disclaimer: All nutrition information are estimates only. Read full nutrition disclosure.
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