This instant pot buffalo chicken pasta is an easy one dish meal that can be made gluten-free. It comes together in 30 minutes, requires very little hands-on time, and is perfectly zesty and creamy. This instant pot pasta recipe also has plenty of veggies like onions, celery and tomatoes. It’s a delicious easy weeknight dinner or meal prep recipe everyone is sure to love!
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Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta Ingredients
The fresh ingredients you need to make this buffalo chicken pasta include cream cheese, diced yellow onion, diced celery, and shredded cheddar cheese. You’ll also need a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. For the chicken, you’ll want to slice them in half lengthwise (down the long way from the top to the bottom). This will help them cook faster and shred easily.
You’ll also need 5 cups of chicken broth, a can of diced tomatoes, buffalo sauce, 12 ounces of bow tie pasta, and pepper. For the buffalo sauce, you can use whatever type you prefer if you have a favorite brand. Or, you can use Frank’s hot sauce, or creamy buffalo from Primal Kitchen, which is our favorite. You can get it on their website, many grocery stores, or Amazon.
Making Buffalo Chicken Pasta Gluten-Free
There are many gluten-free pasta options at major grocery stores. To keep this recipe gluten-free, make sure to use the brand of gluten-free pasta you like best. We like this recipe best with gluten-free penne, or gluten-free bow tie pasta noodles.
The one exception for using gluten-free noodles in this buffalo chicken pasta recipe is when it comes to chickpea noodles. You should not substitute for chickpea noodles. They do not turn out well when cooked in the instant pot, and with other ingredients, and the ratios of of liquid is not correct.
Chickpea noodles get too frothy and foamy and it ruins the pasta dish. For this gluten free instant pot buffalo chicken pasta, I would stick with a more traditional gluten free option or brown rice option.
Cooking Instructions for the Instant Pot
This buffalo chicken pasta recipe comes together very quickly in the instant pot. There’s not much hands on time that needs to be done once the onion and celery are diced. You’ll start by first adding the uncooked pasta and broth into the instant pot insert. Flatten it down so that the pasta is in an even layer and immersed equally in the liquid.
Then, lob off cubes of cream cheese over the pasta, and layer the diced onions, diced celery and diced tomatoes over top of that. Gently set your chicken on top of the vegetables and sprinkle the pepper onto the chicken breasts. Pour your buffalo sauce over the chicken. You won’t need to stir it at all, and you want to keep the layers as is – with the pasta on the bottom and the chicken on the top.
At this point you’ll place the lid on and secure it, and set the valve to “sealing”. Program your instant pot to cook on manual high pressure for 6 minutes. It will take a few minutes to come to pressure before the cook time starts, but the chicken will be cooking during that time as well.
Once the instant pot is done, do a quick release to let all of the steam out and open the lid. Set your instant pot to sauté mode, and transfer the chicken breasts to a plate or cutting board. Dump the shredded cheese into the pasta, and then shred your chicken.
You’ll add the chicken back into the instant pot and stir the shredded cheese and chicken into the buffalo pasta. Keep stirring until all of the cream cheese chunks have smoothed into the sauce. It might take a few minutes just with the nature of how cream cheese incorporates into sauces. Turn the instant pot off and give it a taste to adjust for any salt or pepper you want to add.
Cooking Pasta in the Instant Pot
The general rule of thumb for cooking pasta in the instant pot is to find the suggested cook time on the package of the pasta. If that is a range, such as 10 to 12 minutes, you will use the lower number. Divide that number in half and that’s what you will use for the instant pot cook time. If the number is odd, when you divide it you will round down to the nearest number. Such as rounding 4.5 down to 4 minutes.
Because this is just a general rule, it works best if you’re not also cooking raw meat and just simply making a pasta dish with a sauce and some vegetables. For meat, such as with this buffalo chicken recipe, a few minutes will be added to the total cook time, as you’ll see in the recipe here.
Serving and Storing Instructions
There’s a lot of delicious ways you can serve your instant pot buffalo chicken pasta. You can drizzle more buffalo on it, or drizzle it with a creamy ranch. Feta crumbles or blue cheese crumbles are a great addition, along with chopped green onions or chopped parsley.
To store your pasta, first let it cool completely. Then you can transfer it into a large container with an air-tight lid. Or you can divide it up into individual containers if you’re using this recipe or the leftovers for meal prep. This recipe makes a really good weekday lunch option and reheats well. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
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PS. If you’ve made this recipe, don’t forget to rate this recipe and let me know in the comments how you liked it!
- 12 ounces bow tie pasta (or penne pasta)
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed into 6 chunks
- 1 /2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1-pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts), sliced in half lengthwise
- 1/2 cup buffalo sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Optional garnish: additional drizzle of buffalo sauce or ranch, blue cheese crumbles, chopped green onions
- Add the uncooked pasta and chicken broth to the instant pot and flatten the pasta into an even layer so it’s all equally immersed in the broth
- Place the cream cheese cubes over the pasta, and then layer the diced onion, diced celery and diced tomatoes over the pasta. Then place the chicken on top of the vegetables and sprinkle the pepper over them
- Pour the buffalo sauce into the instant pot over the chicken. Do not stir it, you want to keep the pasta on the bottom and chicken on the top
- Put the lid on the instant pot and set the valve to “sealing”. Cook on manual high pressure for 6 minutes
- Once done, do a quick release and set the instant pot to sauté mode. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board or plate and add the shredded cheese to the instant pot (and additional vegetables if using – see notes)
- Shred the chicken with two forks and add back into the instant pot. Stir the chicken and cheese into the pasta and continue stirring until all of the cream cheese chunks are incorporated and the sauce is smooth
- Serve and top with optional garnishes
- Slicing the chicken breast lengthwise helps it cook quicker and shred easily
- For extra veggies, add 1 cup shredded carrots or 1 cup diced red bell pepper when you add in the shredded cheese
- If you’d like to cook 1 pound (16 ounces) of pasta, increase the broth from 3.5 cups to 4 cups
Keywords: gluten free recipes, instant pot chicken, buffalo chicken, chicken pasta, instant pot recipes, gluten free chicken
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