For a fast and easy pasta dinner look no further than this instant pot chicken fajita pasta! Ready in under 30 minutes using just one pot, it’s the perfect quick weeknight meal with almost no cleanup. With options to easily make this a gluten free instant pot pasta recipe along with a dairy free one, this pressure cooker chicken pasta is sure to be a new family favorite!
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Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta Ingredients
This pasta recipe is filled with healthy vegetables, flavorful spices and a few simple ingredients that make up the delicious creamy sauce. Aside from 1 pound of chicken breasts, the ingredients you’ll need for the vegetables include a green and red bell pepper, both diced. You’ll also need a diced yellow onion, chopped cilantro and a 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes.
For the dry goods or pantry staple ingredients, you’ll need mild or medium salsa, a pound of penne pasta, olive oil, 2 cups of chicken broth, minced garlic, shredded Mexican blend cheese, sour cream and a few simple spices. The easiest way to add the spices for the fajita pasta is to use a fajita blend you have on hand already.
I make up my own homemade fajita seasoning that’s sugar free. The benefit of making your own blend is that not only do you already have it on hand for quick weeknight dinners, but you also have more control of the ingredients that are added.
If you don’t have some already made or a blend you prefer, the fajita spice blend combination you’ll need to make this pasta is:
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Making the Chicken Fajita Pasta
This instant pot chicken pasta comes together so quickly. There are only 4 easy steps to getting this dinner on the table! The first is to add the oil to the bottom of your instant pot insert. You’ll want to spread it around so the oil has coated the entire bottom surface by tipping the insert back and fourth or using a spatula.
This coating should prevent the instant pot from giving you a burn notice, which the newer models like to do even if nothing is burning. It’s more of an annoyance than anything, because the instant pot doesn’t stop cooking, it just beeps extra for a minute or two.
Once the bottom of the insert has a light coating, add in the diced chicken, your fajita spices, chicken broth, salsa, tomatoes, garlic and the pasta. Don’t stir it, just gently push the pasta down so it’s fully submerged into the liquid and in an even layer. Put the lid onto your instant pot, lock it in place and set the valve to “sealing”.
Then you’ll set the instant pot to cook on manual high pressure for just 4 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes for the instant pot to come to pressure before the 4 minutes starts counting down, which also does cook the chicken and pasta. Once the cook time is done, do a quick release by flipping the pressure valve to open.
When you’re able to, remove the lid and set the instant pot onto “sauté” mode. At this point you will now stir in the diced bell peppers and onions. Then you’ll stir the cilantro, sour cream and shredded cheese into the pasta to finish it. Place the lid over the instant pot, without screwing it on, and just let it sit for about 5 minutes. This will be plenty of time to let the peppers and onions soften while still keeping them slightly fork tender.
Making Chicken Fajita Pasta Gluten Free
It’s very easy to make this a gluten free instant pot chicken pasta! All you need to do is swap in a gluten free pasta that you prefer in place of a traditional pasta option. There are many great gluten free brands that are widely carried in stores now. The only exception is that you do not want to use chickpea pasta in this recipe. The cook time will need to be reduced by 1 minute for a total of a 3 minute cook time if you’re using gluten free pasta.
Making Chicken Fajita Pasta Dairy Free
Like making this recipe gluten free, it’s also really simple to make it a dairy free instant pot pasta as well. You’ll only need to make two easy swaps for the shredded cheese and sour cream. For the shredded cheese, you can either omit it completely, or use a vegan shredded cheese brand. For the sour cream, you can replace it with canned coconut milk or vegan sour cream. Vegan substitutions like the shredded cheese and sour cream have come a really long way for dairy-free alternatives!
Serving and Storing Instructions
Serve your chicken fajita pasta in a big cozy bowl with any additional chopped cilantro or extra shredded cheese you may want on top. To store the leftovers or use for meal prep, you’ll want to let it cool completely first and then portion it out into meal prep containers that have air tight lids. You can keep this pasta in the fridge for up to 4 days. When reheating, you may want to add a tablespoon of water to rehydrate the sauce.
Other Easy Pasta Recipes You’ll Love!
- Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Skillet
- Instant Pot Hamburger Helper
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- Slow Cooker Creamy Sausage Gnocchi Soup
- Taco Pasta Salad
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!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 pound (16 ounces) shells or penne pasta
- 2 cups chicken broth (can substitute with water)
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup mild or medium salsa
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons fajita seasoning (see notes for individual measurements)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup Mexican shredded cheese
- Add the oil to the bottom of the instant pot and tip the insert around to spread around to cover the bottom in a thin layer. Add the chicken pieces, spices, chicken broth, salsa, diced tomatoes, garlic and pasta to the instant pot
- Push the pasta down so it’s been immersed in the liquid. Place the lid on and set the valve to “sealing”. Cook on manual high pressure for 4 minutes. Once done, do a quick release and remove the lid
- Set the instant pot onto sauté mode and stir in the diced bell peppers and diced onions. Then stir in the cilantro, sour cream and shredded cheese
- Stir well until it’s all incorporated into the pasta and place the lid back on for about 5 minutes to let it rest and let the bell peppers and onions soften
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp coriander
- ½ tsp cayenne
- For gluten free pasta reduce the cook time by 1 minute for a 3 minute cook time
- Do not use chickpea noodles
Keywords: instant pot pasta, chicken pasta, instant pot chicken, chicken recipes, gluten free recipes, chicken fajita pasta
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