Pesto chicken pasta in the instant pot is the best way to do it. It’s super easy and is ready in under 20 minutes. The fresh flavors of the pesto and Italian seasoned chicken combine perfectly in this recipe that’s easy to make both gluten free and dairy free. Make this pesto chicken pasta for dinner or meal prep delicious lunches for the week ahead!
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Pesto Chicken Pasta Ingredients
To make this recipe you start with a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. You will need 8 ounces of uncooked penne pasta, 2 cups of chicken broth, and 6-8 ounces of pesto.
Optional ingredients include a half cup of heavy cream or half and half, a half cup of pine nuts, sliced basil, parmesan cheese, and cherry tomatoes.
Making Instant Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta
Start this recipe by adding the chicken, italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to a bowl. Toss it until the chicken is coated in seasonings.
Add the pasta to the instant pot and pour the broth over the top. Stir the pasta so that there is an even layer on the bottom. Place the seasoned chicken on top of the pasta in an even later and do not stir.
Once your laters are done, place the lid on the instant pot and make sure the valve is set to “sealing.” Cook on manual high pressure for 5 minutes.
When the cook time is up, do a quick release on the pressure valve and remove the lid. Drain the liquid from the pasta and chicken. Then add the pesto and cream (if you’re using it) and stir it all together.
This is where you’ll add your optional ingredients such as cherry tomatoes or grated parmesan (if you want it more melted). The instant pot will heat these up as you mix so they’ll be warm and tasty!
Making Gluten Free Pesto Chicken Pasta
Making this recipe gluten free is super easy. Simply swap out your regular pasta for a gluten free variety. I prefer Jovial or Barilla but you can use your favorite brand so long as it isn’t chickpea pasta. The chickpea gluten free pasta doesn’t cook right in the instant pot.
Making Creamy Dairy Free Pesto Chicken Pasta
To make this instant pot pesto chicken pasta gluten free you first want to make sure the pesto you use is dairy free. Check the label and make sure there isn’t any parmesan cheese in there.
If you want to make a creamier pasta use a half cup of coconut cream to sub for the half and half or heavy cream. Shake the can of coconut cream before opening it to get it mixed right. Sometimes the heavier part of the coconut cream settles in the can.
Serving and Storing Instructions
Serve this pesto chicken pasta with a fresh side salad or roasted veggies. It’s great simply on its own, however.
Garnish with shaved parmesan, pine nuts, or chiffonade cut basil. Fresh cracked pepper and red pepper flakes work really well also!
Store this dish by letting it cool to room temp and placing in an airtight container or individual meal prep containers and refrigerate. This instant pot pesto chicken pasta is a recipe that reheats really well as leftovers for a satisfying lunch or snack anytime.
Other Pasta Recipes You’ll Love!
- Instant Pot Bruschetta Chicken Pasta
- Slow Cooker Chicken Alfredo Pasta
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Shrimp Rasta Pasta
- Instant Pot Chicken Lo Mein
- Meatless Baked Ziti
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–pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 6–8 ounces pesto
- Optional: 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
- Optional: 1/2 cup pine nuts, sliced basil, parmesan cheese, halved cherry tomatoes
1. Add the diced chicken, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to a bowl and toss to coat the chicken in the spices
2. Add the uncooked pasta into the instant pot and pour the broth over top. Stir the pasta to make sure it’s in an even, flat layer on the bottom. Then add the diced chicken to the top in an even layer and do not stir
3. Place the lid on the instant pot, set the valve to “sealing” and cook on manual high pressure for 5 minutes
4. Once the time is up, do a quick release of the sealing valve and remove the lid. Drain the liquid from the pasta and chicken
5. Stir in the pesto and cream (if using). Serve and garnish with pine nuts, basil, grated parmesan cheese and/or cherry tomatoes
- If you’d like a creamier pasta, you can add 1/2 cup heavy cream into the pasta at the end and/or 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- For a dairy free creamy pesto chicken pasta use 1/2 cup of coconut cream instead of the heavy cream or half & half. Make sure to shake the can before opening it to mix the coconut cream.
- For gluten free pesto chicken pasta swap out the regular pasta for a gluten free variety just NOT chickpea pasta
Keywords: instant pot pesto chicken pasta, instant pot creamy pesto chicken pasta, easy pesto chicken pasta in instant pot, one pot pesto chicken pasta
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