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Instant Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta

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!

  • Author: Bailey
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: chicken
  • Method: instant pot
  • Cuisine: American (Italian inspired)


  • 1pound 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
  • 68 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