Chicken Tetrazzini Instant Pot recipe get’s done under 30 minutes. Even Picky Eaters love this super creamy pasta chicken dinner. We love to sprinkle butter toasted bread crumbs and serve this easy Instant Pot Chicken Tetrazzini. Don’t miss the tips & Video below.
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What is Chicken Tetrazzini?
Chicken Tetrazzini is an American creamy & cheesy Pasta Chicken dinner made with diced or shredded chicken, cooked pasta & mushrooms in a creamy flavorful sauce. The dish is finished in the oven with Mozzarella & bread crumbs topping. It’s named after the Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini.
Easy Instant Pot Chicken Tetrazzini
Today’s Easy Chicken Tetrazzini Instant Pot is the quickest version of the traditional recipe best suited for busy families who want dinner on the table within 30 minutes.
As we made it in the Instant Pot we skipped the baking part and served it directly from the pot to the plate with a good amount of crispy butter toasted bread crumbs sprinkled on the top.
Find the Ingredients with actual measurements at the bottom of the post. The list below is just a reference.
- Spaghetti Pasta: We love spaghetti for this dish. It holds up shape pretty well when pressure cooked and tastes fantastic.
- Chicken: We used Pre-cooked shredded chicken. So much convenient for busy nights. You can make a huge batch and store it in the fridge or freezer and use it for several recipes. You can even make this Pressure cooker chicken tetrazzini with left over rotisserie chicken. If you want to use un-cooked chicken read the “Tips” below.
- Chicken Stock: Better than Bouillon paste or cubes diluted in hot water works very well. Keep some extra stock handy as you might need it if the pasta seems thirsty while mixing in the cheeses.
- Aromatics: Yellow onion and minced garlic.
- Green Peas: Frozen peas thawed. This is optional. Gives the dish a veggie boost 😀
- Mushrooms: Baby Bella, White Mushrooms or cremini mushrooms sliced works well. We chose Baby Bella.
- Dairy: We used Half & Half. It makes the Tetrazzini so creamy but not overwhelming. You can sub the half & half with evaporated milk or heavy whipping cream. I won’t be able to tell you the exact amounts of Substitution because I’ve not tested the recipe using them.
- Cheeses: Cream Cheese and Parmesan Cheese. We used pre-shredded parmesan cheese, you can grate it from a block too.
- Black Pepper Powder.
- Cooking fat: Butter for sure.
- Thickener: All-purpose flour. This is optional. The thickener works amazingly well when you choose to bake the creamy pasta and chicken with a thick layer of Mozzarella and bread crumbs. We used the thickener but skipped baking the dish!
Tips & Tricks
- De-glaze the Pot: De-glazing the pot really well after adding the stock will save you from the BURN error. Never ever rush this step! Scrape the bottom and the sides of the pot with a spatula to loosen any stuck food particles.
- De-tangle cooked Spaghetti: As you open the lid of the pot, the pressure cooked spaghetti in the pot will look all clumped up. You need to de-tangle the noodles with either a pair of fork or a tong. This step is a must. Few noodles might stick to each other you need to take them apart before mixing in the dairy.
- Adding Dairy: Always add the dairy after the pressure cooking cycle is over. Dairy will curdle if you pressure cook it.
- Clumped Cheese Remedy: TURN OFF the Instant pot before adding the parmesan and cream cheese. The parm will clump up and curdle if the heat is still on. Your Tetrazzini will become grainy.
- Extra chicken stock: Keep some extra stock handy as you might need a few splashes while mixing in the cheeses with the pasta. Add the extra stock only if you feel the pasta looks thirsty or slightly dry and do not add a lot at once.
- Faking the Crispy top: Well, to make a traditional Tetrazzini the chicken and Pasta is always cooked first on the stove top, than mixed in with the creamy sauce and layered on a baking dish, topped with Mozzarella & butter coated bread crumbs. It’s than baked and broiled in the oven. To mimic a similar crispy top we chose to serve individual portions of this Tetrazzini with generous amount of skillet roasted crispy bread crumbs. End result = dinner in a flash with a super easy crisp top. We served the dish from pot to plate & skipped baking!
How to make Chicken Tetrazzini in Instant Pot?
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements + Video at the bottom of the post.
Step #1 Saute Aromatics & Mushrooms
Saute the aromatics in butter in the SAUTE function of the Instant Pot on HIGH HEAT setting. Once, the onion begins to become translucent add the sliced mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes.
Step #2 Pressure Cook Spaghetti
Pour the chicken stock and de-glaze the pot very well scrapping the bottom and the sides of the pot with the help of a spatula. There should not be any food particles stuck at the bottom of the pot. This will prevent the BURN error.
Now, layer the spaghetti (broken into half) in a bird nest or zig zag pattern (refer the photo above & the recipe video below). This is very important! Never ever stack the spaghetti in a single pile.
Gently push down the spaghetti with the help of a spatula so that they are well coated with stock. They should not be below the stock, just a nice coat should be enough to cook them well.
Pressure cook on HIGH for 5 minutes followed by quick release.
Step #3 Add Dairy & Chicken
Cancel the Pressure Cook function and hit the KEEP WARM function.
As you open the lid of the Instant Pot the pressure cooked noodles will look all clumped up, it’s quite normal. You need to de-tangle the cooked spaghetti with either a pair of fork or with the help of a tong.
Next, warm up the fridge cold half & half slightly in the microwave oven and mix in the 1 tabs flour into the dairy, whisk well so that there are no lumps at all. Adding the flour is totally optional.
Pour this into the pot and stir well to coat the noodles. Next, add the diced softened cream cheese and stir until the cheese is well incorporated. You may need to add a few splashes of stock here only if the noodles begin to look dry or thirsty.
Finally, add the pre-cooked shredded chicken & thawed green peas and mix well. Also, add the parmesan cheese and stir until the cheese completely melts and blends in.
We skipped baking the Chicken Tetrazzini Instant Pot recipe and served it directly from pot to plate with a generous amount of butter toasted crispy bread crumbs topping.
How long does Chicken Tetrazzini last in the fridge?
Chicken Tetrazzini will last for upto 3 days in the fridge. This dish is one of those that tastes the best day 1.
Of course the consistency won’t be the same, the dish will dry out. You need follow the re-heating insructions shared below.
Can Chicken Tetrazzini be frozen?
Yes Chicken Tetrazzini can be frozen for upto 2 months. Place the Instant Pot Chicken Tetrazzini in a baking dish or a deep dish container wrap it tightly with cling film and store the freezer.
Thaw the dish over night and re-heat on the stove top with splashes of milk or stock over medium low heat stirring gently from time to time.
What goes with Chicken Tetrazzini?
It’s a pretty rich dish so you don’t need much on the side. You can try enjoying a light salad or garlic bread on the side. You can also give these simple Instant Pot veggie sides a try:
- Steamed carrots (seasoned).
- Steamed Broccoli (seasoned).
- Steamed Green Beans (tossed with onion & garlic).
Chicken Tetrazzini Instant PotPrint Recipe Pin Rate
Watch Recipe Video
- 8 ounce Spaghetti (**227 g. Broken into half.)
- 2 cups pre-cooked shredded chicken (**if using uncooked chicken use 2 breasts. Read NOTES below.)
- 1 cup onion (**roughly chopped. Use yellow onion.)
- 1 tbsp garlic (**minced.)
- 8 ounce Mushrooms (**Sliced into halves. We used Baby Bella Mushrooms.)
- 1/3 cup Green Peas (**frozen peas thawed.)
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper Powder
- 1 tbsp All-Purpose Flour (**optional)
- 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- Salt (**according to your taste preference)
- 2 cups chicken stock (**1.5 tbsp Better than Bouillon stirred in 2 cups hot water. We used this. Keep extra stock handy.)
- 2.5 cups Half & Half (**slightly made warm in microwave oven.)
- 4 oz cream cheese (**diced & softened.)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (**we use pre-shredded.)
For Crispy Bread Crumb Topping
- 3/4 cups bread crumbs (**regular)
- 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- Saute Aromatics: Set the Instant Pot on SAUTE function & set it on HIGH heat. Add 3 tbsp butter, as the butter begins to melt gently release the onion & garlic and saute them until the Onion begins to turn soft. Add salt according to taste to quicken the process. Next, add the sliced mushrooms & saute for 2 minutes.
- De-glaze pot: Pour the chicken stock and de-glaze the pot very well scraping the sides & the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. This will help loosen any stuck food particles & prevent the BURN error.
- Layer Spaghetti: CANCEL the SAUTE function. Now, layer the halved spaghetti in a bird nest or zig zag pattern (refer the steps photos above or video above). DO NOT stack the spaghetti all at once in a single pile. They won’t cook. Now, gently push down the spaghetti layer with the help of your spatula so that the noodles are coated with the stock.
- Pressure Cook: Close the lid of the Instant Pot, seal the valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 5 minutes. Once, the pressure cooking cycle is over perform a quick pressure release (QPR) by manually moving the valve from the sealing to the venting position. Open the lid carefully.
- De-tangle cooked Spaghetti: Pressure cooked spaghetti will look all clumped up. De-tangle the cooked spaghetti strands with the help of a pair of fork or a tong. CANCEL the Pressure cook function & hit the KEEP WARM mode.
- Add Dairy: Now, mix the 1 tbsp flour into the slightly warmed half & half. Add the half & half into the pot and mix well until the dairy well coats the spaghetti. Add the diced softened cream cheese & black pepper powder. Mix well until the cream cheese fully melts. At this point the pasta might get a little dry or look thirsty because the sauce will begin to thicken. Add splashes of the extra stock until the dish begins to cook creamy again.
- Chicken & Peas: Add the pre-cooked shredded or diced chicken and the thawed frozen green peas. Stir to mix them well.
- Serve: Finally add the shredded or grated parmesan cheese. Mix well until the cheese completely melts. Serve hot with a generous amount of butter toasted bread crumbs. Super Yum! **Note: If you prefer an extra cheesy Tetrazzini top layer than add 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese & 1 cup mozzarella cheese (both not mentioned in the ingredients) on top of the tetrazzini in the Instant Pot. Lock the lid and keep covered for 5 mins. The cheese will melt with the residual heat. Open and serve!
- Tetrazzini with un cooked chicken: Dice the boneless skinless chicken breast into 1/2 inch cubes and layer them on top of the spaghetti in a single layer. Pressure cook following the recipe instruction, the rest of the recipe remains the same.
- Extra Cheesy Chicken Tetrazzini: For an extra cheesy upper crust. Layer 1 cup grated mozzarella & 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese on top of the tetrazzini in the Instant Pot. Cover the lid and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. The cheese will melt with the help of the residual heat in the pot and form a super cheesy crust. We skipped this step to keep the cut back the extra calories.
- Thickener: The thickener (flour) adds a nice creamy touch to the recipe. Add it if you are not on a gluten free diet. It’s optional.
- Extra Chicken Stock: You must keep some extra stock handy because once you add the thickener and the cheese the sauce begins to thicken quickly. In order to keep the sauce creamy add the extra stock in splashes. You need to add the stock only if you feel that the consistency of the pasta is slightly dry, if not do not add any stock.
- Dairy: DO NOT ever pressure cook dairy, it’ll curdle and make the recipe grainy! Always add it after the pressure cooking cycle is over.
- Cheese: TURN OFF the heat before adding the cheeses, otherwise the cheese will curdle or clump up.
- Can I use white wine in the recipe? Yes, you can use 1/4 cup white wine (dry variety) before adding the chicken stock. Allow the wine to bubble for 1-2 mins and than add the chicken stock and proceed with the recipe as mentioned.