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Instant pot pesto chicken pasta in a white bowl with a silver fork

Instant Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta

Instant Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta is a delicious, healthy one-pot pasta dinner consisting of a slightly creamy sauce, juicy chicken, crisp broccoli & tender cherry tomatoes. Kids friendly Instant pot chicken pesto pasta is a quick dinner.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: creamy chicken pesto pasta, Instant pot chicken pesto pasta, Instant Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta, pressure cooker pesto chicken pasta
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 583kcal
Author: Meghna
Cost: $5


  • ½ pound Rotini Pasta **you can also use farfalle, penne or farfalle pasta. 8 ounce or 227 grams.
  • 1.5 pounds chicken **use chicken breast or thighs diced into ½ inch cubes.
  • 1 cup onion **use yellow onion roughly chopped.
  • 1 tsp garlic **minced.
  • ½ tsp Paprika **not smoked.
  • ½ tsp Thyme
  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 small head Broccoli **made into florets. About 2 cups. Use blanched broccoli. How to blanch in NOTES below.
  • ¾ cup cherry tomatoes **halved.
  • ½ cup pesto **store bought or homemade. You can use more or less according to your personal taste preference.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil **use extra light or light olive oil.
  • salt **according to your personal taste preference.

Seasonings for chicken


  • 2 cups Water **slightly warm.
  • 2 tsp Better Than Bouillon **chicken base stirred in the warm water to form a flavor packed instant chicken stock.


  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream **slightly warm. Use the microwave oven.
  • ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese **finely grated. We used it as a garnish. But you can add it along with the heavy cream to make the sauce more creamy.


  • Season chicken & Saute: Seasong the chicken pieces with ingredients mentioned above in the "Seasonings for chicken" section. Rub the chicken well. Set the instant pot on SAUTE & set it on HIGH heat, add oil. When the oil becomes moderately hot gently release the seasoned chicken and saute until the pieces turn golden around the edges. Set them aside.
    sauteing chicken in instant pot
  • Saute aromatics: In the same pot add the chopped onion and minced garlic and saute for about 2 minute.
    sauteing aromatics in instant pot
  • Deglaze pot: Now, stir the better the bouillon chicken base in 2 cups warm water to form an instant flavorful homemade chicken stock and pour this into the instant pot. Deglaze the pot very well by scarpping the sides & the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. This will help loosen any stuck food particles and prevent the BURN error. Cancel the SAUTE function.
    deglazing pot with a steel ladle
  • Layer Pasta and chicken: Add the seasonings - ½ teaspoon each paprika, Italian seasoning & thyme. Stir to mix well. Now, add the uncooked pasta, DO NOT stir or mix, press the pasta down gently with a spatula so that they get a nice coat of the liquid. Now, transfer back the sauteed chicken and layer them on top of the pasta. DO NOT mix or stir.
    layering pasta in instant pot
  • Pressure cook: Secure the lid of the instant pot, seal the valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for just 3 mins. Once, the cooking cycle is over the instant pot will begin to beep. Immediately perform a quick pressure release by moving the valve from the sealing to the venting position. Open the lid carefully when the metal pin on top of the lid drops. Give everything a good stir. Hit the keep warm mode and set it on normal.
    pressure cooked pasta and chicken
  • Make creamy pesto sauce: Now add the basil pesto and slightly warm heavy whipping cream (** read NOTES below). Stir everything in the pot to mix well. Now, at this point you can add ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese if you prefer extra creamy sauce. We have used the parm as a garnish in this recipe. You can so a taste test now and add some salt if you feel like, this will help pop the flavor. Add salt according to your personal taste preference.
    making creamy pesto sauce
  • Add veggies & serve: Now, add the blanched broccoli florets (**read NOTES below) and the halved cherry tomatoes. Stir everything in the pot to mix well. Turn off the instant pot. The residual heat will wilt the outer skin of the cherry tomatoes and you'll love the flavor. Serve immediately and garnish individual serving with grated parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Enjoy.
    creamy instant pot pesto chicken pasta is ready



  1. Best Pasta : Rotini, Fusilli, Penne or Farfalle.
  2. Best chicken: Use either boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs. Dice them into ½ inch cubes.
  3. Al dente Pasta: Today's recipe.
  4. Soft Pasta: Add 2-3 more mins.
  5. Ultra creamy sauce: Add ¼ cup grated parmesan along with the heavy cream and stir to mix well until the cheese completely dissolves to form a creamy sauce. We kept things light and used the parm cheese only as a garnish. 
  6. Consistency: Today's recipe is lightly creamy. However, it's super customizable if you prefer ultra-creamy sauce do as mentioned in point no. 5 above. You can also add more cream or milk to make the pesto pasta saucy. 
  7. Best Pesto: You can use either homemade basil pesto or any good quality store-bought basil pesto.
  8. Best pesto quantity: If you prefer a strong pesto flavor, add about ¾ cup pesto. We prefer a moderate pesto flavor and hence, used ½ cup pesto. If you prefer milder pesto flavor add ¼ cup first, do a test taste and then add more if you feel like it.
  9. How to blanch broccoli: Cut fresh broccoli florets and submerge them in hot water, cover and allow them to rest for 10-15 mins. This will help pop the bright color of the broccoli.
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 583 Calories from Fat 333
% Daily Value*
Fat 37g57%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 100mg33%
Sodium 356mg15%
Potassium 638mg18%
Carbohydrates 42g14%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 22g44%
Vitamin A 2028IU41%
Vitamin C 98mg119%
Calcium 187mg19%
Iron 2mg11%
* Read our privacy policy - Calorie information is provided as a courtesy only and should be leveraged as an estimate rather than a guarantee.Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Calories: 583kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 356mg | Potassium: 638mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2028IU | Vitamin C: 98mg | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 2mg