This Instant Pot Chicken Pesto Pasta is super easy to make and is packed with veggies. Full of flavour, saucy, and a family favourite, this kid-friendly pasta is sure to be a hit for you!
This is a saucy pesto pasta that I like to make when I feel like being hands-off. Everything is cooked in the Instant Pot and then the peas, spinach, and pesto get stirred in at the end. While I say parmesan is optional for those who want to keep things light, I highly suggest adding a ton of it because who doesn't love cheese?!
Why You'll Love This Instant Pot Recipe
- It's easy. Everything into the pot, then set it to 7 minutes and walk away! Easy peasy.
- It's easy to change up by swapping the vegetables to whatever you have on hand.
- You can meal prep this pressure cooker pesto chicken as well! It holds up well in the fridge and reheats wonderfully.
Ingredients You'll Need
- onions — a small yellow onion is all you need.
- garlic — the more the merrier!
- chicken thighs — I don't believe in trimming the fat off my thighs. They're staying put! You can swap for chicken breasts if you'd like something more lean.
- dried basil
- dried oregano
- pasta — I used a cavatappi pasta. I usually buy this pasta from Homesense but here's a similar one you can get online. Another pasta you can use is rotini.
- vegetable or chicken stock
- pesto — I'm using a store-bought pesto sauce. I love the one from Costco!
- peas — frozen is what I use.
- baby spinach — I like that baby spinach is more tender than large spinach.
- parmesan — optional but I highly recommend adding!
How To Make This Instant Pot Chicken Pesto Pasta
- To the Instant Pot, layer in the onions, garlic, chicken thighs, dried basil, dried oregano, and salt.
- Add in the pasta and vegetable stock, making sure that the pasta is covered with the stock. Do not mix.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot, set it to sealing, and then press the manual button, setting the pressure cooker to 7 minutes.
- Once done, quick release the steam. If you have too much liquid, you are welcomed to drain it.
- Add in the pesto sauce, peas, and baby spinach. Stir to combine.
- Add in parmesan if using.
- Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to add some heat to this Instant Pot pesto pasta.
Tips and Notes
- I usually have a littttle bit of extra liquid in the Instant Pot after cooking. However, I usually just add in the parmesan and it helps thicken the liquid into a saucy.
- If you have too much liquid at the bottom of the pot, you can always turn on saute mode to simmer off the liquid. Turn off saute before adding the pesto.
- Depending on what type of pesto you use, the way it coats your pasta will vary.
Store the cooked chicken pesto pasta in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave when ready to eat.
A scant cup just means just shy of a full cup. Usually 1-2 tablespoons less than a full cup.
- 1 onions, sliced
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 8 chicken thighs, diced into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups cavatappi pasta
- 4 cup vegetable or chicken stock, scant
- 2 cups pesto, or more
- 1½ cup peas, frozen
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, optional but recommended
To the Instant Pot, layer in the onions, garlic, chicken thighs, dried basil, dried oregano, and salt.
Add in the pasta and vegetable stock, making sure that the pasta is covered with the stock. Do not mix.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot, set it to sealing, and then press the manual button, setting the pressure cooker to 7 minutes.
Once done, quick release the steam. If you have too much liquid, you are welcome to drain it.
Add in the pesto sauce, peas, and baby spinach. Stir to combine.
Add in parmesan if using and stir to combine.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 1038Total Fat: 68gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 49gCholesterol: 243mgSodium: 1221mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 10gSugar: 9gProtein: 61g
All nutritional data is an estimate.
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