Instant Pot Chicken Pasta in a spicy tomato sauce is incredibly delicious and easy to make. This is a one-pot meal in the true sense and the family is gonna love it.
Do you wonder if you can cook pasta in Instant Pot? Absolutely yes! I had no idea that pasta could be cooked in an Instant pot and this could be so delicious too.
As far as one-pot meals go, this easy Instant pot pasta recipe is a winner. Perfectly cooked pasta, spicy chicken in creamy tomato sauce is a new favourite in the house.
I contemplated the idea of cooking pasta in an Instant Pot for too long. What if it turns mushy or it remains undercooked?? Will there be enough sauce?? Will the pasta get stuck at the bottom??
But I wouldn't know if it works until I give it a try. And the outcome was amazing and tastes just like stovetop one-pot pasta recipes I make.
How To Cook Pasta In Instant Pot?
Cooking pasta in the Instant pot is as easy as dump and cook. Unlike the stovetop method, you don't need to keep on checking the doneness of the pasta every 5 minutes. Set the timer and walk away. Having said that, there are a couple of things we need to consider.
- The pasta to liquid ratio. The general rule of thumb is for every 8 oz of pasta you need 2 cups of liquid. But it changes when you are cooking the pasta in tomato sauce like this recipe. Because the pasta sauce is quite thick you would need up to 2.5 - 3 cups of pasta sauce. If any recipe calls for tomato or pasta sauce, make sure there is enough liquid in the IP to just cover the pasta.
- Because we are not draining the pasta cooking liquid, all the starch in the pasta water thicken the pasta naturally. I wouldn't recommend adding cheese or heavy cream to the pasta while cooking. Always add cheese or cream towards the end, once the pasta is cooked.
- Don't stir the sauce after adding it. Add it on top of pasta so as to cover it. I have seen if you stir the thick sauce, it tends to stick at the bottom.
- How long to cook pasta in the Instant Pot? 5 mins of full pressure,5 minutes natural release, followed by manual release. The instant pot might take around 8-10 minutes to come to full pressure. So the total time would be 10+5+5 = 20 minutes.
Helpful Tips for the Chicken pasta...
- We will start by browning the chicken and spices in oil. I don't like the idea of dumping all the ingredients and cook together. I don't like the chicken to absorb all the pasta flavour. Browning the chicken develops flavour. Remove the chicken from the pot and keep it covered.
- Next, it is to brown the onion and garlic which gives an aroma of its own. Again for big flavours.
- Then it's time to deglaze the pot with some water. Make sure to scrap off any brown bits from the bottom of the pot to avoid burn notification.
- Then add pasta, top it with pasta sauce. Gently push the pasta down so that pasta is completely submerged. Then cook for the specified time.
- Now add chicken with all the liquid, heavy cream and parmesan cream.
More Instant Pot Recipes...
Instant Pot Chicken Pasta
- Instant Pot
- 500 grams Boneless Chicken Breast cut into bite sized cubes
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- ½ teaspoon Red chilli flakes (ref note 1)
- ½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 250 grams Penne Pasta (8 oz)
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- ½ cup Onion chopped
- ½ tablespoon Garlic minced
- 1 cup Water
- 3 cups Pasta Sauce
- ½ cup Heavy Cream
- 1 cup Parmesan Cheese (more for serving)
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- Parsely for garnishing
- Start with swtiching on the Instant Pot and turn on the Saute mode on.
- When the pot is hot, add oil.
- To the hot oil add Chicken, red chilli flakes, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning and salt.
- Saute for 5-6 minutes. When it no longer looks pink, there are brown patches, remove it from the pot and keep it covered(to prevent it from drying).
- To the instant pot add rest of the oil, chopped onion and minced garlic.
- Saute for 2-3 minutes until it has softened and no more raw smell.
- Add water to the pot and scrape the bottom of the pan to release any stuck brown bits.
- Add pasta to the pan. Don't stir.
- Top it with Pasta sauce, making sure it covers the pasta. If required using a spatula push down the pasta, so that it is completely submerged in the liquid.
- Close lid, Set the Instant pot to Manual / High-pressure mode and set time to 4 minutes.
- It will take about 7-8 minutes for the Instant pot to come to full pressure, then the timer will start.
- Once the timer is off, let it rest for about 5 minutes and let the pressure release naturally.
- Then, carefully release the remaining pressure manually.
- Add cooked chicken along with any liquid in the bowl, heavy cream and parmesan cheese.
- Stir it gently, until everything is incorporated well.
- Adjust the amount of chilli flakes as per your taste. We love it spicy, so is the quantity.