Instant Pot Pesto Chicken with Pasta is a delicious weeknight meal that combines the bright basil and garlic flavor of pesto with easy to cook chicken and pasta. The entire meal made in your Instant Pot in a little more than 30 minutes makes this a perfect weeknight recipe!
Instant Pot Pesto Chicken with Pasta
If you are new to using an Instant Pot, then the idea of cooking pasta in a pressure cooker may sound crazy. I thought the same thing the first time I tried, but after that first experience, I was hooked.
My Instant Pot has become a beloved kitchen appliance and is used more often than not for our weeknight meals. And I’m all about those easy Instant Pot dinner recipes.
I love chicken, pasta, and pesto – so of course, the combination makes sense to me. Making a yummy dish like this where I don’t have to stand over the stove the whole time makes it even better!
Can I use homemade pesto for this Instant Pot chicken?
Admittedly, I may have a slight obsession with pesto. It is just so good! So, yes, I can say a homemade pesto works great for this recipe. In fact, I would have to recommend my easy basil pesto recipe if you have the time and want to go that route. Just know it isn’t necessary and that there are tons of amazing jar pesto options in the grocery store.
Do you know what pairs great with this pesto chicken with pasta? This delicious cheesy garlic bread!
Can I use chicken thighs in this recipe for pesto pasta?
Absolutely! You can use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. Just make sure you choose boneless skinless for convenience.
Chicken thighs are a great option if you prefer dark meat but still want a healthier option. They also offer a depth of flavor that you don’t typically find in boneless skinless chicken breasts.
What is the best pasta for this pesto chicken?
While I love using my Instant Pot for pasta recipes, I do have to say a thicker pasta works best. Especially if you are cooking meat alongside it. You don’t want overdone mushy pasta, so using something like a good rigatoni, penne, cavatappi, or even an elbow macaroni is best.
You also want to consider how well the sauce will cling to the pasta. For this recipe, that is why I prefer a pasta that has some ridges or texture that will hold the sauce and really allow it to coat the pasta.
More pesto recipes
And if you love pesto like I do, then I have some more delicious recipes for you to try. If you buy a jar of pesto or make a batch of my homemade pesto, you may find you have leftovers. There is no need for that to go to waste! Just whip up one or more of my other yummy pesto recipes.
This pesto chicken noodle soup is perfect if you have just a bit of pesto leftover. Let’s just say it is a great spin on a classic! Surely all of the garlic in pesto helps with healing, right?
Of course, if you prefer the pasta route, you will love the pesto tortellini bake or this basil pesto pasta with broccoli and mushrooms.
Looking for more pesto recipes? I’ve got you covered!
- Basil Pesto Past with Broccoli and Mushrooms
- Easy Basil Pesto
- Pesto Chicken Noodle Soup
- Shaved Asparagus Pesto Salad
Instant Pot Pesto Chicken with Pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cubed
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 3½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 pound cavatappi pasta you can also use rotini, rigatoni, etc., but may need to increase the amount of chicken broth by 1/2 cup
- 1 cup jarred pesto sauce or this basil pesto sauce
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Set Instant Pot to 'saute' setting. Once pot is hot, add olive oil. Then add cubed chicken and season with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.
- Sauté chicken until starts to brown, about 3-4 minutes per side.
- Press the 'cancel' button on Instant Pot. Add chicken broth and pasta to pot and stir. Cover, place into lock position and make sure the valve is in the 'sealing' position. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. **The IP will take 15 minutes to come to pressure and then will cook for 5 minutes**
- When timer goes off, turn off the Instant Pot and do a quick release.
- Remove lid and stir in pesto until combined. Top with shredded cheese.