This Instant Pot Chicken Penne Pasta recipe MUST be in your weeknight dinner rotation! All the yummy flavors of chicken parmesan are combined with VERY little hands on work! The Instant Pot practically makes this entire meal for you! If you have never cooked pasta in your Instant Pot, start here! You’ll be addicted!
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If you have never cooked pasta in your instant pot, now is the time to start! DO NOT BE AFRAID, friends!! I remember hesitantly opening my Instant Pot after this pasta had cooked for only 5 minutes, thinking for sure I’d see a bunch of uncooked pasta!
This recipe is an Instant Pot chicken parmesan of sorts, however much more healthy because there is no breading and hardly any oil involved. Just all delicious flavors, on your table in less than 30 minutes! While the Instant Pot is cooking your dinner, whip up this quick Arugula Salad and dinner is served!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Easy clean up–everything comes together in one pot!
- Very little hands on time–only one thing to chop and the Instant Pot does the rest!
- Super quick–less than 30 minutes start to finish!
- Healthy and delicious!
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this delicious Instant Pot Chicken Penne:
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast: You can also use chicken thighs! Or swap out this protein for ground beef or ground turkey.
Marinara Sauce: Rao’s Marinara is my all-time favorite sauce for everything!
Penne Pasta: You can use any pasta with a similar shape and package cook time of 9-11 minutes. Rotini and bow ties work well.
Spices: I use traditional “chicken parm” spices–garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and Italian Seasoning but you can switch it up however you like! Cayenne pepper, oregano and thyme also work well.
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY CHICKEN PASTA IN THE INSTANT POT: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Saute chicken and spices in the Instant Pot for a few minutes.
Step 2: Add marinara, pasta and chicken stock. Give it a big stir!
Step 3: Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, then do a quick release. Add cheeses.
Step 4: Close lid for about 2-3 minutes and allow cheese to melt. Open pot and serve immediately.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Absolutely. If you want to do this as a make-ahead meal, prepare the recipe, leaving off the cheese at the end. When the pasta is cool, transfer it into a freezer safe dish (my favorite are disposable aluminum trays with lids like these). When you are ready to prepare, thaw in the fridge or on the counter overnight. Top with cheese and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes until heated through and cheese is bubbly. Pasta is best eaten/thawed within 2-3 weeks.
If you want to freeze leftovers, store leftovers in a freezer safe container. Thaw in the fridge or on the counter overnight. Reheat leftovers in the microwave or in a pan with a little more sauce or chicken stock, just to loosen it up a bit 🙂
Store leftovers in an airtight container (I LOVE these glass bowls with lids!) in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave, topping with more cheese, if you like!
RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS
- Don’t hesitate to change up the meat in this dish! Ground beef and turkey are both delish! Or you can use sweet Italian sausage and you can omit the seasonings since it’s already well seasoned.
- To make this dish healthier, omit the cheese and instead, just sprinkle with basil or red pepper flakes!
- Don’t second guess the 5 minute cook time (because I did and cooked it wayyy too long!). 5 minutes gets your pasta perfectly al dente! Pinky promise!
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Instant Pot Chicken Penne Pasta
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or about 1lb.
- 1 lb. penne pasta See Note 1
- 24-28 oz jar marinara sauce
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 1/2 tsp EACH: Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper See Note 2
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Set Instant Pot to "Sauté" setting (high) and add olive oil. Allow about 2 minutes to come to temperature, then add chicken and spices (garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper).
- Stir chicken to coat in spices and brown 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally (chicken doesn't have to be cooked all the way through).
- Press CANCEL on Instant Pot and add pasta, marinara and chicken stock. Give it a few big stirs.
- Set Instant Pot to High Pressure for 5 minutes and press Start (it will take about 10 minutes to preheat and come up to pressure).
- When timer goes off and it's pressured cooked for 5 minutes, do a quick release.
- After pressure is released, open lid and add cheeses. Close lid for 2-3 minutes and allow cheese to melt. Serve immediately.