One pot. No colander. No chopping. SO tasty.
I have to confess that my first few attempts with pasta in the Instant Pot were too mushy and overall not good. Pasta doesn’t take long to cook in the Instant Pot, so you’ve got to make sure your other ingredients are part-way cooked before adding the pasta. I’ve made this a couple times to test seasonings and cook times, and this time, I think it’s a winner. A few secret ingredients make this extra easy and tasty.
A bag of frozen, chopped bell peppers and onions…
And a bottle of Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.
I wanted to give you a little picture walk through of some of this!
- 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 lbs of chicken tenderloins
- 1 bag of chopped frozen bell peppers and onions (You can definitely use fresh if you want to! 1 onion and 2 peppers)
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 12 oz box of bow tie pasta (I used barilla)
- 32 oz carton low sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
- 3/4 cup of heavy cream or half-and-half! (Both work, the cream just makes it extra indulgent.)
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- Set your Instant Pot to Sauté and wait until it says “Hot”. (Do not put the lid on when using Sauté.) Add your oil and butter. Melt and swirl together to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Cook your chicken breasts in the oil/butter mix for about 3 minutes each side to let them get some nice brown color on them. While the chicken is cooking, pour your frozen peppers and onions in a bowl and microwave for 2-3 minutes to help them thaw out. (This helps the whole dish cook more quickly in the pot.)
- When the chicken is cooked, stir in peppers and onions, broth, pasta, garlic, and creole seasoning. Mix together well. Turn off sauté and add the lid. Set to cook on manual for 5 minutes. **The amount of liquid in the pot causes it to take around 10 minutes to heat up. You can expect it to be ready in about 15 minutes.
- When cooking is done, depressurize and remove lid. There is some extra liquid here that you don’t need. As promised you do not need to drag out a colander. But, you do need to get your oven mits on, take that pot out and drain some of that liquid into the sink. (OR spoon a couple cups out of it with a big ladle.) You can definitely leave a some liquid in there, but it’s good to drain out a good bit of it.
- Set it back on Sauté. Add half-and-half or cream and parmesan cheese. Stir, let thicken for 2-3 minutes. At this point, it tastes like really flavorful chicken alfredo with peppers and onions. It is really good, but I want mine to have a spicy cajun flavor. So, I pull out a portion for the kids, and then add 1 more teaspoon of Creole Seasoning to the rest. You can season it to your own tastes. Turn pot off and serve! It is realllllly good with fresh tomatoes and chives on top.
A few stray observations:
*It will look like the pasta is not fully covered with liquid before you cook it, but it works out. Just stir everything together well, and you should be okay.
*Make sure you use chicken tenderloins or chicken breasts you’ve cut into small strips. The chicken will not fully cook if you use large whole chicken breasts.
*Use a 12 oz box of pasta, not 16 oz. This will alter your cook time, amount of cooking liquid, etc. When I’ve used a 16 oz box, it was too much for the pot, and caused it to shoot froth from the top when I depressurized. Learn from my mistakes. 🙂