Chicken And Broccoli Pasta (Instant Pot)

Southern Dinners

Chicken and broccoli pasta is a family dinner time staple for many, use the instant pot and make it tasty and quick for a 30 minute meal.


When my Mema and mom started cooking they used a pressure cooker when something needed to be cooked quickly. The sound of the cooker working was sometimes loud and a little scary, especially when it was time to release the steam. It did the trick though!

Skip forward to today, and an instant pot is the new pressure cooker. It works by using various cooking modes, but most of them involve cooking with pressure. 

When the pressure modes are used, foods cook faster because steam and water are heated above its normal limit of 212 F.

Tada! Quick food!

Psst…. see our other Instant Pot favorites here!

seasoned chicken in the instant pot ready to cook

Chicken and broccoli pasta in the pressure cooker for the win!

The Instant Pot is a multi-cooker that replaces a variety of common kitchen appliances, like pressure cookers or rice cookers. It speeds the cooking process so you can simmer, steam, braise, and warm faster.

This is perfect for families on the go who need options when planning and cooking meals.

It is hard for even the most resistant child to dislike veggies when they are smothered in cheese cooked with tasty chicken. That is how I “sneak” the green veggies into dishes for my own children!

chicken broccoli cheese penne pasta in an instant pot

Can I use any type of chicken in this pasta recipe?

This recipe calls for boneless and skinless chicken breast. Boneless chicken thighs could be substituted, but the dark meat will give it a different look.

The taste will also be more “fatty” and “chicken-y” than the lighter flavor of the white meat breast.

Hey… try our chicken pot pie casserole with biscuits on top!

How do I adapt this recipe to the oven?

If time permits, you can adapt this recipe to an oven version. You would brown the chicken in a sauce pan until almost cooked through. Then combine the liquids, chicken, and pasta into a roasting pan.

Cook until pasta and chicken are tender; top with cheese, heavy cream, and broccoli. Put back into oven and cook until broccoli is completely warmed through, cheese melted, and liquid is gone.

penne pasta with chicken and broccoli in a white bowl

Can I use fresh broccoli instead of frozen?

Generally you can replace fresh vegetables with frozen veggies in a recipe. The texture and color might be different but the taste should be the same.

To make the raw broccoli more tender before putting into the dish, heat a kettle with water until it whistles, place broccoli in a colander, and pour the boiling water over it.

It is similar to a quick blanch that will tenderize the broccoli without precooking that can cause the broccoli to turn brown.

chicken and broccoli pasta from the instant pot on the table with a white napkin

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 to 6 cups beef broth (5 cups for al dente pasta and 6 cups for softer pasta)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (16 ounce) box penne pasta
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  • 4 cups frozen broccoli florets, slightly thawed
instant pot on table with shredded cheese and chicken and broccoli pasta

Directions

  1. Season chicken on all sides with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  2. Using the saute mode, heat the electric pressure cooker until “hot.” Add the olive oil and chicken breast, cooking until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes each. The chicken will not be cooked through.
  3. Remove the chicken and keep warm. Deglaze the bottom of the liner with chicken broth by pouring the broth into the liner and scraping the bottom with a flat edged wooden spoon. Cancel the saute mode.
  4. Return the chicken to the pressure cooker. Top with penne, pressing the pasta down into the liquid. Do not stir.
  5. Place the lid on the electric pressure cooker and set the valve to sealing. Set the pressure cooker to “manual” or “pressure cook” for 6 minutes. Quick release the pressure when the cook cycle is complete.
  6. Stir 2 cups of cheese, heavy cream, and broccoli into the pasta. Top with remaining cheese. Replace the lid, allowing the pressure cooker to remain in the “keep warm” setting until the broccoli is warmed through and the liquid is absorbed.

What desserts and sides go well with this chicken and broccoli dish?

Since you’re cooking this chicken and broccoli pasta dish in the instant pot you’ll have tons of time to whip up a yummy dessert.

As this casserole is rich and dense with the flavor of chicken and has a veggie in it, a side dish of vegetables isn’t necessary. However, simple salads would add a light touch to the heavier casserole.

A tomato mozzarella salad, bright green leafy salad, or avocado Caesar salad with cucumbers would compliment the casserole as well. Add a touch of toasted bread or soft roll, and you are good to go!

Since the casserole is heavy on taste and pretty decadent, a simpler, lighter dessert is called for to round out the meal. A creamy pudding, bright sorbet, or even angel food cake with a sprinkling of fruit would be a delightful culmination to a delicious meal.

Instant Pot Chicken And Broccoli Pasta

Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, instant pot, pasta bake, vegetable
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 653kcal
Author: Rachel Norman

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken breast boneless, skinless
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 5-6 cups beef broth (5 cups for al dente pasta and 6 cups for softer pasta)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 box penne pasta 16 ounce
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar shredded
  • 4 cups frozen broccoli florets slightly thawed

Instructions

  • Season chicken on all sides with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Using the saute mode, heat the electric pressure cooker until “hot.” Add the olive oil and chicken breast, cooking until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes each. The chicken will not be cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken and keep warm. Deglaze the bottom of the liner with chicken broth by pouring the broth into the liner and scraping the bottom with a flat- edged wooden spoon. Cancel the saute mode.
  • Return the chicken to the pressure cooker. Top with penne, pressing the pasta down into the liquid. Do not stir.
  • Place the lid on the electric pressure cooker and set the valve to sealing. Set the pressure cooker to “manual” or “pressure cook” for 6 minutes. Quick release the pressure when the cook cycle is complete.
  • Stir 2 cups of cheese, heavy cream, and broccoli into the pasta. Top with remaining cheese. Replace the lid, allowing the pressure cooker to remain in the “keep warm” setting until the broccoli is warmed through and the liquid is absorbed.

Nutrition

Calories: 653kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 983mg | Potassium: 834mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1179IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 373mg | Iron: 2mg

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