Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo pasta has a garlicky creamy cheese sauce and tender bites of chicken. A hearty delicious one-pot meal in no time!
Using the same ingredients as our Easy Alfredo Sauce you can easily adapt a classic Italian dish for the Instant Pot. The pressure cooker lets you cook the chicken, pasta, and sauce all together for Dinner in minutes! For more favorite recipes made easier, try our Instant Pot Beef Lasagna and Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs too.
Table of contents
Sabrina’s Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Recipe
Chicken Alfredo is a comforting and rich Italian dish that is also super kid-friendly! Now you can enjoy this amazing meal on any busy weeknight, and skip the heavy cream or jarred sauces. This homemade version of the popular restaurant pasta comes together easily and quickly in the Instant Pot!
You create a savory creamy sauce right in the pressure cooker with the cooked pasta and chicken for a true easy, one-pot meal. The secret ingredient is making the sauce with cream cheese instead of thickening a heavy cream mixture with a flour roux like in traditional Alfredo pasta recipes. You get the same rich and creamy dish with almost no work. If you have an electric pressure cooker, this delicious recipe is a must try!
- Cooking Liquid: You can use plain water for your cooking liquid, but we like chicken broth because its an easy way to add a lot of savory flavor. You can also use vegetable broth or do a mixture of broth and water.
- Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breast works great in this recipe because it will stay nice and juicy. Make sure to cut your chicken into even, small pieces so it cooks quickly. You can also use chicken tenders or chicken thighs.
- Spaghetti: You could use any pasta for this recipe but the spaghetti tends to cook more evenly in the short time than thicker fettuccine pasta. Make sure to break it in half so it all gets submerged and spread it out so it doesn’t clump.
- Butter: The butter helps bind the creamy sauce together and gives it a rich, delicious flavor.
- Cream Cheese: Make sure to take the cream cheese out and leave it on the counter while you’re preparing everything else so that it softens before you stir it in. If you need to soften it quickly, you can cut it into chunks and microwave it on a defrost setting for 30 seconds at a time until it is soft but not melting.
- Seasonings: Just like regular alfredo sauce, you only need some minced garlic, salt and pepper to season it. The fresh garlic gives it lots of delicious garlicky flavor.
- Milk: Since the cream cheese is already really rich, it’s best to use milk instead of cream in the sauce so it’s not too heavy.
- Parmesan Cheese: A traditional Alfredo sauce is made with Parmesan cheese, but you can also mix in other grated hard cheeses to add depth of flavor, such as Asiago, Pecorino, or Fontina. Just make sure you still use at least 1 cup of the Parmesan and only sub in 1 cup of a different cheese so you still get that delicious, salty nutty Parmesan flavor.
Kitchen Tools & Equipment
Pressure Cooker: A standard electric pressure cooker is the only equipment you need to make this delicious one-pot dinner! Make sure to use the settings in the recipe and not the preset options because they won’t have the same cook time.
How to Make
Time needed: 15 minutes.
- Add the Chicken and Pasta
Pour the water or broth into your Instant Pot, then add the chicken pieces, stirring a bit to distribute it. Add the broken spaghetti noodles, again stirring so they aren’t clumped in one place.
- Pressure Cook
Secure the lid and set the valve to sealing. Cook on High Pressure for 5 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes then quick release the pressure. Carefully remove the lid and stir.
- Make the Sauce
Add the butter, cream cheese, garlic, salt and pepper to the pot. Stir until it is smooth and the cream cheese is melted.
- Finish and Serve
Add the milk and cheese, then stir again until it’s mixed in and creamy. Rest for 3 minutes before stirring again and serving.
Can this be made ahead of time?
No, Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo is best served after it’s cooked and since everything is made at once, there isn’t much to prep ahead. The good news is it only takes minutes to cook so no need to make it ahead of time.
Tips for Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo
Include Time for Pressurizing
An Instant Pot usually takes anywhere from 5-15 minutes to pressurize, then the timer will begin to count down the 5 minutes of high pressure cooking. You’ll know it’s pressurizing when the float valve pops up. Listen for the beep when the 5 minutes of high pressure cooking begins, so that you’re ready to quick release it once it’s finished. It will beep again when finished, and you can carefully release the steam. Let it release for another 5 minutes before opening the lid and proceeding to the remaining steps.
Make Space in the Pot
Because of how pressure cookers work, you don’t want your pasta and your chicken to be all in one place. Make sure to stir it well so that the noodles and chicken are evenly spaced out or the pasta will clump together in one chunk. You also want the pasta submerged as much as possible in the liquid so it cooks evenly.
What to Pair With Chicken Alfredo
Serve Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo with a side of crispy Garlic Bread, top a fresh salad with Olive Garden Italian Salad Dressing and you’ve got a delicious homemade Italian dinner! If you want to add some veggies to your dish, it would be great with some Roasted Broccoli on the side or mixed in after the sauce is made.
How to Store
Keep Warm: Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo can be kept warm for up to 4 hours or at room temperature for up to 2 hours before needing refrigeration.
Store: Store Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Reheat: Reheat gently on the stove to avoid separation. You can add milk or broth a splash at a time if the sauce is too thick.
Freeze: It is not suggested to freeze this recipe, as the pasta would become mushy and the sauce would become watery and is likely to separate upon defrosting.
You can use frozen chicken however you will want to add a few minutes to the cooking time. Don’t use whole chicken breasts though, use frozen chicken pieces.
Yes, if you cook the chicken for too long in the Instant Pot, it will break down and lose its texture. You can also overcook the pasta, so follow the cooking time and do a quick release to stop the cooking after 5 minutes.
- 3 cups water or chicken broth
- 2 chicken breasts cut into 1″ chunks
- 1 pound spaghetti broken in half
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened and cut into 1″ chunks
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
- Add water to Instant Pot.
- Add chicken, spreading the chunks apart evenly.
- Top with broken spaghetti spread apart in the pot (do not just add in one large clump).
- Seal the instant pot and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Quick release the pressure after five minutes, open the top and stir well.
- Add the butter, cream cheese, garlic, salt and pepper until smooth and creamy (the cream cheese needs to be softened or this will take a long time).
- Stir in the milk and grated parmesan cheese until creamy.
- Let sit for 3 minutes before serving.
Meat: You can use other cuts of boneless chicken, just make sure they are chopped in 1-inch chunks to keep the same cooking time. You can also leave the chicken out or swap in shrimp or pork pieces, but for shrimp, add it at the end. Let the shrimp cook in the residual heat or pop the unit on saute until they cook.
Veggies: If you’d like to add a vegetable to Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo, include 1 cup of chopped broccoli florets, thawed frozen peas, or diced red bell pepper to the chicken before adding the pasta on top.
Pasta: You can switch up the pasta but it’s better to use penne, macaroni, or other small pasta versus thick flat noodles like fettuccine. You don’t want the pasta to clump or be too bulky or the dish won’t cook right.