Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo is a 30-minute dinner recipe with tender fettuccini and juicy chicken breast in a heavenly, white cream sauce. This dump-start Alfredo recipe was made for busy people AND Instant Pot beginners, just like my Instant Pot Taco Pasta!
1Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (about 1/2 lb.)leave whole, shred after it cooks
Salt and Pepperto tatse
Break FETTUCCINI in half and scatter inside the Instant Pot.
Pour WATER and HEAVY CREAM over the pasta. Push the pasta under the liquid to submerge it.
Scatter BUTTER pieces and GARLIC over the pasta noodles.
Lay CHICKEN BREAST on top of the pasta and sprinkle SALT and PEPPER over it. (Yep, we cook chicken breast whole and shred it later so it retains its juices) *see recipe footnote
Secure the lid; turn pressure valve to "Sealing" and pressure cook on HIGH for 5 minutes.
When cook cycle completes, let the pot sit undisturbed for a 10-minute (NPR) natural pressure release. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! *see recipe footnote
Safely turn pressure valve to "venting" position and release any remaining steam. Open the lid and transfer chicken to a plate.
Insert a meat thermometer in the center of the chicken breast to confirm a MINIMUM internal temperature of 165° then cover with foil and rest it a few minutes. *see recipe footnote about chicken temperature
Stir the pasta and liquid together (it's not a pretty alfredo yet, but it will be).
Stir in PARMESAN CHEESE. Add SALT and PEPPER to taste.
Shred the chicken with two forks and stir it in to the pasta alfredo.
Chef's note: The fettuccini may take a few extra minutes to absorb the excess moisture, but trust me, it will happen if you followed this recipe to a tee. If you're rushed, you can speed the thickening by adding more parmesan cheese. It's a balancing act.
Serving, storage, and reheating instructions
Serve Chicken Alfredo pasta warm garnished with parsley.To store, cool the pasta and refrigerate in an airtight container up to five days.To reheat, add a splash of liquid to revive the creaminess. If you add too much, stir in more Parmesan to get the thickness you want.
Why should I cook the chicken breast whole? Isn't it easier to cut it up before cooking it?Pressure cooking chicken breast whole and shredding after cooking = juicier chicken, less handling of raw chicken, AND fewer dishes. It's a win-win-win!Why must I do a full 10-minute NPR after the cooker is done?The chicken AND the pasta are technically still cooking during natural pressure release. Opening the lid may result in undercooked chicken or undercooked noodles (and soupy results).What if my chicken breast didn't quite reach 165° on the meat thermometer after cooking?This is not common with this recipe, but if the chicken doesn't reach 165°, set it back on top of the pasta and repeat the pressure cook process for 1 more minute. Then depressurize and test again to confirm the chicken is 165°. I've never had this happen with this recipe, but I could see an extra large chicken breast causing this to happen.What if I want softer pasta after the cook cycle is done?If you like really really soft pasta, remove the cooked chicken and press the "saute" button to continue cooking the pasta until it softens to your liking, stirring as needed. You might need a splash of liquid to help it along.Can I use frozen chicken breast for Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo?I do not recommend frozen chicken breast for this recipe as it will overcook the pasta trying to reach the 165° internal temperature. Frozen chicken tenders will work in place of thawed chicken breast as long as they're not stuck together.INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTION IDEAS:
Use chicken thighs in place of chicken breasts for even juicier results.
Use half and half or milk in place of heavy cream (you may need to add more parmesan cheese to balance the flavor and fat).
Substitute linguini noodles for fettuccine if you like a thinner noodle.
Use shredded chicken, canned chicken, or rotisserie chicken instead of raw chicken (just add it at the end when you stir in the cheese and allow it to get warm).