Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo is healthy Italian-inspired comfort food made with no cream or butter but milk instead! This deliciously thick and creamy restaurant quality pasta dish is a one pot dinner ready in only 25 minutes.
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This Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo is creamy, comforting and lighter than a heavy cream based version. It’s made with tender chicken breasts, milk, frozen peas, a few other simple ingredients, and doesn’t miss a beat.
No more standing over the stove or waiting for water to boil because the noodles cook right in the sauce with a little broth! It’s crazy easy which is great for busy weeknights, and I know everyone is always down for a hearty bowl of delicious pasta and this one is about to become a new family favorite!
I just love healthy Instant Pot recipes!
Why Make Instant Pot Alfredo?
- Creamy without cream: Skinny alfredo is just as deliciously creamy and parmesan cheesy as any traditional alfredo dish.
- No fuss: The Instant Pot makes the process as hands off and convenient as it gets!
- Add more veggies: I love using frozen peas, but you can use whatever veggies you want. Keep reading for recommendations!
- Meatless or not: The chicken adds a great source of protein, but by all means, omit it. Turn this pasta into a delicious side dish or vegetarian main instead!
Don’t have an Instant Pot? Make this stovetop chicken alfredo.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo
- Chicken: You want to start with boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts. Instant Pot frozen chicken breast, half thawed, or fresh work. Cut them into 1″ pieces.
Cut chicken or not. I like to cut the chicken into 1″ cubes with kitchen shears right above the pressure cooker. Or you can lay whole pieces on top and shred them after.
- Pasta: Fettuccine, linguine or even spaghetti. White, whole wheat, or gluten free works.
- Chicken (or veggie broth) & milk: There needs to be a liquid when using the pressure cooker. The chicken broth will create steam and pressurize the chicken to a tender juicy bite. Milk is added at the end to make the sauce.
- Parmesan: I highly recommend using freshly grated Parmesan and not from a shaker. It’s a completely different taste, it melts easier, and you’re not getting that extra junk they add to the pre-grated cheese.
- Oil: Just a tablespoon of oil added into the pot before we close the lid helps to keep everything from clumping together.
- Cornstarch: A thickening agent that helps make the sauce thick and creamy.
- Garlic: Adding fresh garlic clove adds an incredible element. Garlic chicken alfredo makes this dish even better. If you like your pasta sauce extra garlicky you can add a bit more.
- Salt & pepper: A bit of seasoning to bring out the flavor of the pasta and the sauce. It gets added in at the beginning, so there’s probably no need to season it at the end again. Taste and see for yourself!
Vegetarian version. You can also omit meat for a pasta alfredo without meat.
How to Make Chicken Alfredo Instant Pot?
There is video and detailed recipe card below. This summary is just a simple guide.
- Add initial ingredients: This includes the chicken, stock, oil, salt, and pepper.
- Layer pasta to prevent from sticking: Break noodles in half and add crisscrossed in about 6 layers. Doesn’t have to be covered with liquid.
- Pressure cook under high pressure. Close the lid, set the valve to sealing, and pressure cook on high for 8 minutes. The wider your noodles, the more bite there is to them. So, if you like your fettuccine pasta soft – cook for 10 minutes. I used linguine this time.
Using gluten-free noodles? Then set your pressure cooker to 5 minutes instead.
- Quick Release the pressure and open the lid. It will be liquidy – do not worry, we’re about to thicken it up. Press the sauté button.
- Add slurry, Parmesan, and garlic. Whisk cold milk with cornstarch and add the slurry to the pot along with parmesan cheese and fresh garlic. Stir with tongs separating the noodles.
How much slurry depends on what cut of chicken! If you’re using chicken thighs you’re going to mix 1 cup of milk with the cornstarch. If using chicken breasts, use 2 cups.
- Cook until thickened. After 2-3 minutes sauce will start bubbling and will thicken.
- Add veggies (optional). As my friend Joy says “we are going to make it legal” with 3 cups of frozen peas. No need to thaw. Stir and let pressure cooker chicken alfredo sit for a minute to melt the peas.
Is sauce a bit runny? That’s ok, it’s because the frozen peas have added some extra liquid. It will thicken as it sits, and of course, as it cools too!
- Serve. Sprinkle pasta with fresh parsley and serve warm!
Optional Add-In’s and Variations
- Pasta: You can use fettuccine noodles. When people say chicken fettuccine alfredo or linguine alfredo it means the same thing, just based on what pasta you’re using. Penne pasta is also great as is any short pasta.
- Leftover chicken: This is a great way to use up any leftover chicken you’ve got in the refrigerator. Rotisserie chicken, cooked chicken breast, you name it.
- Other veggies: Small broccoli florets, mushrooms, red bell peppers, or spinach are all excellent veggie choices. Add one or all!
- Cream vs. milk: If you aren’t looking for a skinny chicken alfredo, then by all means use cream or half and half instead of the milk.
- Cream cheese: Some people enjoy using cream cheese along with (or instead of) the milk or cream. It gives it a slightly tart flavor but also adds to the thick and creamy texture.
- Arrowroot powder: Works the same way that cornstarch does as a thickening agent. If that’s what you have on hand, go right ahead and use it.
- Flour: You can use this instead of cornstarch as well, but you would need to double the amount. Use 4 Tbsp instead.
- Vegetarian: A meatless alfredo sauce takes this Instant Pot chicken alfredo recipe that I’m probably going to eat for dinner tonight and turns it into a delicious vegetarian meal or side dish, that I’m still going to eat for dinner tonight!
Nutmeg: Adding freshly grated (or not) nutmeg into the sauce is a popular way to elevate this chicken alfredo Instant Pot dinner. It’s not overpowering at all, it’s very subtle but enhances the flavor of the cream sauce a ton!
Tips for Best Results
- Milk should be cold otherwise cornstarch will lump. I use 3.5% because the higher the fat content the creamier the sauce. I wouldn’t recommend using any plant-based milk.
- Peas: They don’t have to be cooked. That’s why I like to let peas sit only for a few minutes so they don’t turn pale green and overcooked because the pasta absorbs liquid like crazy.
- Sauce thickness: You can adjust the thickness by letting alfredo sit more or adding more milk at any time.
- Fresh parmesan: I always recommend grating your cheese from a block. It tastes fresher, it melts better, and did I mention it tastes better?
Don’t worry. Follow the recipe and it will get there. At first, we just cook the pasta and chicken, and then we work on making it creamy.
Every pressure cooker is different and every environment is different, which may be the culprit. If so, stir everything together, put the lid back on and let it sit for 10 mins. It will eventually become softer because the pasta absorbs liquid like crazy.
You could which is great for using up leftovers. This recipe is written as a one-pot meal that cooks the chicken along with the pasta. So, keep that in mind and consider using my stovetop chicken alfredo recipe instead.
There are two answers to this question. Yes, you can make a dairy free chicken alfredo, but no you can’t use this exact recipe. You would need to make some substitutions that would inevitably change this version.
Some people use almond milk and nutritional yeast and others use coconut milk. You could use a store bought alfredo sauce specifically made dairy free and use that.
You can use frozen chicken. It’s easier to cut chicken sometimes when it’s still partially frozen, so maybe wait until it thaws a bit if it’s rock solid. It’s still doable with completely frozen though, you will just need to shred it or cut the whole pieces later.
Easily! Instant Pot recipes are pretty great like that. As long as you don’t fill it to the max 2/3 line you should be able to add in as much as your pot can fit. Unless of course, the recipe specifically states don’t overcrowd or overlap anything, but this isn’t one of them!
Gluten free pasta cooks faster than wheat pasta, so you’ll need to adjust for the time. Cook for 5 minutes instead of 8 minutes, and in this case, I would recommend making sure your chicken is at least partially thawed.
What to Serve with Chicken Alfredo?
- Serving: Sprinkle alfredo with fresh parsley, and serve with a glass of white wine for your adult guests.
- Bread: Garlic and olive oil bread dip is a great way to start this meal. If you’re someone who likes to eat carbs with their carbs, then there’s nothing better than a basket of crusty bread on your table to sop up all of that cream sauce. Cauliflower breadsticks are another way to go!
- Salad: Cut through the creamy pasta with this lemon kale salad with garlic and parmesan. Nice and light with some complementary ingredients! Cucumber and tomato salad would also make a complete dinner idea.
- As a side: Although you can make a vegetarian alfredo and use it as your main meal, it’s also great to use as a side! Serve with air fryer lamb chops, turkey meatballs, pesto chicken, or air fryer chicken breast.
- Dessert: A good Italian meal needs a cheesecake finisher! Try my Greek Yogurt cheesecake with berry compote, it’s the perfect creamy dessert.
Did you hear a lot of “Ooh’s” and Ahhs”? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
How to Store Leftover Instant Pot Fettuccine Alfredo?
Store: This alfredo recipe will keep well in the fridge for up to 24 hours. The pasta gets soggy fast.
Reheat: In a small pot simmer pasta on low with a splash of milk. Cover the pot and stir often. Add more milk if necessary.
Do not freeze.
More Healthy Instant Pot Pasta Recipes
Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo
- 1.5 lbs chicken breasts or thighs cut into 1″ pieces
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock low sodium
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 11 oz any fettuccine linguine or spaghetti
- 1-2 cups cold 2% or 3.25% milk
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 garlic clove grated
- 3 cups frozen peas
- 2 tbsp parsley for garnish
- To Instant Pot, add chicken, stock, oil, salt and pepper.
- Break noodles in half and add criss cross in about 6 layers. It helps to prevent noodles from sticking.
- Close the lid and move pressure valve to Sealing, and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 8 minutes if you like pasta al dente, 10 minutes – very soft, gluten free – 5 minutes.
- Release pressure using Quick Release method – turn pressure valve to Venting.
- Open the lid when safe to do so. It will be liquidy and not pretty – do not worry.
- Press Saute.
- In a small bowl, whisk 1 cup (if using chicken thighs) or 2 cups (for chicken breast) of cold milk with cornstarch.
- Add to Instant Pot along with Parmesan cheese and garlic. Using tongs, stir gently while separating the noodles.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes until sauce starts to bubble and thickens.
- Optional: Add peas, gently stir and let chicken alfredo sit for a minute to melt the peas. If it is still a bit runny, you can let dish sit for another 5 minutes or so, it will thicken.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm.
Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days. You can adjust thickness of the sauce with more milk anytime.
Reheat in a small pot by simmering on low while covered with a splash of milk. Stir often and add more milk if necessary.
Do not freeze.
- You open the pot and it’s not pretty? Don’t worry. Follow the recipe and it will get there. At first, we just cook pasta and chicken and after work on making it creamy.
- Pasta seems undercooked? Stir, put the lid back on and let it sit for 10 mins. It will become softer because pasta absorbs liquid like crazy.
- Sauce thickness: You can adjust thickness by letting alfredo sit more or add more milk at any time.
- Milk should be cold otherwise cornstarch will lump. I use 3.5%, higher fat content – creamier sauce. I wouldn’t recommend using any plant-based milk.
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