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Instant Pot Easy Weeknight Italian Chicken Penne is a quick and easy meal that is a healthy alternative to fast food after a busy day. This recipe is also very easy to adapt to make it your own and switch it up from time to time.
Have you jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon yet? I love mine, but I admit I don't use it that often and I'm not sure why. Are you a busy person with the family, work, or just find cooking hard to do because of pain? My kitchen is a place I don't enjoy spending time in because it means more work and more work = more pain. However, cooking with the Instant Pot makes it quick and easy to have a hot meal done in record time. I plan to try some new recipes and use it to its full capacity. If you are new to using an Instant Pot you can search for recipes on Pinterest.
That is where I found this recipe for Creamy Italian Chicken with Penne. My husband is a very picky eater. He lost his sense of taste due to many rounds of chemo. Now he eats off of memory and texture. He loves this meal so much that he often will request that I make it. I'm happy to because not only is it delicious, I also get tired of making “whatever, I don't care” for dinner.
I love recipes that can easily be adapted to your family's liking. For example, the first time I made this, I made it exactly the way the recipe calls for. However, my husband is not a big fan of chicken. Now I make it with both browned ground meat and browned sausage. Here are the original recipe ingredients:
Instant pot Italian chicken penne ingredients:
- 1lb (or more) uncooked chicken breast, sliced 1/4″
- 2 cups penne (only the 10-12 minute cooking kind, quicker cooking pasta will be soft)
- 1 14.5oz can fire roasted tomatoes + 3/4 can of chicken stock (or water)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon basil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (for flavor)
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
There are so many different ways to adapt this recipe for yourself. Here are the examples of how I switched up the ingredients:
- Use 1lb browned ground meat and 1lb browned sausage instead of chicken
- Change up the type of canned tomatoes I use
- I've used leftover spaghetti sauce instead of tomato paste
- Prepacked minced garlic instead of fresh garlic cloves
- Dehydrated onion flakes instead of fresh onion
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup of Parmesan cheese
Sometimes I even add some shredded cheese to this. Cheese is its own food group in our home. I'm well aware that the spices I use and the extra cream cheese makes this meal unhealthy. When it comes to dinner, I try to cook healthy but there are times when I just go with taste and make something I know my husband will eat.
Instant pots are great they make a true one-pot dish. My husband often jokes that I make a huge mess in the kitchen while cooking. He calls me the Swedish chef from the Muppets. How rude! Ok, so he has a point. The dog even knows I make a mess and will sit by my feet when I cook but not my husband.
The directions for this instant pot creamy Italian chicken are very simple.
- Put all the ingredients into the instant pot except for the cream cheese and parmesan cheese.
- Cook on manual for 7 minutes.
- Then let it do a manual release for 5 minutes.
- Follow up with a quick release
- Add the cheeses and stir to create a thick sauce.
Since it's just the two of us, we tend to have leftovers of this dish. We don't complain and love it just as much the next day. What do you think of this recipe? Do you have a favorite Instant Pot recipe? I'd love to hear it.
Instant Pot Italian Chicken Penne Recipe
- 1 lb uncooked chicken breast sliced 1/4"
- 2 cups penne only the 10-12 minute cooking kind, quicker cooking pasta will be soft
- 1 can fire roasted tomatoes + 3/4 can of chicken stock (or water)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- pinch salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
In your pressure cooker, add everything but the cream cheese and Parmesan, give a good stir, and push the pasta down so it's submerged in the liquid. Close lid and set on manual for 7 minutes. When your timer goes off, allow for 5 minutes of NPR then quick release.
Add the remaining ingredients (cream cheese and Parmesan) and stir until you have a thickened sauce. (About one minute)