Pressure Cooker Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

Image of Marrekus and Krysten Wilkes
Rated 5.0 based on 17 customer reviews
Recipe Image for Print


  • 3½ cups water
  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3 cups packed fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup prepared basil pesto
  • ¼ cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional Toppings

freshly chopped basil, freshly grated Parmesan cheese


For best results, we recommend using:


  1. Pour water into inner steel pot of pressure cooker; add chicken, penne, butter, and 2 teaspoons salt. Stir to combine, pressing pasta into water to submerge.
  2. Lock pressure cooker lid in place and set steam vent handle to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook (Manual) and cook on High Pressure for 2 minutes. Set steam vent handle to Venting to quick-release pressure.
  3. Press Cancel, unlock and remove lid, then remove and discard ¼ cup water from pot.
  4. Set pressure cooker to Sauté. Stir spinach, tomatoes, pesto, cream cheese, garlic, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper into pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce is creamy and combined, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Divide pasta into bowls; top with basil and Parmesan cheese to serve.
Mealthy tip:

There is hardly anything as rewarding as perfecting your homemade pasta sauces, and few are as simple as pesto. Use the link in the recipe for homemade pesto sauce or your favorite pesto recipe to make large batches. You can freeze in ice cube trays to assure you can enjoy the flavors of summer all year round. Here's a look at more Pressure Cooker Recipes.

For more pressure cooker recipes using chicken, try:

Pressure Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Pressure Cooker Pesto Chicken with Peas

Pressure Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives


5.0out of 5 Stars

(17 Reviews)

How would you rate this recipe?

What others are saying

Image of Wendy Garrity

Wendy Garrity says:

This was my first dinner in the Mealthy and we loved it!! So easy and so good!!

Image of Christine Paslawski

Christine Paslawski says:

This is the first meal I made with my Mealthy Pot and everyone loved it! I agree that you have to have all of your ingredients ready once the pasta and chicken have cooked. I wasn't quite prepared and mine dried out a little bit but it was still delicious. For us, the next time I make this I will add more spinach and more tomatoes, maybe even some mushrooms. I also love the fact that everything was done in one pot. I'm a huge fan of "one pot meals". Can't wait to try another recipe.

Image of A LO

A LO says:

Not a bad recipe I made this for the first time in my new Insta pot not really crazy about boiled chicken so I think I would sauté and add in at the end.

Image of Rosanne Patterson

Rosanne Patterson says:

So yummy! Super fast. Only 2 minutes under pressure to get the chicken and pasta cooked to perfection. Wow! Have all your add-in items prepped, because if you’re having to scramble, you’ll lose moisture, overcook, and end up with a not quite so creamy finished product. Used homemade pesto, with basil I grew, plus cherry tomatoes and fresh basil from my own garden. Great flavor.

Image of Thomas White

Thomas White says:

This was also my first Mealthy recipe (even though my wife bought our MultiPot for herself, I’m the one that got to break it in.) I had all of the ingredients handy, except the penne, so I used farfalle as a substitute. No issues. Everything worked out fine. One word: amazing! Another word: easy! Not so sure how clean-up is going to be, however. This being our first recipe, we were surprised by the white, chicken broth water spewing out of the release valve. It got everywhere. Nevertheless, this recipe has solidified my confidence in the product like fresh fruit margaritas solidified my love of the Vitamix.

Image of Katie Spencer

Katie Spencer says:

My whole family loved this dish. Fed 6-8!

Image of Tara Parsons

Tara Parsons says:

Delicious. Filling. Made enough to feed 4 of us plus leftovers.

Image of Deanna Miller

Deanna Miller says:

The entire family loved it. Would be tasty even without the chicken. Will be making this again.

Image of Tony Muscarella

Tony Muscarella says:

This was the first recipe I tried in my new Multi Pot, and it came out very good!

Image of Dionna Milem

Dionna Milem says:

Will definitely make this meal again!

Image of Amber Patrick

Amber Patrick says:

So. Incredible. This was my first Mealthy MultiPot meal and WOW—so delicious and one of the easiest meals I’ve ever made. Substitutes/Alterations: - No tomatoes - Spring mix instead of spinach - Pre-made pesto I only wish I’d ordered my MultiPot sooner!

Image of Christian M-C

Christian M-C says:

I loved it!!! Super incredibly easy to make and really delicious. The only “hard” part is cutting the chicken. Once it was done, I put them away for the week. It made 5 servings! My boyfriend absolutely loved it too. :)

Image of Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray says:

I've made this twice already, that's how good it was. I'll admit, I used store bought pesto out of a jar, but it was still really good. I also really enjoyed the cherry tomatoes and all the toppings too. Great for weeknights and super quick.

Image of Monica Allen

Monica Allen says:

30 minutes well spent making this convenient pressure cooker recipe! The sauté function is my favorite.

Image of Santana Williams

Santana Williams says:

This was my second time making pasta in my pressure cooker and the first time was a complete fail. This method of cooking the pasta first, then stirring in the sauce works much better. I used store-bought basil pesto and it was really delicious. Going to make this again with rotini noodles and no meat. Yum!

Image of Dominique M

Dominique M says:

Who would have thought that cream cheese and pesto are so yummy together?! It was really delicious. I left out the tomatoes, but other than that I followed the recipe exactly. The noodles cooked perfectly, not soggy and not stiff. My kids are glad I gave them something other than traditional meatball spaghetti.

Image of Jordan Clark

Jordan Clark says:

I wasn't sure how this pasta would turn out but it was so creamy and delicious. It only took 5 minutes to cook in my pressure cooker, and I only had to use a single pot. Winning! I used store bought pesto, reduced fat cream cheese, plus all the seasonings listed in the recipe. This was absolutely perfect.