This kid-friendly Instant Pot chicken pasta with ham and vegetables is tasty and nutritious, with just a touch of cream and cheese that makes it velvety and hearty and provides a good serving of calcium and fat-soluble vitamins. You can make this family dinner meal in 30 minutes with minimal cleanup…because…Instant Pot!
I was talking to a friend about her kids’ favourite dinner meals. Some of their regulars included meatballs and spaghetti or Bolognese sauce over any pasta, pumpkin soup with toast, and chicken fingers. But then she mentioned this supermarket frozen meal they often get for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. It’s a creamy pasta with chicken, ham and vegetables (carrots, peas, green beans etc) and her kids LOVE it.
This gave me an idea for this recipe. Why resort to frozen meals when you can make the same dish from scratch just as easily using a pressure cooker. And so, this Instant Pot chicken pasta with ham and vegetables was born. It’s quick, easy and kid-friendly.
INGREDIENTS FOR INSTANT POT CHICKEN PASTA
These are the key ingredients for the pasta:
- diced chicken (any part of the meat you like)
- diced good quality ham (can be beef pastrami for a pork-free version)
- onions, carrots and mixed frozen vegetables (I used peas and beans combo)
- pasta of choice but preferably something like penne, fusilli, or large macaroni
- stock, cooking cream (or heavy cream) and grated Parmesan cheese
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT CHICKEN PASTA
You will find the full recipe and ingredients below, but here are some step-by-step pics to help you along.
First, you will sauté the onions, carrot and chicken with a little salt and olive oil or butter. This will help to partially cook the chicken, which is important because pasta doesn’t need much time to cook and we want to make sure the meat is cooked through.
After a few minutes, add the rest of the ingredients and stock and set to pressure cook. I love good dump’n’cook situation! Once the cooking timer goes off, allow for natural pressure release for 5 minutes and then let off the rest of the steam.
When you open the lid, you might find that there is a bit of cooking broth in the pasta. You have two options here: carefully pour out most of the broth (reserve a little bit for the sauce) OR keep most of it and turn this into pasta stew/soup kind of dish. The broth is tasty anyway.
In our recipe, I poured out half of the broth. The final step is to stir in the cream and grated cheese and you’re ready to serve.
MORE INSTANT POT PASTA RECIPES
- Italian Mac’n’cheese
- Simple Spinach, Parmesan & Lemon Orzo
- Instant Pot Vegan Mac & Cheese
- Pasta With Ricotta & Lemon
- Cheeseburger Pasta
- Even more Instant Pot Pasta recipes here
This quick and easy Instant Pot chicken pasta with ham and vegetables takes less than 30 minutes and is tasty and nutritious. The whole family will love it!
- Turn the Instant Pot on and press the Sauté button.
- Add the olive oil, onions, and carrots and cook for 1 minute. Then, add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes, stirring a few times. Press Cancel to stop the Sauté function.
- Add the salt, pepper, garlic, dry pasta, frozen veggies and diced ham. Add the tomato paste and water and stir through.
- Pop the lid on top and set to HIGH pressure for 2 minutes. After 3 minutes the Instant Pot will start to build up the pressure (this will take about 10 minutes, during which the pasta will begin to cook). Once the timer goes off, release the pressure naturally for 5 minutes and then do a quick release. Beware, when cooking pasta in the Instant Pot, you will often get spurts of the liquid when quick-releasing the pressure, so stand back or hover a kitchen towel high over the valve.
- Open the lid. You might have a little broth in the pasta. Pour most of it out (carefully, holding the pasta back) but leave a little bit to use as the sauce base. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese, a teaspoon of butter and about 4 tablespoons of heavy cream, sour cream or creme fraiche (the latter two will give it a little tang, which is nice).
- Stir and serve with extra cheese and chopped chives or parsley.