Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken And Pasta

My Instant Pot cheesy chicken and pasta dish I made last night was a HUGE hit with my family! My family is loving the Instant Pot, as I am able to get dinner done and served in under 30 minutes.

Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken and Pasta dish is easy and delicious!

That’s a HUGE sigh of relief in my home as I have such a busy day before trying to get dinner started. Time escapes me, and I wind up taking over 1 1/2 hours to making a full meal for my family. In fact, I have used my Instant Pot 3 times this week, and am planning on a fourth soon!

This week I made Sausage & Peppers and then Tex Mex Chili in my Instant Pot. Go and grab the recipes because they’re super simple and definitely delicious!

What type of Pasta should I use to make the Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken?

My family adores and chicken, and they love them some cheese. So of course, it was an easy thing to try to cook. The only thing that I was concerned about was, “What type of pasta” I should use.

After thinking about it, I decided that I would need a thick and hearty type of pasta to cook with the chicken. So I used an orecchiette bag of pasta (16oz) that I already had on hand. You can use different pasta with it, such as penne and rigatoni. They should both be as dense as the orecchiette pasta.

If I used a small type of pasta like mafalda, elbow, etc…the pasta would turn to mush.

Can You use Gluten Free pasta with the Instant Pot Chicken Recipe?

I don’t recommend using gluten free pasta in cooking at the same time. You CAN cook the pasta separately on the stove top, and then add it to the cheesy chicken dish.

However, you can definitely use pasta that has been made out of whole wheat. Whole wheat pasta takes about the same amount of time to cook in the Instant Pot

Why add Mustard to Cheesy Pasta recipe?

Add mustard gives the dish more depth and flavor. It’s a great addition to ANY mac and cheese that you make from scratch.

The mustard helps to round out the flavor, and helping it make it more creamy and smooth. No, you don’t get a full dose of mustard flavor at all.

A lot of people use dry mustard, and you can totally use it, too! You will add the same amount of dry mustard, as you would wet, so there is no difference.

Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken and Pasta dish is easy and delicious!
As you can see, I am just wanting to sear off the chicken for a few minutes to give it a little color.

If you love easy and delicious, then you’ll love making this recipe a few times over. My Instant Pot cheesy chicken and pasta is going to be a HUGE hit in your home, too!

Other Delicious and Easy Instant Pot Recipes To Enjoy

I love easy Instant Pot recipes. The more that I can dump and go, the better. Though, sometimes I do love it making other recipes that take a few extra steps. As long as I’m making tasty food, I’m totally fine.

Yield: 8

Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken And Pasta

Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken And Pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes


  • Approximately 2 pounds of skinless boneless chicken breasts cut into 1" chunks (Approximately 5 breasts)
  • 1 tablespoon of EVOO
  • 4 tablespoons of salted butter
  • 1 bag of orecchiette pasta (1 pound bag)
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 2 cups of water or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups of shredded mild cheddar cheese


  1. Press sauté mode button, add EVOO, and allow to heat.
  2. Once heated, add chicken breast chunks. Stir occasionally. You just want to slightly sear the chicken.
  3. Once seared, add water, salt, pepper, and pasta. Lock lid in place, and close vent. Cook on high manual pressure for 8 minutes and NPR for 5 minutes. Release any remaining pressure and remove lid.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients, and stir well until cheese is melted.


PLEASE NOTE: If you decide to use other types of pasta, reduce the time to 6 minutes high manual pressure time. This type of pasta is more dense than most, so it takes an extra minute or two to cook thoroughly with the chicken.

It takes about 8-10 minutes to build up pressure, so I added that into the additional cooking time.

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        1. It’s not supposed to turn out super liquidity at all. Hmmm. The only thing that I can think of is either too much liquid went in or not enough pasta was in it?

      1. Like David M. I also used mild cheddar. My family loves cheese, so I can never add too much. Since I didn’t have while milk, I used 1 cup 2%, 1 cup heavy cream. I also added chopped onion& garlic when I sautéed the chicken. This dish turned out great! My picky eaters had a 2nd helping!!

    1. Hey Susan! Not 17 minutes in TOTAL! 😀
      If you look at the directions, it’s cooked in 2 stages. The second stage has the pasta in it for 5 minutes 🙂
      Hope that helps!

      1. For some reason I am not seeing where to cook this in two stages in the directions. Can you help me out?

  1. I am hoping that I add the pasta, milk and cheese in step #4. It does not say to add the pasta in this step however.

    1. Sorry about that! I made an edit to it earlier to correct a misspelling, and forgot to write pasta back in it lol.

  2. I just had a major recipe fail and think the directions need a tune-up—it says in step 3 to add everything except milk and cheese and then in step 4 says to add PASTA, milk and cheese. I added the pasta in step 3. 🙁

  3. So I am a brand new instant pot user. I chose this recipe b/c it appeared very easy. I don’t know what happened (other than absolute user error). It turned out very watery and the cheese curdled. Can you help a newby out?

    1. Did you use enough pasta? This is a thick and hearty type of pasta, and you have to use a thick and hearty type of pasta to “soak up the liquid”. For the cheese, I’ve not ever heard of shredded cheese curdling before. 6 Cups of cheese = 3 8oz bags of cheddar cheese. So just double check that. Hope this helps!

    2. Did you use cold milk? Cold milk added to a hot liquid will curdle! Try warming milk a little in microwave before adding next time and see if that doesn’t help!

  4. I just want to double check because it has been misunderstood in the past. Do you have to cook the pasta before adding it in? Or add in the uncooked bag ?

    1. Hi Erica! I’m sorry for a delayed response, but I was in the middle of moving into my new home. Oh the stress of it all lol! However, you put the pasta in uncooked!

  5. Hi David,

    I tried this tonight and ran into some issues, but I want to make sure it’s actually different than how it turns out for you.

    I used 1 lb of fusilli pasta and it ended up very much al dente. Is this normal?

    Like another reviewer, I had curdling happen too, though I’m fairly certain it was the milk and not the cheese. I don’t suspect this affected flavor but did affect the texture, making it feel very grainy. Is this different than what you get?

    As for the “liquidy” comments, mine also seemed very watery at first but thickened pretty quickly upon cooling, for whatever that’s worth! Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Caitlin! I apologize for a delayed response, as I just moved and am finishing up some more unpacking. If it turns out too al dente, place the lid back on your IP and seal it. Wait for about 5 minutes, and the steam and hot cheesy liquid will cook it for you. No Need to turn the IP back 🙂 It’s why I love the IP so much! <3 However, I didn't experience any curdling, so I'm wondering if this is happening from different elevations. I will have a few friends from around the country help me test this theory. Thank you so much for trying out my recipe!

  6. Pasta was super AL dente almost hard. I followed directions perfectly. Is this how it comes out. Not much scorching though:)

    1. Yay for no scorching!! <3 If it turned out super al dente, you can always just put the lid back on it and close for about 5 minutes so it can cook a little bit more from the steam and hot cheesy liquid. No need to turn the IP back on.

  7. I ended up only using one cup of milk and it turned out fantastic! This sauce quickly thickened upon cooling and was the perfect consistency. My ultra picky kids loved this! So did we!

  8. Looks like I’ll be skipping this one .. seems to have a lot of problems that need to be worked out. Has anyone made this successfully?

    1. Hi Shawna! A lot of people have made successfully. I actually found an editing error a few months ago, and slapped myself in the head for typing the wrong information in it. Totally worth the try now!

  9. Good, hearty, and flavorful but I suggest less chz. Kids loved it but complained about it being too thick and cheesy. What kid says too much chz!!

  10. Ok. I’m going to attempt this one tonight. We’re contemplating a box of Penne Rigate or Cellentani (both are what we have on hand). I know you suggested adjusting cook times for different pasta; would you think 8 minutes is enough for either of those? Additionally, what is the feedback on the curdling? I’m going to microwave my milk for JUST a few seconds to take the chill off to prevent that; any other feedback? We’d like this to be successful!

    1. Hi Meredith! I feel that 8 minutes might actually be enough time to cook either one of those pastas! If you find that your pasta is still a little too al dente, keep your IP on warm and close the lid back on top. You can leave the vent to the open position. This will help keep some of the steam inside of the pot from the food, and will continue cooking it.
      Also, I’ve not had anyone complain about a curdling effect happening to the milk. However, I’m always about using room temperature dairy products to stop any type of curdling happen. So go for it! I’m so excited to see what happens for you!

  11. I am completely new to IP cooking, and am excited to try this recipe. However, I need to halve the recipe. Being new, I’m not sure how to adjust the times for half the amount of ingredients. Any recommendations, please?

    1. If you half this recipe, you only need to reduce the times by a minute or two at the absolute most. Mostly because pasta and chicken still take time to cook. I hope this helps!

  12. I used your recipe for the amount of milk and water.

    I used precooked chicken with kicken chicken seasoning, full bag of elbow noodles, 4 cups of cheddar cheese, a half a tablespoon of garlic salt, and teaspoon of pepper, a few leaves of spinach. As I was preparing ingredients I turned on my instant pot and set it to pressure cook. Once All ingredients were added, i turned lid and set to 10 mins. All in all it was delicious. Thank you for the help with dinner tonight.

    Next time im adding crunchy onions !!

  13. I made this tonight, it turned out great! Thanks!
    My only suggestion would be to list the ingredients in the order that you’d add them. I missed adding the butter but honestly am not sure it was even missed. Next time I might try marinating my chicken first in a garlic sauce to give it more flavor. My picky kids ate it no problem 👍

    1. So glad it worked out fabulous for you! Thank you for the heads up with the ingredients out of order, I totally apologize for that. Garlic sauce sounds so yummy. I’ll have to try that!

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