Instant Pot Chicken Parmigiana

Who knew you could make a version of a Instant Pot chicken parmigiana? I was able to cut down the cooking time, make a little bit “healthier”, and make it often in my home. Besides my Instant Pot cheesy chicken and pasta dish, this is one of my nephew’s and Angela’s favorite dish for me to make time and time again. Which I don’t mind because it’s so easy to make, and they clean their plates.

My Instant Pot Chicken Parmigiana is delicious, and on the lighter side of life as the chicken isn't breaded!

You’re going to love my instant pot chicken parmigiana. I’m calling it instant pot chicken parmigiana light because the chicken tenderloins aren’t breaded, so you are getting a few less calories in your diet. Lawd knows that the pasta has enough of those yummy thigh stretching calories.

If you can’t tell yet, I’ve fallen in love with my Instant Pot. I have made 5 meals out of this past week! It’s a great time saver for busy people like myself. I love that I can put frozen chicken into the Instant Pot, and then 15 minutes later its done and ready to be served to my family.

My Instant Pot Chicken Parmigiana is delicious, and on the lighter side of life as the chicken isn't breaded!

So Many Questions about this Recipe (FAQs)

I made this meal in approximately under 30 minutes from start to finish (including time for your Instant Pot to come to pressure). The Instant Pot still amazes me with it’s functionality and helping feed my huge brood. Now that you’ve seen the pictures, let’s get to that recipe!

Can I use Other Types of Pasta?

This is a touchy question, but the general answer is yes…you can. BUT when swapping out pastas, you want to make sure that they have about the same density to pasta. Thinner pasta cooks faster and will overcook, so I wouldn’t use pasta like mafala, angel hair, shells, or elbow, for example.

With that being stated, you can definitely replace the pasta with a linguini, penne, and even lasagna noodles (You can break the sheets of lasagna noodles).

My Instant Pot Chicken Parmigiana is delicious, and on the lighter side of life as the chicken isn't breaded!

Can I use dark meat chicken instead of white meat?

Yes, you can! The only difference is that the meat can NOT be on the bone or have skin. Remove it from the bone and cube it. Skinless and boneless thigh meat is a great alternative to use in this dish.

The dark meat chicken doesn’t need extra time to cook, so there’s no need to worry about that! I love an easy one pot meal!

It’s a Great One Pot Pasta Dish

Whenever you have hungry bellies, and you don’t want to dirty every pot in the kitchen, or maybe you don’t want to use your stove – that’s when you can rely on your Instant Pot! It makes a great one pot pasta dish in no time!

Plus, you don’t have to worry about a mess in the kitchen sink. I love an easy peasy one pot recipe like this!

Can You use Gluten Free Pasta?

Okay, so this is a super tricky question…because you CAN use Gluten Free pasta, but the cooking times are so different. You would have to cook the chicken until it is almost done. Then you can add in your heartier Gluten Free pasta.

Then for cooking time, I would reduce it to cooking for only 2 minutes on Manual Pressure. Gluten free pasta is NOTORIOUS for turning into a mushy texture if it’s overcooked.

Instant Pot Chicken Parmigiana Light Recipe Ingredients

2 chicken breast – cubed
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
6 cups of your favorite pasta sauce
1 cup of grated parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
16 oz rigatoni pasta
2 cups of shredded mozzarella

More Instant Pot Recipes You’ll Love:

Yield: 8

Instant Pot Chicken Parmigiana

Instant Pot Chicken Parmigiana

You'll love how simple and delicious my Instant Pot Chicken parmigiana is to make!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 2 chicken breast - cubed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 6 cups of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 16 oz rigatoni pasta
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella


  1. Heat oil in the pot on SAUTE mode, and add chicken cubes. Cook for a few minutes, the chicken does not need to cook through as we will pressure cook it later. 
  2. Add the pasta over the chicken. Then add chicken broth and be sure to scrape off any bits from the bottom that might have gotten stuck. Then you can add your pasta sauce, pepper flakes, salt, garlic powder, thyme, and oregano. DO NOT STIR! Leave ingredients layered as is.
  3. Close and lock lid, and be sure to set to sealing. Press MANUAL Button or PRESSURE COOK (this depends on what model of Instant Pot you’re using), and then set the timer at 5 minutes. Allow the Instant Pot to come to pressure.
  4. Once it’s done, do a Quick Pressure Release. It’s important to do a QPR, otherwise, the pasta will be overcooked. Remove lid and dd parmesan cheese, give it a stir and you're ready to serve!
  5. Serve with shredded mozzarella cheese on top.

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. This sounds really yummy, but it would be very helpful to have weights for the products you use (chicken and pasta).

    You may have readers all over the world. I’ve never heard of bags of frozen chicken tenderloins where I live (I haven’t seen chicken tenderloins at all) so have no idea how much chicken this is, and pasta comes in different size packages depending on brand and location.


    1. I didn’t add Amy or Water to it 🙂 There is more than enough “juices” from the sauce to cook it perfectly for you! If you add water it will become “watery” in texture. If you add Amy, she might become watery in texture.

    1. Hey Michele! That would be correct. No water at all I had many people already try the recipe, and they said it worked out perfectly for them :D. There is already enough water between the steam pressure and water in the sauce. If you feel you want to add water, please don’t add anymore than a cup and do a NPR (Natural Pressure Release). If you do a QPR, you’re going to wind up with some sauce coming out of the release valve and a mess is gonna happen. Trust me on that lol. I made it a few times to just make sure.

    2. The thing is that there is PLENTY of water in the tomato sauce itself. No extra water is needed our you will have soup, basically. I have had tons of people make it love it 😀 I promise you that I’m not steering you wrong. All of my recipes are thoroughly tested, and kid approved by my nephews lol

  2. Keep in mind it’s under 20 minutes of cooking time, but with the tomato sauce being thicker than water it takes some time to come to pressure!! Besides that, very tasty and very easy! Thanks!

  3. Made this tonight. Was really excited. Absolutely horrible. Followed directions step by step. Even listened and didn’t add water. Noodles hard and chewy. Not to mention my pot has been sitting in water and vinegar trying to get the burnt pasta sauce and Parmesan off the bottom. Would never try again or recommend.

    1. Hi Matt! I am so very disheartened that it didn’t work out very well for you at all. It worked out very well for me and others, so I’m trying to figure out what could have happened. However, I completely believe you when you said you followed directions step by step. Admittedly, mind scorched a little bit at the bottom as well. Not a lot, but none the less a little bit.

  4. This recipe is exactly what I needed tonight! I have an 8 quart Power Cooker XL, not an Instant Pot. But, the two are similar enough that I can use Instant Pot Recipes. One of the biggest reasons I love pressure cooking is being able to cook food from the frozen state. But, there are so few recipes that give directions for frozen meats. This one is perfect.
    I had frozen boneless skinless chicken thighs on hand and they worked fine in this recipe. I also decided to add in a fresh zucchini, cut up, when I added the pasta. The weather is hot and I decided it would be easier to do it this way than making it separately.
    Your times were perfect and the meal came out just wonderfully. I had a tiny bit of sauce that burned on the bottom of my pot, but not enough to affect taste or serving. I added no liquid other than the sauce. The pasta did absorb most of the liquid. If someone wanted more or thinner sauce, a little extra liquid might be OK. We enjoyed it just the way it came out.

  5. I wonder if using a pot-in-pot method would eliminate the scorching and sticking? Perhaps an oven-safe/crockery or stainless steel pot on a trivet with some water in the IP itself?

  6. I made this tonight – found it through Pinterest. It was delicious – the whole family enjoyed it. I used 3 frozen chicken breasts and chopped them up with the wooden spoon as suggested. I didn’t put salt and didn’t use quite as much parmesan as suggested – it was a great recipe, thank you. There was a small burn spot at the bottom of the pot but it came out quickly and the food was not harmed. Thanks ! I’ll add this one to my collection.

  7. After adding the pasta sauce and cooking for 5 min, the noodles are still raw. We tried to cook it for 5 min, three times and still not cooked. We added a bit of water, and the noodles are crunchy.

    1. Hi Jocelyn! Apologies for the slight delay in responding, but size IP are you using? I noted that I was using a 8qt one. Did you add the initial 2 cups of hot water in with the chicken? I Know you probably did, but I had to ask lol! That definitely doesn’t sound right you cooked it a a total of 15 minutes and it was still crunchy.

  8. Can I leave on warm for a few hours. I am wanting to double the recipe to serve to a group of 11 people for lunch. I would like to prepare in the morning and then leave on warm until I serve around noon.

    1. Hi Linda! I feel that if you leave it on warm for such a period of time, that you might have a small sticky mess to clean up at the bottom of your IP pan.

  9. I made this for my daughter and her swim team and they all raved about it! I was told that it was “the best thing I’ve ever eaten”, and that I was “winning at cooking-and at life”. It’s a regular part of my cooking rotation now and my whole family loves it too. I follow the recipe exactly and it turns out perfectly in my 6 qt IP.

  10. This was wonderful – I followed the directions exactly – have a 6 qt IP – thanks for the recipe!

  11. Thanks for the great instructions and helpful comments! I just got an Instant Pot and have used it for one meal so far, and am excited to find more recipes for it. One question – if I were to halve this recipe, would the cooking times be the same or slightly less? Thank you!

  12. I have only owned my instant pot for a little over a week and this is truly the best thing I have made yet! I did cut the recipe in half as there are only three in my family… Followed the recipe to a T and it turned out absolutely perfect. Thank you for a super simple, superquick, go-to recipe!

  13. Just wondering can you use frozen chicken breasts instead of tenderloin and if so what time would you cook at

    1. You can definitely use frozen chicken breasts in lieu of the tenderloins. Just add on another 3 minutes, and you should be good to go!

  14. Omgoodness, after reading the reviews I was a little nervous about making this. I followed your recipe and added diced tomatoes with the sauce, and started with 3 large chicken breasts (frozen). I’ve got to say this is wonderful! No burning or scorching here…. Thank you for posting this recipe!

  15. Hi! Is there a difference in the cooking time after the pasta is added if it is gluten free? Thank you!!

    1. I would take a few minutes off for Gluten free pasta. They have a habit of turning to mush. Good luck and let me know how it turns out!

  16. Is this for 8 servings? Can you do this for service for 2? I’ve got a 2qt pressure cooker and want to make this. Help. thanks.

  17. This is a go to recipe for me because I could make it from frozen chicken and my kids love it! Is there anywhere I could find the original recipe that uses the frozen chicken? I should have printed out. Thank you!

    1. Hi Kathie! Sorry it took forever and a day to get back to you, but I’ve been so super crazy around here! Eeek lol! Okay, so the original is for 15 minutes!

      1. That’s okay!! Thank you so very much!!! Making this tonight with the original recipe! My kids have been begging for it but I just couldn’t remember exactly how many minutes for frozen chicken tenderloins! Thanks so much for replying!!

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