This Instant Pot Olive Garden Chicken Pasta copycat is so creamy and delicious, made with the original Olive Garden salad dressing, cream cheese and sun dried tomatoes.
>> You might also like Instant Pot Spaghetti.
I’m not sure you can get any more decadent than this pasta. It’s so rich and luscious. You won’t believe how perfect it turns out in the Instant Pot and it’s almost completely hands off, which is always a good thing.
There’s no need to precook the chicken or the pasta. You just layer all the ingredients in the Instant Pot and set to cook for 4 minutes, plus a 5 minute natural pressure release. Voila. It’s done!
Ingredients You Need
I love a good dump recipe. That sounds bad, but it’s really a good thing. It just means that you don’t need to do any prep to the ingredients. You just dump them all in the Instant Pot and cook. This recipe requires 9 ingredients, 6 of which go into the pot before cooking, and 3 to add at the end.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – To save time, you can purchase cubed chicken pieces which you can just dump directly into the Instant Pot. You can also add the cubed chicken from frozen, if you don’t have time to thaw it. It will just take a few more minutes to cook. If you want, you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs for this as well.
- Penne pasta – I like the way the penne gets coated in the sauce, so I prefer it to other pastas, but you can definitely use ziti, bowties or fusilli, if that’s what you have on hand.
- Olive Garden Italian Salad Dressing – There’s really no substitute for the real thing in this dish, but if you can’t find this dressing, you can make your own version with this recipe. It is available to order on Amazon.
- Ground black pepper
- Chicken broth – You can use a boxed chicken broth, or mix water with a cube of chicken bouillon.
- Cream cheese – Always use full-fat cream cheese for this recipe. It adds the wonderful rich creaminess that you won’t get with low-fat versions.
- Sundried tomatoes – You need these for an acidity element to break up the creaminess and add some zest.
- Fresh basil
- Shredded parmesan cheese
How to Make Olive Garden Chicken Pasta
Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces, if they aren’t already cut. Add the chicken to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Top it with the dried pasta, pour on the salad dressing, black pepper, cream cheese and broth. There’s no need to stir. Just put it all in and you’re good to go.
Secure the lid onto the Instant Pot and make sure the valve is sealed. Press the pressure cook, or manual, button and set the time for 4 minutes. It will take about 5 minutes to come up to pressure and start cooking.
When time is up, let the steam naturally release for 5 minutes and then manually release the rest. You don’t want it to continue cooking past the 5 minute mark, so make sure you’re watching closely.
Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and basil. Let it sit for about 5 minutes on Keep Warm, then stir it again. In this time, some of the liquid will be soaked up and the sauce will be set well.
Garnish with more Parmesan cheese if you want. I also think a spritz of lemon juice gives a brightness to the sauce.
Why Use An Instant Pot?
The Instant Pot is one of the most useful kitchen appliances you can buy, because it drastically cuts down on the cooking time for developing flavors in soups and stews, getting tough cuts of meat tender, and even baking a cheesecake. And there are many accessories that will help you get more out of your Instant Pot.
Where Can I Get Olive Garden Salad Dressing?
If you can’t find it, you can make your own version with this recipe. You can also substitute it with regular Italian dressing or a Dijon vinaigrette, in a pinch.
Can I Cook This in the Slow Cooker?
Yes, you can alter the recipe a bit to make it in the slow cooker. You can find the instructions here. The process will be the same except you will add the pasta after the chicken sauce has cooked.
Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, as you would to the Instant Pot, except for the basil, Parmesan cheese, and pasta. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 4 hours until the chicken is cooked through. Then add the cooked pasta to the crockpot and stir.
Can I Add Cooked Chicken Instead?
You can add cooked chicken instead of raw chicken, if that’s what you have on hand. The chicken will cook again in the Instant Pot, but it won’t become overly dry, so no need to worry. This is a good way to use up leftover chicken or to use a rotisserie chicken instead.
What About a Whole Chicken Breast?
If you need to add a whole chicken breast, you might find that it doesn’t cook in the amount of time the dish is under pressure. It will only cook through if the breast is not super thick, and definitely it must be thawed entirely. A frozen chicken breast whole will not cook through in this time. If you increase the time to cook the chicken, you will overcook the pasta.
Although this pasta is great just as it is, there’s always more flavor combinations to be explored. These are some additional ingredients you could add.
- Fresh tomatoes – Consider replacing the sun-dried tomatoes with fresh tomatoes.
- Spinach – Add fresh chopped spinach right before you close the lid for something fresh.
- Artichoke hearts – Add a can of non-marinated artichokes before you close the lid.
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Instant Pot Olive Garden Chicken Pasta
Note: Made in a 6-qt Instant Pot
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
- 16 ounce box penne pasta uncooked
- 3/4 cup Olive Garden Italian Salad Dressing https://amzn.to/3CWf49l
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth low sodium
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 ounce package cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes drained and chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and add to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Top with dry pasta, salad dressing, black pepper, cream cheese and broth. No stirring necessary.
- Secure the lid, make sure the valve is closed. Set to manual pressure cook for 4 minutes. When time is up let the steam naturally release for 5 minutes and then manually release the rest.
- Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and basil.
Instant Pot Pro Plus
Now you can control your pot wirelessly through an app. Cool-touch handles on the pot itself, and an automatic locking pressure release valve for greater safety. This one does it all.
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Laura spends a lot of her time cooking and creating recipes to share. She loves traveling and learning about new foods around the world to bring into her own recipes at home.