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Instant Pot Chicken Pasta

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Are you a fan of Santa Fe Pasta? Well this Instant Pot Chicken Pasta Recipe is one of those delicious chicken recipes that is packed with flavor for the whole family to enjoy! Cooking Santa Fe pasta in your pressure cooker has never been easier!

instant pot santa fe chicken pasta

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Flavorful Fusion: This Instant Pot Santa Fe Chicken Recipe blends southwestern flavors for a mouthwatering meal.
  • Efficiency: With the Instant Pot, you’ll have hearty and delicious chicken pasta dish ready in no time.
  • Healthy Choice: Packed with protein and veggies, Instant Pot chicken pasta is a nutritious choice that doesn’t sacrifice taste.
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Recipe Ingredients

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: The protein element of the dish, cut into bite-sized chunks for easy eating.
  • Choice of Pasta: The base ingredient that pairs deliciously with the chicken and sauce.
  • I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter or Olive Oil: Used for sautéing the onions, peppers, and garlic, adding richness and flavor to the dish.
  • Yellow Onion: Provides a savory and slightly sweet flavor to the Santa Fe Chicken, creating a flavorful base for the sauce.
  • Red, Yellow, and Orange Pepper: Adds vibrant colors and a sweet and tangy taste to the dish, enhancing its overall appeal.
  • Garlic Powder: Infuses the dish with aromatic flavor, adding depth and complexity.
  • Low-Sodium Chicken Broth: Provides moisture and a savory base for cooking the chicken and pasta, enhancing their flavors.
  • Queso Cheese Dip: Adds a creamy and cheesy element to the Santa Fe Chicken, contributing rich and indulgent flavors.
  • Kosher Salt: Enhances the taste of the dish, bringing out the natural flavors of the ingredients and helping to balance the overall seasoning.
  • Smoked Paprika: Adds a smoky and slightly spicy flavor to the dish, enhancing its depth and complexity.
  • Black Pepper: Adds a subtle heat and a touch of spice to the Santa Fe Chicken, complementing the other flavors.
  • Low-Fat Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese: Provides a creamy and melty texture to the dish, adding a delicious cheesy element to the final result.
Instant Pot Santa Fe Chicken Recipe

How To Make Instant Pot Chicken Pasta?

Here are the instructions for making Instant Pot Santa Fe Chicken Pasta.

Step One: Sauté Onions and Garlic

Press Sauté and add the butter. As soon as the butter begins to foam, add the onions and garlic. Sauté the garlic and onions, stirring often, until the onions are soft, or about 1-2 minutes.

Step Two: Add Bell Peppers

Add the diced bell peppers and sauté for a further added 1-2 minutes. 

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Step Three: Cook Chicken

Add the diced chicken breasts and cook until the chicken breast is golden brown and no longer pink.

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Step Four: Add Broth and Seasonings

Add chicken broth, salt, paprika, and black pepper. 

Step Five: Add Pasta

Add the pasta and mix everything together, making sure the pasta is submerged.

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Step Six: Secure Lid and Pressure Cook

Secure the Instant Pot lid and sealing the valve. Set to manual pressure for 8 minutes.

Step Seven: Natural Pressure Release

Once the 8 minutes are up, allow the pressure to release naturally. 

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Step Eight: Release Remaining Steam

Open the vent and release the remaining steam.

Step Nine: Add Cheese

Open the lid and add the shredded cheese and cheese sauce to your tender chicken.

Step Ten: Let Sauce Thicken

Allow the pasta to stand until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens. This will take 10 minutes.

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Step Eleven: Garnish and Serve

Serve and garnish with fresh cilantro and parmesan cheese.

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Substitutions

  • Penne Pasta: You can switch the pasta twirls for penne pasta if you prefer. The cooking times will be the same.
  • Cream Cheese: If you have no queso cheese dip you can substitute with regular cream cheese.
  • Chicken Thighs: Use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. Chicken thighs tend to have more flavor and are a bit juicier than chicken breasts. I’d recommend using boneless skinless chicken thighs.

Variations

  • Green Chillies: You can add a can of diced green chilies to the Santa Fe Chicken recipe for added flavor and spice. Simply add the green chilies with the peppers in step 1 before sautéing. Adding a Poblano pepper will really add some heat to this dish and up the spice level. Alternatively you can add red pepper flakes to the dish.
  • Italian Seasoning: If you wish for a contrast add some Italian seasoning with the paprika.
  • Diced Tomatoes: Garnish with diced tomatoes or sun dried tomatoes for extra flavor.

Storage & Reheating Instructions

  • Refrigeration: Store leftover chicken pasta in the fridge. Consume within 3-4 days for the best quality.
  • Freezing: If you need to store Santa Fe chicken for an extended period, consider freezing it. Portion the chicken into an airtight container or freezer bags for up to 2-3 months.
  • Reheating: When reheating Santa Fe chicken, ensure it reaches a safe internal temperature. Use a microwave, stovetop, or oven for reheating, and add a splash of broth or water if the dish becomes too dry.
  • Maintaining Toppings Separately: If your Santa Fe chicken includes toppings like avocado or fresh herbs, consider storing them separately and adding them just before serving. This helps preserve their freshness and vibrant flavors.

What To Serve With This Recipe?

  • Black Bean Salad: A refreshing mix of black beans, corn, and tomatoes, adding a burst of color and texture.
  • Avocado Salsa: Creamy avocado chunks combined with tomatoes and onions for a cool, creamy contrast.
  • Jicama Slaw: Crisp jicama strips tossed in a tangy dressing, bringing a crunchy element to the plate.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Seasonal veggies roasted to perfection, enhancing the dish with earthy flavors.
  • Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread: A cheesy, spicy cornbread that’s the ideal companion for soaking up those delicious Santa Fe Chicken juices.

FAQ’S

What Is Santa Fe Chicken?

Traditionally Santa Fe Chicken is a Mexican-flavored Chicken dish loaded with goodness. Most people love to eat Santa Fe Chicken on rice or with pasta and the combination of flavors makes it a winning dish.

Our version of Instant Pot Santa Fe Chicken includes peppers, and bite-size pieces of chicken breast for added flavor and texture. The delicious sauce is made from queso cheese dip, paprika, garlic and other tasty ingredients. No need for a baking dish with this simple and delicious Instant Pot Santa Fe Chicken Breasts and Pasta dish!

How to Make Santa Fe Chicken Hotter?

If you like a little spice, add some cayenne pepper, chili powder or red chili flakes to the Santa Fe Chicken recipe. You can also use spicy queso cheese dip instead of regular queso cheese dip or add a little hot sauce.

Can I Make Santa Fe Chicken in the Crock Pot?

Yes, you can make Santa Fe Chicken in the slow cooker as well. Simply follow all the steps above, but instead of pressure cooking for 8 minutes, cook on low heat for 4-6 hours or on high heat for 2-3 hours. Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken is a great option for those busy weeknight dinners. Try whatever cooking methods you prefer.

Can I Cook the Chicken in a Skillet?

You can cook Santa Fe Chicken Skillet style by following the steps above, but cooking in a skillet instead of an Instant Pot. Cook your chopped chicken breasts on medium-high heat until the chicken and vegetables are cooked through before adding the broth and spices. Cook until the pasta is al dente before stirring in the cheese. Serve hot with your favorite toppings or bean mixture.

Can I Use a Different Type of Pasta?

Yes, feel free to use any type of pasta you prefer for this Santa Fe Chicken dish. Serve Penne, rotini, and fettuccine would all work well in the Instant Pot Santa Fe Chicken pasta recipe.

Can I Add Tortilla Strips To This Santa Fe Chicken Recipe?

This Santa Fe Chicken Pasta Instant Pot recipe is sure to become a family favorite. The flavors are fantastic, and it’s an easy weeknight meal that can be on the table in under 30 minutes. Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments below! Don’t forget the fresh chopped cilantro. Happy cooking!

Santa Fe Chicken

Instant Pot Santa Fe Chicken Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

If you and your family wants to have pasta and chicken for dinner, then this Instant Pot Recipe is going to be your go-to meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 pound of your choice of pasta
  • 2 tablespoons of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small red, yellow, and orange pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of diced garlic
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup queso cheese dip
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups low fat shredded Monterey jack cheese

Instructions

  1. Press "Sauté" and add the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. As soon as the butter begins to foam, add the onions and garlic.
  2. Cook the garlic and onions, stirring often, until the onions are soft, or about 1-2 minutes. Add the peppers and cook an added 1-2 minutes Then add the chicken and cook until no longer pink.  
  3. Add chicken broth, salt, paprika, and black pepper. Add the pasta and mix everything together, making sure the pasta is submerged.
  4. Secure the instant pot lid and sealing the valve.  Set to manual pressure for 8 minutes. Once the 8 minutes are up, allow the pressure to release naturally. 
  5. Open the vent and release the remaining steam. Open the lid and add the shredded cheese and cheese sauce. Allow to stand until sauce thickens, which takes about 10 minutes.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 741Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 165mgSodium: 1257mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 65g

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7 Comments

    1. Hi Jessica,

      the queso cheese dip helps make the recipe creamy, you can add lighter options such as a light cream cheese or even two spoons of non fat greek yogurt as a substitute.

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