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Instant Pot Santa Fe Chicken Recipe

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Every time my family visited Disneyland we stayed at the Santa Fe hotel. One of the reasons is that we love the Mexican-style buffet and the fantastic meals available there. I am a big fan of Santa Fe Chicken and today we are sharing our Instant Pot Santa Fe Chicken Pasta recipe.

This Santa Fe Chicken Instant Pot recipe is one of those delicious chicken recipes that is packed with flavour for the whole family to enjoy! Cooking Santa Fe pasta in your pressure cooker has never been easier!

instant-pot-santa-fe-chicken-pasta

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What Is Santa Fe Chicken?

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

Our version of Instant Pot Santa Fe Chicken includes peppers, and bite-size pieces of chicken breast for added flavour 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!

Is Santa Fe Chicken Healthy?

This Santa Fe Chicken Instant Pot recipe is a healthy dish filled with protein and vegetables. The dish includes chicken breast, bell peppers, black beans, corn and more.

You can also add extra vegetables if you wish, such as diced tomatoes or sliced mushrooms. Serve with a side salad for added greens and fibre. Some like to add sweet corn or avocado on top for added flavour and healthy fats.

Is Santa Fe Chicken Pasta Gluten-Free?

This Santa Fe Chicken Instant Pot recipe is not gluten-free as it includes spaghetti noodles. However, you can easily substitute the noodles for gluten-free pasta or even quinoa or cauliflower rice to make this dish gluten-free.

Why Make This Santa Fe Chicken Instant Pot Recipe?

Making Santa Fe Chicken in the Instant Pot is a great way to speed up the cooking process. It also helps to infuse more flavour into the dish as everything is cooked together in one pot. Plus, using your pressure cooker means fewer dishes to clean up afterwards!

instant pot santa fe chicken recipe

A Quick And Easy Santa Fe Pasta Dish

Today we are sharing a Santa Fe Pasta recipe which I’m sure you and the kids will love. It’s easy and simple to make and in less than 10 minutes you’ll have this easy Instant Pot recipe served and filling those hungry tummies! This is a great dinner cuisine for the picky eater and a real crowd-pleaser.

Instant Pot Santa Fe Chicken Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 pound of boneless skinless 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 or Olive oil.
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small red, yellow, and orange pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of diced garlic or 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup queso cheese dip
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups low-fat shredded Monterey jack cheese
Santa-Fe-Chicken-Recipe-Ingredients-

How To Make Santa Fe Chicken Pasta

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

Step 1: Turn The Saute Function On

Press Sauté and add the butter. As soon as the butter begins to foam, add the onions and garlic. Saute the garlic and onions, stirring often, until the onions are soft, or about 1-2 minutes. Add the diced bell peppers and saute for a further added 1-2 minutes. 

Santa-Fe-Chicken-Recipe-Step-1-1

Step 2: Saute The Chicken Breast

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

cooking santa fe chicken in the pioneer woman instant pot

Step 3: Add The Spices And Pasta

Add chicken broth, salt, paprika, and black pepper. Add the pasta and mix everything together, making sure the pasta is submerged.

adding pasta to insatnt pot santa fe chicken recipe

Step 4: Pressure Cook The Santa Fe Chicken

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. 

pioneer woman instant pot

Step 5: Quick Release Your Instant Pot Pasta Dish

Open the vent and release the remaining steam. Open the lid and add the shredded cheese and cheese sauce. Allow the pasta to stand until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens. This will take 10 minutes. Serve and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Santa-Fe-Chicken-Recipe-Step-5-1

How Many Chicken Breasts In A Pound Of Chicken?

There are usually about 3-4 boneless chicken breasts in a pound of chicken. You can easily adjust the amount of chicken used for this Santa Fe Chicken Instant pot recipe, depending on how much protein you’d like to include in your dish.

Step 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.

pressure cooker santa fe chicken recipe

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 Green Chilies Be Added To This Instant Pot Pasta Dish?

Yes, you can add a can of diced green chilies to the Santa Fe Chicken recipe for added flavour 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.

Can I Use Chicken Thighs In This Chicken Santa Fe Recipe?

Yes, you can definitely use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. Chicken thighs tend to have more flavour and are a bit juicier than chicken breasts. I’d recommend using boneless and skinless chicken thighs.

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 favourite toppings or bean mixture.

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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 Santa Fe Chicken Be Made Ahead And Frozen?

Yes, Santa Fe Chicken can be made ahead of time and frozen for future meals. Simply prepare the chicken breasts and pasta as instructed above and allow it to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or freezer bag.

Defrosting Santa Fe Chicken

When ready to eat, defrost the Santa Fe Chicken in the fridge overnight and heat it up in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed through. Serve with a side of sweet corn, diced avocado and shredded cheese for a delicious and complete meal. Enjoy!

Can I Use Low-Fat Cheese?

Yes, you can definitely use low-fat cheese in this Santa Fe Chicken recipe. I recommend using a low-fat Monterey jack or cheddar cheese for best results.

Can Santa Fe Pasta Be Made Vegetarian?

Yes, Santa Fe pasta can be made vegetarian by swapping the chicken breasts for extra vegetables such as diced zucchini, corn, black beans, or mushrooms. It can also be made vegan by using plant-based protein and dairy-free cheese alternatives. Enjoy!

What To Serve With Santa Fe Chicken Pasta?

Serve Santa Fe Chicken pasta with a side salad, a bowl of black beans, or some guacamole and sour cream. Top with diced green onions for added flavour. Enjoy!

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 favourite. The flavours 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!

More Easy Instant Pot Recipes To Try

If you love this Santa Fe Chicken recipe you may also love the following posts which are all absolutely delicious.

Santa Fe Chicken
Yield: 4

Instant Pot Santa Fe Chicken Recipe

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

    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.

    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.  

    Add chicken broth, salt, paprika, and black pepper. Add the pasta and mix everything together, making sure the pasta is submerged.

    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. 

    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

Did you make this recipe?

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About Angela Milnes

Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and adults. Angela has also taught cooking classes and loves to share both family recipes and easy instant pot recipes here on The Instant Pot Table. Follow her on Pinterest!

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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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