Fall is here and that means it's time for even more Crock Pot and Instant Pot dishes. This chicken recipe is made creamy from heavy cream and cheese, is full of flavor from basil and garlic-filled pesto, and is a great high protein, low carb chicken dish! This easy Instant Pot chicken recipe only has 5 ingredients and there's virtually no prep work. Just throw everything into the pot, set it to high pressure, stir at the end, and you have a delicious creamy Instant Pot Pesto Chicken dish to serve over pasta (or whatever you might like!).
One of my husband's favorite sauces of all time is pesto sauce. Seriously, the guy loves it on everything! I love finding new ways to incorporate it into recipes because it truly is a great flavor and it's healthy too! All of that basil and garlic is great for our bodies. As usual, he was my inspiration for this creamy pesto chicken dish. Cooking for someone who loves to eat and loves everything is a cook's dream!
For more dishes using pesto, try one of the following!
- boneless skinless chicken breasts
- chicken stock
- heavy cream
- mozzarella cheese
Place chicken in the Instant Pot and pour broth and pesto over the top. Cook on High Pressure for 6 minutes cook time.
Allow to natural release for 10 minutes and then quick release the rest of the way.
Open lid and carefully remove chicken on to a plate.
Add the additional 2 tablespoons of pesto, along with heavy cream and cheese.
Stir to create a sauce. Pour sauce over cooked chicken and serve.
How to serve Instant Pot chicken pesto
- Over pasta. We are pasta people, so serving this over pasta is always our go to. It's simple, cheap, and delicious. Plus, one of the big bonuses of this dish is the ease of it. Boiling a pot of water for pasta is not a big deal and keeps this an easy 30 minute meal.
- With mashed or roasted potatoes. This chicken is versatile and can go with anything. Try it with roasted parmesan potatoes or mashed potatoes for a comforting fall dinner.
- With a simple salad or steam broccoli. If you are looking to lighten up this creamy Instant Pot Pesto Chicken, try it with a simple salad of mixed greens, cucumbers, and tomatoes with a vinaigrette. Or a simple arugula salad! It would be great with steamed or roasted broccoli as well.
Tomatoes. Try adding in cherry tomatoes for a little color and flavor! I love the way they "pop" when cooked.
Add in veggies. Make Instant Pot pesto chicken and vegetables by adding vegetables right to the Instant Pot during the cooking process. I suggest green beans, broccoli, or zucchini. You could also add in fresh spinach, but I would wait to stir that in until the end when you are stirring together the sauce, so that it doesn't get overcooked.
Make it spicy. It's no secret, here at Season & Thyme, I love things with a little kick! Try adding red pepper flakes to this chicken pesto dish for some heat.
This 5-ingredient dinner doesn't have many ingredients to substitute, but there are still ways to switch it up to suit your needs. Here are some easy substitutions.
Make it dairy free. Make this Instant Pot Pesto chicken without cream or cheese and it with still be delicious and won't affect the cooking time or other measurements.
Use Frozen Chicken breasts. Sometimes we forgot to take meat out for dinner and the Instant Pot saves the day by allowing us to use frozen chicken breasts! For mid-size frozen chicken breasts, set to high pressure for 11 minutes.
Use chicken thighs. This would be great with chicken thighs as well. As long as they are thawed, the cooking time will be the same.
Make it in the Crock Pot
This Basil Pesto Chicken can be easily adapted to be made in the slow cooker.
To make, simply add all the ingredients to the crock, excluding the cream and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours. Add cream at the last hour and stir. You can also add it right before serving, but doing it an hour before allows the sauce to thicken up a bit.
Creamy Instant Pot Pesto Chicken
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ½ cup plus 1 tbsp. pesto
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese
- salt to taste
- Place chicken in the Instant Pot and pour broth and pesto over the top. Cook on High Pressure for 6 minutes cook time.
- Allow to natural release for 10 minutes and then quick release the rest of the way.
- Open lid and carefully remove chicken on to a plate.
- Add the additional 2 tablespoons of pesto, along with heavy cream and cheese.
- Stir to create a sauce. Pour sauce over cooked chicken and serve.