Instant Pot Italian Chicken Casserole–whip up this dump-and-go creamy chicken casserole using your trusty pressure cooker! The Instant Pot serves up tender chicken, pasta and sauce in only a 5 minute pressure cooking time.
Instant Pot Italian Chicken Casserole
This is a very versatile recipe with lots of protein. You can mix and match what you have on hand to make a delicious dinner for your family tonight. Read my tips and variations below or make the casserole exactly as the recipe card states. It’s up to you!
Greg was not a fan of the peas and Skyler was not a fan of the red bell peppers so next time I will serve the vegetables on the side. But besides those two complaints we all really loved this dinner! It was a fast and easy weeknight meal and Reagan has been enjoying the leftovers for lunch.
Ingredients plus substitution ideas
- 2 cups chicken broth–you can also use 2 cups water and 2 teaspoons of Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
- 2 Tbsp dried minced onions–you can also use ½ cup of minced fresh onion (I prefer to saute in a couple teaspoons of olive oil) or 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 ½ pounds chicken tenders–I used fresh chicken tenderloins but you can also use frozen (same cooking time). You can also cut up chicken thighs or breasts into chunks and use that.
- 8 oz bowtie pasta–try making this with penne pasta, ziti, cavatappi, macaroni or any other short cut pasta
- 1 tsp garlic powder–for flavor
- 1 (0.7 oz) package dry italian dressing mix–for lots of flavor. You can also use a packet of Hidden Valley dry ranch dressing mix.
- 8 oz package cream cheese–I used full fat cream cheese. You can also use Neufatchel cheese. Another idea is to leave out the cream cheese and stir in 1 cup of sour cream after the pressure cooking time is up. Or you can add in a can of cream of chicken soup.
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese–you can also use grated parmesan cheese for the green jar
How to Make Italian Chicken Casserole
- Add ingredients in a strategic order: Add broth and onions into Instant Pot. Add in half of the chicken in an even layer. Pour the pasta over the top in an even layer. Add the other half of the chicken on top of pasta. Then add in the garlic powder, italian dressing mix and cream cheese. Don’t stir. This will help prevent the burn message.
- Pressure cook: Cover Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 5 minutes. When time is up let pot sit for 5-10 minutes and then move valve to venting. Remove the lid. No need to drain pasta…the sauce will thicken in a few minutes.
- Stir and bake: Stir well to incorporate the cream cheese. Stir in the parmesan cheese. At this point you can serve or you can pour the mixture into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes until bubbling and golden brown (another option is to use an air fryer lid and “bake” for 10 minutes at 350). I like to sprinkle a little mozzarella cheese on top before baking.
- Serve and enjoy! Serve with a side salad or a side of garlic toast.
Casserole Recipe Variations and Tips
- Chicken: Instead of chicken tenderloins you can also use boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into bite size pieces. By cutting the chicken into pieces it will ensure they cook at the same rate as the pasta. You can also make this recipe with cooked rotisserie chicken or even leftover turkey. You can add cooked chicken in from the beginning or stir it in after the pasta has pressure cooked…it doesn’t matter.
- Add in ideas: chopped sundried tomatoes, diced canned tomatoes, coarsely chopped spinach, steamed broccoli florets, roasted red peppers, chopped fresh mushrooms, toasted breadcrumbs to sprinkle on the top
- Types of pasta you can use: elbow macaroni, penne pasta, small shells, ziti, cavatappi, or any other short cut pasta.
- Italian dressing mix: I like the Good Seasons brand. If you’d rather make homemade dry mix. Add 1 Tbsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp onion powder, 1 Tbsp sugar, 2 Tbsp oregano, 1/4 tsp thyme, 1 tsp basil, 1 Tbsp dried parsley, 2 Tbsp salt to a blender or food processor. Pulse about 10 times until all the granules are the same consistency. Use 2 Tbsp of the homemade mix for this recipe.
- Can you freeze chicken casserole? Yes you can. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To reheat thaw overnight in the fridge and then add to a pot on the stove over medium heat. Stir often. Add a little extra broth to loosen up. You can also freeze this in a casserole pan (I like to buy the foil disposable pans) and cover tightly with a few layers of foil. Then when you are ready to bake you can cook from frozen for 55 minutes at 375 degrees F. Remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until it is heated through.
- I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. You can also make this in the 8 or 3 quart pot with no changes.
- I have not tried making this recipe in the crock pot. However if I were to try it I would add the ingredients into the slow cooker (add and extra cup of broth). Then I would slow cooker for 2-3 hours on high. Stir well and serve with parmesan cheese on top.
What to serve with chicken pasta dinner
More Easy Dump and Go Chicken Instant Pot Recipes
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Whip up this dump-and-go creamy chicken casserole using your trusty pressure cooker! The Instant Pot serves up tender chicken and pasta in only a 5 minute pressure cooking time.
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp dried minced onions
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
- 8 oz bowtie pasta
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 (0.7 oz) package dry italian dressing mix
- 8 oz package cream cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Add broth and onions into Instant Pot. Add in half of the chicken in an even layer. Pour the pasta over the top in an even layer. Add the other half of the chicken on top of the pasta. Then add in the garlic powder, italian dressing mix and cream cheese.
- Cover Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 5 minutes. When time is up let pot sit for 5-10 minutes and then move valve to venting. Remove the lid.
- Stir well to incorporate the cream cheese. Stir in the parmesan cheese. At this point you can serve or you can pour into a 13 x 9 inch pan and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes until bubbling and golden brown.
- Serve and enjoy!
Instead of chicken tenderloins you can also use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into bite size pieces.
I added in bell peppers and peas to my version but next time I would serve the vegetables on the side.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes (plus 5 minute NPR)
- Category: Chicken
- Method: Instant Pot
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.