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Instant Pot Creamy Garlic Tuscan Chicken Pasta has tender chicken in a rich, creamy sauce flavored with sun dried tomatoes, garlic, and finished with fresh baby spinach.
- 2 or 3 Chicken Breasts, pounded to an even thickness (not too thin, just even)
- 2 Tbsps Olive Oil, divided in half
- 1 Tbsp Paprika, smoked or sweet
- 2 tsp Coarse Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 4 Tbsps Butter, divided in half
- 1 small Sweet Onion, diced
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced in 2″ strips
- 6 cloves Garlic, pressed or finely minced
- 1/3 cup White Wine (or chicken broth)
- 1 7oz jar Sun Dried Tomatoes, drained (reserve 2 Tbsps of the oil)
- 2 Tbsps Oil from Sun Dried Tomatoes
- 2 tsps Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp Oregano, dried
- 1/4 tsp Thyme, dried
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 4 cups Chicken Broth, low sodium
- 1 cup Milk
- 12 oz Small Elbow Macaroni Pasta (3 1/2 cups dry)
- 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, grated or sliced, if fresh
- 1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- 5oz Fresh Baby Spinach
- 1 1/2 cups Half and Half
- Fresh Basil Leaves, for garnish
Rub the chicken with 1 Tbsp of the divided oil, paprika, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
Turn on the Sauté function of the pot. When the display reads Hot, add 1 Tbsp of the olive oil that you divided.
Add the chicken breasts and cook them for about 4 minutes per side, until you get good color on both sides. Remove to a plate and cover.
Add 2 Tbsps of the butter and the onion. Sauté for a few minutes and then add the bell pepper and the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
Add the wine (or 1/3 cup broth) and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot to deglaze it (scraping up all of the brown bits from bottom of pan).
Add the sun dried tomatoes, sun dried tomato oil, Italian seasoning, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Stir in the chicken broth and the milk. Let come to a simmer, then add the pasta. Stir.
Add the chicken breasts and put the lid on the pot, locking it in place and turning the steam release knob to the Sealing position.
Cancel the Sauté function.
Select Pressure Cook (or Manual) and use the + or – (or dial) to choose 4 minutes.
When the cooking time is done, and the pot beeps, do a controlled Quick Release of the pressure. Start slow so you minimize the risk of sauce spewing out with the steam. Then let it go fully. When the pin in the lid drops down, open the lid and stir the contents (there may be a little stuck on the bottom, just scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen it.
Remove the chicken to a plate and cover with foil or a lid that will keep the heat in. Do not leave it uncovered as it is still finishing cooking that last bit.
Mix together the flour and remaining 2 Tbsps of softened butter until combined. Stir into the sauce.
Add the cheeses, stirring after each one.
Stir in the spinach.
Stir in the Half and half.
Taste and adjust salt, if needed.
Take the temperature of the chicken. It should read 165 degrees (F). Cut it into bite sized chunks and add it to the pasta. Stir it in.
Serve garnished with torn basil leaves.
This is a saucy dish, it won’t be thick like mac and cheese.
Adapted from CafeDelites, Tuscan Mac and Cheese