Creamy Cheesy Chicken & Chive Spaghetti

The other day, I was with my new nephew and that silly “On Top Of Spaghetti All Covered With Cheese” song came on…and I was inspired. Now while that song features meatballs, I wanted to focus on the cheese part and add chicken, chives and a touch of cream. And seeing as I love alliteration, I call it the Four Cs Spaghetti.

Think of it as Cacio e Pepe making love to Mac & Cheese. This spaghetti isn’t only a cinch with minimal work thanks to the Instant Pot, it’s a true crowd pleaser that the whole family can enjoy.

Four C Spaghetti
Chicken breasts
Take a few chicken breasts…
bite-size chicken pieces
…and dice them into bite-size pieces.
Then take some chives…
sliced chives
…and slice them up into confetti-like pieces.
Add some butter to the Instant Pot and give it some heat.
melted butter
Once the butter’s melted…
Adding chicken to the pot
…add the chicken to the pot…
Adding garlic to the pot
…along with some garlic.
Sauté the chicken with the garlic for a few minutes until the chicken becomes pinkish-white in color.
Adding broth to pot
Then, pour in some broth.
Take a box of spaghetti…
…and break it in half over the pot (don’t hate me for this. We have to for it to cook evenly – plus it’s still feels super long and actually creates more portions!)
Spaghetti layering in pot
When laying in the spaghetti, do each layer in a crisscross fashion – this prevents it from sticking together while it cooks.
DO NOT STIR THE SPAGHETTI! Rather, just smooth it out so it’s mostly submerged in the broth.
Topping spaghetti with butter.
Top with some more butter cut into pats. Again, this will prevent the spaghetti from clumping. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
Stirring pot
When done, give it a stir. You’ll notice there will be broth remaining in the pot and this is exactly how it should be as it will serve as the base for the sauce.
Adding cheese to pot
Time to put on those finishing touches! Add in a blend of cheeses…
…and stir until melded into the sauce and spaghetti.
Thickened sauce
As this happens, the broth will marry with the cheese and thicken.
Adding sour cream to the pot
Let’s add a few finishing touches, shall we? Add in a bit of sour cream…
Adding chives to the pot
…and the chives.
Stirring pot
Give everything a final stir and let rest a moment to come together before serving.
Serving pasta
Serve the pasta in bowls…
…and top with additional chives, if desired.
Man with pasta
Now comes the best part, trying it out!
Man showing spaghetti on fork
Twirl up the spaghetti onto a fork (see? it’s still plenty long)…
Man enjoying food
…and enjoy that pasta dressed with our four Cs: cheese, cream, chives and chicken!
Instant Pot Four Cs Spaghetti (Creamy Cheesy Chicken & Chive)
Yield: 6

Four Cs Spaghetti

Four Cs Spaghetti

The other day, I was with my new nephew and that silly "On Top Of Spaghetti All Covered With Cheese" song came on...and I was inspired. Now while that song features meatballs, I wanted to focus on the cheese part and add chicken, chives and a touch of cream. And seeing as I love alliteration, I call it the Four Cs Spaghetti.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds chicken boneless/skinless breasts or thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 4 cups chicken or garlic broth
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 bunches chives, thinly sliced with some reserved for topping


  1. Add 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of the butter to the Instant Pot. Hit Sauté and Adjust so it's on the More or High setting. Once melted, add the chicken and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes until the chicken is pinkish-white in color (it should not be fully cooked).
  2. Add the broth, break the Spaghetti over it and add layer it in a crisscross fashion but do not stir. Top with the remaining 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter, cut into a few pieces for even distribution over the pasta.
  3. Secure the lid and hit Cancel followed by Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 8 minutes. Quick release when done.
  4. Add in the cheeses and stir until well combined. Add the sour cream and stir until melded. Let rest for 5 minutes as the sauce will thicken up from the heat.
  5. Lastly, add in the chives and give it a final stir. Top with additional chives and additional grated Parmesan, if desired.

Jeffrey's Tips

If you want to sub chicken sausage (or Italian sausage) for the chicken, go for it! Everything remains as is in the recipe.

If you want this with meatballs, skip the sautéing in Step 1, add in about 1 1/2 pounds of frozen meatballs instead and then continue with Step 2, but top the spaghetti with 4 tablespoons of the butter instead of 2 since we didn't add it in Step 1.

While I suggest the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, you can swap the Mozzarella with shredded Gouda, Swiss, Colby Jack or a Mexican/taco blend!

Reader Interactions


  1. msSally

    Oh wow! Yet another one to add to my list of “I’ve got to make” recipes!
    Jeffrey – you keep me going.

  2. Sun

    Really tempted to try this! I will need to substitute regular pasta with hearts of palm (doing keto). In your opinion do you think it would change the sauce thickness? TIS

  3. John

    This is delicious! Super easy to make, my husband and son loved it. Me too! Added to the weekly menu. Great recipe. Adding asparagus to it next time out.

  4. Jennifer

    Oh my. Another absolutely perfect recipe.
    I had to do a few substitutions because I live in Belgium (gouda instead of cheddar, pecorino romano instead of parmesan) and I cut the recipe in ~half. It was still incredible!!
    Thanks again, Jeffrey!

  5. Linda

    Sounds fabulous. If I wanted to use just 8 oz. of pasta, would I reduce the broth to half the amount as well?

  6. Kimberly

    I made this recipe recently and I have to say WOW so delish!! I have a son with special needs he can no longer eat red sauce but loves spaghetti so I normally make Alfredo for him but he chowed down on this so thank you so much for this recipe!!My picky teenage daughter loves this too!! Win for this Mom!! ♥️

  7. Rose

    How do you keep the cheeses from clumping. Same with Mac and cheese. I have your videos going for the step by step. Thanks

  8. Leona Bartram Streva

    This sounds great!!! Going to try it using zoodles instead of pasta – have a gluten intolerant and diabetic to feed. Thank you Jeffrey

  9. msSally

    Oh yes! I’ve got to try this. I have some mushroom on hand I need to use, what do you think about adding those in?

  10. Beth Russum

    I work night shift and found this recipe. I knew I had most of the ingredients so was anxious to try it. Didn’t have regular cheddar. Had to use Velveeta cheddar. I also added some Rotel for a little kick. Didn’t have any chives. It was delish!!

  11. Heather Marshburn

    Another winner, Jeff! I think next time I’ll add frozen broccoli at the end. Will make this again!

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