The next time you’re invited to a gathering and if you want to stand out from the rest of the crowd, be sure to bring a pasta salad that’s a bit untraditional…and green. Pesto sauce is one of my favorite things in the world and not only does it work beautifully on hot dishes, but it works just as well on cold ones!
This Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad is so easy you won’t believe it and the best part is that, thanks to the Instant Pot, the chicken and pasta cook at the exact same time!
Perfect for a hot summer’s day and some al fresco dining, you and your guests will just love this and once they’ve tried it, they’ll forever beg you to make it again!
Here’s How I Made It:
We will begin with chicken breasts cut into chunks.
Then, we’ll go right to the Instant Pot and add in some chicken broth, the chicken and rotini pasta (or any you want to use really, but I like rotini best for this pasta salad). Mix well, add a little water if necessary so the pasta is covered and cook it on high pressure and follow with a quick release.
When done, drain the pasta and chicken and then transfer to a serving bowl.
Add a box of frozen peas and mix it with the chicken and pasta (they will thaw and warm up right away due to the heat of the chicken and pasta).
Add the pesto sauce (I LOOOOOOVE the one from Costco and highly recommend it! Or, of course, you can just make your own)! Mix well, pop it in the fridge to cool for a few hours and then serve!
Enjoy this wonderful, satisfying pasta salad and become the hit of the party or picnic!
Instant Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad
Pesto is one of those sauces I can eat with a spoon. Basil, olive oil, parmesan and pine nuts blended together into a gorgeous green purée? Yes, please. Toss it with some chicken and rotini and I call it my date to take to any picnic or BBQ.
- 1.5 – 2 lbs of chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
- 1 lb (1 box) of rotini pasta
- 4 cups of chicken broth (4 cups of water + 1 tbsp of Chicken Better Than Bouillon)
- 10oz box of frozen peas (I used half but you can totally use the whole box!)
- 12 – 22oz jar of Pesto sauce (I used about 3/4 of a Costco/Kirkland Signature 22 oz jar but you can use more or less to taste. If you’re not a member of Costco and can’t get this amazing sauce, you may be able to find other jarred pesto in your supermarket or you can make your own)
- Add the chicken broth to the Instant Pot and add the chicken and pasta and mix together. Cover any remaining pasta that isn’t sitting in broth with additional water
- Secure the lid and hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 4 minutes. Quick release when done
- Drain the pasta and chicken in a strainer and then add to a large bowl. Add the frozen peas and mix together and then add the pesto sauce and mix together
- Place in the fridge for about 3 hours to cool
Want it hot instead? Just serve it right away instead of chilling! Tastes JUST as great!
Want some cheese? Crumbled Feta goes GREAT with this as well. Toss some in!
Hate peas and want to use other veggies? Go for it! The sky’s the limit! For instance, try it with some (pitted) Kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes and chopped red onion too if you wish!
If you wish to make your own Pesto sauce, you’ll need the following:1 1/2 cups of fresh Basil leaves1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil1/4 cup of pine nuts3 gloves of crushed garlic
Then, toss together in a food processor and pulse until smoothly chunky!
What to do when using frozen chicken breast instead of defrosted meat?
I suggest thawing
We can’t have the IP chef extraordinaire go for hours without power and risk losing pounds of frozen or refrigerated items!! Surely a company would sponsor you a generator with all the product endorsements you graciously and freely give!