Main Dishes

September 6, 2022

Healthy Instant Pot Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

Made with just 7 simple ingredients, this Healthy Instant Pot Chicken Broccoli Alfredo is so easy to make, high protein, and tossed in a creamy no-roux sauce. It's also naturally gluten free. It will be your new favorite weeknight dinner recipe!

Need an easy recipe for dinner tonight?

Look no further than this pressure cooker chicken Alfredo!

It's one of those easy Instant Pot pasta recipes you're going to come back to again and again.

I actually created this recipe after one of my friends brought me dinner when I had my first baby.

Her Alfredo was soooo creamy. I was obsessed!

She sent me the recipe and I was shocked. It was made with cream cheese (and cream of chicken) in the crock pot!

I knew I needed to recreate it, but with a few healthier swaps and a bit faster process, too.

(P.S. If you're as obsessed with the Instant Pot as I am, be sure check out all of my Instant Pot recipes here!)

Gluten free chicken alfredo in a bowl


Why you'll love this recipe

Simple ingredients: besides chicken and broccoli, you only need 4 ingredients and a few seasonings.

Creamy Alfredo sauce: better than the jar sauce and easier than the traditional Alfredo sauce but just as rich and creamy.

Healthier ingredients: with a few simple swaps, this Instant Pot chicken Alfredo recipe has less sodium, less saturated fat, and more protein than traditional Alfredo.

Kid friendly: this is an easy dinner the whole family will love! My baby devoured it!

One-pot meal: all you need is an Instant Pot pressure cooker. No extra dishes!

Macro friendly: this means the ratio between carbs, protein, and fats is balanced, so you stay fuller longer and get all the nutrients you need.

Gluten free: thanks to plant-based pasta and a simple no-roux cream sauce

Ingredients for instant pot chicken alfredo


Ingredients you'll need

  • Chickpea pasta: a high protein, gluten free alternative to regular pasta. I love the Banza penne pasta, but I've also tried using Banza Cavatappi, shells, and fettuccine noodles and had success with all of them. However, since each shape has a different cooking time, read this blog post to learn how to adjust the cook time.
  • Chicken breasts: the leanest cut of chicken that's easy to season and cook with. You can also use chicken tenderloins, skinless chicken thighs, or pre-cooked chicken tenders.
  • Broccoli florets: chopped into very small pieces. If using frozen, be sure to thaw completely or steam first before using in the recipe.
  • Chicken broth: for cooking the pasta. For a boost of flavor, try using chicken stock or bone broth! You can also use water, but you'll have to add a bit more salt at the end.
  • Cream cheese: the secret ingredient to an ultra creamy cheese sauce! It's 100% possible to make a creamy homemade Alfredo sauce without heavy cream, sour cream, or a ton of cheese. I use Neufchatel, also known as 1/3 less fat cream cheese. Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature, or else it
  • Almond milk: a lighter, low calorie plant based milk fortified with vitamin D, vitamin E, and calcium
  • Italian cheese blend: for maximum flavor but less saturated fat. You can find this specific cheese at almost any grocery store, but feel free to use entirely parmesan cheese instead.
  • Seasonings: garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. I also like to add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a bit of heat!

Chicken and broccoli in an instant pot


How to make chicken broccoli Alfredo in the Instant Pot

Step 1: saute the chicken and broccoli. Pour a bit of olive oil in the Instant Pot and press "saute mode." Set the timer to 10 minutes and give it a minute or two to heat up.

Add your chicken pieces and broccoli florets, spray with cooking spray, and cook until the timer goes off. Remove and set aside.

Step 2: cook the pasta. Add the chicken broth to deglaze the pot, making sure to scrape off all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot.

Pour the noodles into the broth, making sure the top of the pasta is covered in as much liquid as possible.

Close the lid, switch the valve to "seal," then cook on HIGH pressure for 2 minutes. This will give you al dente pasta.

Pro tip: set the table and do a quick clean up while the pasta cooks!

Allow for 5 minutes natural release, then switch the valve to "vent" to release the remaining pressure.

Pro tip: it is very important to you DON'T do the quick release right away. It dramatically affects the texture of the pasta, especially because this recipe calls for gluten free pasta. Follow the directions exactly!

Step 3: make the creamy sauce. Once the pasta is finished cooking, stir in the rest of the ingredients: the cream cheese, shredded cheese, almond milk, and seasonings. Then, fold in the cooked chicken and broccoli.

Et voila! The easiest chicken broccoli Alfredo!

Chicken and broccoli alfredo in an instant pot


Frequently asked questions

Can this Instant Pot chicken broccoli pasta be made dairy free?

I haven't tried it with vegan cream cheese or vegan parmesan, but I'm sure it would work. Please leave a comment below if you try it!

Can I use a different pasta?

Of course! Any pasta will work, including wheat pasta, as long as you use 8 ounces per recipe. However, each shape has a different cook time, so read this blog post to know exactly how long you should cook your pasta.

Can I slow cook my Alfredo?

This recipe was developed using an electric pressure cooker and has not been tested in a slow cooker.

Which Instant Pot is best?

Most food bloggers and recipe developers use the standard 6 qt. Instant Pot pressure cooker for their recipes, but I'm sure the 8 quart will work just fine.

How long does chicken Alfredo last in the fridge?

For the best results, store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To reheat the next day, add 1 tablespoon water to your serving, then microwave until warmed through.

Can I freeze chicken Alfredo?

Yes! Let the pasta cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight container or ziploc bag for up to 3 months in the freezer. When ready to eat, let thaw overnight in the fridge or submerge the container in hot water until thawed.

How do I double this recipe?

If you want to make more than one batch of this Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo, you'll have to cook the chicken and broccoli in batches. However, you can double the noodles and cook all of them at once. I do not recommend making more than a double batch at once.

A fork with alfredo on it


What to serve with Instant Pot chicken Alfredo pasta

More pasta recipes to try

Healthy Homemade Shrimp Alfredo Pasta

30 Minute Butternut Squash Carbonara

Easy Skillet Mac and Cheese

Healthy Shrimp Cacio e Pepe

The BEST Oven Baked Mac and Cheese


Chicken broccoli alfredo in a bowl


I know this Instant Pot Chicken Broccoli Alfredo will be a family favorite! It's made in just a few easy steps, it's a perfect "busy weeknight dinner," and it's a pasta dish you can feel good about.

Be sure to leave a star rating and review below if you try the recipe so other readers know how you liked it!

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Healthy Instant Pot Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

Made with just 7 simple ingredients, this Healthy Instant Pot Chicken Broccoli Alfredo is so easy to make, high protein, and tossed in a creamy no-roux sauce. It's also naturally gluten free. It will be your new favorite weeknight dinner recipe!

Author:

Brooke Harmer

Prep:

25

min

cook:

20

min

total:

45

min

servings:

4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 lb. broccoli
  • 1 can reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 C water
  • 8 oz. Banza penne pasta*
  • 4 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 1 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 C Italian style shredded cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley

Instructions

  1. Pour the olive oil in the Instant Pot and press "saute mode." Set the timer to 10 minutes and give it a minute or two to heat up.
  2. Add your chicken pieces and broccoli florets, spray with cooking spray, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the timer goes off, then remove and set aside.
  3. Add the chicken broth and water to the pot, making sure to scrape off all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Pour the noodles into the liquid, making sure the top of the pasta is covered in as much liquid as possible.
  4. Close the lid, switch the valve to "seal," then cook on HIGH pressure for 2 minutes. This will give you al dente pasta. Allow for 5 minutes natural release, then switch the valve to "vent" to release the remaining pressure.
  5. Once the pasta is finished cooking, stir in the cream cheese, shredded cheese, almond milk, and seasonings. Then, fold in the cooked chicken and broccoli.
  6. Divide into 4 portions, then season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

*See blog post for instructions on substituting pasta.

Nutrition facts are a calculated estimate of 1/4 of the Alfredo, including the chicken and broccoli.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of prepared Alfredo / Calories: 460 / Fat: 15.4g / Saturated fat: 6.5g / Carbohydrates: 44g / Fiber: 7.9g / Sugar: 2g / Protein: 42.8g