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White bowl filled with Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan Pasta made from penne pasta, tomato sauce, chicken tenders and melted cheese topped with crunchy breadcrumbs

Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan Pasta

  • Author: Jenny Meier | Kitchen Skip blog
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 4
  • Total Time: 14 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


The absolute easiest way to make chicken parmesan pasta. Dump all the ingredients in the Instant Pot and return to pasta and tender chicken in a rich and cheesy tomato sauce . Top with crunchy breadcrumbs, fresh basil and oregano and grated parmesan.

Total Instant Pot Cooking Time: 15 minutes to reach pressure + 4 minutes cooking time + Instant Release


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken breast tenders
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 25-ounce jar pasta/marinara sauce
  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups/8 ounces grated cheese (pizza blend, Italian blend, or just mozzarella)
  • Garnish: fresh basil or oregano, crunchy breadcrumbs, grated parmesan

Crunchy Breadcrumb Topping

  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs


  1. Pour the olive oil evenly over the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add chicken tenders, lining the tenders up in one even layer. Season the chicken with salt and garlic powder. 
  2. Pour pasta sauce on top of the chicken. Add the penne pasta, spreading it out in an even layer. Do NOT stir.
  3. Measure out the two cups of water. Pour the water into the empty marinara jar and shake the jar with a lid to get all of the sauce off the sides of the jar. Gently pour the water into the Instant Pot, over the pasta. Remember, do NOT stir.
  4.  Make sure all of the pasta is covered by water and not poking up out of the liquid. If needed, gently press down on the pasta to make sure each noodle is mostly under the water. 
  5. Lock the lid in place. Make sure the steam valve is in the sealed position. Press the Manual button and program the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. The pot will take about 12 to 15 minutes to come up to pressure.
  6. When the cooking time is done, release pressure instantly. 
  7. The sauce will seem watery right when you open the lid. Don’t worry! Use tongs to take the chicken tenders out of the pot, shaking off most of the tomato sauce, and lay the chicken tenders on a cutting board. 
  8. Stir the pasta well, then add the grated cheese and stir well again. Make sure the Instant Pot is turned off, set the lid gently on top and let the pasta sit for 5 to 10 minutes for the sauce to thicken up. 
  9. Slice the chicken tenders into bite-sized pieces. Return the chicken to the pot and mix well again before serving. 
  10. Top with fresh basil or oregano, grated parmesan and crunchy panko breadcrumbs. 

To Make Crunchy Breadcrumb Topping:

In a wide non-stick skillet, warm the oil or butter over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the panko, sprinkling it evenly across the skillet. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until breadcrumbs are toasted and crunchy. 


For more flavor, I like using a pre-grated blend of cheeses, like an Italian or Pizza blend. However, you can simply use grated low moisture mozzarella if that's what you have.  

  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Italian American

Keywords: penne pasta, chicken parmesan, instant pot chicken parmesan pasta