Instant Pot Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken and Pesto

bowl of pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and pesto

5 from 2 reviews

One Pot Wonder pasta dish!  Light, tangy, creamy pasta dish made quick and easy in the Instant Pot.


  • 12 ounces penne pasta – I like Jovial Gluten Free Brown Rice Penne
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup drained sun-dried tomatoes, (from a bottle of julienned sun-dried tomatoes in oil)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • ¼½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk (skim, 1%, or 2% all work)
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

For serving: Kale Walnut Pesto or store-bought pesto


  1. Add pasta, chicken, butter, cornstarch, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, salt, oregano, basil, parsley, red pepper flakes, and pepper to the pressure cooker pot.
  2. Add chicken broth and milk and whisk briskly and thoroughly (this will prevent the cornstarch from settling and sticking to the bottom of the pot – see notes).
  3. Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position.  Cook at high pressure for half of the pasta package cooking time minus 2 minutes.  (For example, the Jovial pasta calls for a 12 minute cook time so I cook it for 4 minutes).
  4. When cooking is complete, unplug the cooker and use a quick release.  If liquid sprays from the valve, close valve, wait 30-60 seconds and try again.  You may need to do this 2-3 times depending on the brand of pasta.
  5. If the pasta isn’t done, use the saute function to cook with the lid off until your desired texture is reached.
  6. Add parmesan cheese and stir.  The pasta might be a little runny right when you open the pot, but within 5 minutes, the extra liquid will absorb and it will be perfectly creamy. 
  7. Serve hot with a dollop of pesto on top.


  • I prefer a whole grain pasta, but any penne will work.  The Jovial Brown Rice variety is fantastic. Make sure and check the suggested cook time on your box of pasta.  To determine the cook time, divide the lowest time in half, then subtract 2 minutes.
  • The bottled sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil give the best flavor.  If you buy julienned there is no need to cut them. If you buy halved, slice them into 3 or 4 pieces.  Dried tomatoes in a bag will work, they just won’t have as much flavor.
  • I like to use cornstarch in pasta because it prevents low fat and fat free milk from curdling.  If the cornstarch settles to the bottom of the pot, it can cause some sticking. To prevent this, whisk it thoroughly when you add the liquids and immediately start cooking.  If you use 2% or whole milk, you may not need the cornstarch at all.

Keywords: Instant Pot pasta, sun-dried tomato pasta, healthy pasta recipe