Instant Pot Italian Mac and Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli

Closeup for Instant Pot Mac and Cheese pasta on a black plate

If you love Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, you’ll adore this easy Instant Pot Italian Mac and Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli. Same cheesy pasta with favorite Italian flavors and tender bites of chicken and broccoli.

It’s a homemade, simple dinner… in 10 minutes or less!

Favorite Italian Cheeses

Here is a list of Italian cheeses I like with this dish. Or — to keep it really simple, you can purchase a 2-cup bag of pre-shredded Italian Cheese blend at the market. 

Asiago Cheese
Fontina Cheese
Gorgonzola Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese
Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
Provolone Cheese

For more ideas on Italian Cheese, this article from walksofitality.com is a great resource.

Italian Pasta Shapes

Keeping it authentic, it’s nice to know which pasta shapes are authentically Italian. The BBC has produced an informative guide on Pasta Shapes of Italy, categorized by region.

However, I have only used elbow and shells in this recipe. Any tube-shaped pasta should work the same.

Broccoli Florets

People tend to have strong opinions about broccoli. They hate it… or love it. I think it’s a texture thing.

For me, I love it. Any way, any day. I love broccoli raw, crisp-tender, fork-tender, and yes, even almost emulsified. 

That being said, you know how you like your broccoli. There are three ways to add broccoli to this dish.

1. Softer Broccoli:

In the bowl of the Instant Pot, add fresh broccoli florets on top of the raw pasta and cook according to directions. This will produce a softer broccoli which will blend into the sauce.

2. Crisper Broccoli:

Encase the broccoli florets into a foil packet (the larger the florets, the crisper they will be). Add the packet on top of the raw pasta and water before cooking. Be sure to add a small steam vent in the foil so that steam can release. When finished cooking, carefully take the broccoli out and mix in with the pasta, butter, cheese, and milk.

3. Use Frozen Broccoli Florets:

Follow the recipe as directed but omit the broccoli before cooking. Once cooked, switch the Instant Pot to the saute function, add the frozen broccoli and heat through. Then add the butter, cheese, and milk.

Kitchen Tools


A Final Note

Because cheese contains differing amounts of moisture, add the milk to desired consistency. For me, the amount changes each time I use a different cheese combination.

Print

Instant Pot Italian Mac and Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli

thumbnail image of Instant Pot Italian Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot Italian Mac and Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli is 10 minute, easy dinner with tender bites of chicken, broccoli, and creamy pasta.

  • Author: Stephanie Wilson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 14 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian
Scale

Ingredients

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon oil
1 lb uncooked pasta (elbow macaroni, shells)
2 cups broccoli florets
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 cups water
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups shredded Italian cheese (gruyere

Instructions

Cut the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces and turn the Instant Pot to the saute setting. When hot, add the oil and saute the chicken for 1 to 2 minutes, until it is no longer pink. Then, turn off the saute function.

Add the pasta in an even layer over the chicken. Pour the water over the top and add the salt and garlic powder. Stir to combine and top with fresh broccoli florets or add the broccoli foil packet. Follow the manufacturer’s guide for locking the lid and set to “sealing”. Pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. Allow the Instant Pot release pressure naturally for 3 to 4 minutes, then quickly release the remaining pressure.

Stir the broccoli into the pasta, add the butter, milk, and shredded cheese. Stir until it’s creamy. If you would like the sauce thicker, prepare a cornstarch slurry. Simply mix 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1-2 tablespoons of cold water until smooth. Stir the slurry into the pasta, turn the on the saute function and stir until thick; about a minute.

Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, more cheese (maybe?), Parmesan cheese is good, and red pepper flakes if you like.

in the milk and butter (begin with 1/2 cup of milk then add up to one cup to achieve desired creaminess). Then add the shredded cheese, stirring constantly until completely melted. Season to taste and serve hot garnished with fresh herbs (like parsley) if desired.

Keywords: Instant Pot Italian Mac and Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli, Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

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Written by 

Stephanie Wilson is an author, blogger, publisher, and former television news writer and producer. She lives in the Puget Sound area with her family.

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