One pot pasta wonder comin' at ya! Instant Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta is easy enough for every day and fancy enough for entertaining. Take it to the next level with a crunchy topping and steamed or roasted veggies.
Becoming a part-time homeschool mama has taught me a lot of things this year.
- How to fake patience until I feel it
- How to persevere until bedtime
- How to mathematically calculate the perfect ratio of stress level to equal squares of chocolate.
These are the life skills that matter folks!
Above all, I've learned that easy, effortless, minimal mind power dinner recipes are worth their weight in gold.
Don't get me wrong, I still have moments in the kitchen when I'm pretending to be on an episode of Masterchef, creating meals that I imagine would woo Gordan Ramsey himself (please tell me there are others that have these daydreams).
For “COOKIN FOR G RAM” nights, you'll find me making Chicken Pot Pie with Pesto Puff Pastries, Chimichurri Cauliflower Steaks, and Chocolate Cheesecake with Marshmallow Ganache.
But for “WHO AM I AND WHO DECIDED I WAS CAPABLE OF TEACHING MATH” nights, I need a box of pasta and cheese.
Since I still want dinner to be yummy, even when it's easy, instead of Kraft Mac and Cheese, let's make some Instant Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta!
This recipe was first created by my sister Maegan to be an Instant Pot Freezer Meal, but I loved it so much from frozen, that I decided to create a non-frozen version to share here on TIDBITS.
For all you carb and cheese lovers out there – it's time to party.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE INSTANT POT CHICKEN CORDON BLEU PASTA WITH CRUNCHY TOPPING
- ONE POT PASTA DISH: Pasta, meat, and sauce all get whipped up in the Instant Pot! Minimal dirty dishes are always a good thing.
- CREAMY AND CHEESY WITHOUT A TON OF CALORIES: Not to say this is health food per se, but when compared to other heavy cream and cheese laden mac and cheese type dishes, this one tastes surprisingly light and doesn't leave you with a sluggish calorie overload feeling.
- CRUNCHY ONION/PANKO TOPPING: All I can say is, “WOW”. French Onions + Panko + Butter all crunchified on top of your pasta is MAGICAL . Okay, yes, this is an extra step and an extra pan, but it's crazy easy and also optional if you find yourself completely depleted at dinner time.
- EASY STEAMED VEGGIES: Bam! Well balanced dinner because we're taking 3 minutes to microwave some veggies.
HOW TO MAKE CORDON BLEU PASTA IN THE PRESSURE COOKER
- Everybody in the pot and hit start to pressure cook
- Once cooked, stir in cheese and lemon juice
- Let sit for 5 minutes if needed to thicken up; DIVE IN!
SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR DETAILED COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST CHICKEN CORDON BLEU PASTA
- WHOLE GRAIN PASTA: White pasta will work fine, but whole grain adds more fiber and nutrition and it tastes great in this dish.
- CHICKEN TENDERLOINS VS BREASTS: I highly suggest using chicken tenders in this recipe. I tried chicken breast three times and every time it came out chewy. Tenders are the way to go!
- PROPERLY RELEASE PRESSURE: Pasta foam will vary depending on the brand of pasta. Some brands create very little (like Brown Rice Pasta), but some will create so much foam that it will spray from the valve when you do a quick release. DON'T PANIC! Stay close to your pressure cooker when you are releasing the pressure. If foam starts to spurt from the valve, simply flip it back to a sealed position, wait 30 – 60 seconds, then release more pressure until the foam starts to spray again. Repeat this process until the pressure is released and you can remove the lid.
- WHIPPED CREAM CHEESE: Regular cream cheese will work, but whipped melts into the pasta so much easier and results in a lighter, creamy sauce.
- GRATE YOUR OWN CHEESE: I'm not always against using pre-grated cheese, but just know that when you take the time to grate your own cheese, it will melt better and have a creamier texture.
- COOK VEGGIES ON THE SIDE: I tried to cook the veggies with the pasta as well as in a steamer basket above the pasta – it doesn't work. They'll either be mush or covered in starchy pasta water. Quickly steaming them in the microwave is super easy, or if you have a second pressure cooker, you could use that as well (see Instant Pot Vegetable Medley for tips).
- USE PANKO: I LOVE whole wheat panko bread crumbs. The flavor is nutty and the crunch is so much better than regular breadcrumbs. Regular white panko will also work in a pinch.
HOW TO STORE, REHEAT, AND FREEZE CORDON BLEU PASTA
- Store: Cool leftovers and store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Reheat: Three options: 1) Microwave for a minute or two until hot. 2) Reheat on the stovetop with a splash of milk to make it creamy again. 3) Reheat in an air fryer for crispy bites of pasta and chicken (my favorite!)
- Freeze: This dish freezes okay in a sealed container for up to 3 months, but the sauce will become a bit grainy when reheated.
MAKE AHEAD TIPS FOR CHICKEN CORDON BLEU PASTA
- Cut chicken into bite-size pieces and grate the cheese up to three days before.
- Crunchy Topping can be prepared several days ahead of time and stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH PASTA
VARIATIONS OF CHICKEN CORDON BLEU PASTA
- Vegetarian Pasta Dish: Omit the chicken and ham, and use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth. It is a delicious mac and cheese dish!
- Spicy Pasta: Add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for a kick of heat.
- Chicken Corn Bleu without the Pasta: Try this Instant Pot Hasselback Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe – so good!
Easy, peasy Chicken Cordon Bleu dish without the stuffing, pan-frying, and sauce making. This recipe is going to treat you well whether you need it for an easy dinner, want to impress the neighbors, or feed a small army.
With carbs and cheese at our sides, I'm confident we will surely soar past any obstacle in our path – that's the power of pasta people. Believe it.
MORE INSTANT POT PASTA RECIPES
- Instant Pot Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken and Pesto
- Classic Italian Pasta Salad
- Instant Pot Sweet Corn and Tomato Pasta
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT CHICKEN CORDON BLEU PASTA
Instant Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta
Easy pasta dish for any night of the week!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
- 1 ½ pounds chicken tenderloins, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup cubed ham
- 1 pound whole grain penne pasta
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup apple juice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup grated swiss cheese
- 8 oz whipped cream cheese
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
For the Side Vegetable
- Asparagus chopped into bite-size pieces (could also use broccoli, brussel sprouts, or green beans)
For the Crunchy French Onion Topping (optional, but delicious!)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 ½ cups French fried onions
- 1 cup panko (I use Whole Wheat Panko)
- pinch of kosher salt
For serving: steamed asparagus, crunchy french onion topping
- Add chicken tenderloins, ham, pasta, chicken broth, apple juice, butter, garlic, salt, Italian seasoning, and pepper to the pressure cooker pot. Stir well so the chicken isn’t clumped together.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for half the pasta package cooking time, minus 2 minutes. (For example, my pasta called for 8 minutes so I cooked it for 2 minutes).
- While the pasta is cooking, steam asparagus in the microwave or on the stovetop until tender-crisp.
- If making the Crunchy French Onion Topping, melt butter in a medium skillet. Add French fried onions, panko, and salt and cook until lightly browned.
- When pressure cooking is complete, use a quick release. If liquid sprays from the valve, close valve, wait 30-60 seconds, and try again.
- Select the saute function and add swiss cheese, cream cheese, and lemon juice. Stir until cheese is melted. Turn off the pressure cooker. The pasta sauce will be loose at this point, but within 5 minutes, it will be perfectly creamy.
Serve topped with the Crunchy French Onion Topping and steamed asparagus.
- I prefer chicken tenderloins in this recipe. Chicken breast become a little chewy.
- I like to use “whipped” cream cheese because it melts into the pasta easier than the blocks of cream cheese. If you can’t find it, substitute with 4 ounces or so of block cream cheese.
- Any steamed veggie will work – broccoli, green beans, brussel sprouts, etc.
Keywords: Chicken Cordon Bleu, Easy Pasta Recipe, Instant Pot Pasta
I feel like this is the dumbest question, but is do the cubed tenderloins have to be cooked prior to adding them to the IP or do they go in uncooked?
Briana, not dumb at all! I’m actually wondering if I need to reword it because I’ve had others ask me that. They go in uncooked 🙂
This was SO good and super quick and easy to put together! We made the topping to go along with it and I would highly recommend it.
Jessica, yes! I love the topping! I’m glad you liked it 🙂
PJ McCarthy says
just made this and eating it as i type….perfect instructions. tastes amazing
PJ, I’m so happy you liked it!
This looks sooo Yummy and Easy! I want to make it this weekend. I have everything but apple juice, how does it change the dish from just using chicken broth? Thank you for all the amazing instant pot recipes!
Tammy, It will still be amazing, go for it!