Pressure Cooker Pesto Chicken Tetrazzini

A creamy pressure cooker pasta with tender chicken, fragrant pesto and sweet carrots to add to your weekly repertoire!

pressure cooker pesto chicken tetrazzini

This post is brought to you in partnership with Milk Life.

Creamy pasta tetrazzini is such a crowd pleaser, and adding pesto only makes it more delicious! Put the two together and you end up with a seriously comforting and flavorful dish.

Tender chunks of chicken and carrots make it a one-pot meal, with protein, veggies, and pasta all in one pot.

Video: Pressure Cooker Pesto Chicken Tetrazzini


Pressure Cooker Pesto Chicken Tetrazzini

Real Milk in the Pressure Cooker

Pressure cooker dishes with dairy do take some special technique to cook well. If you’ve ever gotten a “burn” error on your electric pressure cooker’s front display, this might be why!

Dairy cooked under pressure has a tendency to scorch, curdle, and otherwise misbehave, but you can absolutely use it in pressure cooker recipes. Just be sure to add the dairy ingredients after the dish has finished pressure cooking.

You’ll want to use this method when making any creamy, dairy-filled dish that’s cooked directly in the pressure cooker’s inner pot, such as rice pudding, macaroni and cheese, and of course this pasta dish.

Here, since the pesto cream sauce contains lots of dairy, you’ll add them in along with the diced carrots after the pasta and chicken are cooked under pressure, allowing the carrots to simmer in the sauce ‘til they’re just cooked through.

Tender Pressure-Cooked Pasta

Pasta is another ingredient that takes a little special care when pressure cooking. You’ll find that short, compact shapes tend to work the best.

For this recipe, we broke the linguine into 3-inch pieces before we cooked it. That way, it’s much easier to break up any clumps and stir it all together at the end.

Completing the Meal!

Serve the tetrazzini on its own, or with a dinner salad and some garlic bread for an easy and satisfying weeknight dinner. We hope you have fun making this creamy, crave-worthy pasta dish, with real milk to bring it all together!

Pressure Cooker Pesto Chicken Tetrazzini

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 60 mins
Servings 8 to 10 servings


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds chicken breasts or tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound linguine pasta (dried semolina variety)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup pesto, homemade or store-bought, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or basil, for serving


  1. Sauté veggies and chicken:

    Select the Sauté setting on your pressure cooker and melt the butter. Add the mushrooms and salt, and sauté for about 8 minutes, until the mushrooms are wilted and most of their liquid has evaporated.

    Add the chicken and sauté for about 3 more minutes, until the chicken is mostly opaque on the outside — it does not have to be fully cooked through.

  2. Begin cooking the pasta:

    Break the pasta into 3-inch pieces and scatter them evenly over the chicken and mushrooms.

    Pour in the chicken broth and wine, and use a spoon to nudge the noodles under the liquid as much as you can — it’s ok if they’re not completely submerged.

  3. Bring pressure cooker up to pressure:

    Secure the lid on your pressure cooker in its Sealing position. Cancel the Sauté program, then select the Manual setting for 3 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 10 to 12 minutes to come to pressure before the cooking program begins.)

  4. Release the pressure:

    When the program ends, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then move the pressure release mechanism to its venting position to release the remaining steam.

  5. Add the carrots and real milk:

    Open the pot and add the carrots and milk.

  6. Cook down the carrots and pasta:

    Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program, then select the Sauté setting. Use a spoon or spatula to stir everything together, spending a minute or two to break up any large clumps of noodles.

    Cover the pot with a glass lid and let the mixture simmer until the carrots are fork tender, about 5 minutes. If carrots are still not tender, stir well and continue cooking for 1 to 2 additional minutes.

    Cancel the Sauté program to turn off the pot.

  7. Add the final ingredients:

    Wearing heat-resistant mitts, lift the inner pot out of the Instant Pot housing. Remove the lid and stir in the pesto, cream cheese, and Parmesan. Use the spoon or spatula to nudge loose any pasta that is sticking to the bottom of the pot.

  8. Serve with milk:

    Ladle the tetrazzini into bowls or onto plates and sprinkle with chopped parsley or basil. Serve right away.