Instant Pot: Creamy Chicken Marsala Pasta

There's something about the winter that draws me into comfort cooking. This just hit the spot and warmed us up from the cold. I made a popular recipe on my site and adjusted it so I could make it in our Instant Pot. The result was fantastic! My Creamy Chicken Marsala Pasta was made in just one pot in a fraction of the time. This perfectly al dente pasta dish has a creamy marsala and mushroom sauce with seasoned chicken scattered throughout. Heavenly, I tell you...

My son was reluctant to try this because it wasn't covered in a red sauce. But after he took a bite, he couldn't get enough. My husband enjoyed this just the same. This made plenty, enough for leftovers! The only thing about making pasta in the Instant Pot is that it can get messy. Cooking pasta somehow causes the steam to be a bit frothy, so when doing a quick release of the pressure after it's cooked, it's a good idea to have a kitchen towel over the setting knob on top so you don't have a big kitchen mess on your hands. If you do a natural release, the pasta may get mushy so it's best to do a quick release when it's done.

Creamy Chicken Marsala Pasta
recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen 


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces sliced mushrooms (white or cremini)
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts; cut into bite sized pieces
salt and pepper to your tastes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound of dry penne pasta (I used whole wheat penne)
4 cups of chicken broth
3/4 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup heavy cream or half & half
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese + more for serving
3-5 tablespoons unsalted butter (use up to 5 if you want it rich!)
salt and pepper to taste
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP and add the oil.

Press SAUTE and add the onions, garlic and mushrooms. Cook, until softened. 

Meanwhile, season cut up chicken breast with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

When onion and mushroom mixture have softened, add chicken to the pot and saute until slightly browned.

When the chicken has slightly browned, add the dry penne pasta and chicken broth. Stir.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 4 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 4 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.The IP will then beep after pressure cooking for 4 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 4 minutes, place a kitchen towel on top of the setting knob and carefully turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release pressure (also known as QRP or QR). Note - it may get messy, which is why I use a kitchen towel over the setting to reduce spray from the IP. I also use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Stir in 3 tablespoons of butter and Marsala wine. (Add 5 tablespoons of butter if you like it rich)

Then stir in 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and heavy cream (or half & half if using).

The residual heat from the pasta will warm up the cream and melt the cheese as it slowly thickens. If it is too thin for your preferences, you can press SAUTE to speed it up.

To serve, season with salt and pepper to your tastes, top with more additional Parmesan cheese if desired and a garnish of chopped parsley.