Instant Pot: Tuscan Garlic Chicken (Olive Garden)

I've been craving Olive Garden lately (yes, I admit this guilty pleasure of mine) and when I don't get a chance to dine there, I do the next best thing... check out their website for recipes! I'm back to cooking from my skimpy pantry yet again and was surprised that I made this dish with a few substitutions. The result? A really, really good pasta dish that I can't wait to make again soon!

This recipe for Tuscan Garlic Chicken was taken from the Olive Garden website. Although I didn't have fresh bell peppers or fresh spinach, I used frozen bell pepper strips and frozen spinach with no problem. Another substitution I made was using a lonely can of evaporated milk I had in place for the half & half or cream. (I still don't recall why I even bought canned evaporated milk to begin with!) The last substitution I made was using a last bit of Fontinella cheese I had in my fridge, which replaced the Parmesan cheese in the original recipe. Despite all these adaptations, the end result was still delicious and I found it tasted better the next day when the pasta had a chance to really absorb all buttery, cheesy and garlicky wine flavors of the sauce. YUM!

Tuscan Garlic Chicken
recipe adapted from Olive Garden

4 (4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 1/2 cups flour, plus 1 tablespoon
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp Italian seasoning
5 Tbsp olive oil

1 lb farfalle pasta
4 cups water

1 Tbsp garlic, chopped
1 red pepper, julienne cut
1 yellow pepper, julienne cut
1 green pepper, julienne cut
1 cup white wine (Sauvignon Blanc is excellent)
10 oz package frozen whole leaf spinach
1 cup half & half or canned evaporated milk
1 cups Fontinella cheese, grated (or Parmesan)

In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Mix 1½ cups flour, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in the mixture, shaking off any excess.

Press SAUTE on the IP and add oil. When shimmering hot, add seasoned, dredged chicken; cooking until golden brown and crisp (5- 7 min). You may have to cook chicken in batches.

Once all chicken has been cooked, set aside on a plate.

Add the pasta and water into the IP, place chicken on top of pasta.

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.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 4 minutes, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I 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). The IP will automatically default to the WARM mode.

Using tongs, remove the chicken from the IP and place on baking sheet. Preheat broiler and when ready, broil chicken until desired crispness or doneness.

On the IP, press SAUTE and to the cooked pasta, add peppers, wine, spinach and evaporated milk and bring to a boil. Complete sauce by stirring in the cheese.

To serve, place pasta onto plate and top with chicken and remaining sauce. Garnish with extra cheese if desired.


  1. I really don't know what's missing! I followed the recipe exactly and it taste a bit...bland? Non descript? I could taste the garlic and wine strongly, but it just was missing something. Perhaps after a day sitting in fridge as you mentioned, it will taste more distinctly like what I would've expected. Feeling defeated:(
    Any suggestions let me know!

  2. Linda, this looks yummy, but I agree-it does look like it needs more flavor. I suggest maybe using heavy cream instead of the canned milk or half and half, maybe cook some chopped bacon, then cook some sliced mushrooms in the bacon fat. I'd cook the sauce a bit to reduce the wine somewhat before adding the cream and the cheese. Hope this helps.