Instant Pot Chicken and Bacon Pasta with Garlic Cream Sauce
Still perfecting my use of the Instant Pot!
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts or 1 lb. chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
6 slices bacon, diced
2 tablespoons butter
5 garlic cloves minced or pressed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can (14.5 fluid ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 package (1 pound) penne pasta
3 cups water
1 cup half and half
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded plus more for serving
1 cup baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
Add chicken, paprika and Italian seasoning to a Ziploc bag and toss to combine. Set aside.
Select Sauté and add the bacon to the pressure cooking pot. Fry for about 5 minutes until crisp, stirring frequently. Transfer the bacon to a plate, leaving the bacon fat in the pot.
Add the butter to the pressure cooking pot. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1 minute. Add the chicken to the pressure cooking pot and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the chicken broth and deglaze the pot if necessary. Add the pasta and stir to combine. Add enough water to cover the pasta, about 3 cups. Lock the lid in place.
Select High Pressure and 1 minute cook time. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker. Use a quick pressure release, or if necessary, use an intermittent release to prevent liquid from coming out of the valve.
When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid. Stir the mixture and taste penne for doneness. If needed, select Simmer/Sauté and cook for a few minutes more, stirring often, until the pasta is tender.
Stir in the half and half and Parmesan a little at a time until cheese melts. Stir in the bacon, spinach, and grape tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.