Instant Pot Recipes from a Chef's Wife and IP Enthusiast

Instant Pot Deconstructed Chicken Parmesan

Start to finish cook time: 40 minutes (5 prep + 7 saute + 15 pressurization + 10 high pressure + 3 pressure release)
Effort Level: Low
Servings: 5

I love chicken parm, but who ever has the time to make it? To be honest, when I want chicken parm the traditional way I make Chef cook it lol. But deconstructed chicken parm, is a whole different story because it's so much easier. You still get all the flavors in the traditional dish, but without the work. To be honest, my creation turned out far better than I expected, it may be my new favorite pasta dish! No boiling water, no creating sauce in a separate pot, no breading the chicken- but it's so good!!

Although you could probably use a lot of different pasta shapes, Cellentani is a great pasta for this dish because it's not going to stick together and the spirals let the sauce really get in there. There is nothing I hate more than really dry pasta.

If you want to jump straight to the recipe, no need to keep scrolling it's right below. If you want step-by-step pictures though, I've included those below the recipe. And as my Chef husband says, "Food is love". Enjoy!

Source: Concept loosely inspired by

  • 4 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 8 oz fresh Mozzarella cheese (damp to the touch, comes in a ball usually), shredded 
  • 2 cups Cellentani pasta (they look like curly spirals)
  • 24 oz jar pasta sauce (traditional or plain, nothing overly seasoned as this is just a sauce base and we are doctoring to be above and beyond any store bought sauce)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp better than bouillon chicken or 1 cube chicken bouillon 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red peppers
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (1/4 for topping and 1/4 for sauce after cooking)


  1. Dice onion into small squares (1 inch roughly). Dice garlic. Cut chicken into cubes. 
  2. Add onions, garlic, chicken breast cubes, and oil to your pot. Turn Instant Pot to high saute for 12 minutes (likely won't use all this time, but set to this so it doesn't turn off on you). Stir frequently to prevent burning. Cook until until onions are translucent and chicken is a bit browned. 
  3. Turn off saute. Pour 1 cup water over chicken. Add in this order- all seasoning, bouillon, then pasta, and then sauce. This is important, DON'T change order and DON'T STIR. Red sauces will set off the burn seasoner if they get to close to the bottom of the pot, also you want pasta to be mostly covered so it cooks without drying out.
  4. Seal and set to high pressure for 10 minutes, be sure steam vent is in the sealed position. Also hit "keep warm". Allow for 15 minutes to build pressure.
  5. While dish is cooking, shred fresh mozzarella. 
  6. In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (save 1/4 cup parm cheese for later), and 1 tbsp butter. Mix thoroughly, cook in microwave 30 seconds. Stir and microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir and set aside. IMPORTANT- be sure to not skip mixing before microwaving, I did this once and the parmesan sticks together like glue instead of sticking to bread crumbs and will make it very chunky rather than something sprinkable.
  7. Once Instant Pot beeps it's done cooking, let natural pressure release for 3 minutes before releasing remaining pressure. 
  8. Sprinkle 1/2 of the shredded mozzarella and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Mix.
  9. Add remaining mozzarella cheese and then parm/bread crumbs to garnish as a top layer. Let sit for 30 seconds until cheese has melted and enjoy!

Dice onions and garlic. 
Cut chicken into small cubes. 
On high saute add oil, onions, garlic, and chicken. Cook
until onions are translucent and chicken is brown (on outside,
doesn't have to be fully cooked). 
Turn high saute off and add in this order: 1 cup water,
all seasoning, bouillon cube, then pasta, and then pasta sauce.
DO NOT STIR. Seal and set to 10 minutes high pressure. While
pasta is cooking, shred mozzarella.  
Mix 1/4 cup grated parmesan, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, and 1 tbsp butter.
Mix the cheese and crumbs well, to avoid rock clumping, and cook for 30 seconds
in microwave. Mix again and cook 30 more seconds. Mix again, set aside. 
Once IP beeps it's done cooking, let sit for 3 minutes depressurizing
and then quick release remaining pressure. Add 1/2 the shredded mozzarella
and remaining 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese. Mix.
Top with remaining 1/2 of shredded mozzarella and parm/bread crumb mix, creating
a garnish layer. Let sit for 30 seconds so cheese melts. 
Plate and garnish with dried parsley, enjoy!