This Lighter Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo is a healthier version of the classic pasta dish with half the cream and mushrooms for extra veggies.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – or another neutral cooking oil like canola or grapeseed oil.
- Mushrooms – feel free to swap out for another veggie like bell peppers or chopped-up spinach.
- Garlic – fresh minced garlic is best but jarred minced garlic will work in a pinch.
- Chicken breasts – you can also try using boneless skinless chicken thighs.
- Penne – swap out for another cylinder-shaped pasta like rigatoni or fusilli.
- Chicken broth – vegetable broth would be the next best substitute here.
- Parmesan cheese – nutritional yeast is a great dairy-free alternative for parmesan.
- Heavy cream – you can try using half-and-half but the sauce won’t be as creamy.
- Parsley – leave this out altogether if you don’t have any on hand.
How to make chicken alfredo
- Add the first 6 ingredients to the Instant Pot in order.
- Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
- Do a quick release of the pressure.
- Stir in the parmesan and heavy cream.
- Let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and dig in.
Lighter alfredo sauce
Chicken alfredo is one of my favourite pasta dishes – but it can be super high in calories, especially when you order it at a restaurant. For example, an order of chicken alfredo from Olive Garden has a whopping 1,570 calories.
This version is made lighter since I used just a third of a cup of heavy cream, which is way less than most traditional alfredo sauce recipes. I also added in some mushrooms for some more veggies. If you want, you can even add in some bell peppers and chopped-up spinach.
Frequently Asked Questions
Chicken alfredo typically isn’t healthy but this recipe is a lot healthier than most since it uses significantly less cream and mushrooms.
There are 386 calories per serving in this lighter chicken alfredo recipe, which is really low for alfredo recipes, especially options from restaurant!
You can use half-and-half instead of heavy cream if you want, but the pasta won’t be as creamy. This recipe only uses 1/3 cup of heavy cream, so there’s not a whole lot in there.
Storing and reheating
You can store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days in airtight glass containers. When you’re ready to enjoy, you can reheat in the microwave for a couple minutes, just make sure to sprinkle some water over top first so it doesn’t dry out.
You can also reheat it in the oven for 20 minutes at 375° Fahrenheit in a small baking dish with a bit of water. Cover the dish with aluminum foil to trap the steam so the pasta stays nice and creamy!
Freezing this recipe
This chicken alfredo is definitely freezer friendly! You can store it in airtight glass containers or freezer-safe Ziploc bags for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight then follow the reheating instructions above or reheat from frozen in the microwave for 6-7 minutes, stirring halfway through.
More Instant Pot pasta recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on packing this pasta in the freezer and defrosting in the microwave.
- And of course I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box!
Lighter Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 chicken breasts, diced (about 1/2lb chicken)
- 1 lb penne
- 2.5 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- Add olive oil, mushrooms, garlic, chicken, penne and chicken broth to Instant Pot in that order. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes then do a quick release of pressure.
- Open lid when safe to do so and stir in parmesan cheese and cream, then replace lid and let sit for 2-3 minutes so liquid can thicken.
- Serve in large bowls and garnish with fresh parsley and some extra parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!