Anyone else currently loving their Instant Pot? This Instant Pot chicken recipe is a simple and flavorful option for a kid-friendly weeknight meal.
I have to confess, I wasn’t sold on the Instant Pot at first. Nathan, who has an obsession with kitchen gadgets and food science, of course got one way back in 2013 before they were cool. When we got married we did some serious purging because I hate having extra “stuff” and our tiny 1950’s house didn’t have room to spare. I wanted to get rid of the Instant Pot, but I’m glad that Nathan convinced me to keep it.
I do my meal planning based on the sales flyers and what ingredients I have on hand in my fridge, freezer, and pantry. A few weeks ago, I made a big batch of Cooking Light’s Basic Marinara and frozen it in quart containers for future meals, and chicken thighs were on sale at my local grocery store, and so this recipe came together.
Browning the chicken thighs adds extra flavor, but if you’re in a hurry, you can skip this step and start by sauteing the veggies. Use a store-bought marinara sauce and pre-chopped bell pepper and onion to save even more time.
Turn the Instant Pot on to the saute function and wait for it to get hot. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 tablespoon oil and the chicken to the pot. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until browned (chicken will not be done). Remove from pan.
Heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in pot. Add onion and bell pepper, and saute 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and saute 30 seconds. Stir in marinara sauce, and return chicken to Instant Pot, covering it with sauce.
Cover Instant Pot, and, using manual setting, set to 10 minutes on high pressure, making sure the pressure valve is sealed. When done, quick release the pressure.
While chicken cooks, prepare spaghetti according to package directions.
Remove chicken from Instant Pot to a bowl. Turn the Instant Pot on to the saute function, and allow sauce to simmer 5 minutes or until thickened. While sauce simmers, shred chicken with 2 forks. Return chicken to sauce, stirring to combine.
Serve chicken mixture over spaghetti. Top each serving with Parmesan cheese and basil (if using).