Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast and Broccoli Pasta: Healthy, probably, maybe, could be

Posted on May 13, 2017

Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast and Broccoli Pasta

Sometimes, we query, “What shall we make for dinner?” and we just know. Other times, that question consumes our evening as we scour cookbooks, brainstorm combinations and make, at least, one grocery store run. For this meal, the latter occurred. We felt pasta but not red sauce. Eventually, we developed a new recipe for chicken breast and broccoli sauce in the Instant Pot. We served it over whole wheat pasta. It was a late dinner but a worthwhile effort.

We’d love to tell you that this recipe is healthy. That term, of course, carries a subjective meaning. In many ways, it is healthy. First, we cooked it from scratch without processed food (except for the pasta itself). So, we saw what went into the meal. Second, it contains broccoli—a nourishing vegetable. Third, the pasta is whole wheat. Fourth, we used chicken breasts instead of thighs.

All that registers as gospel truth. But, a clever investigator will discover where this dish derives its flavor. Yes, the sun-dried tomatoes help. So do the white wine and garlic. But, the magical ingredient is the renderings from the chicken skin before it is eventually removed.

If you want to prepare this recipe with skinless chicken breasts, you could. It’s within your rights. But, well, you could do a lot of things like bicycle naked or bathe in turpentine or adopt a pet scorpion. You, though, probably shouldn’t do those things.
Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast and Broccoli Pasta

Chicken Breast and Broccoli Pasta


  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Two large (or three small) skin-on chicken breasts with rib bone
  • One onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • Five cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • One tablespoon of thyme
  • One teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • One teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • One tablespoon of flour, if needed
  • 12 ounces of broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping


Add olive oil to pressure cooker. Turn on “Saute” function. When hot, add chicken breasts, skin-side down. Cook for five minutes to render fat. Turn chicken breasts, skin-side up. Cook for two minutes. Remove chicken breasts, and set aside.

Add onion, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic. Cook until onion becomes translucent. Add white wine, chicken stock, thyme, red pepper, salt and black pepper. Cook for two to three minutes. Turn off pressure cooker. Return chicken breasts.

Secure lid. Cook on “High Pressure” for 12 minutes. After done, release pressure. Remove chicken breasts, and set aside to cool.

If liquid remaining in bowl is more soup-like than stew-like, slowly add flour, whisking vigorously to avoid clumping.

Add broccoli to pressure cooker. Stir. Cook on “High Pressure” for 1 minute.

Meanwhile, remove skin and bone from chicken breast. Slice into chucks.

After broccoli finishes, release pressure. Add back chicken breast chunks and Parmesan cheese. Stir gently. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over pasta. Top with Parmesan cheese

Serves six people

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