This recipe for Chicken Alfredo won my husband over! For 12 plus years of marriage, I could not get him to eat pasta with a creamy sauce. He had an aversion to it, but he agreed to try this one!
He loved it! I mean really loved it!! There is only one teeny weeny problem, it's not exactly a true Alfredo. I broke more than one rule in this recipe, but you know what? It's delicious and EASY and I know you will love it!
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Of course, if you are alfredo aficionado and want to make the alfredo sauce without any cream, you can certainly do that, as well, and this recipe will work just fine with a few changes.
Adding cream isn't the only rule I broke, I also added onions and a few peppers and in one batch that I made for my YT video, I even added spinach. All are delicious and also optional!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can double it. However, you need to make a few changes. The time to pressure is slightly longer with more liquid, so decrease the PC time to 1 minute and do a 3-5 minute NR so you don't have pasta water spewing out of the valve. You will only want to use 3 cups of chicken stock and ¾ cup of heavy cream at the end. Otherwise it can be too runny. If your chicken Alfredo is a little runny at the end, no worries, just use the sear/sauté to burn off the extra liquid. Keep in mind it does thicken as it sits.
I have some in the freezer now and I'm sure it's going to be just fine. To reheat from frozen, I would either use the slow cook on low with about ¼-½ cup of chicken stock or even water. OR, use the steam function with the frozen Alfredo in a covered container.
Whenever I freeze and reheat anything with a cream sauce, I make sure I have extra cream and cheese on hand to add to the sauce in case it needs a boost of creaminess.
I don't suggest pressure cooking fresh pasta. If you wanted to use fresh pasta, use the sear/sauté to boil salted water and cook your pasta as you normally would. Save the pasta water because you will need it to make the alfredo sauce.
What is a True Alfredo Sauce?
Alfredo sauce is made from butter and aged Parmesan cheese mixed with a little pasta water to create a creamy sauce.
The most used pasta in an Alfredo is fettuccine because the flat noodles catch and hold onto the Alfredo sauce.
If you search Google or any other search engine, you will see Alfredo sauces made tons of different ways. Some call for a roux (cooked butter/flour) as a thickening agent, some call for milk or cream, and some stay more authentic and stick with butter and parmesan.
I intended on staying authentic in this recipe and had to fight myself to add the cream, but I'm glad I did. That little bit of cream really made a big difference in flavor and creaminess and I know you are going to love it.
How would I Make a Traditional Alfredo Sauce without Cream?
If you wanted to make a traditional alfredo sauce instead of the one I made, you would simply increase the grated parmesan and skip the cream and the Italian cheese blend.
How much cheese and butter you use is completely up to you, so there aren't any measurements here.
Simply add the parmesan cheese and extra butter until you have a nice creamy sauce on your pasta. Make sure to keep your heat on low so you don't experience a separation of the fat from the butter and the cheese.
How Can I Make Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo without a Pressure Cooker?
Chicken Alfredo is a quick dinner to make with or without a pressure cooker and it's easily done stove-top.
The first thing you want to do is prep your ingredients. Cut up and season the chicken. Dice the onion. I would use 1-2 cloves of minced garlic instead of whole garlic cloves since you won't be going under pressure. Grate the cheese.
Boil a large pot of salted water on the stove and when it comes to a boil, add in the fettuccine noodles.
While they are cooking, heat up the butter in a large skillet and sauté the chicken, onions, garlic and peppers if you want to use them. Make sure the chicken is cooked through.
When the pasta is al dente, use tongs to place it in the skillet with the chicken. Add about ½ cup of the pasta water along with the grated cheese. Heat over low to medium heat until the cheese is melted and a sauce starts to form.
You can choose to add cream or stick with all pasta water and more cheese. Add as much or as little cheese/butter/cream as you want until the sauce is exactly how you like it.
Make sure to taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper if needed.
What Pasta Should I Use for Chicken Alfredo?
My top pick, and what I used in this recipe, is fettuccine noodles. They do a great job of holding the Alfredo sauce and work perfect in this recipe.
However, it's your chicken Alfredo and you can use any type of pasta you like! It doesn't even have to be a long noodle, you can literally use any type of dried pasta and it will be wonderful.
You will need to make a few changes, though, depending on the pasta used. These are only my suggestions, I have not tested the recipe using various pasta. Please let me know if you try any of them and if they work or don't work for you!
I would also cut the chicken into smaller pieces or sauté them to parcook when using shorter PC times than 2 minutes just to make sure they are cooked all the way.
- Fettuccine or Linguine: PC 2 minutes with an Immediate Release
- Spaghetti noodles: PC 1 minute with an Immediate Release
- Farfalle, Penne, Rigatoni, Elbows: PC 3 minutes with an Immediate Release
- Angel Hair Pasta: PC ZERO minutes with an Immediate Release
In this recipe, the pasta is undercooked after the PC time so that it doesn't overcook while we use sear/sauté to create the sauce.
What is the Best way to Reheat Chicken Alfredo?
As the chicken Alfredo sits in the fridge, it will thicken quite a bit. I either reheat using the steam function with the Alfredo in a covered pot OR I use the low sear/sauté or even slow cook on high to reheat.
When using sear/sauté or slow cook, I add about ¼ cup of chicken broth and ¼ cup of cream while reheating to bring the Alfredo back to a creamy consistency.
For frozen Alfredo, I suggest using the slow cook function to avoid any scorching. It will take anywhere from 20-40 minutes for the Alfredo to heat up when it's refrigerated, so it will definitely take longer from frozen.
Of course, you can always use the microwave too! I would definitely add some chicken stock before heating in the microwave and then add a touch of cream after it's heated.
A little extra cheese never hurts anything either! Often times I'll add in a handful of either parmesan (shredded) or an Italian blend of shredded cheese.
What Size Ninja Foodi/Instant Pot is Best for this Recipe?
You can use any size Ninja Foodi or IP for this recipe as long as you don't go over the max fill line for pressure cooking.
If using any size smaller than a 6 qt, I would also extend your natural release time to prevent pasta water from spurting out when the pressure is released.
For this recipe, I would decrease the PC time to 1 minute when using any electric pressure cooker smaller than 6 qts and allow the pot to Natural Release its pressure for about 5 minutes before manually releasing the remaining pressure.
For any size greater than or equal to 6 qts, you can follow the same instructions as in the written recipe.
How to Make Chicken Alfredo in the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot
I always like to get the prep out of the way first.
Trim and cube up the chicken breast into about 1" size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. I used ½ tsp fine grind sea salt and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper.
Dice the onion into about ¼" dice and add to the inner pot. Cut the mini peppers into rounds or thinly slice 1 bell pepper. I used the multi colored mini peppers in this recipe and loved the subtle flavor and pop of color, but they are totally optional.
Peel the garlic cloves and leave them whole. This imparts a very mild garlic flavor into the chicken alfredo. If you want a stronger garlic flavor, you can chop or mince a few cloves instead. I would not use more than 1 tsp of minced garlic or it might be overpowering.
Now for the pasta! I'm using traditional fettuccine in this recipe and instead of breaking it in half, I cut off about 1-2" and then it fits perfectly in the pot. You can see (pictured above) that I do this right over the pot so I am still using the ends, but just let them fall into the pot.
In this recipe, you don't want to add your liquid yet. We will do that last. Layer the ingredients in order for the best result.
I take a small handful of the pasta (when squeezed together it's about the diameter of a dime) and trim the ends off. Then spread the pasta out so that the individual noodles are barely touching each other.
Here is a quick video showing exactly how I cut and layer the pasta for this recipe.
The best kitchen shears I've ever had are these from Pampered Chef. They cut through chicken bones with ease and also worked great for trimming the pasta.
Repeat with the remaining pasta alternating directions each time so the pasta noodles are in a criss cross pattern.
Next, add the cubed chicken on top. Spread the cubes out over the pasta so they don't clump and cook unevenly.
Place the butter on top. Pour in the chicken broth. Put the pressure lid on and set the pressure to high for 2 minutes.
I usually grate the parmesan cheese using a fine grater. You will need less than 1 ounce of hard parmesan cheese to equal ½ cup. You can always use more, though! You can also use all parmesan cheese and skip the Italian blend if you like. I found 1½ cups of cheese was a good amount in this recipe, but how much you use is certainly up to you.
When the time is up, immediately release the pressure and remove the lid.
I'll warn you now, it looks like a mess right now. The noodles are undercooked and they may even be all clumped up. Don't worry! We are about to fix all of that. The noodles are undercooked on purpose so they don't stay stuck together when we make the alfredo sauce.
Once you open the lid, take some tongs and toss around the pasta to loosen it up. Turn the sear/sauté on high or medium high if you prefer.
Add in the grated cheeses and continue to mix it all together. The cheese might look like it's clumping; don't worry, it will come together. The broth should be at a low boil and that will cook the noodles completely.
In this recipe, I use freshly grated parmesan and an Italian blend that is pre shredded and contains several different types of cheeses, including; mozzarella, parmesan, asiago, pecorino romano, and provolone.
When the noodles are just done enough that they are uniform in color (undercooked fettuccine will be a darker tan color) turn the heat down to medium and add the cream. Stir well.
It will look very liquidy. Don't worry! It thickens up beautifully.
Add in the spinach, if you are adding that, and make sure the spinach leaves are down in the pasta and sauce. Turn the Ninja Foodi or IP off and close the crisping lid or put the pressure lid back on with the valve vented.
Let it sit 5-10 minutes so the sauce thickens. Toss everything around and serve!
I like to add a little freshly grated parmesan on top and sometimes a few red pepper flakes or freshly cracked black pepper.
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Chicken Alfredo ~ Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot Recipe
- Pressure Cooker
- ½ Vidalia onion
- 6 cloves garlic peeled
- 4-6 mini red, orange, yellow peppers or 1 red bell pepper
- 8 ounces fettuccine noodles
- 10 ounces chicken breast cut into 1½" cubes
- ½ tsp fine grind sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 4 Tbsp salted butter
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup Italian Blend shredded cheese
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2-3 cups baby spinach optional
- Cut the chicken into small bite size pieces about 1" cubes and season with salt and pepper. Slice the peppers into round or thin strips if you are using a regular size bell pepper. Dice the onion into ¼" dice. Peel 6 cloves of garlic.
- Add the onions, peppers, garlic to the inner pot. Cut about 1" off the ends of the fettuccine noodles and fan them in a criss cross fashion in the pot.
- Spread the cubed chicken on top. Place the butter on top of the chicken. Pour in the 2 cups of chicken stock. Put on the pressure lid and turn the valve to seal. Set the pressure to high for 2 minutes. When the time is up, immediately release the pressure.
- Turn the sear/sauté on high. Toss the fettuccine noodles around in the pot to loosen them up. They will be undercooked at this point, but will finish cooking during the sear/sauté and resting time.
- Add in the grated cheese and stir to combine. It might clump at first, but will smooth out. Reduce the heat to medium and add in the cream. Mix until combined. Add in the spinach if using and toss so the spinach is under the pasta. The mixture will look runny, no worries. Turn the heat off and close the crisping lid. Let sit 5-10 minutes. Mix well and serve!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
She published her first cookbook in the Fall of 2018 and is very interested in writing several more.
Louise is also the creator of an online Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooking Course with over 100 instructional step-by-step videos. People absolutely rave about the course and all the value they have received from it.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can. Get more Information about Louise & contact information
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Hi. Could you used cream cheese instead of cream. Thinking of the calories.
I’m in the uk.
cream cheese is a different flavor from cream, so it would taste different, but you could use it.
Louise, you are a goddess! So yummy and simple. Thank you once again
Just made this tonight and it was a big hit. I used broth I made from better than bullion. I foolishly didn’t fully read the instructions and used 1/2 of a Costco rotisserie chicken but it was delicious and I’d probably do that again. Thank you for another great recipe!
I'm glad you enjoyed it!
This was great, was more runny than I anticipated but I believe it’s because I subbed vegan butter and coconut milk for the cream. And I did a whole onion! Oops! Was still very tasty and I’ll adjust the next time I make it.
The whole onion wouldn't make it runny, so must be the vegan butter and/or coconut milk. Or, perhaps your pasta didn't absorb as much liquid. Next time, try using the sear/sauté on low-medium or even slow cook on low so it firms up some. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Tried this for a finicky eater. He only suggested I add more things. That's a huge win! lol. Your videos make me happy. If I'm having a down day I watch and you get me on a positive roll. That is your real magic! wonderful!
Thank you so much! I'm so glad they are helpful and inspiring, that means the world to me.