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Instant Pot King Ranch Chicken Pasta

With our easy to follow recipe, you can learn to make this cheesy, spicy King Ranch chicken pasta in your Instant Pot!

I’m a huge fan of King Ranch chicken casserole. So, I couldn’t wait to try Kim’s twist on the casserole recipe.

She took all the flavor of that tasty casserole and turned it into a cheesy, spicy pasta dinner.

Her Instant Pot King Ranch chicken pasta is a wonderful new way to enjoy this Tex-Mex classic.

King Ranch chicken pasta served in a blue bowl.
This King Ranch chicken pasta is so tasty!

I can understand if you’re a bit skeptical. But, trust me, the noodles do a great job of transporting all those flavors.

In fact, I didn’t miss the corn tortillas one bit. So, shall we get started?

An aerial photo of the cheesy pasta in a bowl.
The whole recipe only takes about 30-minutes from start to finish.

How to make King Ranch chicken pasta in Instant Pot?

First, place the stainless steel liner into the pot and press the sauté button on the pressure cooker.

Once the liner is hot, add the oil and chicken. Let the poultry cook for about 4-minutes. Remove it from the liner.

Chopped chicken cooking in the pressure cooker.
Try to cut the chicken into equal-sized pieces to ensure even cooking.

Next, add in the diced onions. Cook them for about 3-minutes or until they start to soften.

Now, add 1/4-cup of chicken broth to the liner.

De-glaze the liner and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan.

Diced white onion cooking in the pressure cooker.
Be sure to properly de-glaze (scrape) the liner after the onions cook.

Afterward, turn off the Instant Pot. Add in the dry pasta and at least 1 1/2-cups of chicken broth.

The noodles need to be submerged in liquid. If not, they won’t cook properly. So, add more broth if needed.

Diced tomatoes and chiles added to the pot.
Do NOT stir the ingredients. Otherwise, the pasta dinner might burn!

Once noodles and broth have been added, toss in the chicken and taco seasoning.

On top of that mixture, add in the cream of chicken soup and tomatoes and green chiles.

Then, lock the lid into place and seal the valve. Press the manual (high pressure) cook button.

The pressure cooked King Ranch chicken pasta ingredients in the liner.
Now that everything has pressure cooked, you can safely stir the ingredients.

Set the timer for 6-minutes. When the timer goes off, carefully, complete a quick release and remove the lid.

Last, sprinkle the pasta with the shredded cheddar cheese, stir everything together, and serve!

Shredded cheese added to the hot pasta.
We used cheddar cheese, but feel free to use any type of cheese you prefer.

That’s it, your Instant Pot King Ranch chicken pasta is done! Top it with whatever garnishes you love.

Kim and I hope you enjoy it and wish you all the best 🙂

The cheese has been stirred into the King Ranch chicken pasta.
Once the cheese has been incorporated, the pasta is ready to serve.

Recipe Tips:

  • For al dente noodles, lower the pressure cook time from 6-minutes to 5-minutes. However, be sure to sauté chicken a little longer. The poultry needs to be fully cooked in order to be safe for consumption.
  • This pasta dish is pretty spicy on its own. But, if you want it spicier, then consider adding extra green chiles or using a different, spicier chile altogether.
  • Corn or flour tortillas make great side dishes for this recipe. Additionally, crumbled tortilla chips or tortilla strips sprinkled over the top of the finished pasta adds a nice crunch to the meal.
The finished cheesy chicken pasta in a bowl.
Garnish this pasta with fresh parsley or fresh cilantro.

Don’t forget to check out our Instant Pot King Ranch Chicken web story!

Yield: 6-Cups

Instant Pot King Ranch Chicken Pasta

An aerial photo of the cheesy pasta in a bowl.

With our easy to follow recipe, you can learn to make this cheesy, spicy King Ranch chicken pasta in your Instant Pot!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 7 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes


  • 1 Tablespoon Cooking Oil, your choice
  • 1 Pound Chicken Breasts, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 Cup White Onion, diced
  • 1/4 Cup Chicken Broth (extra to deglaze the pot)
  • 8 Ounces Pasta, uncooked (penne, ziti, rigatoni)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Ounce Taco Seasoning (1 packet)
  • 10.5 Ounces Cream of Chicken Soup (1 can)
  • 10.5 Ounces Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles, (1 can, undrained)
  • 1/4 Cup Diced Green Chiles, canned or jarred, undrained (optional)
  • 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded


Turn on the Instant Pot using the “sauté” button. When the stainless steel insert gets hot, add the oil and chicken. Cook until the chicken turns white, about 3 to 4 minutes (it doesn’t need to be cooked through). Remove the chicken, and place on a waiting plate. 

Leave the Instant Pot on sauté, and add the onion. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until the onion begins to soften. If there are any brown bits on the bottom of the insert, use about a ¼ cup of the chicken broth to deglaze the insert (use a wooden spoon to gently scrape off the bits). Turn off the Instant Pot by pressing “cancel.”

Add the pasta noodles in an even layer. Pour in the broth, and ensure the liquid just covers the noodles. If it does not, add enough broth to cover the noodles. Top with the chicken pieces, then sprinkle with taco seasoning. Next add the cream of chicken soup, tomatoes and green chiles, and extra green chiles if using. DO NOT STIR!

Close the lid, ensure the valve is set to “sealing,” and press the manual (pressure cook) button. Adjust the time to 6 minute (5 minutes for al dente noodles). After the time is up, carefully open the valve to release the pressure. Remove the lid, add the cheese, and stir the contents. 

Serve hot topped with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, salsa, or your other favorite toppings.


The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of about 1.5-cups of the Instant Pot King Ranch chicken pasta. Actual calories will vary. Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container, in your fridge, for up to 3-days. For more information and tips, please refer to the post.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 549Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 1828mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 49g

*The calories are an estimate and are based on the ingredients and serving size listed. The calories can vary depending on the brand of product purchased.

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Jessi Morgan

Friday 29th of January 2021

Followed directions to a T and got a burn notice as soon as it came to pressure. The pot was completely deglazed so I’m not sure why this happened.


Friday 29th of January 2021

Hi Jessi!

We're so sorry to hear that you got a burn notice. It's great that the pot was deglazed, so we can rule that out. This recipe has a couple of ingredients that tend to burn easily if they get to the bottom of the pot. Those are the cream of chicken soup and the diced tomatoes. If you decide to try again, make sure there's plenty of liquid (enough to just cover the noodles or come a bit above the noodles). Layer the ingredients ensuring that the cream of chicken soup and diced tomatoes are on top and not easily seeping into the bottom of the pot. Some people also have luck placing the chicken on the bottom, then the noodles, broth, and then layering the other ingredients. This hasn't worked for us, but it does for some. Hopefully, some of that will be helpful! :) We hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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