Chicken Scampi – Pressure Cooking Today™

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Instant Pot Chicken Scampi has a creamy, garlicky sauce finished with parmesan and tender chicken. It’s a super easy family-friendly dinner to serve over pasta ready in about 30 minutes.

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe: This Chicken Scampi recipe is packed with flavor, and even with a brief sautéing at the beginning, the dish is ready in 30 to 45 minutes. The creamy, rich sauce tastes like it’s been cooking for hours.

This is our version of the Olive Garden favorite. It includes everything you love about the restaurant version, including a creamy, garlicky sauce and cheesy finish, but it’s made in under an hour in the Instant Pot!

This is one of our favorite chicken Instant Pot recipes. Serve it up with Instant Pot White Rice, pasta, or your favorite starch.

An overhead shot of the ingredients needed for Chicken Scampi, including red onions, chicken tenders, bell peppers, cream, butter, parmesan, and spices

Ingredients to Make Chicken Scampi

The ingredients for this chicken and pasta recipe are easy to find!

  • Seasonings. This chicken gets flavored with garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning.
  • Chicken tenders. These are smaller than breasts and cook up faster. We love it with the tenderloin but you can cut down breasts if you prefer.
  • Red onion. You can also use yellow onion if you like.
  • Bell pepper. Use any combination of colored peppers you like!
  • White wine. You can also use more broth if you want to make this alcohol-free.
  • Chicken broth. Use low-sodium store-bought or make your own chicken broth.
  • Cream. This adds tons of creamy body to the sauce.
An overhead shot of an Instant Pot filled with bright red bell peppers, yellow peppers, and red onions sliced ​​in thin long strips

How to Make Chicken Scampi in an Instant Pot

This easy recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cookerincluding the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.

Start by seasoning the chicken. Combine the garlic, onion, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Then add the chicken and coat fully.

If you plan to serve this over pasta, don’t forget to put the water on to boil about now!

Meanwhile, heat the oil in the pressure cooking pot. Add the onion and peppers and cook until soft, then transfer to a plate. Add the remaining butter and oil, then sauté the chicken. Work in batches to brown the chicken on all sides. Then transfer to a separate plate.

TIP: Make sure you scrape out all of the onions and peppers before you add any of the chicken; any left in there will burn by the time the chicken is done cooking. (I was hurrying to take a photo before the light changed.)

Also, if at any time the browning on the bottom of the pot starts to look too dark, add some water and scrape well to prevent it from burning. Better too little browning than too much.

Deglaze the pot by adding the wine, then cook for a minute. Add the chicken broth, then return the chicken and vegetables to the pot. Pressure cook for 3 minutes. When the cook time ends, release with a quick pressure release.

Remove the lid from the pressure cooker. To thicken the chicken scampi, combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Stir the cornstarch slurry into the sauce in the Instant Pot. When it’s thickened, turn off the pressure cooker. Gradually stir in the parmesan cheesea little at a time, until it’s melted. Add the heavy cream and stir until well combined.

an overhead shot of the chicken scampi inside an Instant Pot, prepared and ready to serve with pasta

Important Tips for Making Instant Pot Chicken Scampi

Keep these tips in mind when making this recipe:

  • It’s important to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pressure cooking pot to avoid a burn notice. We deglaze with a dry white wine, but you can skip this step and just use extra chicken broth if you like. I love the flavor that the wine adds, though.
  • If the sauce doesn’t thicken as soon as you stir in the cornstarch mixture, use the Sauté function to heat it through. Stir well until the sauce is thick and coats the chicken.
  • If you don’t have Italian seasoning, you can make a simple blend with equal parts oregano, basil, marjoram and rosemary.
An overhead, close-up shot of a bowl of chicken scampi served with pasta and garnished with cheese and parsley

Frequently Asked Questions about Instant Pot Chicken Scampi

How to serve chicken scampi?

We like to serve this chicken and bell pepper dish over angel hair or spaghetti. You could also serve it with toasted bread, mashed potatoes, or another grain.

If you’re serving it over pasta, put a pot of water on to boil when you start prepping the dish. That way, everything should be ready at the same time.

How should I store leftovers?

Let leftover chicken scampi cool fully, then transfer to an airtight container. Store it in the fridge for up to four days. You can reheat in the microwave or in the Instant Pot to serve.

Tip: When reheating a dish with heavy cream, heat through but don’t bring to a boil. Otherwise, the cream may curl.

Can I swap out any ingredients?

If you’d like to swap out the bell peppers for another veggie, it’s easy to do. You could use onions or leeks, carrots, or mushrooms.

an overhead shot of a black bowl of chicken scampi pasta on a wooden charger with an instant pot and rolls in the background

MORE Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

Try these other popular pressure cooker chicken recipes next:


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Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 2 pounds chicken tenders

  • 2 tablespoons oil, divided

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced ​​into long strips (about 1/8-inch thick and sliced ​​long)

  • 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced ​​into long strips (we used yellow and red for color variation)

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1/4 cup white wine

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

  • 10 to 12 oz. cooked angel hair pasta, prepared according to package directions

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Add chicken and toss with your hands to coat the chicken with the spices.
  2. Select Sauté and preheat the pressure cooking pot. When hot, add 1 tablespoon oil. Add the red onion and sliced ​​peppers and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and butter and stir until butter is melted. Sauté the chicken in small batches, a few tenders at a time until the chicken is nicely browned, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a separate plate.
  4. When all the chicken has been sautéed, add the wine** to the cooking pot and scrape the bottom of the pan to ensure no browned bits remain. Continue cooking until the wine reduces, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and scrape the pan again.
  5. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pressure cooking pot. Add the sauteed peppers and onions on top. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 3 minutes cook time. When the cook time ends, use a quick pressure release.
  6. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in water. Push the chicken to one side of the pot and add the cornstarch mixture and stir to combine. (The liquid should be hot enough that it thickens almost immediately. If not, select Saute and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce boils and thickens.)
  7. Turn off the pressure cooker and gradually stir in the parmesan cheese, a little at a time. Add the heavy cream and stir until well combined.
  8. Serve chicken and sauce over prepared pasta, sprinkled with fresh parsley.

Notes

**You can omit the wine and just deglaze with chicken broth if you prefer.

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published on May 28, 2022

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