Instant Pot Chicken and Bacon Carbonara

Our family loves going out to eat, but we love saving money more.  I crave the chicken carbonara at Olive Garden and I wanted to create an easier recipe that could be made at home to save money.

This one pot Instant Pot Chicken and Bacon Carbonara tastes great and is an easy dinner recipe!

Copycat chicken and bacon carbonara recipe from Olive Garden with bowtie pasta

If you like this recipe you may also enjoy our Pasta with Marinara and Alfredo and our Roasted Tomato Garlic and Basil Pasta.

Instant Pot Chicken and Bacon Carbonara Recipe

This make at home copy cat version of the Olive Garden chicken carbonara is very easy and very satisfying.  Using this easy Instant Pot recipe means fewer dishes. We love that the ingredients are so budget-friendly too!

Our family loves going out to eat, but we love saving money more.  That’s why we also enjoy making Copycat Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli Soup and Macaroni Grill Copycat Pasta Milano.

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It’s also easier to eat at home and nice not to have to wrestle a toddler at the restaurant dinner table.

Everyone in our family likes pasta, chicken, bacon and peas so the combination is easy and delicious.  The whipping cream and cheese add a nice richness in a very simple way.  The 6 quart Instant Pot means no additional pans are needed to make a sauce, so clean-up is much easier!

Instant Pot chicken carbonara on bowtie pasta with peas, bacon and cream sauce

How to Make Chicken Carbonara in an Electric Pressure Cooker

  1. Toss the chicken pieces in flour and set aside
  2. In the Instant Pot, use the saute setting, add the butter and vegetable oil.  When the fats are hot add the garlic and floured chicken to the pot.
  3. Cook the chicken.  If necessary cook in batches adding more butter and oil as needed.
  4. Return cooked chicken to the Instant Pot.
  5. Place uncooked pasta on top of the chicken and then pour the broth over the pasta.  Be sure to add the liquid last and do NOT stir!
  6. Lock the lid in place and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. When the timer sounds, allow to natural release for 8 minutes.
  7. Stir the contents of the pot, then add the cream, Parmesan, peas and bacon.  Garnish pasta with bacon and additional Parmesan if desired.

Tips for Making Instant Pot Chicken Carbonara

  • Chicken can be cooked in batches, but I prefer to use chicken that covers the bottom of the Instant Pot in one layer.  Cooking in batches takes more time and I like to make it quick!
  • Using a jar of minced garlic can save time, but fresh garlic works well too.
  • Follow all food safety guidelines and let ingredients get closer to room temperature to speed up cooking time
  • Frozen peas and dairy products should be added AFTER the pressure cooking is done.  Adding peas, whipping cream and cheese to a hot mixture will cook them almost immediately.
  • Use the natural release for at least 8 minutes to help keep the chicken tender.  Using the quick release can make meat tough.
  • Return the lid to the pressure cooker and leave on keep warm for up to 30 minutes until you are ready to enjoy!

Copycat chicken carbonara from Olive Garden

Other Easy Instant Pot Recipe Ideas

Printable Instant Pot Chicken and Bacon Carbonara Recipe

close up Instant Pot Chicken and Bacon Carbonara

Instant Pot Chicken and Bacon Carbonara

Servings 6 people
Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life
I crave the chicken carbonara at Olive Garden and I wanted to create an easier recipe that could made at home to save money.  This Instant Pot Chicken and Bacon Carbonara tastes great and is an easy dinner recipe! #instantpotchicken #easyrecipe
4.17 from 12 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Pressurizing & Natural Release Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 – 4 chicken breasts cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound bow tie pasta
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 4 ounces shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 6 – 8 slices bacon cooked and crumbled

Instructions
 

  • Toss the chicken pieces in flour.
  • In the Instant Pot, turn on the saute setting, add the butter and vegetable oil.  When the fats are hot add the garlic and floured chicken to the pot.
  • Cook the chicken.  If necessary cook in batches adding more butter and oil as needed.
  • Return cooked chicken to the Instant Pot.  Top the chicken with pasta and then pour the broth over the pasta.  Be sure to add the liquid last!  
  • Lock the lid in place and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. When the timer sounds, let natural release for 8 minutes.
  • Stir the contents of the pot, then add the cream, Parmesan, peas and bacon.  Garnish pasta with bacon and Parmesan if desired.

Notes

  • Chicken can be cooked in batches, but I prefer to use chicken that covers the bottom of the Instant Pot in one layer.  Cooking in batches takes more time and I like to make it quick!
  • Using a jar of minced garlic can save time, but fresh garlic works well too.
  • Follow all food safety guidelines and let ingredients get closer to room temperature to speed up cooking time
  • Frozen peas and dairy products should be added AFTER the pressure cooking is done.  Adding peas, whipping cream and cheese to a hot mixture will cook them almost immediately.
  • Use the natural release for at least 8 minutes to help keep the chicken tender.  Using the quick release can make meat tough.
  • Return the lid to the pressure cooker and leave on keep warm for up to 30 minutes until you are ready to enjoy!  
  • All cooking appliances and conditions are different, so you should test these times and guidelines first in your own appliance to determine what adjustments may be needed!

Nutrition

Calories: 1284kcalCarbohydrates: 69gProtein: 83gFat: 73gSaturated Fat: 37gCholesterol: 339mgSodium: 1321mgPotassium: 1452mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1772IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 321mgIron: 3mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!
Collage of Ingredients needed for Instant Pot Chicken and Bacon Carbonara and close up of chicken, pasta, bacon and peas
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37 Comments

  1. Looks delicious – can’t wait to try this one for sure!!!

  2. Oh dang that looks good. You might convert me into liking my instant pot haha.

  3. Can you replace cream with Greek yogurt

    1. I haven’t tried that yet, but it sounds like an interesting substitution. If you try it please let me know how it tastes. Thanks!

    2. 5 stars
      5 starts…. Only one problem that I have is we recently discovered my wife doesn’t handle dairy well. Has anyone tried any substitutes for the cheese and cream?

  4. So, it’s UNCOOKED bowtie pasta that you are adding to the pot at the end, and just keeping it warm it will absorb enough liquid?

    1. Good question! You’ll definitely want to cook the pasta in the Instant Pot. In step 4 you’ll want to put chicken on the bottom (sometimes it needs cooked in batches, if so put it all back in the bottom of the pot), uncooked pasta and then pour broth over the top but do NOT stir. Then follow cooking times in additional instructions.

      I hope this helps and I hope you enjoy the meal!

    2. Erika P Rasmussen says:

      2 stars
      We followed the recipe exactly and the top half of our pasta was still raw and uncooked

  5. 5 stars
    My family loves this!

    1. Jennifer Osterholt says:

      Great! Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. Lauren Taylor says:

    5 stars
    This is one of my favorites. I love a good easy comfort food meal!

  7. 5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely delicious!! Thank you for sharing this 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for letting us know it worked out well for you!

  8. Is it possible to double this recipe?

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey there! Great question! I haven’t tried that yet, but I think it would be pushing the limit on how much the Instant Pot can hold. I always stay below the fill line for best results. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    This turned out really good. I followed all directions exactly, I just added salt, pepper and garlic powder at the end because I love garlic.

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      So glad to hear you enjoyed the meal. I love the idea of adding some garlic! Thanks for your kind note!

  10. Can you use different pasta like spaghetti ? Thanks

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey there! I haven’t tested it, but I’m also curious to know. Just be sure not to stir the pasta and liquid before cooking. If you try a variation please let me know.

  11. Dude the pasta was not cooked. Had to cook again.

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      So sorry the recipe didn’t work out for you. It is so natural to stir the broth and pasta, but that can really affect how the pasta cooks (or doesn’t), so if you try pasta in the Instant Pot again be sure not to stir. Also some pots take longer to cook than others and the only way to learn that is trial and error.

      Thanks for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback.

  12. 5 stars
    Is the nutritional info on the recipe per serving and what is one serving?
    Thank you,
    Jana

  13. Followed the recipe exactly but my pasta wasn’t cooked through had to had more liquid and add more time . But came out really food !

  14. The meal was delicious but the pasta at the top didn’t cook. Next time I will add more chicken stock/broth.

  15. Making this for dinner this week. Just want to make sure – the chicken is fully cooked when the pasta and broth is added, correct? Not just browned?

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey there! Great question! Depending on the size of your cubes browning will likely cook, or nearly cook the chicken. So I brown/cook the chicken and then return to the Instant pot before pressurizing with the pasta, broth, etc. Have always ended with fully cooked, safe to eat chicken. Just be sure not to overcook the chicken in step one.

      Hope you enjoy the recipe as much as our family does 🙂

  16. 5 stars
    Delicious and easy. Best dish ever.

    1. *I used thighs instead of breasts, only browned the chicken on both sides, and did not cube it. When stirred it shredded on its own and was absolutely perfect.

    2. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your tips and this feedback. So glad to hear this recipe works well for you!

  17. Deborah Peter says:

    5 stars
    I added roasted red peppers along with the bacon and peas to copy Olive Garden.

  18. I followed the recipe exactly, didn’t stir pasta, and the pasta still wasn’t cooked at the end.

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      I’m sorry to hear that. This recipe can take a couple of tries to get right in each person’s kitchen as appliances can vary quite a bit.

  19. Sarah Wensink says:

    My noodles weren’t done either. I didn’t stir…hmmmm

    1. Nichole Dildine Lynch says:

      You have to make
      Sure the pasta is covered in liquid. So you may need to add some instead of following the recipe exactly – hope this helps

  20. Lisa Mattila says:

    4 stars
    I followed the directions to the letter. Sadly, the bow tie pasta was not cooked. I added one cup of chicken broth, set the IP to 4 minutes, and once the timer beeped, I then let it it natural release for 5 minutes. Al dente pasta! Just the way I like it(:

  21. THOMAS J BRECKLING says:

    2 stars
    Nowhere near enough liquid! You need to easily double it the liquid.All the pasta must be in liquid. Many have told you this but still no change to recipe. Reevaluate.

  22. 2 stars
    Pasta was not fully cooked, and I followed the instructions, not stirring after adding the broth. I even added more broth because I’m always worried about the “burn warning” with not enough liquid, so back in it goes! I’m glad I gave myself extra time for “round 2” to cook the pasta in case it wasn’t done, based on other reviews. Hopefully my chicken won’t be overcooked now… I also only browned the chicken instead of fully cooking it via sauté. This will definitely be tasty, but I might just cook the pasta separately and add it in with the cream if I try this recipe again. Also wondering if I could have added mushrooms, but I might find a different recipe for my slow cooker next time anyway. Not bad, but not perfect. Thanks for sharing your recipe anyway!

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