Hungry Hubby adores pasta. During the last year, with me working from home, whenever I got the “I’m starving, what’s for dinner?” text I would reach for a packet of pasta and know I’d have a steaming hot bowl of yumminess ready for when the Hungry One arrived home after his 20 minute bus journey from work. This Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken & Bacon Pasta is one of my throw together dinners that he requests regularly now!
This is a typical example of a Monday night dinner in the Apple Chapel. As Hungry Hubby is a fiend for all things chicken, I often do a whole chicken over the weekend and end up using any leftovers in pasta or a risotto on Monday for dinner. The beauty of making a (hideously inauthentic Italian) pasta dish in the Instant Pot, is that you can bung it all in at once and 5 minutes later, you have a one pot dinner ready to go.
I would love to think we have the self-restraint to save some cooked bacon from the habitual Sunday morning sausage and bacon butties we have the terrible habit of eating but I’m afraid, no piece of cooked bacon remains uneaten in our house! I end up grilling a few fresh slices of bacon before making this one pot pasta. But it’s not so bad, especially as you will need the grill (broiler) to melt the cheese later.
Like my Mac & Cheese, I think the secret ingredients which take this pasta dish from plain and almost offensively cheesy, are the evaporated milk and then the roasted pepper and spring onions. The full on creaminess is countered by the roasted pepper’s briny bite and scallion rasp and together, you have one incredibly moreish one pot meal that Hungry Hubbies and fussy kids alike will love! And it is fantastic cold for lunch the next day, if you have the willpower to not polish off the lot in one go ;)
A ribsticking, tummy satisfying, comfort food classic. Simply throw everything bar the cheese in your Instant Pot and boom, 5 minutes later dinner is almost ready! A quick blitz under the grill after adding the cheese and you're done.
- 250 g dried pasta shapes
- 200 g can of sweetcorn
- 1 roasted pepper, chopped (red or yellow)
- 2 spring onions, finely minced
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1-2 cooked chicken thighs, shredded (or chop a small cooked chicken breast up)
- 170 g evaporated milk
- 2-4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped
- 4 tbsp grated mozzarella
Put the pasta in the Inner Pot and pour over the can of sweetcorn and any liquid from the can. Don't stir.
Pour over just enough cold water to come to the surface of the pasta - poke any pieces protruding from the surface of the water and don't be tempted to add more water.
Layer on top the roasted pepper, spring onion, oregano and chicken then pop the lid on. Program the Instant Pot to half the time it says on your pasta packet - mine cooks in 11 minutes so I give it 5 minutes on Manual High.
When the cooking is finished, allow almost a minute for the pasta to settle and prevent starch squirting out the top of the pot and then do a QPR.
Sti very well and add in the evaporated milk, bacon, and half the cheese. Continue to stir until the evaporated milk is absorbed.
Scrape into an oven proof dish and sprinkle over the remaining cheese then pop under the grill for a few minutes (2-3 is usually enough) until the cheese is browned and starting to bubble. Eat greedily and immediately!
- Feeds 4 hungry people, especially if you serve a salad with it (as it is very rich!).
- Keeps well in the fridge to be eaten cold for lunch the following day!
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