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Instant Pot pesto chicken and rice

Instant Pot Pesto Chicken and Rice Recipe

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  • Author: Mary Voogt, NTP (Contributing Writer)
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: serves 6
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Diet: Gluten Free


A simple, prep-ahead, nourishing one-pot Instant Pot dinner for busy weeknights. Kid-approved!


Units Scale


Pesto Chicken & Rice

  • 1 batch pesto
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in half or chicken tenders
  • 1 1/2 c. white rice
  • 2 1/2 c. water or chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. parsley
  • 4 c. fresh or frozen chopped veggies (optional)

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  1. Thaw peas on counter or under running warm water.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Add small amounts of water or oil if too thick to blend.
  4. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Pesto Chicken & Rice

  1. In a large Instant Pot, combine the rice, water/broth and 3/4 of the seasoning. Stir to combine.
  2. Add the vegetables if using.
  3. Top with the chicken and remaining seasoning.
  4. Top with 3/4 of the prepared pesto.
  5. Secure lid and cook on poultry setting 25 minutes, allowing to release pressure naturally.
  6. Serve with the remaining pesto for topping/dipping.


  • You may want to make a double batch of pesto to be sure everyone has enough for extra dipping.
  • If not adding vegetables to the dish, serve with a salad or vegetables on the side.
  • The entire dish can be prepared in advance. Simply put the Instant Pot liner with the food in the fridge until ready to cook OR use frozen chicken, leave it on the counter, and set the timer.


  • Calories: 589
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 645mg
  • Fat: 21g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 16g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 45g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 51g
  • Cholesterol: 135mg