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Quickly create a classic Italian dish using just one pot with this Instant Pot Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo! This recipe delivers tender chicken and noodles smothered a creamy, decadent sauce, all cooked at the same time in the Instant Pot! Add some fresh or frozen broccoli before serving to make this a convenient one-pot meal. Using FODMAP friendly ingredients like gluten-free brown rice fettuccine noodles, garlic-infused olive oil, coconut cream, and parmesan cheese with 1 gram or less of carbs per serving, even those on a low FODMAP diet can enjoy this Italian favourite without losing out on amazing flavour.
Hey, is that ‘REAL’ cheese?!?
Yes, it is! Shocking, I know. I started creating this Instant Pot chicken fettuccine alfredo recipe a long time ago. My original intent was to make it low FODMAP and Paleo, like the majority of my recipes. Whereas most Paleo alfredo recipes use cashews to make a rich, “cheesy” tasting sauce as actual cheese is not allowed, cashews won’t work for low FODMAP as they are, well, very high in FODMAPs.
I tried experimenting with other nuts lower in FODMAPs, such as macadamia and brazil nuts. The results were abysmal. Other nuts don’t break down as easily as cashews, and I always ended up with a gritty sauce. It was gross. I even completely gave up on this recipe at one point, putting it on my “Failed” list of recipes.
My favorite Italian dishes are those covered in alfredo sauce and cheese. As I didn’t want to completely give these things up, I decided for this dish that going non-Paleo would be okay. I took this recipe off the “Failed” list and gave it another go. This recipe came as a result, and in addition to being low FODMAP and gluten-free, it is also tree nut-free. It does contain dairy and lactose due to the parmesan cheese but in quantities that are tolerable according to Monash University.
How is Parmesan Cheese Low FODMAP?
Monash University, the leading authority on FODMAP research and information, hasn’t actually tested parmesan cheese for FODMAPs. According to an amazing article called “Is Cheese Low FODMAP?” on FODMAP Everyday, cheese with 1 gram or less in total carbohydrates per serving falls within the low FODMAP designation set by Monash University for the FODMAP lactose. So, when you’re grocery shopping, look at the labels of the parmesan cheese you’re considering. If it has an FDA Nutrition Facts label listing Total Carbohydrates as 1 gram or less per serving, whatever the serving size listed for the cheese is a tolerable amount for a low FODMAP serving.
So, when I make this recipe, I use a pre-shredded parmesan cheese by Tre Stelle (a Canadian brand). The FDA label on the package lists the Total Carbohydrates to be 1 gram at a serving size of 2 tablespoons. This recipe makes 4 total servings, allowing for a total of 8 tablespoons (or 1/2 cup) of parmesan cheese to make four low FODMAP servings.
Please note: This whole point is moot if you are not lactose intolerant. If you eat a low FODMAP diet but can tolerate the FODMAP lactose, add as much cheese as you’d like. Personally, I’d love to add more (maybe up to 1 cup), but my stomach does not tolerate lactose well.
Why Instant Pot Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo?
The ability to cook pasta and the things that go with the pasta in one-pot is one of the things that make Instant Pot cooking so special. In my Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs One-Pot Meal recipe, meatballs, sauce and noodles are all cooked together at the same time in the Instant Pot. One-pot meals are easy and convenient and typically allow for fewer dishes to clean at the end.
However, as I mention in my post about Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs, the spaghetti you get when cooking pasta noodles, sauce and meatballs together does not taste the same as spaghetti you get when those things are cooked separately, as is what is traditional. It also does not look pretty, but it is still very delicious.
These things are also true of Instant Pot Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo. If you’re expecting the same flavour as something you would order in an Italian restaurant, then don’t make chicken fettuccine alfredo all in the same pot. It does not taste the same. It does not look the same. If you don’t though, you’re missing out on some special Instant Pot magic.
If you want to create that Instant Pot magic – read on.
The equipment I use to make this Instant Pot Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo includes:
Instant Pot Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo: Ingredients & Success Tips
Garlic-Infused Olive Oil & Ghee
To add garlicy flavour that is essential to a tasty alfredo, I add 3 tbsp of garlic-infused olive oil. In order to create a rich, creamy alfredo sauce, I also add 2 tbsp of ghee (a.k.a. clarified butter). To start making the recipe, I hit the “Sauté” button on the Instant Pot and add the garlic oil and ghee to the pot.
In this recipe I use two large chicken breasts that collectively weigh about 1.5 pounds. The chicken breasts used in these photos are a bit larger than what’s ideal (close to 2 pounds total), but that’s what I had in the freezer at the time. When 1.5 lbs of chicken breast are used, I keep the pressure cook time at 7 minutes. When cooking these larger chicken breasts, I increased the pressure cooking time to 8 minutes so that they would not come out undercooked. The noodles came out slightly more tender than what’s ideal, but the most important thing is to ensure the chicken comes out at a minimum temperature of 165° F.
While the Instant Pot is heating up, I dry the chicken breasts with paper towels and generously sprinkle them with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drying the breasts helps to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pot as well keeps oil splatter at a minimum. They also seem to stick less when using kosher salt. Once the display on the Instant Pot reads “Hot,” I add the chicken breasts to the pot and sear them on each side for 1 minute. Once seared, I remove them to a plate and hit “Cancel” on the Instant Pot.
Chicken Bone Broth & Coconut Cream
Then, I deglaze the pot by slowly pouring in 2 cups of chicken bone broth, waiting about 15 seconds, and then scraping the bottom of the pot clean with a plastic spoon. Once the bottom of the pot is clean, I add 1 cup of coconut cream to the pot. You can purchase coconut cream in a can or separate it from a can of regular, full fat coconut milk (see recipe notes below for how to do this).
Seasonings & Nutritional Yeast
After all the liquid ingredients are in the pot, I stir in the following seasonings:
2 tsp dried chives – one of my favourite low FODMAP ingredients
2 tsp nutritional yeast – adds cheesy flavour to the sauce as well as a variety of B vitamins
1 tsp kosher – in addition to what’s been sprinkled on the chicken before searing
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper – in addition to what’s been sprinkled on the chicken before searing
Brown Rice Fettuccine Noodles
To keep this recipe low FODMAP as well as gluten-free, I use brown rice fettuccine noodles (I like the Tinkyada brand, which can be found in the gluten-free isle at a lot of grocery stores in North America). If you use other types of noodles either in variety (such as gluten-free but not brown rice) or shape (such as spaghetti noodles or spirals), please note that the results may not be the same.
Once the sauce is thoroughly stirred, I break the brown rice fettuccine noodles in half and add them to the pot. This must be done in a crisscross fashion lest run the risk of getting a burn error during the pressure cooking cycle. I took a photo of what the pot looked like after I added the noodles. Unfortunately, the noodles didn’t fall in the pot exactly how I would have liked for a good visual demonstration, but it’s better than nothing I suppose:
To add the noodles in a crosscross fashion: I start at one side of the pot and drop them in one layer until I get to the other side. Then, I rotate my hand 90 degrees and drop them from one side of the pot to the other in a second layer. I repeat these steps until I run out of noodles.
Then, I gently lay the chicken breasts on top of the noodles, top side up:
Lastly, I scrape the plate that the chicken breasts were laying on with a spatula (leave no flavour behind!).
Close the Instant Pot lid, set the pressure release valve to “Sealing” (if not automatic), and set the timer for 7 minutes.
Parmesan Cheese & Broccoli
Once the cooking cycle has completed, I quickly release the pressure. I open the lid and using a fresh set of tongs, remove the chicken from the pot onto a cutting board. I check the temperature of the chicken with an instant read thermometer. Chicken must be at least 165° F to be safely consumed. I let the chicken rest on the cutting board, return to the Instant Pot and stir the noodles. The sauce will thicken as it stands, so don’t panic if it’s thin at first.
Then, I add the parmesan cheese and fresh or frozen broccoli (optional but highly recommended) to the pot and stir. The cheese will melt and the broccoli will cook to tender-crispy perfection using residual heat.
I found that frozen broccoli can cool down the sauce to an undesirable level once added. If that happens, ensure you have stirred the noodles and press “Sauté” on the Instant Pot. Allow the sauce to heat up for a few minutes but don’t let it go too long. The noodles may start to stick and burn on the bottom of the pot if left to sauté too long.
Optionally garnish with freshly chopped parsley or basil.
This low FODMAP, gluten-free Instant Pot Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo delivers tender chicken and noodles smothered a creamy, decadent sauce. Add fresh or frozen broccoli before serving to make it an even more satisfying one-pot meal!
½ cup parmesan cheese (if lactose intolerant – see notes for a tolerable quantity)
½ lb fresh or frozen broccoli (optional)
Fresh Italian parsley or basil, finely chopped, for garnish (optional)
Hit Sauté on your 6-quart Instant Pot, 8-quart Instant Pot, or comparable electric pressure cooker, and add the garlic-infused olive oil and ghee to the pot. While the Instant Pot heats up, dry chicken breasts and generously sprinkle with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Once the display reads “Hot,” swirl the pot to coat in oil and melted ghee, add the chicken breasts and sear for one minute per side. Remove chicken breasts to a plate.
Hit the “Cancel” button and add 2 cups of chicken broth. Using a plastic spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot clean with a plastic spoon.
Add coconut cream, dried chives, nutritional yeast, 1 tsp kosher salt and ½ tsp of ground black pepper, and stir until well combined.
Break brown rice fettuccine noodles in half. Add evenly to the pot in a crisscross fashion to keep noodles from clumping together (see post above for a photo and more detailed explanation). Place chicken breasts top side up on top of the noodles. Scrape the juices on the plate the chicken was resting on with a spatula into the pot (leave no flavour behind!).
Close Instant Pot lid, set the pressure release valve to seasoning. Press the “Pressure Cook” button and set the timer for 7 minutes.
Once the cooking cycle has completed, quick release the pressure (if you smell coconut, don’t panic – it won’t taste coconutty). Remove chicken breasts to a cutting board and check the temperature of the thickest part of the thickest breast with an instant read thermometer. Chicken must be at least 165° F to be safely consumed. Allow chicken to rest on the cutting board. Stir the noodles (the sauce will thicken as it stands) and taste test them for doneness. If they are not tender enough, put the lid back on the pot, let them sit for 5 minutes, and taste them again.
Stir in cheese and broccoli (if using). Taste sauce and adjust seasonings as desired. Slice chicken breasts horizontally in 1/2” strips and either stir in or serve on top of noodles and sauce.
Parmesan cheese: As of the date of this writing, parmesan cheese has not yet been tested by Monash University for FODMAPs; however, according to this article on FODMAP Everyday, cheese with 1 gram or less in total carbohydrates per serving falls within the low FODMAP designation set by Monash University for the FODMAP lactose. If the cheese you are thinking of using has an FDA Nutrition Facts label listing Total Carbohydrates as 1 gram or less per serving, whatever the serving size listed for the cheese is a tolerable amount for a low FODMAP serving. This recipe is written using parmesan cheese with a 2 tbsp serving size, listing total carbs at 1 gram. If you are lactose intolerant, you will need to look at your cheese’s label to determine the amount of parmesan cheese that can be added to this recipe. See post above for further explanation.
Coconut cream – can be purchased or separated from a regular can of full-fat coconut milk. To separate, stick a can of coconut milk in the fridge the night before you make the recipe. When you are ready to add it, open the can and skim the thick cream off the top of the can into a measuring cup until you’ve measured out 1 cup.
If your sauce tastes coconutty – add more salt and pepper in small quantities until the coconut flavor dissipates.
Brown rice noodles: Using other types of noodles other than brown rice fettuccine noodles (such as other types of gluten-free noodles or spaghetti style, etc) may achieve different results. I have tested this with brown rice spaghetti noodles and brown rice spirals and both come out a bit under cooked at this cooking time, but if left in the closed pot for a few minutes, they should become more tender.
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