I feel like I've been playing catch-up with these Instant Pot recipes. I never posted any recipes for the Instant Pot back when I first got one since I didn't think anyone had one. A few years go by then all of a sudden everyone has one and I have no recipes for them! So far, I've posted Instant Pot recipes for chop suey, Swiss steak, and breakfast rice bowls. So here's recipe #4!
This carbonara has been my go-to "I have to take care of a cranky baby while I cook" recipe and it is so easy! (And yummy.) I've made it both in the Instant Pot and the oven and both ways turn out great.
This is actually based off of one of the first things my mom cooked for us immediately postpartum - back when I couldn't cook because I had a full time job as a human milk dispenser. Actually, as I type this, I just finished my milk duties and am acting as a body pillow because if Allen wakes up there's no way I'm finishing this post anytime soon - and I made this recipe back in June so it's long overdue!
Anyways, I adapted my mom's idea by using some different vegetables and my favorite way to make a white sauce. It was one of those things we were making so often that I thought I might as well photograph it and put it on the blog next time!
The sauce I used is really similar to the one I used on my grilled pizza. The difference is that this is thinner since I don't have to worry about it running off of a pizza crust. It's just three ingredients - coconut milk, dairy free mozzarella, and a little black pepper!
I'm not sure what, if any, vegetables are included in traditional carbonara but I love veggies in mine. At a minimum, it has to have peas. This recipe uses peas and broccoli but sometimes I like to add strips of red bell pepper too. I didn't include it this time because I wasn't sure if it would discolor the sauce while being pressure cooked. Feel free to use whatever veggies you like or omit them completely.
Actually, this recipe is very versatile. Like I mentioned, I've included instructions for either an Instant Pot or a stovetop/oven but I've also included an egg free variation, a vegan variation, and a few low carb options.
My favorite low carb option isn't to replace the noodles but instead to make a sort of "carbonara chicken". Basically, you just eliminate the noodles and serve the sauce, veggies, and prosciutto over whole chicken breasts. It wasn't that pretty to photograph but still very tasty! Without the noodles, you should have enough sauce to add an extra chicken breast or two.
Carbonara with chicken and veggies made in the Instant Pot. Dairy free and gluten free. See notes for alternative oven directions, low carb options, an egg free version, and a vegan version.
- 2 C full fat coconut milk
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 chicken breasts **see notes for vegan options**
- 1 package of Taste Republic gluten free fettuccine, Cappello's fettuccine, or 3-4 servings worth of your favorite gluten free noodle or veggie noodle. **see notes for egg free options**
- ½ bag (just eyeball it!) of Daiya mozzarella style shreds
- ½ C peas, canned
- 5 oz broccoli florets, steamed
- 1.5 oz (usually ½ package) prosciutto
- In your Instant Pot, whisk together the coconut milk and pepper. Salt the chicken breasts and place those in the Instant Pot as well.
- Secure the lid and set the valve to "sealing". Press the poultry button (the display should read 15 minutes). Once it finishes cooking, allow 10 minutes for the pressure to naturally release before carefully switching the valve to "venting". Ensure all of the pressure has been released through the value before removing the lid.
- While waiting for the pressure to release, cook the noodles according to the package directions (or prepare veggie noodles, if using). Set aside.
- Once the lid can be removed from the Instant Pot, remove the chicken leaving the liquids behind. Shred the chicken and set aside.
- Set the Instant Pot to "sauté". Whisk in the dairy free cheese until melted and well combined. Stir in the peas, broccoli, and shredded chicken and allow everything to warm up for a minute or so.
- Serve over the prepared noodles. Tear the prosciutto into bite sized pieces and use as a topping (or just stir it all together if you prefer!)
This recipe assumes the user is familiar with and knows how to use an Instant Pot. Always read and follow the manufacturers instructions before attempting to make a recipe in your Instant Pot.
This recipe can be served over your choice of noodles, zoodles (or your favorite veggie “noodle”), or spaghetti squash. If using spaghetti squash, be sure to prepare it ahead of time so it’s ready once the sauce is done.
Low carb: omit the noodles, leave the chicken breasts whole, and serve the sauce with veggies and prosciutto over the chicken breasts. Zoodles in place of noodles are another good low carb option.
Egg free: The only eggs in this recipe are in the noodles so you can either use the low carb option above or simply replace the noodles with an egg free noodle, spiralize or julienne a vegetable like zucchini into noodles, or use prepared spaghetti squash as your noodle alternative.
Vegan: Omit the chicken and prosciutto then replace the noodles with a vegan-friendly noodle, spiralize or julienne a vegetable like zucchini into noodles, or use prepared spaghetti squash as your noodle alternative. Without the chicken, there's no need to pressure cook so just skip straight to making the sauce on the sauté setting or on the stovetop.
Oven directions: In a saucepan, heat the coconut milk and whisk in the pepper. Once it's hot, whisk in the mozzarella shreds until melted and well combined. Place chicken in a glass baking dish and season with the salt. Add the broccoli and peas (neither need to be pre-cooked for this version) then cover with the white sauce. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 375ºF until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches at least 165ºF when checked with a food thermometer. Shred the chicken, stir it back into the sauce, then serve over prepared noodles of choice, and top with prosciutto torn into bite sized pieces.