Instant Pot Pesto Chicken Stew

This started off as a “Can we try this?” from the future MIL. Usually, I try a recipe as written the first time and then make changes, but I felt like messing with this one right off the bat. I’d made something similar before so I felt like it was okay.

Right off the bat, I’m not too big on crockpot recipes, and this started off as one. There’s something about meat in a crockpot that ends up with a weird texture. I totally belong to the Instant Pot cult, so I immediately adapted to get this done in there. Because of that, this make a great weeknight dinner, especially if you’ve done a little prep work ahead of time.

There’s a few things you can do to prep ahead, cut up your chicken into bite-sized pieces when you get it home from the grocery store. If you have a few days before you’re going to cook this, store that chicken in the freezer and move it to the fridge a day before. I buy pesto at Costco and keep it in the freezer. You can portion it out before freezing if you like (or make your own and then freeze in ice cube trays). I just set the jar out on the counter a little bit before I get started so by the time I get in there with a spoon, I can hack some out.

chickenpestostew

Instant Pot Pesto Chicken Stew
Serves 4-6 people

2-3 pounds boneless/skinless chicken (breasts or thighs), cut into bite sized pieces
15 fingerling potatoes cut in half or 8 yukon gold potatoes cut into quarters
1/2 cup water or chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup pesto
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp cornstarch
4-6 cups baby spinach

Into your Instant Pot insert, add the chicken, potatoes, and water. Season with salt and pepper and add the minced garlic. Pressure cook using the manual setting for 15 minutes and allow to naturally depressurize for 10 minutes before releasing the steam.

Open up the Instant Pot and switch your to the Saute function. Add the pesto and stir to incorporate. Measure out your heavy cream and add the cornstarch right in the same measuring cup. Mix with a fork to incorporate and then add to the Instant Pot. Stir until sauce is thickened. Add the spinach and stir until wilted.

Divide among bowls and serve immediately. This is really nice with a nice piece of crusty bread if you do gluten, but it is plenty good and hearty on it’s own.

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