Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta

This Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta is the perfect no-fuss dinner recipe for your next camping trip. The Mexican flavored pasta is super-easy to make requiring minimal prep for a fast and filling, comfort food meal.

Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta by CampingForFoodies features a blue camping plate filled with tender macaroni pasta and chicken tossed in a Mexican sauce.

Why I Love This

This pasta is one of my favorite Instant Pot Camping Recipes because it’s really simple. You essentially layer food into the pot and let the machine do all the work for you. The basic ingredients are budget-friendly, readily available and most are shelf-stable not requiring refrigeration. The mild Mexican flavors appeal to kids and adults.

Key Ingredients & Substitutions

Chicken Fajita Pasta Instant Pot Ingredients by CampingForFoodies features a picnic table filled with measured ingredients including shredded cheese, olive oil, chicken stock, fire roasted tomatoes, taco seasoning, elbow macaroni, green chile peppers, salt and chicken tenders.
  • Chicken tenders
  • Canned fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • Chicken stock

Chicken tenders: Use good quality meat. If you can’t find chicken tenders you can slice boneless, skinless chicken breasts into strips. Slice the meat lengthwise into pieces about 1/2 inch thick.

Canned fire roasted diced tomatoes: There is a nice charred, slightly sweet flavor that comes from this canned ingredient. If you don’t have fire roasted tomatoes, you may substitute regular canned tomatoes, but you’ll need to add a pinch of smoked paprika to get the depth of flavor you get from the fire roasted style.

Chicken stock: There is a big difference between stock and broth. Stock is made from bones so it has a much stronger flavor than broth. This is a powerful ingredient you don’t want to substitute unless you absolutely must. If you use broth, you can add a dissolved bouillon cube to get a more intense chicken flavor.

Key Equipment

This one-pot pasta dish is designed to be cooked in a 6 quart pressure cooker.

6 Quart Instant Pot Pressure Cooker: Anytime you are making pasta in a pressure cooker it is critical that you don’t overfill the pot and you leave room for expansion of the ingredients. The pasta will more than double in size after it is cooked. Therefore, don’t increase the quantity of ingredients and don’t use a smaller capacity pressure cooker.

How To Make

This Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta is a simple “layer and cook” recipe. My VIDEO will show you how easy it is to make, and my step-by-step instructions will help you prepare it perfectly every time.

Preparation

Step 1. Assemble your ingredients and cooking equipment.

Step 2. Pour olive oil into pot.

Add olive oil to pot by CampingForFoodies features a hand holding a small measuring cup that is pouring olive oil into a pot.

Step 3. Place chicken in pot in an even layer.

Add chicken to pot by CampingForFoodies features a hand holding tongs that are being used to place chicken tenders into a pot with oil.

Step 4. Season with salt and taco seasoning.

Season chicken by CampingForFoodies features a pot with a layer of raw chicken, a measuring spoon is being used to sprinkle salt over the meat.

Step 5. Pour canned tomatoes and green chilies over the chicken strips.

Add tomatoes and green chiles by CampingForFoodies features a pot filled with ingredients. A can of green chile peppers is being poured into the pot from above.

Step 6. Pour macaroni pasta into pot in an even layer but DON’T stir it.

Add macaroni by CampingForFoodies features a container held above a pot, macaroni pasta is being poured into the pot below.

Step 7. Pour chicken stock over the pasta but DON’T stir it.

Add chicken stock by CampingForFoodies features a pot filled with pasta, a measuring cup is being used to pour chicken stock into the pot.

Step 8. Make sure the pasta is submerged in the liquid.

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Cooking Instructions

Step 9. Cover and cook. Lock the lid, set steam valve to the sealed position. Set cook time for 4 minutes on the high pressure setting and start the cooker.

Set cook time for 4 minutes by CampingForFoodies features finger pushing a start button with 4 minutes showing on the cook time display on an Instant Pot pressure cooker.
Use high pressure setting by CampingForFoodies features the pressure cook light illuminated on the Instant Pot's button.

Step 10. Use a quick release to de-pressurize the pot.

Step 11. Remove chicken from pot, cut into bite-sized pieces and return it to the pot.

Slice chicken by CampingForFoodies features cooked chicken tenders on a cutting mat. Tongs are being used to hold the meat as a knife slices the meat into bite sized pieces.

Step 12. Add the cheese and stir all ingredients together. Cover with lid and let stand 10 minutes. Then, serve hot garnished with cilantro or parsley, if desired.

Add cheese by CampingForFoodies features a measuring cup filled with cheese that is being poured into a pot of cooked pasta and chicken.
Stir ingredients by CampingForFoodies features a wooden spoon stirring a pot filled with cooked macaroni, chicken and tomatoes.

Expert Tip

If you are camped at an elevation above 2,000 feet above sea level, you may need to adjust your cooking time to compensate for the thinner air. Increase cooking time by 5 percent for every 1,000 feet above 2,000 feet of elevation. For example:

  • At 3,000 feet (900 meters) —> increase cooking time by 5% (multiply by 1.05)
  • At 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) —> increase cooking time by 10% (multiply by 1.10)
  • At 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) —> increase cooking time by 15% (multiply by 1.15)
  • At 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) —> increase cooking time by 20% (multiply by 1.20)
  • At 7,000 feet (2,100 meters) —> increase cooking time by 25% (multiply by 1.25)

Pairings

This Chicken Fajita Pasta easily shines as a one-pot main dish. Here are a few side-dish ideas you may want to try. Serve a simple side salad tossed with a Mexican-flavored salad dressing, I personally love a creamy cilantro lime dressing. It’s also yummy when served with my Easy No-Cook Southwest Salad.

FAQs

How long should I wait for the Instant Pot to come to pressure?

The temperature of the air, your pot, ingredients and elevation all play a role in how long it takes to pressurize and cook food in a pressure cooker. Typically you can expect it to take about 30 minutes for the pot to come to pressure for this recipe.

Do I need a specific type of Instant Pot or will any pressure cooker work?

The specific brand of electric pressure cooker is not as important as using the correct size. You can use any 6 quart electric pressure cooker for this recipe, but the buttons that operate your equipment may be slightly different than those described in the recipe instructions.

Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken tenders?

Chicken breasts that are cut into strips similar in size to chicken tenders can be used. Chicken leg and thigh meat has a higher fat content and density so the cooking times will be off. Don’t use dark meat because the recipe was designed for white breast meat.


Leftovers

If you have leftovers, let them cool and store them in an airtight food container in a refrigerator or cooler. They can be reheated in a microwave or in a covered pot with a little liquid over low heat on a stove. I don’t recommend freezing leftovers because they tend to get mushy when reheated.


Servings

This recipe serves 4 as a hearty main dish. If you need to serve more people, add side dishes and reduce the portion size of the pasta.


Similar Camping Dinners

If you love my Chicken Fajita Pasta recipe, here are a few others you may want to try.

Use my camping menu planner to stay organized when planning meals for your next trip. It’s FREE and you’ll get it delivered instantly to your inbox!

Camping Menu Template Meal Planner Free Printable by CampingForFoodies features a collage of free camping printables including a camping menu planner template, a campfire stew recipe card and a healthy no cook camping salad with text over the image that reads free camping menu template, tips and recipe ideas.

Watch How To Make It

YouTube video

Recipe

Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta by CampingForFoodies features a blue camping plate filled with tender macaroni pasta and chicken tossed in a Mexican sauce.

Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta

Camping For Foodies Dinner Camping Recipes: This pasta recipe is easy to make and satisfies the pickiest of eaters.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner Camping Recipes
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Pressurizing & Resting Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 658kcal
Author: Kim Hanna

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.75 pounds chicken tenders
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 (15 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes undrained
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chile peppers undrained
  • 8 ounces large elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup Mexican blend grated cheese

Optional for serving

  • Fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • Pour olive oil evenly over the bottom of a 6 Quart Instant Pot pressure cooker.
  • Place chicken tenders in pot in one even layer.
  • Sprinkle meat with salt and taco seasoning.
  • Pour canned tomatoes and green chilies on top of the chicken.
  • Pour macaroni pasta into pot in an even layer. DON’T stir.
  • Gently pour chicken stock over the pasta. DON’T stir.
  • Make sure the pasta is submerged in the liquid. Gently press pasta under the liquid, if necessary.
  • Cover with lid and lock it. Switch steam valve to the SEAL position. Select the PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL setting and set the cooking time for 4 minutes at HIGH PRESSURE. Press start. (See Note 1)
  • When cooking is complete, use a QUICK RELEASE to instantly de-pressurize the pot.
  • Use tongs to take the chicken tenders out of the pot while mixing the remaining ingredients. Place meat on a cutting board.
  • Cut meat into bite-sized pieces, then place it back in the pot.
  • Add grated cheese and stir all ingredients together.
  • Ensure pressure cooker is OFF. Replace lid and let stand for 10 minutes. The cheese will melt and any remaining liquid will be absorbed.
  • Serve hot. Top with fresh cilantro or parsley, if desired

Notes

  1. If you are camped at an elevation above 2,000 feet MSL (mean sea level) you may need to adjust your cooking time to compensate for the thinner air. Increase cooking time by 5 percent for every 1,000 feet above 2,000 feet of elevation.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 658kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 59g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 159mg | Sodium: 933mg | Potassium: 1009mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 406IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 226mg | Iron: 2mg

What do you think?

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2 Comments

  1. very tasty and an easy recipe to prepare. I cut the recipe in half for my 3 quart mini instapot. it worked out well.

    1. Kim Hanna says:

      Hi Nancy! You totally made my day, thanks so much for letting me know you enjoyed this recipe! I’m so glad it worked well for your 3 quart mini!!! Happy Camping, Kim