2/3cupdiced shallotabout 2 large shallots, or use 1 yellow onion
4cupslow-sodium chicken broth
1lb uncooked rotini
1.5cupsbasil pestostore-bought or linked recipe (see note 1), use more to taste as necessary
5ozbaby spinachabout 4 big handfuls
freshly grated parmesan cheese
Turn on the Sauté function. Heat the olive oil then add the diced chicken and sauté for about 2 minutes until just starting to cook (it will look like it's starting to turn white but you'll still see some pink). Add the shallots and garlic and continue to sauté another minute, until fragrant.
Turn off the Sauté function. Add a small amount of the broth and use a wooden or plastic spatula to deglaze the bottom of the insert, if needed. Be sure there's no food stuck to the bottom. This will prevent a burn warning.
Pour in the remaining broth, then add the rotini in an even layer. Press the pasta down until most of it is submerged in the broth. It's okay if a few pieces are sticking out, just do your best to make it an even layer.
Close the lid, set the vent to sealing and cook on Manual high pressure for 3 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure. At the end of cooking time, do a controlled quick release (see note 2). I like to use a wooden spoon to protect myself from any splatter.
Give the cooked pasta and chicken a stir. (There will be a bit of liquid left at the bottom of the pot, but there shouldn't be much. If you find there's a bit too much liquid left, turn on the Sauté function and simmer off the liquid for a couple minutes. Be sure to turn off Sauté before proceeding!)
Add in the pesto and peas. Stir until everything is evenly coated in pesto, then stir in the spinach. Set the lid askew on the pot for a few minutes to wilt the spinach and warm the peas, then serve. Garnish with grated parmesan, if desired. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator and eat within 4 days.
If you use the Easy Cashew Pesto, you'll want to make a double batch (yield is 2 cups), and you will likely have some leftover. Spread it on a sandwich or add it to soup!
A controlled release is when you release pressure carefully in spurts, rather than flipping the vent all the way open right away. Some Instant Pot models call this a Pulse Release. Pasta is notorious for splatter, but releasing the pressure in a controlled way will limit the amount.
Inactive time indicates the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure and release pressure.
This recipe was tested in a 6-quart Instant Pot model.