Instant Pot Parmesan Lemon Pasta

Parmesan + lemon is one of the greatest combinations in the kitchen. Made creamy over pasta, it stays light and fresh and absolutely wonderful. And with the magic of the Instant Pot, it’s on the table in only 25 minutes!

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This dish works equally well as a summer supper with a green salad or as a warm and comforting meal for the colder months. This one-pot wonder brings the depth and richness of the parmesan to the brightness of lemon and leaves you with very little cleanup at the end. What could be better?

With the addition of chicken, this dish can also pack a protein punch. Grilled chicken works great, as does rotisserie. The flavors really play well with the flavors of the pasta and sauce.

For best results, make sure the noodles are fully submerged and thoroughly fanned out in the pot–this helps prevent clumping. If you need to add just a bit more water to get the noodles covered, do so. Also, consider taking a thin slice out of the center of the lemon before zesting. It makes an attractive garnish!

With the addition of chicken, this dish can also pack a protein punch.


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tbsp lemon juice, divided
  • 8 oz fettuccine noodles
  • 1 cup grated/shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 8 oz grilled chicken, sliced and warmed (optional)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley and additional parmesan for serving


  1. Add butter to the Instant Pot. Using the display panel select the SAUTE function.
  2. When butter is melted, add garlic and cook for 1 minute or until lightly browned.
  3. Add broth, lemon zest and 1 tbsp of lemon juice to the pot and deglaze by using a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
  4. Break noodles in half and fan across the bottom of the pot, making sure all noodles are submerged.
  5. Turn the pot off by selecting CANCEL, then secure the lid, making sure the vent is closed.
  6. Using the display panel select the MANUAL function*. Use the +/- keys and program the Instant Pot for 3 minutes.
  7. When the time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick-release the remaining pressure.
  8. Stir, breaking up any pasta clumps and allow to cool slightly.
  9. Add parmesan cheese, half-and-half, and remaining 2 tbsp of lemon juice. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
  10. In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and cold water. Stir into the pot until thickened, returning to SAUTE mode as needed.
  11. Serve warm topped with grilled chicken (optional), finely chopped parsley and additional parmesan.

*The MANUAL and PRESSURE COOK buttons are interchangeable.