Instant Pot Spinach Artichoke Chicken is a healthy, dairy-free twist on the classic dip we know & love! Creamy, dreamy, packed with protein, and bursting with flavor, this simple recipe is sure to become a new weeknight staple.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been loving easy instant pot dinners lately. They’re huge time savers.
There are a handful of tried and true recipes that fall into our regular rotation, and show up even on weeks when recipe testing is in full swing. One of those recipes that’s a family (and reader!) favorite is my easy Crockpot Spinach Artichoke Dip.
It’s creamy, dreamy, and so full of flavor that it’s the first thing to go anytime I make it for a party or family gathering.
The fact that it’s made with real food ingredients and happens to be dairy-free & gluten-free is a huge bonus.
I was whipping up a batch when it hit me: why not combine this winner of an appetizer recipe with chicken & make it a main dish? After a few rounds of testing, this recipe was born and let me tell you, it is SO GOOD. Like, seriously delicious and comforting.
The best part is that the prep is super simple & it comes together in a matter of minutes.
instant pot dinners are made for busy weeks
While I’ll still be making the crockpot appetizer version for years to come, this instant pot recipe has already become a regular on our weeknight table. I love that it has lots of pantry & fridge staples, including canned and frozen ingredients so you can make it year-round.
If you want to make this one in the crockpot as a dip, check out this slow cooker spinach artichoke dip. You can always play around with adding chicken to that slow cooker method as well; you’ll just need to adjust the time up to allow the chicken to cook fully, usually 4-5 hours on high or 6-7 on low.
Either way, I hope you’ll make this one soon. If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!
recipe & kid-friendly adaptations
1 | Serve the chicken, chopped or shredded, plain with the sauce on the side for dipping.
2 | Use boneless chicken thighs or breasts here; either will work.
3 | Avocado mayonnaise is made with avocado oil and is usually free of canola and soy oil – making it a great option if it’s important to you to avoid those ingredients. Vegannaise is an egg-free alternative to mayo, and is a great choice if you’re avoiding eggs.
Tip: If your instant pot has a sensitive burn setting, please check out the recipe notes for suggestions!
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Instant Pot Spinach Artichoke Chicken
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cups plain unsweetened almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
- 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 10-oz bag frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed very dry
- 1 14-oz cans artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and roughly chopped
- 1 8-oz can diced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast*
- 3 tablespoons avocado mayonnaise or veganaise**
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 cup water***
Pulse the cashews in a blender until a fine powder forms. You’re looking for a flour-like consistency. Be careful not to overmix, or you’ll end up with cashew butter. Remove the cashew powder and set aside.
To the same blender, add the almond milk, garlic, salt, lemon juice and mustard. Blend on high until smooth.
Pour the liquid into a 6-quart electric pressure cooker. Add the spinach, artichoke hearts, water chestnuts, and chicken (and water if using, see recipe notes below). Stir until well combined.
Secure the lid, select the manual setting, and set it to high pressure for 15 minutes. Your instant pot may take anywhere from 25-35+ minutes to come to pressure before the cook time starts.
When the pressure cooker timer is done, quick release the pressure.
Uncover and remove the chicken to a cutting board. Chop into bite-sized pieces, shred, or leave whole.
To the pressure cooker, add the cashew powder, nutritional yeast, and mayonnaise. If the sauce seems dry, add an extra splash of almond milk. Taste and add additional salt or freshly ground pepper to taste.
Add back the chicken and stir. Serve the chicken, topped with the sauce.
**Avocado mayonnaise is made with avocado oil and is usually free of canola and soy oil, which is why I recommend it over regular mayo. Veganaise is an egg-free, vegan alternative to mayo, and is a great choice if you’re avoiding eggs or want to keep this dish completely plant-based.
Stirring in a few tablespoons of mayonnaise or veganaise at the end of the cooking time adds an extra creamy layer that makes this dip taste almost identical to its dairy-laden counterpart. If you’re not a fan of mayo, though, feel free to skip it
***IMPORTANT NOTE: Some pressure cookers have a very sensitive burn sensor, which may be set off by this recipe. If you know that your pressure cooker is very sensitive, you may want to skip this recipe altogether. Alternatively, you can add 1 cup of water prior to cooking. The sauce will be thinner at the end, but adding the water can help avoid the sauce burning to the bottom during cooking.
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