This Instant Pot Pasta is so simple to make with just 3 ingredients!
Pasta is my forever favorite winter food. What can I say? I love cheesy carbohydrates. It tops the list of my easy weeknight meals without fail. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if pasta is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
But sometimes I hate the hassle of watching for water to boil and watching over the pasta as it cooks—I want it to be mostly hands off! That’s why I love Instant Pot cooking.
This Instant Pot Pasta recipe is as easy as it gets. If you have kids like mine who hate saucy dishes, but love plain noodles with just a little cheese, your kids will love this one! It’s great as a main dish served with some vegetables or as a side dish with a protein and vegetable. I’m finding my kids need more food than ever at dinner time–growing tweens and teenagers will do that!
Since we’ll be using an electric pressure cooker, the actual cooking time will be much shorter than with the traditional stovetop method of cooking pasta. But keep in mind there’s the time it takes for your Instant Pot to get up to pressure and this pasta also needs some time to sit at the end. It’s mostly all hands-off time, though, so don’t worry! You can make some side dishes to go with your Instant Pot Pasta while it cooks!
The Instant Pot Pasta dish will be a fantastic addition to your busy weeknights and family dinners! There’s barely any meal prep time. All you have to do is set it up and wait for the high pressure to do its magic. Please wait until your pasta cooks, then let it sit for another five minutes to allow the natural release of the pressure, then it sits one more time before you can enjoy your delicious pasta dish!
Let’s dive into the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Pasta
I love easy recipes with minimal ingredients, so this one’s ideal. You just need three ingredients! The following are the main ingredients you’ll need for this delicious pasta dish:
This particular recipe was tested with 1 pound of 100% whole wheat Rotini pasta. I’ve made a lot of different pastas in the Instant Pot, including this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta and this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese. I’m confident that other pasta shapes will work with this recipe, too.
What shape of pasta do you like? Is it the classic penne pasta, tiny macaroni, or regular spaghetti? All regular pasta should work great with this recipe. The only thing to be cognizant of is the cooking time. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t overcook any type of pasta, or else it will turn out soggy. Take a look at the cooking time on your box of pasta. If it’s more than 9 minutes, add a minute to the cooking time in this recipe. If it’s less than 7 minutes, take away a minute from the cooking time.
Whole wheat pasta is an excellent option if you’re looking for whole-grain options high in fiber and protein. It also has a nutty flavor that adds depth to this dish.
Broth or Stock of Your Choice
The broth is typically used as the cooking liquid for this dish. You can use beef, vegetable, or chicken broth, whichever you prefer! I like the flavor chicken stock gives this dish, so that’s what I use most of the time. Make sure you use enough liquid to cover the pasta thoroughly. Be careful, though. If you use too much liquid, you’ll have overcooked pasta. Mushy and unappetizing.
For 1 pound of pasta, 4 cups of broth should do the trick.
You can use store bought chicken stock, or make your own! I have two easy recipes for you to try. Look at this Instant Pot Bone Broth and I show you How to Make Homemade Bone Broth in the Crockpot here. Plus, the broth’s nutritional value adds to this dish’s health factor.
It’s no secret that cheese makes everything better. Parmesan is the perfect addition to this pasta dish, giving it a pleasant salty taste and a unique flavor you won’t get from any other cheese. If possible, I recommend grating the parmesan right before serving to ensure it melts perfectly into the pasta and creates a creamy sauce. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese. But if you like your pasta extra cheesy, you can add more.
Seasoning and Flavorings
We’ll be using salt and pepper. Simple yet powerful.
The original recipe only has these two spices. My kids prefer the simple flavor. Still, garlic powder and red pepper flakes are fantastic options if you want to change the flavor profile a bit. Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices of your choice too. You can try oregano, thyme, or fresh basil. The Italian seasoning blend is also a great choice.
How to Make Simple Instant Pot Pasta
Now it’s time to put everything together and make this tasty pasta dish!
1. Place the pasta and chicken broth in the inner pot of your Instant Pot pressure cooker.
2. Press the manual button and cook on high pressure for 2 minutes.
3. Once the timer beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes. Turn the valve to release any remaining pressure.
4. Press the cancel button, remove the lid and stir the pasta very well. Place the lid back on the Instant Pot, and with the heat off, allow the pasta to sit for another 5-10 minutes. It will continue to cook during this time. Makes sure all of the heating elements are turned to off.
5. Remove the lid, and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Taste and add salt and pepper to your preference.
Recipe Tips, Tricks, and Variations
- If you want to make this dish more nutritious, add some diced vegetables like bell peppers or mushrooms.
- Stir in a little butter with the parmesan cheese to make this more rich.
- This dish is also great with chicken. Just make sure to cook the chicken separately before adding it to the pasta.
- If you want a creamier sauce, add some cream or milk to the pasta once it’s done cooking
- You can also make this recipe vegan by using vegetable broth and omitting the Parmesan cheese. Try adding a little nutritional yeast!
- For gluten-free pasta, simply use gluten-free pasta! Do not overcook though!
- If you like spicy food, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or some diced jalapeños to give the dish an extra kick.
- You can also use marinara sauce or store-bought pasta sauce to give the dish a different flavor. Try my Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce!
- Remember to garnish with extra Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs like basil or parsley!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Cooking Time for Simple Instant Pot Pasta Really Just 2 Minutes?
Yes, it’s true! The pasta cooks quickly with the high pressure of the Instant Pot. Keep in mind that if you use regular, non whole-wheat pasta, it cooks even faster! Check the pasta cooking time recommended on the package, and adjust it using the guidelines below:
2-5 minutes: 0 minutes using Instant Pot
6-7 minutes: 1 minute using Instant Pot
8-9 minutes: 2 minutes using Instant Pot
10-11 minutes: 3 minutes using Instant Pot
12-13 minutes: 4 minutes using Instant Pot
14-15 minutes: 5 minutes using Instant Pot
What Should I Do with the Leftover Pasta?
You can store the leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Just make sure to reheat it gently in the microwave before serving. Or, you could use it to make a delicious frittata or tasty pasta salad like this Pesto Pasta Salad or this Bowtie Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing.
Can I Make This Recipe with Different Types of Noodles?
Yes, definitely! You can use any noodles you like. Just make sure to be mindful of the cooking time adjust it accordingly.
Can I Make This Recipe with Different Types of Cheese?
Yes, you can. Make sure to use a cheese that melts easily, like mozzarella or Monterey jack. If you’re looking for a more flavorful cheese, try using sharp cheddar or Parmesan Reggiano.
Do I Have to Use Chicken Broth?
No, you don’t have to use chicken broth. You can substitute it with vegetable broth or even water if you prefer. Water will make a bland pasta and you’ll probably need a sauce to top it with!
Can I Add Ground Beef or Ground Turkey to This Dish?
Yes, you can add ground beef or turkey to this dish. Just make sure to cook it before adding it to the pasta. It will ensure that the meat is cooked through.
So, there you have my Simple Instant Pot Pasta recipe. I hope you enjoy making it and that you’re able to make delicious, flavorful pasta dishes with minimal effort!
I’m always looking for quick and easy pasta dishes. You, too? Try this Chicken Riggies recipe. It sounds fabulous!
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