Can you cook pasta in an Instant Pot? You bet. This recipe is a seriously creamy Instant Pot pasta recipe that you’ll make again and again.

Creamy Instant Pot Pasta

Ever tried making Instant Pot pasta? Alex and I have owned our Instant Pot for a year, but it wasn’t until recently that we’ve tried cooking pasta in it. Honestly, we were a little wary of pasta: would a pressure cooker be able to cook pasta without turning it to mush? Turns out, it works: and it’s absolutely delicious! Here, we’ve made a creamy Instant Pot pasta with a marinara sauce mixed with creamy goat cheese. It’s so seriously flavorful, it might just be one of our favorite Instant Pot recipes yet. And it’s a perfect easy weeknight dinner recipe: as simple as throwing a few things in the pot and cooking for 5 minutes. Our toddler Larson is obsessed…and so are we!

Want a stovetop version instead? Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta

Instant Pot pasta

How to make Instant Pot pasta

If you’re looking for fast and easy dinner recipes, this one is for you! This vegetarian Instant Pot pasta recipe could not be easier: the concept is to cook the pasta and make a homemade marinara sauce at the same time: directly in the pressure cooker. Then you’ll stir in goat cheese to make the sauce creamy: kind of like a vodka sauce, but using goat cheese instead! The cool thing is that it takes only 5 minutes of cook time! If you’re familiar with Instant Pot cooking you’ll know it takes a few more minutes than just the cook time: but not much!

The ingredients required for this Instant Pot pasta are simple:

  • Crushed fire roasted tomatoes: using fire roasted tomatoes is helpful for their sweet flavor; if you can’t find them, use the best quality crushed tomatoes you can find!
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Spices (garlic powder, dried oregano, salt)
  • Spinach leaves: baby spinach is easiest, or you can use chopped spinach
  • Whole basil leaves
  • Penne pasta, or any short pasta shape
  • Goat cheese, to make the creamy sauce

Now, to make the Instant Pot pasta, you literally dump all the ingredients into the Instant Pot (except goat cheese) and pressure cook on High for 5 minutes. If you’re experienced with cooking with a pressure cooker you’ll know there’s a “preheat” time to add to that where the Instant Pot is heating up. For this recipe it takes about 10 minutes to preheat (a bit longer than most recipes, since there is so much volume inside the pot). Then you’ll do a quick release, where you immediately let out all the steam in the Instant Pot. Stir in the goat cheese and the pasta is ready to go!

This one got VERY high marks in our household: from all of us, and our toddler Larson! I know we’ll keep making it for years to come.

Related: This pasta calls for fresh basil — and it’s easy to grow at home! We’ve also got a trick for storing it. Here’s How to Grow Basil and How to Store Fresh Basil.

Creamy Instant Pot Pasta

Does pasta cook to al dente in an Instant Pot?

Good question! If you’re rigorous about your al dente pasta like we are, take note: Instant Pot pasta does taste a bit softer than the al dente you can achieve on the stovetop. If you’re a stickler for perfectly al dente pasta, this might not be the recipe for you. However, we tested this against a stovetop version: Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta. And we loved the Instant Pot pasta almost even a little more! While the stovetop pasta was firmer, the pressure cooker pasta had the flavor of the sauce really soak in: which was just as satisfying for us.

Leftovers of this Instant Pot pasta do become quite soft, so that’s another difference that you’ll notice versus leftovers of stovetop pasta. You’ll want to eat your pasta as soon as possible, or just be ready for softer than normal leftovers. However, knowing both of these caveats, the Instant Pot pasta was as huge hit in our household.

Instant Pot pasta

What Instant Pot do you use?

Alex and I use an Instant Pot brand Instant Pot, though there are lots of other great pressure cookers out there! The Instant Pot we use is the Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker

There are some variations between pressure cooker brands, so we can’t speak to the way that other brands cook. For example, we’ve heard that the Instant Pot Mini is pretty different and does not work as well as the standard size. So, only use the Instant Pot Mini for this recipe at your own risk!

Instant Pot pasta

Looking for Instant Pot recipes?

Outside of this Instant Pot pasta recipe, here are a few more of our Instant Pot recipes:

This Instant Pot pasta recipe is…

Vegetarian

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Creamy Instant Pot Pasta

Creamy Instant Pot Pasta


  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 servings 1x

Description

Can you cook pasta in an Instant Pot? You bet. This recipe is a seriously creamy Instant Pot pasta recipe that you’ll make again and again.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 28 ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (or best quality crushed tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, tightly packed (or chopped spinach)
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 8 ounces penne pasta (regular, not whole wheat)
  • 4 ounce goat cheese log

Instructions

  1. Place the following ingredients into the Instant Pot: water, tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, oregano, kosher salt, spinach, whole basil leaves, and penne. Stir until combined.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes: Press the Pressure Cook button, making sure the “High Pressure” setting is selected, and set the time. Note that it takes about 10 minutes for the pot to “preheat” and come up to pressure before it starts cooking. (During cooking, avoid touching the metal part of the lid.)
  3. Quick release: Vent the remaining steam from the Instant Pot by moving the pressure release handle to “Venting”, covering your hand with a towel or hot pad. Never put your hands or face near the vent when releasing steam. Open the pressure cooker lid.
  4. Open the lid and crumble in the goat cheese; stir until a creamy sauce forms. The sauce will thicken even more as it cools.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Instant Pot Pasta, Pasta in Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker Pasta, Pasta in Pressure Cooker

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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76 Comments

    1. You definitely can! We haven’t tried it but we’re fairly certain it would work. Let us know how it goes!

  1. i find that every time i cook with tomatoes and mix them in at the start i always get burn food message on my pot even after oiling the pot…. same with porridge

  2. I made this using gluten free noodles. I was nervous because they can get soggy in a hurry — so I modified the pressure cook time to 4 mins and did a natural release for 5 mins before manual release the remaining. It came out perfect! Noodles were actually pretty al dente. Loved this recipe will be adding to slate of weekly dinners. For non vegetarians, adding shrimp would be amazing, along with some crusty garlic bread.

  3. Curious about adding tilapia/salmon to this… should i just throw the tilapia in the IP and cook for the same 5 min???

  4. Why can’t you use whole wheat pasta? Is it a natural aversion your family has to it or is it that you haven’t tried so you can’t recommend it?
    I’ve only used whole wheat pasta for about a decide so I’m off to look for whole wheat instant pot recipes but I’d like to make this so any comments on this subject would be Fanta and appreciated. Thanks

    1. I just made this with whole wheat pasta. Same timing and everything and it came out perfectly al dente. Highly recommend.

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