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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77 Comments

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

    2. I love this recipe!!! ^_^ I use a 227 g box of Red Lentil Pasta for gluten free and high protein! It’s perfect. Not modifications required.

  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.

  5. I tired this last week and the whole family loved it. We had a lot more sauce than noodles. I was wondering if you think I could just add an extra ounce or two of noodles to the recipe, or if I’d have to change other ingredients elsewhere.

    Thanks!

    1. You could probably get away with just a little extra pasta, but you definitely need the excess to ensure that it comes to pressure without burning!

      1. I had the same thoughts. Too much sauce. I made this dish with the amounts you listed and still it burned. Next time I’ll try to get the noodles out of the sauce before stirring in the goat cheese and hopefully not get all that extra sauce. Not sure how to prevent burn though. Do you stir your ingredients before turning on the pressure?

          1. Thanks. I did stir it and I got the “burn” message. Pretty new to pressure cooking but it seems like lots of recipes with tomato sauces have this issue. Would it work to just cook the noodles without the tomatoes and add them in after cooking? I like the idea of this recipe and want to find a way to make it work…

        1. Stephanie –

          I was running into the burn issue quite a bit, but in addition to the other great advice here, I have adopted deglazing as a best practice prior to all my instant pot projects. It seems to help a lot from the few times I’ve initially started doing it. When I DON’T deglaze the pot, grief usually follows.

  6. Thanks for the recipe. This was the first meal I made in my IP and it was amazing. I accidentally purchased salsa style fire roasted tomatoes so it was very spicy but I enjoyed every bite. I like arrabiata sauce so it was very similar and that paired really well with the creaminess of the goat cheese.

  7. I used 1/2 container of alouette with parm and basil since we’re not fans of goat cheese. I would increase time to 6 minutes. Penne was extra al dente. This dish is so good!

  8. Made this with macaroni and it was perfect. Also used feta instead of goat cheese – works quite well. Will try to add anchovies next time!

  9. Thank you guys for the great recipe! I made mine Vegan friendly by using non-dairy mozzarella cheese instead of goat cheese. I also sautéed baby bella mushrooms, onion, peppers, and fresh garlic, prior to adding the rest of the ingredients. I used Rao’s Artichoke pasta sauce since I didn’t have fire roasted tomatoes on hand. I used gluten free, organic penne pasta with turmeric, which is easier to digest than regular pasta. It only took 20 minutes from start to devour, and the pasta was absolutely perfect!
    It was so delicious, I can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

  10. Hello! I was very pleased with your lentil recipe and was excited to try this pasta, but when I did, my Instant Pot read “burn” twice! (even after I took the food out, cleaned it, piled the bottom, and put extra liquid in)
    Do you have any other tips for preventing this?

  11. Hi,
    Unfortunately I got a burn message twice as well in my 6 quart pot :( If you guys find out any tips on how to avoid that I would be super grateful so I can try again!

    1. Made this tonight and it was excellent. Very easy to make in the Instant Pot. Thanks for the great recipe!

    2. Make sure you don’t have any food stuck in the bottom of your Pot deglaze if you do. Maybe try stirring all the other ingredients before, then adding the tomatoes on top let it rest and don’t stir. Then put lid on to pressure cook.

      1. Everything I’ve read says we shouldn’t stir after adding tomatoes, so you have the solution to the burn problem right here. Don’t know why the Overhisers didn’t know this.

  12. I had rigatoni on hand so I used that instead of penne. The recipe came out fantastic – a bit al dente but that’s much better than overcooked. It has lots of flavor. I did not experience issues with a BURN message as others have, This is the fourth recipe I’ve tried from your site, and they have all been amazing!

  13. Great recipe. We got no burn warning. Everyone liked it, even our picky youngest kid. Next time I will cut goat cheese back to 3 oz, because it was a tad too rich fir our family, but it was so easy to make and yummy. Pasta was al dente, not too soft.

  14. Burnt twice
    and my pot has 1 inch burnt mark. Had to put it in the pot on the stove . Too bad.
    do not recommend :(

  15. Can you add other vegetables such as zucchini or broccoli in addition to the spinach, and would the cook time vary?

  16. I suggest you check the website, pressurecookingtoday.com. Barbara has a page on how to cook pasta in an instant pot.
    Also I have learned to put the pasta/water/other ingredients on the bottom and “float” the tomatoes or tomato sauce on top of everything and DO NOT STIR THE TOMATOES/SAUCE IN! Close up the pot and cook. Make sure you use enough water for the pasta.

  17. Hi! This looks delicious! I would like to try it in my Breville Fast Slow Pro 6 qt. I am wondering if you could double the sauce to cook in the pot but cook 16 oz noodles on the stove for a double batch…

  18. Hi Sonja and Alex! I made this recipe last night for some friends. I made a bit more (1.5x the recipe) and it was perfect. The noodles were not too hard, not too soft. The sauce was tasty and the perfect texture. I even have a couple friends who don’t particularly like goat cheese and they ate it all up. This recipe is SO easy. This will definitely be a staple for years to come for me. Thank you dearly.

  19. Made this one last night and it was very tasty. We used one tomato can, a jar of Dolmio sauce and added maybe 1/2 cup more water and still had the Food Burn warning.

    I found that the warning went away after a while and the countdown was happening anyway. After the time expired i waited five minutes and released the steam and opened the lid. The float valve wasn’t up anyway, i dont know if that happens when Food Burn is active.

    To my delight, the food wasn’t burned at all and came out perfectly.

  20. Thanks for the recipe! I tried this in our InstantPot. It worked just fine, but we didn’t care for the heavy reliance on goat cheese to make this creamy. It came out a little sour for us. Our end opinion was: Yep. We made a thing. And we can eat the thing.

    If I were to make this again, I would replace the goat cheese with heavy cream. Not as healthy, but it cuts the sour taste back.

  21. I made this for my husband and I tonight. I followed the recipe to the letter (adding a few shakes of roasted red pepper flakes), and it was absolutely divine! We actually have enough leftovers to eat it again tomorrow with a salad. It’s definitely going in the rotation!!!

  22. Lovely recipe, although the goat cheese was a little tart for my wife. Can you recommend a different cheese to try?

  23. How long should I cook it in the pressure cooker for if I do not want it al dente and prefer it softer?

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