Can you cook pasta in an Instant Pot? The answer is a resounding ‘yes.’ This penne with sausage in tomato cream sauce is a recipe I’ve been making for many years, but I’d never tried it in the Instant Pot before. Instant Pot pasta can be touch-and-go if you’re adapting your own recipe for the first time. The hardest thing to know is how long to cook pasta in an Instant Pot. Thankfully pressure cooker bloggers like Barbara from Pressure Cooking Today and Laura from Hip Pressure Cooking have paved the path for us to learn from them and use their techniques to create our own Instant Pot pasta recipes. In this case I used Barbara’s Bow-tie Pasta recipe as a guide to convert my own penne with sausage recipe into an Instant Pot pasta recipe.
I basically combined my homemade pasta sauce recipe with my Penne with Sausage recipe (which I’ve not posted on the blog) and it turned out great. I think that any substantial pasta like penne, farfalle, or ziti works best for this recipe. Keep in mind that I cooked this with penne pasta and the timing worked perfectly for it. Gluten-free or thin pastas will not work with these timings; you’ll have to experiment with the timings.
I keep reading about how we Instant Pot users have become sort of cult-like, enthusiastically promoting the Instant Pot to anyone who’ll listen. Well, this recipe is an example of why we evangelize! On a really busy day, I was able to create from scratch (well, umm, except for the pasta part), a home-made Instant Pot pasta dish within 30 minutes, that fed my entire family. And the hands on time was less than about 10 minutes. And I didn’t need to watch the dish. Just left it and went about my business; came back when the timer went off. A salad and some fresh bread and voila! A meal that everyone loved. Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to make Instant Pot pasta.
If you’re new to the Instant Pot and aren’t familiar with how to use it, please read the Instant Pot Manual / Beginner’s Quick Start Guide blog post first and then come back here to learn how to make Instant Pot Pasta.
Instant Pot Pasta | Penne with Sausage Ingredients
Instant Pot Pasta | Penne with Sausage Step-by-Step Instructions
- Press ‘Saute’
- Add oil to inner pot of Instant Pot
- Add sausage and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. (If the sausage browns too quickly, press ‘Keep Warm/Cancel’ until the Instant Pot cools down a bit and press the ‘Saute’ button again.)
- Add onions and garlic. Stir until onion is translucent.
- Deglaze pot with white wine, stirring until liquid has nearly evaporated.
- Press ‘Keep Warm/Cancel’ to turn Instant Pot off.
- Add in bell peppers, sugar, dried basil, oregano, salt, black pepper, tomatoes, water and pasta. Stir to combine.
- Close Instant Pot Lid, and make sure steam release handle is in the ‘Sealing’ position.
- Press ‘Manual’ and ‘+’ or ‘-‘ until display reads ‘5’ (5 minutes).
- Instant Pot display will change to ‘On’.
- Once the Instant Pot is pressurized, the float valve will go up.
- The display will count down from 5 to 0; it will switch to ‘Keep Warm’ mode and display ‘L0;00’.
- To open the Instant Pot, first move the steam release handle to ‘Venting’. I like to place a folded towel over the steam release handle and move it to the venting position.
- When your Instant Pot is depressurized, the float valve will be in the down position.
- Press ‘Cancel’ and open the Instant Pot.
- There might seem to be more liquid than you’d like, but don’t worry, the liquid will get absorbed by the pasta.
- Stir in cream.
- Press ‘Saute’ and simmer the pasta and sauce for a couple of minutes until heated through.
- Let the pasta rest for a few minutes and it will thicken up.
- Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan and parsley and red pepper flakes, if using.