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How to Cook Perfect Pasta in Instant Pot

How to Cook Perfect Pasta in Instant Pot

Instant Pot Pasta is a super easy and hands-free way to cook  simple, yet flavorful pasta. Finish with flavorful sauces, like aromatic pesto, or simple butter and parmesan cheese to make a nice side dish, or meatless dinner for a busy night.

Ingredients:

  • 8oz dry pasta of your choice
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock, or water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Place dry pasta in inner pot of Instant Pot.
  2. Add olive oil salt, garlic powder, and chicken stock. If needed, add enough water to barely cover the pasta.
  3. Close the lid and make sure the pressure valve is set to sealing. Set the Instant Pot on Manual/Pressure Cook for 5-6 minutes (exact time depends on box directions).
  4. When time is up, do a quick pressure release by turning the pressure valve to venting.
  5. Carefully open the lid. Drain the pasta, if needed, and enjoy!
  6. SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Season the pasta with prepared pesto, or add a splash of heavy cream and/or cream cheese, or simply stir in butter and parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes:

This recipe has been tested in my favorite Instant Pot DUO 6qt.

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Scroll down to read more tips and story behind the recipe

One of my favorite things to cook in Instant Pot is pasta!

When I bought my first Instant Pot back in 2015, I thought I’d cook mostly meat in it. You know, those melt-in-your-mouth tender roasts, pulled pork, etc. But nope, I cook pasta way more often than those meats. Who knew!

But there’s a good reason for that!

Actually, there’re more than one benefits to cooking pasta in an Instant Pot:

  • No need to wait for a big pot of water to boil.
  • Completely hands-off cooking, because you don’t need to stir frequently and watch for boil-over.
  • Pasta cooked in an Instant Pot comes out way more flavorful (thanks to broth, or pasta sauce!)
  • And you can keep the pasta warm a little longer while preparing other dishes for your dinner. 

WHICH TYPE OF PASTA CAN I COOK IN AN INSTANT POT?

Quite honestly, I prefer to cook shorter pasta, like penne, rigatoni, ziti, but you can cook any type of pasta in an Instant Pot. 

There’s one caveat when cooking long noodles, like spaghetti. First, you need to break the noodles in half to fit in your pot and then layer them in a criss cross pattern to prevent them from clumping together. Basically, just throw the long noodles in a messy pattern and you should be good to go. (See image below.

How to cook Perfect Pasta in your Instant Pot?

It’s easy.

  1. Place dry pasta in inner pot of Instant Pot.
  2. Add salt, olive oil and enough stock (or water) to barely cover the pasta.
  3. Close the lid and make sure the pressure valve is set to sealing. Set the Instant Pot on Manual/Pressure Cook for 5-6 minutes (exact time depends on box directions).
  4. When time is up, do a quick pressure release by turning the pressure valve to venting.
  5. Carefully open the lid. Drain the pasta, if needed, and enjoy!

TIP: If using pasta sauce, like marinara, add it very last over the noodle, making sure not to send too much sauce to the bottom. Or it’ll scorch on the bottom preventing the pot to come to pressure. 

Why my Instant Pot is spitting out too much foam during quick release?

There’re a few reasons you’re having too much foam spitting out of Instant Pot:

  1. Milk, or any dairy product used as cooking liquid will cause excess foam. I’ve had this happen when I used milk with pasta, when I was testing my alfredo pasta recipe, and it was NOT a pretty scene!
  2. Some pasta brands tend to foam more than others. I never have this issue with Barilla and Italia pasta. I personally use Barilla and Italia (Sam’s Club brand) brand pastas, and I never had foam spitting out of the pressure valve.
  3. Overfilling the pot, or using too much water also could cause splattering.

HOW TO FIX EXCESS FOAM ISSUE?

  • Don’t use any dairy as cooking liquid for cooking pasta in Instant Pot. If you’re making a creamy pasta, like chicken alfredo pasta, add milk/cheese after the pasta is done.
  • Add just enough water to barely cover the pasta.
  • Add a tablespoon or so olive oil. Fat helps to reduce foaming.
  • Don’t fill the pot over half way mark when cooking pasta. Instant Pot user’s manual suggests not filling the pot more than half way when cooking food that expand in volume. 

How long should I cook pasta in an Instant Pot? 

The rule of thumb for pasta cooking time is half the cook time specified on box directions minus 1 minute. For example, if the box directions say “cook for 12 minute for al dante”, then you need to set the Instant Pot for 5 minutes (12/2=6-1=5 minutes).

However, if your pasta is on a thicker side, like rigatoni, or manicotti, then I suggest simply half the cook time on the box direction.

And always do a quick pressure release, when cooking pasta in Instant Pot. Because if you let Instant Pot release pressure naturally, it’ll continue to cook the pasta and you’ll end up with a mush. 

NOTE: I’ve seen some people experience with too much foam spitting out during quick pressure release.  But I’ve heard that it also depends on brand of pasta. 

MUST-TRY INSTANT POT PASTA RECIPES:

Instant Pot Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce – Our #1 recipe and readers’ favorite!

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs – Super quick and easy dinner for busy nights.

Vegetable Spaghetti in Instant Pot – Our favorite vegetarian pasta, loaded with vegetables.

Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Pasta – Deliciously creamy and flavorful comfort food!

Instant Pot Creamy Butternut Squash Ravioli – Insanely delicious and creamy fall dish.

Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Tortellini in Instant Pot – Easy, quick and irresistibly delicious weeknight pasta for the whole family to enjoy!

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Hi, I’m Shinee

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