How To Make The Creamiest Mac And Cheese
Ever had a mac and cheese that was grainy or clumpy? This is easy to avoid if you know the tricks. Heres what to do to insure you get the creamiest of creamy mac and cheese;
Tips For The Best Results:
- Too much water? When you open the instant pot, your spaghetti may look a little soupy, but once you start tossing it all together with the tongs, it will absorb the extra water and be perfect! Just be patient and stir it and give it a minute or two if needed.
- Use a good quality spaghetti sauce for optimal flavor. We personally like Raos spaghetti sauces because they are low in sugar and high in flavor! Use whatever your family likes, just make sure its 24 ounces!
- Do not add more pasta. This recipe uses 12 ounces of pasta. I know it is tempting to add the entire 16 oz package of pasta, but everything in this recipe is done in perfect ratios for the right liquid to pasta. If you use more pasta, you will have spots where the noodles will be dry and not cooked.
How To Cook Perfect Pasta In Instant Pot
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Instant Pot Pasta recipes are my favorites! Its 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.
One of my favorite things to cook in Instant Pot is pasta!
When I bought my first Instant Pot back in 2015, I thought Id 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 theres a good reason for that!
Actually, therere more than one benefit 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 dont need to stir frequently and watch for boil-over.
- Pasta cooked in an Instant Pot comes out way more flavorful
- And you can keep the pasta warm a little longer while preparing other dishes for your dinner.;
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Just Keep These Facts On Mind
- Cooking Time:;Instant pots do arrive in time accuracy, but in reality, it may feel vague. Because the pressure it generates needs time as well. And in addition, the cooking requires an approximate time specifically. So, if the manual says to cook for 10 minutes, you gotta keep few more minutes to make sure having an evenly cooked meal.
- Pour the Water Accordingly:;Dont flood the pot, putting a lot of water. The key to having a puffy yet soft tender meal is to add 2 cups of water if you are going to make 8oz of pasta. If 16oz or 24oz of pasta is your drill, then add 4cups and 6 cups accordingly.
- Dont Let Them Submerge:;Your pasta might submerge in the water when cooking, whereas it should be on top of the water floating. Because when the pasta is drowning in the water, its more likely to get overcooked and come all mushy and sticky. Thats why make sure your pasta isnt immersing in water entirely.
- Ensure Proper Heat for the Meat:;If you are expecting to add chicken breast or meat in your pasta, then you better locate them underneath, close to the surface so that it boils consistently.
- Release the Pressure in Due Time:;Never forget to discharge the pressure exactly after 5 to 6 minutes. It will allow the internal pressure to reduce so that when cooking is done, it retains the fluffiness and doesnt get mushy.
- Opt for penne, rigatoni or rotini pasta for softer and luscious taste.
Hence, you need to invest some of your time to find the plausible one.
How To Make Spaghetti In The Instant Pot
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What To Serve With
Serve pasta sauce over any kind of pasta. Penne and thick spaghetti, like bucatini, are preferred because the sauce clings better to heavier pasta.
Pasta pairs perfectly with a bright, tangy garden salad;or a;Caesar salad. Add a side of Garlic Roasted Broccolini, some Homemade Garlic Bread for dipping, and a decadent;Easy Tiramisu Recipe;for dessert!
If The Sauce Is Runny
After the cook time is complete and the pressure has been released, take a peek at your sauce.; If it seems too runny, you can allow the pasta to set for a bit before serving, which will allow it to absorb some of the excess water.;
You can also use the Saute function to boil off some of the additional liquid.;
Depending on the type of sauce, you may also be able to add a cornstarch slurry to thicken it up a bit.
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How To Make Spaghetti In The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
If you would rather have meatballs, I made a separate recipe for that: Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs.
Cook A Whole Squash In An Electric Pressure Cooker
The electric pressure cooker can steam a whole two-pound squash in about 15 minutes. Remember that most electric pressure cookers need time to come up to pressure and release pressure post-cooking, so this technique takes about 35 minutes from start to finish depending on your cooker.
Add one cup of water to the cooker and then set its steamer basket or a metal trivet inside the pot as well. Pierce the squash all over with a paring knife, making about a dozen 1/2-inch vents for the steam to penetrate the squashs skin. Then add the squash to the electric pressure cooker, set for 15 minutes on high pressure, and cook away. When your 15 minutes is up, release the pressure and remove the squash. Give the squash at least 10 minutes to cool before halving and shredding.
Get Longer Spaghetti Squash Strands
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How To Avoid A Burn Notice With Instant Pot Spaghetti
A properly-developed, well-tested pressure cooker spaghetti recipe shouldn’t trigger a burn warning. In real life though, sometimes the ratio of liquid to solid ingredients gets knocked out of balance, contents start overheating, and the cooker says “burn”. To prevent this imbalance …
I recommend reading all about Instant Pot burn warnings and solutions from this Instant Pot safety guide.
Variations On Mac And Cheese
- Peas and Bacon
- Steamed Broccoli
- Diced Carrots
- Ham and Peas
- Stir in pureed sweet potatoes or butternut squash ;
- Steamed Crab or Lobster
- Tex Mex Stir in ½ tsp of chili powder and ½ tsp of ground cumin, add black beans, diced bell peppers, and / or corn
- Italian Use fontina cheese; Stir in ½ tsp Italian seasoning
- Spinach Artichoke stir in chopped marinated artichokes and baby spinach after the cheese
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Why Cant I Just Cover The Release Valve With A Towel
If you are asking this, you likely havent read your manual. While it might be tempting to let the pressure just release while covering the valve with a towel to stop the starch from going everywhere, the Instant Pot instructional manual explicitly states that you cannot for any reason cover the pressure release valve with a towel, for safety purposes and for the health of your Instant Pot. So that is the reason for coming up with a way to deal with the escaping starch!
How To Cook Plain Pasta In The Instant Pot
If youre cooking plain pasta in the Instant Pot, the process is oh so simple.
Add your pasta to the insert pot of the Instant Pot, followed by enough water to just barely cover the pasta.; You want all of the pasta to be submerged in the liquid.
Close the lid and set the vent to the sealed position.; Program the Instant Pot with the cook time you calculated using the formula above.
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Common Question For Instant Pot Pasta
Can you cook dry pasta in an Instant Pot?
Yes, that’s exactly what this guide covers. All pasta, cooking times and formulas are based on packages of dried pasta.
How do you fix undercooked pasta in Instant Pot?
Mistakes often happen when first learning to cook Instant Pot pasta. If the pasta is seriously crunchy after the 3-5 minute rest after pressure cooking, add another ¼-½ cup water to the pot, seal it and pressure cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
Can you cook 2 pounds of pasta in Instant Pot?
Yes, but only in the 6 or 8-qt Instant Pot . For 2 pounds pasta, use 8 cups water, 2 teaspoons salt and 4 teaspoons olive oil. If using two quarts of broth, use 1 teaspoon salt and adjust the seasoning after cooking.
How To Make Gluten
If you need to make gluten-free spaghetti, I recommend cooking the pasta in the Instant Pot without the sauce. Ive tested this method using gluten-free noodles, and the resulting one-pot pasta is way too thick and gluey in texture for my taste.
However, if you want to use the Instant Pot to cook your spaghetti noodles, its still helpful to make the process totally hands-off. Simply cook the pasta and water together using the timing I mentioned above, then drain and rinse the noodles under cold running water to remove the starch.
You can add the rinsed-off noodles back to the Instant Pot bowl and stir in the sauce, and if you need to heat it up further, use the Sauté function on your machine. If youd like to use ground turkey or beef, sauté it in the pot before adding in the sauce and cooked pasta.
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Instant Pot Pasta Sauce
Unless Im following a specific recipe, I prefer to cook the pasta in water and cook the sauce pot-in-pot above the pasta.;
However, you can cook pasta in a sauce. If you do this, it is SO IMPORTANT to add enough liquid to the pot. Many jarred sauces include thickeners, which can create a film on the bottom of the cooking pot that will change how your pasta cooks and may lead to a Burn notice.
If the sauce is thin when you remove the lid after pressure cooking, turn off the Instant Pot. The pasta will continue to absorb liquid as it cools.;
If the sauce has far too much liquid, select Sauté and simmer the pasta until the sauce is somewhat thickened.
Why Youll Love This Instant Pot Spaghetti Recipe
- Its made with just 5 ingredients, and ready in 30 minutes total .
- Only ONE pot to wash at the end!
- You can use either ground turkey or ground beef, and white or whole wheat pasta.
- Its a flavorful comfort food dinner that the whole family will love!
This Instant Pot recipe is the easiest way to make spaghetti and meat sauce. It takes about 10 minutes of active prep time and the whole meal is done in just 30 minutes. And you only need 5 ingredients!
Since the pasta cooks right in the marinara sauce, it absorbs the flavor of the sauce as it cooks. Be sure to use a pasta sauce that you love for the best Instant Pot spaghetti.
You can use ground turkey or ground beef in this recipe. Ive made it with both, and I actually prefer it with the healthier ground turkey. Youll brown the meat right in the Instant Pot using the saute setting.
Ive tested this recipe in both my 6 quart and 8 quart Instant Pots and it works perfectly in both! So whichever size Instant Pot you have, you can make this delicious spaghetti recipe with success. This is a fast comfort food dinner that youll want to add into your meal plan rotation!
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Cooking Times For Different Pasta Shapes
Here’s an easy cheat-sheet for you. By following the above rule of thumb, I’ve listed below a few pasta shapes and their respective cooking times in the Instant Pot:
Pin this chart for future reference:
*Cooking Time Tip: For small or thin pasta shapes with a short recommended cook time , it is possible to set the timer to 0 minutes for al dente pasta. The pressure cooker will come to full pressure, but will not hold pressure for any length of time.
Can I Use Frozen Ground Beef
Yes, you can! It will take a bit longer, though. Heres how:
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How To Make Instant Pot Spaghetti And Meatballs
Sauté: Set your instant pot to the sauté setting. Sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 30 more seconds. Add seasonings: salt, pepper and Italian seasonings. Turn off the sauté setting.
Layer: Add frozen meatballs to bottom of instant pot and arrange them in as flat a layer as you can. Place pasta on top of meatballs and gently spread it into a flat layer. Drizzle pasta with olive oil this will help prevent the pasta from sticking.
Pour: Pour the marinara sauce on top of the pasta. Then refill the pasta jar with water and pour the water on top of the marinara sauce.
Pressure: Seal the Instant Pot and turn up the pressure! Cook on manual pressure on high for 9 minutes. Then do a manual quick pressure release. Toss spaghetti and meatballs together with sauce, using tongs. Serve!
Instant Pot Tips: If you arent familiar with your instant pot, just watch the video in this post or in the recipe card below. I show you in the video what settings I used for cooking this Instant Pot Spaghetti. Make sure to do a quick pressure release or the pasta will become very overcooked.
Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Is Convenient
This is a great recipe for busy people, or people who don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking.
Less dishes – My favorite part of making pressure cooker spaghetti is the reduction of dishes. Traditionally cooking spaghetti and meat sauce produces at least three large pots to clean: the pasta pot, a frying pan, and a large sauce pot. This recipe is all cooked in the instant pot so you only need to clean one pot.
Easy cooking level – Lastly, there is very little hands-on cooking with this recipe. Beginner level cooks can use the saute and pressure cook features with ease, and those are the key features in getting this recipe made.
30-minutes start to finish – Of the 30 minutes, only the first 10 and the last 2 minutes are hands on. Use the free time to make a salad, toast up some garlic bread, or pour enjoy a beverage and a break.
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How To Cook Spaghetti Noodles In A Pressure Cooker
The strange thing about cooking spaghetti noodles in your Instant Pot is that you cant stir the mixture while it cooks. That means you cant break up the noodles, preventing them from clumping together, during the cooking process.
To avoid clumping, its essential that you break the noodles into smaller pieces, and arrange them in a criss-cross manner as you add them to the pot. You can simply break the noodles in half, but I like to go a step further and break them into thirds for maximum non-clumping.
If your noodles to stick together for some reason during the cooking process, it is relatively easy to pull them apart with a fork when the cooking cycle is complete, but its nice to avoid having to do that as much as possible. I almost never have an issue when I break the noodles into thirds!