How To Cook Spaghetti In Instant Pot

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How To Reduce Foam When Making Pasta In The Instant Pot

Instant Pot Pasta Recipe – How To Cook Pasta In The Instant Pot – So Easy!

You know how when youre boiling pasta on the stove top, youll see a foamy bunch of bubbles forming at the top of your pot? Often this is what bubbles over and makes a mess.

Well, the same thing happens even when youre cooking pasta in the Instant Pot. This is because starchy foods tend to foam when theyre cooking.

Ordinarily, when youre pressure cooking starchy foods, I recommend doing a natural release of pressure to allow the foam to subside. But because pasta can so easily become overcooked, the natural release isnt the best choice.

This is why I tend to recommend using the intermittent release or slow release in many cases.

However, you can also add a little bit of fat to the water before cooking, which helps to decrease the foaming. Adding a pat of butter or a bit of oil can be useful in this instance.

How To Determine Cook Time For Instant Pot Pasta

To determine the best cook time, check the suggested package cook time. Take the lowest package time, divide it in half and subtract two minutes. Here are some examples so you can feel confident in choosing the best time.

  • The Whole Wheat Spiral Pasta here says to cook for 7-9 minutes. Take the lowest time , decrease it to 6 to get an even number, divide in half and subtract 2 minutes = 1 minute cooking time
  • The Brown Rice Macaroni Pasta here calls for 15-16 minutes. Take the lowest time , decrease it to 14 to get an even number, divide in half and subtract 2 minutes = 5 minutes cooking time
  • The Whole Grain Penne pasta here has a cook time of 10-12 minutes. Take the lowest time , divide in half and subtract 2 minutes = 3 minutes cooking time

Preventing The Pasta From Sticking

The biggest challenge is preventing the cooked noodles from becoming too clumped together. Since there is no stirring once the lid is on, some sticking will occur, like cooking pasta on the stovetop. The stickiness is due to the starches that release as the flour hydrates.

Dont worry. I have a solution! Spaghetti noodles are long, so break them in half. Then add ¼ of the pasta at a time, creating a stacked crosshatch pattern. The result is less sticking, which makes it easier to stir the noodles and sauce together.

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How Much Water To Use

The ratio of pasta-to-liquid is approximately 1:2. This can be water, clear broth, milk, whatever you desire. The breakdown goes as follows:

  • 8 oz. pasta + 2 cups liquid
  • 12 oz. pasta + 3 cups liquid
  • 16 oz. pasta + 4 cups liquid

Note: Feel free to disregard this ratio if cooking pasta in a lot of liquid or sauce, such as the case for soups and chilis. Simply follow the cooking times as mentioned above.

If Instant Pot Spaghetti Is Your Thing Check These Out

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash (in 7 minutes!)

As I mentioned above, this particular recipe is without a doubt one of the easiest ways I know of to quickly make spaghetti noodles with an instant pot. However, if youre more interested in a more comprehensive spaghetti meal recipe, complete with meat, sauce, and all of those other bells and whistles, weve got you covered there as well. Check out these two other instant pot spaghetti recipes from some of my favorite food blogs:

Also Check: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn

Instant Pot Pasta Recipes

  • Instant Pot Mac and Cheese This method of cooking pasta in the Instant Pot works so well with Mac and Cheese. Because the starches in the pasta thicken the cheesy sauce, you get an extra creamy mac without needing a ton of cheese or butter.
  • Instant Pot Chicken Spaghetti Classic and comforting, this one pot meal is a family favorite around here. Check out that post .
  • Instant Pot Italian Pasta Salad This pasta salad uses a different method than the one described here. For Instant Pot pasta salad you boil the pasta above the other ingredients using the pot-in-pot method. But its such a fun Instant Pot trick, it deserved a mention here.

Its Really Easy To Cook Pasta In The Instant Pot Get My Helpful Tips And Tricks For Making Perfect Pasta With Your Pressure Cooker

Forget about starchy water boiling over onto your stove, babysitting a pot while you stirinstead, make pasta in your Instant Pot!

Note: This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase, this site may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

A lot of people are surprised to find out that you can cook pasta in a pressure cooker! And its truethe Instant Pot is a great tool for making pasta.

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How To Make Spaghetti In An Instant Pot

Cooking the noodles at the same time as the sauce make this recipe super fast and easy. All the work in one pot means less mess. More time to do the things you love and still put a hearty meal on the table.

  • Sauté: Set a 6 quart instant pot to sauté. Add the olive oil, ground beef, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook and crumble until no longer pink.
  • Add: Break the noodles in half. Layer them in a criss-cross pattern so they do not stick as it cooks.
  • Pour: Pour the marinara and water on top of the noodles.
  • Cook: Cook on high pressure for 5-7 minutes. Use the quick release and wait for cycle to complete before unlocking. Stir together and serve with parmesan and chopped basil.
  • Can You Cook Pasta In The Instant Pot With Just Water


    While you can probably cook the pasta with just water, you may actually have the pasta stick to the pot and each other as the liquid decreases in the pressure cooker. This is why you will want to use the minimum for the best results for cooking pasta in the Instant Pot

    • Water – Chicken broth can be substituted to add more flavor to the pasta
    • Butter
    • Better than Bouillon if you are not using broth

    Read Also: Frozen Beef Instant Pot

    Can You Cook Pasta In An Instant Pot

    Ive been an Instant Pot owner for 4+ years at this point, but it occurred to me recently that I havent really been utilizing it to its fullest potential. So Ive decided that 2021 is going to be the Year of the Instant Pot

    Ill be exploring a variety of different Instant Pot basics and the ways they can be used to create quick and easy recipes that help get dinner on the table fast starting with PASTA!!

    Honestly, I cant believe that it took me so long to try cooking pasta in the Instant Pot. Yes, it totally works, AND its a total weeknight gamechanger. I know, I know, youre probably thinking: But its already so easy to just boil a pot of water on the stovetop

    But seriously, pasta in the Instant Pot:

    shaves precious minutes off of meal prep dirties just ONE pot because theres no need to drain the pasta when its done is totally hands free, no stirring or worrying about it boiling over produces foolproof perfectly cooked al dente pasta just set it and forget it!

    Whos ready to make some Instant Pot pasta with me?! Lets get started


    How Do You Cook Spaghetti Noodles In The Instant Pot

    To cook spaghetti noodles in the Instant Pot, you add the dried spaghetti to the inner pot, slightly separated.

    Then your pour over enough water to just cover the spaghetti and add a pinch of salt. Next we seal the lid, press the pressure cook mode, set the level to high, indicate the cook time and the Instant Pot will easily cook the Spaghetti Noodles.

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    How To Make Instant Pot Spaghetti With Meat Sauce

  • Brown the meat using the Instant Pot saute setting.
  • Add the seasonings and water, stir well.
  • Arrange the spaghetti noodles in a criss-cross pattern on top of the meat, do not stir.
  • Pour a jar of marinara sauce on top of the spaghetti. Again, do not stir.
  • Seal the Instant Pot and pressure cook on high/manual for 5-7 minutes .
  • Do a quick pressure release.
  • Let it rest for 3-5 minutes and serve!
  • Formula: Calculate The Perfect Pasta Cook Time

    Instant Pot Spaghetti Recipe

    For perfect Instant Pot pasta, theres a pretty simple formula to find the right cooking time: take the time listed on the box, cut it in half, then subtract an additional minute.

    For example, for bowtie pasta, if the package says to cook for 12 minutes, Id pressure cook it for 5 minutes. .

    This formula works for regular pasta, whole wheat pasta, gluten-free pasta, rice-based pasta, or pretty much any kind.

    Tip: If the cook time is an odd number, I generally round down.

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    Saute Onion Garlic Seasoning And Tomato Paste

    Next, add 1 cup diced onions along with 1 tablespoon minced garlic, saute until the onions are translucent, about 2 minutes.

    Add 2 teaspoons each of dried oregano and dried basil along with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper. Also, add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Cook for another minute.

    Add 1/2 cup of broth and deglaze the pot, scraping off any browned bits stuck at the bottom of the pot. Do not skip this step, as you will get a BURN error if the browned bits are left at the bottom of the pot.

    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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    Free Printable: Formula For Perfect Instant Pot Pasta

    Never look up how to cook pasta in the Instant Pot again! To receive your handy Pressure Cooker Pasta printable, simply fill out the form below.

    Why make Perfect Pressure Cooker Pasta when the most common method is simply a matter of boiling water? I’ve got reasons for days.

    Nothing drives me more crazy in the kitchen than dealing with a pot of pasta on the stove that WILL NOT STOP FOAMING! You stir, stir, stir, and when that doesn’t work, you take it off the heat, let it settle, only to put it back on the heat and have it quickly foam to the top and you repeat the entire process all over again.

    I’ve tried all the gizmos, the wooden spoon trick, the oil trick, etc, etc, and I have resolved to lose the stovetop pasta battle.

    To my rescue, totally awesome pressure cooker!

    I can throw the pasta, salt, and water in and walk away. In fact, I can even have my daughter do it while I take a nap!

    There are several different cook times and water to pasta ratios out there, and after a lot of experimenting, I’ve finally narrowed it down to my ideal time. Lots of good info here, let’s get started!

    How To Release Pressure When Cooking Pasta

    Instant Pot Spaghetti (with or without meat!) | How to Cook Spaghetti in the Pressure Cooker

    Because of the starchy cooking water in pasta, it creates a big mess after a quick release when it sprays out of the pressure knob. To avoid this, I follow one of the two methods listed below:

    1. Intermittent Pressure Release

    I release the pressure in bursts. Which means, I press down or turn the pressure knob partially to release pressure 1-2 seconds at a time, then stop. I repeat this until most of the pressure has released and its intensity has gone down.

    After that, when I do a full release of pressure, nothing squirts out of the knob.

    2. NPR 5

    Another way to avoid the starchy mess is to let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes followed by a quick release. In those 5 minutes, quite a lot of pressure is released, so when you turn the knob, it won’t be as intense. However, if choosing this method, reduce the pasta cooking time by a minute to prevent over cooking it.

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    How To Calculate Cook Time For Pasta In The Instant Pot

    Cook time varies depending on the type/shape of pasta. So I use a general rule of thumb to determine the cook time.

    I follow this simple formula for calculating the cook time: Take the recommended standard cook time printed on the box and divide that in half. Then, subtract one minute.

    The resulting number is your cook time for high pressure in the Instant Pot!

    For example, if the box says to boil the pasta for 10 minutes, then divide that in half to get 5 minutes. Subtract one minute and you get 4 minutes, which is the cook time for that pasta at high pressure.

    If your box gives you an odd number for the suggested cook time, just round down to the nearest even number. So if the cook time is 11 minutes, round down to 10 and go from there.

    I realize everyones preference for how firm or tender pasta should be is a little different, so if for some reason your pasta doesnt seem tender enough for your liking, just cook it for one more minute.

    Likewise, if you prefer a firmer pasta, subtract one more minute from the cook time.

    Easy peasy!

    Releasing Pressure After Cooking

    Once the cook time is complete, you have a couple of different options for releasing the pressure. I generally dont recommend using a natural release in this instance, because the pasta will continue to cook and soften even more, potentially becoming mushy.

    You can allow a natural release for about 5 minutes, followed by a quick release .

    Or, you can perform an intermittent release of pressure. To do this, youll quickly open the vent to release some steam. If starchy water or large drops of water come out , close the vent again and wait about 30 seconds.

    Then, follow the same steps until only steam is coming out , at which point you can allow the pressure to fully release.

    Usually, it only takes one or two times of switching the vent back and forth to accomplish this.

    Instead of an intermittent release, you can also do a slow release. In this case, you only open the vent ever so slightly, so the pressure is releasing more slowly.

    After the pressure has released and the valve has dropped, carefully open the lid and drain the pasta.

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    Instant Pot Spaghetti Recipe Key Ingredients

    Visit recipe card below for printable amounts and instructions

    • Olive Oil – or any kind of oil can be use to saute our ingredients.
    • Onion – this aromatic vegetable adds a sweet, savory flavor to the sauce.
    • Garlic – fresh garlic adds a traditional Italian flavor to any saghetti and meat sauce recipe.
    • Pasta Sauce – use your favorite brand of jar pasta sauce.
    • Seasonings – we’re adding oregano and Italian seasoning, but you know that sky is the limit here.
    • Water – 4 cups might seem like a lot of water in this recipe, but trust me, the end results is the perfect consistency. Substitute any kind of broth if you prefer.
    • Spaghetti- I use classic spaghetti noodles for this recipe.

    Why You Will Love Making Pasta In The Electric Pressure Cooker

    Instant Pot Spaghetti
    • Your days of babysitting pasta are OVER. Add your ingredients, push some buttons, do some yoga
    • NO MORE STARCHY WATER FOAMING OVER ONTO YOUR STOVETOP that’s the golden reason right there
    • With this magical formula, you are almost guaranteed perfectly cooked pasta every time. As always, times may vary slightly depending on the brand, model, and altitude
    • So easy your kid can do it. That’s worth the cost of an Instant Pot right there

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    Are Chickpeas Healthy For You

    Chickpeas are packed full of vitamins, such as iron, phosphorus, folate, and vitamin C as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, aka good fats. Chickpeas are unique in that theyre packed with protein, and fiber according to the USDA one cup of chickpeas has 15 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber, making them a healthier gluten-free plant-based option when used as pasta over traditional pasta. Banza is also a low glycemic food and is certified Non-GMO.

    How To Cook Pasta In The Instant Pot The Magical Formula

    Let me leave a caveat here and say that this method may not work on every single pasta variety out there. There’s lentil pasta, quinoa pasta, buckwheat pasta, and so on. HOWEVER! I do think this is a perfect starting place for all of these kinds of pasta. If you find your favorite version of pasta was slightly under or overdone, then just make a note to add or subtract a minute the next time. Easy Peasy.

  • Add pasta to the pressure cooker pot
  • Add liquid: 1 1/2 cups of liquid for every 4 ounces of pasta
  • Add salt: 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt for every 1 1/2 cups liquid and 4 ounces of pasta
  • Add fat: 1/2 tablespoon oil or butter for every 4 ounces of pasta
  • Cook pasta for half the lowest package time, minus 2 minutes . When pressure cooking is complete, do a quick release of pressure
  • Reserve some of the starchy pasta water if you’re combining it with a sauce, then drain the pasta. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process if you’re not using it right away. A light drizzle of oil will keep it from sticking

    And there you have it! Perfectly cooked pasta without the mess!

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