How Much Liquid Do You Need To Cook Instant Pot Pasta
A general rule of thumb for cooking Instant Pot pasta is to use four cups of liquid for every pound of pasta. Your dried pasta should be covered in the liquid – the liquid can be simply water, or tomato sauce, or dairy-based.
When in doubt, just ensure that the pasta is just about submerged under the liquid, and you should be good!
How Long Does It Take To Cook Spaghetti Noodles In An Instant Pot
To cook Spaghetti Noodles in an Instant Pot, refer to the packet instructions of the spaghetti, divide that by 2 and subtract 1.
Pasta cooks a lot quicker in the Instant Pot to the stove, so it needs less cook time.
For example my dried Spaghetti packet indicated the cook time is 10 mins. Divided by 2 is 5, then I subtract 1 and get 4 mins.
It takes 4 mins to cook the spaghetti noodles at high pressure mode, using the pressure cooker function, followed by a quick release of pressure.
How Long Does It Take To Cook Spaghetti
There are several methods and formulas out there for spaghetti, but Im going to let you in on my method, which I developed while writing The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook. The thing you need to know about pasta is that it creates a lot of foam as it cooks under pressure. That foam will shoot out of the vent in the top of your pressure cooker if you perform a quick release immediately after cooking it.
Many recipes will have you cook spaghetti noodles for 6 to 8 minutes, then perform a quick release, but that can lead to a messy counter covered with starchy water that shoots out of your vent. The whole point of using an Instant Pot is that its supposed to make your life easier, and cleaning up a messy counter isnt going to help matters.
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Instead, I prefer to cook my spaghetti for a shorter time, and then I allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes. This lets the foam settle in the pot while the pasta finishes cooking, so when youre ready to open the lid, theres NO mess. Its a win-win.
Here are my general spaghetti cooking times for the Instant Pot:
- Regular or Whole Wheat Spaghetti: 3 to 4 minutes at high pressure 10 minute natural release
- Gluten-Free Spaghetti: 0 minutes at high pressure 8 minute natural release
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Best Types Of Pasta To Cook In The Instant Pot
I generally prefer using short pastas, such as rotini, penne, macaroni, and farfalle. I often use small pasta, like ditalini, in soup.
Dont use itty bitty pasta shapes, like orzo or those little pastina stars.
I have used longer pastas, like spaghetti and fettucine. While these can work well, they are more likely to clump together when cooking.
If youre going to use long noodles, I suggest breaking them in half first and adding a little bit of oil to the water so they arent as likely to stick together.
I wrote separate instructions for how to cook tortellini in the Instant Pot and how to cook frozen ravioli in the Instant Pot, because both of those are a little bit different than plain, dried pasta.
And although gnocchi isnt technically a pasta, it sort of falls under the same umbrella, so Ill include it here as a variety Ive cooked in the Instant Pot !
Since tortellini and gnocchi arent as dry as the typical boxed pasta, they cook a little bit faster .
How To Stop The Foaming Of Pasta During The Cooking Process
Many people find their pasta can get pretty foamy when cooked in the Instant Pot. Just like when you cook on the stove, many add a splash of butter or oil to help from the pot boiling over and reduce the foam. Just do the same with your past in the Instant Pot. Add 1/2 teaspoon of butter or oil of your choice in when you go to cook. While it doesnt entirely fix it, you will find you have a lot less foam.
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How To Make Instant Pot Spaghetti With Meat Sauce
Tips To Make It Perfect
Follow these few tips to make sure your Instant Pot Spaghetti turns out perfect:
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Why Cook Pasta In An Instant Pot
Of course, you may wonder why you should bother about cooking pasta in an instant pot. Since its a recipe that can also be easily prepared over the stovetop, this method may seem unnecessary. But instant pot pasta isnt just another reason to employ that underused appliance in the kitchen. It comes with tons of pros, some of the best which will be discussed below
Its a One-Pot Meal: With an instant pot, the pasta cooks in with no need of draining. And once the recommended water quantity is used, the moisture combines with the starch to bring the recipe to the perfect doneness.
Its Versatile: We know pasta comes in a wide array of shapes and sizes. But they can all work with the universal instant pot technique. So whether its a penne, bucatini, spaghetti, or macaroni, all will cook properly in the pressure cooker. Plus, it also works for whole wheat and gluten-free options.
Its Easy: The set-and-forget method of using instant pots makes cooking pasta convenient. And youll be able to prepare any amount of batch at any time, hands-off, and with zero hassle.
Its a Clean Process: Remember the messy starchy spillover thats notorious with cooking pasta on the stove? Well, say goodbye to it when you use an instant pot!
Pasta In The Instant Pot Click Here To Repin
Why would anyone want to keep their crock pot when this thing IS a crock pot + a myriad of other things?
When you can throw dinner in, walk away, and cook it in half the time well, thats pretty darn incredible. With a family of 7, we are always in a funk to get out the door to practice and lessons so it only makes sense that we invest in something that can help us streamline our time.
One of the first questions I asked myself way back in 2015 was whether or not I could cook pasta in the Instant Pot.
I did a lot of searching.
All I could find was the recommendation against cooking pasta in the Instant Pot, and I wasnt sure exactly why. But I wasnt ready to call it quits, so I decided to use it for pasta anyways and it worked wonderfully.
Disclosure: I have done spaghetti in the Instant Pot, but for the sake of this post, pasta is defined as the elbow macaroni, penne pasta, bow-tie type. Not that spaghetti doesnt work because it sure does. but these other pastas cook so much better.
And bonus: we did use gluten-free pasta and it cooks up perfect every time.
We have picked up organic pasta at Costco, and regular Barilla pasta at the grocery store its incredibly wonderful to be able to make a whole box of regular pasta for many reasons:
- Its an amazing way to serve up Pesto any of these 5pesto recipes OR, this arugula pesto combined with pasta make for a really healthy meatless meal
So there you have it. Give it a try & let us know how it works for you!
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Top Tips For The Best Instant Pot Pasta
Heres more from my arsenal of tips and tricks, so that you absolutely nail this dish every time!
- Blend the sauce so that it becomes slightly chunky and coarse-ish. If you dont blend it, the canned tomatoes wont break down completely
- Make sure the pasta is submerged under the sauce and broth. Give it a light stir before cooking
- Ive used pasta seasoning, chilli flakes and pepper to season the sauce
- Adding a pinch of sugar cuts through the tanginess of the sauce and balances the flavours
- Do a Natural Pressure Release for 5 minutes and then do a manual release. The 5 minutes resting time cooks the pasta a little more and prevents starchy water from sputtering out of the vent.
- Instant pot pasta doesn’t really make for good leftovers, it’s best eaten when fresh.
Serve a warm bowl of this Instant Pot Red Sauce Pasta garnished with chopped basil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese! And its time to tuck into comforting weekday food
How To Cook Perfect Pasta In Your Instant Pot
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 itll scorch on the bottom preventing the pot to come to pressure.
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Spaghetti In Instant Pot
If youre new to using this high pressure pot, this is the first recipe you should make. If you follow the directions below youll never make it on the stovetop again.
Lets start with a few basic tips:
- Make sure to Bookmark our InstaPot recipes page. We add new ones each week!
For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have and use for all recipe creations.
With everything cooked in one pot it came out perfectly in just 10 minutes AND its been on the most popular Instant Pot recipes TWO years in a row!
You could make it vegetarian without meat, as is stated in the recipe card below, or cook porcupine meatballs in Instant Pot separately. Then serve them together and enjoy with parmesan cheese.
So yummy right??!! Its truly a grab your Instant Pot and set, then GO type of recipe.
Why You Will Love Making Pasta In The Electric Pressure Cooker
- 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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Instant Pot Spaghetti With Jar Sauce
Published: by Susie Weinrich · This post may contain affiliate links.
One dinner that will satisfy everyone in your house is Instant Pot Spaghetti with your favorite Jar Sauce! Pop it all in your Electric Pressure Cooker, no boiling, draining, or multiple pots. Just a 2 minute cook time with a 5 minute natural release and your spaghetti dinner is ready!
By Step Instructions For Instant Pot Pasta
The steps for cooking pasta in the electric pressure cooker couldn’t be easier! Simply:
- Add liquid and pasta: Add water, pasta, salt and oil. If cooking short pasta , give it a stir. If cooking spaghetti or other noodle shaped pasta, break in half and lay in two batches in a criss-cross pattern. Do not stir.
- Set cooking time: Close the lid on sealing position. Using the rule of thumb, calculate the cooking time for your specific pasta shape. Set Pressure Cook/Manual for the calculated pasta time.
- Perform an intermittent quick release: After the cooking time is done, use the intermittent pressure release technique and release all the pressure. Open the lid when the pin drops.
- Rest, sauce and serve: Stir the pasta and separate any clumps using two forks. Let the pasta rest for 3 to 5 minutes as this lets it absorb the leftover liquid. For a simple and satisfying meal, stir in your favorite sauce, such as spaghetti sauce or pesto.
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Tips On How To Make Pasta In The Instant Pot
The real key for making a successful batch of dried pasta in the Instant Pot is twofold.
- The first is to make sure that all of the pasta is submerged in water. Otherwise, you will get hard pasta on top. Use your spoon, and push down on the pasta. If you need more water than what is called for in the recipe, add it. You can always drain it later.
- The other key is to stack it so that its in different directions, which will prevent the pasta from sticking together.
How To Make Spaghetti In Your Instant Pot
Start with your Instant Pot on sauté mode and add the olive oil. Once it is hot add the onions and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes. Stir often making sure they dont burn.
Turn off the sauté mode and stir in the kosher salt. Then pour in the chicken broth and scrape up and browned bits from the bottom.
Pro Tip: never skip scraping up the browned bits when using the Instant Pot. It helps prevent the burn notice.
Grab the spaghetti and break in half. Place the spaghetti in the pot in a crisscross pattern. This prevents the pasta from cooking in one large clump.
Do not stir the pasta at this point, just give it a light press to make sure that it is all touching the liquid.
Pour half the jar of sauce over the pasta, then sprinkle on the seasonings.
Close the lid and turn the pressure valve to seal. Set to cook for 2 minutes.
At the end do a 5 minute natural release. Finish with a quick release.
PRO TIP: It will look a little watery when you open the pot, dont worry, the starches from the cooked pasta will thicken it up while it cools!
Stir in the rest of the jar of sauce and toss the pasta. Let the pasta rest for about 5 minutes so it can thicken a little while it cools.
Taste for additional seasonings , then serve warm topped with parmesan cheese.
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How To Limit Foaming
If youre worried about the foaming, the best way to reduce foam is by adding cooking fat. You can add oil or butter to the pasta and water.
Or if youre making a meat sauce, sauté ground beef or chicken in the pressure cooking pot as a first step. Remove the meat from the pot before adding the pasta and water.
Also, note that some brands foam more than others. If youre having trouble with foaming, consider switching brands and see if that helps.
Freezing And Storing Spaghetti
If theres a chance you have leftovers, theyll be even better the second day. I dont know what it is about Italian food, but its always better after the flavors have melded together overnight. One of my favorites for leftovers is Baked Chicken Spaghetti, it is so good! Sometimes I secretly hope there are leftovers, just so I can have them the next day for lunch. Warmed up with a slice of bread and Im set!
- Storing: Like most dishes, this will keep beautifully in the fridge for 4-5 days.
- Freeze: This will freeze for 3-4 months well. If I know Im going to freeze leftovers Ill try to under cook the noodles just a tad bit so they are really al dente. Using the quick release valve stops the cooking process. Once the spaghetti has completely cooled I will portion out in individual freezer safe containers or bags. Thaw overnight in the fridge and warm on the stove top or microwave. Enjoy!
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Tips For Making Spaghetti In The Instant Pot
- How I drain grease off of beef: Try this pro tip for draining grease off of the ground beef: Tilt the Instant Pot to one side while holding the ground meat against the other side with a wooden spoon. This should make most of the grease pool on the tilted side. Lower the Instant Pot down, the meat should stay to its side and the grease on the other. Place a couple paper towels into the grease and use the spoon to sop up the grease. Discard the paper towels.
- Dont stir: In order to prevent the burn error message layer the ingredients as stated in the recipe instructions instead of stirring all together. This will keep the thinner liquid on the bottom of the pot so that nothing burns.
- Placing the chopped mushrooms evenly over the pasta will help the pasta cook correctly. The mushrooms release moisture that helps cook the pasta perfectly. Dont like mushrooms? Its fine you can leave them out. Just press the pasta down as much as you can to submerge in the liquid.
- Equipment: I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. You can also make this in your 8 quart or 3 quart pot with no changes.
- You can easily double this recipe in the 6 or 8 quart pot. Double all the ingredients and keep the cooking time the same. You can also halve the recipe and have success.