Instant Pot Penne Pasta

Save on time (and dishes!) with this tasty one-pot Instant Pot Penne Pasta recipe!

Instant Pot Penne Pasta

I whipped up this easy peasy Instant Pot pasta the other night and had to hop on here and share the recipe!

It’s quick, easy, and a total breeze to clean up since you’re not using multiple pots/pans/strainers.

Let’s get saucy!

I make this easy peasy Instant Pot penne pasta with jar sauce to keep things crazy simple but you could also use your favorite go-to homemade sauce if you’d like.

For the carnivores out there, you can also brown some ground beef in the IP first (sauté it along with the onions) before adding the remaining ingredients.

Paul asked me if I could add mushrooms to it next time and I am SO excited to try it! I think it would be an awesome addition.

Instant Pot Pasta

Easy Instant Pot Penne Pasta with Red Sauce

This simple and saucy pasta dish is a fantastic weeknight dinner and is ready in record time!

Cooking the whole pasta dish in the Instant Pot nixes the need for additional pots/pans and draining/straining. You can 100% whip this up on the stove if needed but I love the ease of the pressure cooker here.

Instant Pot Penne Pasta
4.58 from 7 votes
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Instant Pot Penne Pasta

Save on time (and dishes!) with this tasty one-pot Instant Pot Penne Pasta recipe!

Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Instant Pot Penne Pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 392 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin – Peas and Crayons

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp salt (plus extra to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil or fresh basil, to taste
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 12 oz penne pasta
  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce (snag your favorite!)
  • 1 TBSP cream cheese
  • 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • Parmesan cheese for topping, to taste

Instructions

  1. First measure our all your ingredients and prep your veggies. This dish comes together quickly!

  2. Peel and finely chop your onion. Peel, smash, and mince garlic.

  3. Using a 6-Quart Instant Pot, set to sauté function, add 2 tsp oil, and heat. Sauté onions approx. 3-4 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached, then add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds until fragrant.

  4. Press "CANCEL/OFF" and add water and pasta. Stir to combine, making sure the onions/garlic are incorporated into the liquid and not stuck to the bottom.

  5. Add crushed red pepper flakes, basil, salt, and pepper and top with 2 cups of spaghetti sauce but DO NOT STIR.

  6. Secure the lid and place the vent in the sealing position. Set to "MANUAL" or "PRESSURE COOK" mode on "HIGH" pressure. Use the +/- button to adjust the cook time to 5 minutes. The general rule of thumb for cooking pasta in the Instant Pot is to cook for half the box's cook time for the noodles. Double check your pasta box and adjust time as needed.

  7. The Instant Pot will take an adittional 5-8 minutes or so to come to presure before the countdown begins. When the Instant Pot beeps and the countdown has finished, quick release the pressure by flipping the valve to venting position. Stand back as the steam releases.

  8. Once the pin drops and the lid unlocks, remove lid and mix in the cream cheese and spinach. Return the lid for a minute while the spinach wilts. Snag a noodle to taste-test then adjust spices as needed, adding extra of anything you'd like. I added extra red pepper flakes to mine – yum!

  9. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and dig in while it's hot!

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts below are estimated using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed based on amount of parmesan added and choice of sauce. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Penne Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 392 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 4mg1%
Potassium 719mg21%
Carbohydrates 74g25%
Fiber 5g21%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 2023IU40%
Vitamin C 15mg18%
Calcium 65mg7%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you get a chance to try this easy Instant Pot Penne Pasta recipe, let me know!

Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

Looking for more Instant Pot Pasta Recipes?

I have the most amazing Instant Pot Tortellini recipe topped with fresh shredded basil and grated Parmesan cheese. Love it so!

Sarcastic Cooking’s Instant Pot Pasta Puttanesca looks super tasty!

Another crowd favorite is my vegetarian Instant Pot Taco Pasta. Though I make it veggie style my MIL makes it with ground turkey and they adore it! It’s super versatile and always vanishes fast.

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Comments

  • Bella

    5 stars
    So easy! The only one pot pasta recipe I have made in my instant pot that the pasta was actually All fully cooked! Thank you for sharing. I added fresh green peppers and tomatoes for extra flavor and still used 2 cups of water and just used 2 and a half cups of sauce, and it was perfect.

  • Marie

    3 stars
    Unfortunately I got the burn sign when I went to pressure cook. I added water like a previous person had. But I got the burn sign again. The good news is, when I received the first burn sign the pasta was half cooked, the second time I got the burn sign, it was fully cooked! The only thing I did different was I used a pasta sauce rather than a spaghetti sauce? I was thinking maybe my sauce was too heavy/thick?? Still good and tasty though!!

    • Hi Marie! What sauce did you use? (I’m thinking the thickness was the issue here as well) When using a thick sauce you can usually dump it on top of the pasta and water (without mixing together) which can help keep it from sticking to the bottom of the inner pot and setting off the burn notice. It may be that a little more water may be needed as well if the sauce isn’t thin enough to help cook the pasta. So glad you were still able to enjoy the recipe! xo

  • Gini

    5 stars
    Soooo good- I thought restaurant quality. I used a pasta sauce that had chunks of tomatoes which I think made the dish extra flavourful! I didn’t have any red pepper flakes on hand so used a few dashes of cayenne instead. Served with red roasted pepper. Will make again!

  • Geneene

    5 stars
    I was honestly skeptical because I’ve tried “one pot” pastas in the past and didn’t enjoy them. Well.. this was AMAZING! So tasty and easy to make!! I couldn’t wait to eat the leftovers the next day! The pasta I bought said 11 minutes to al dente so I took a chance and increased the cook time to 6 minutes and the noodles were cooked perfectly.

  • SANdra

    I can’t do dairy so what can I substitute for the cream cheese?

    Would vegan cashew cream cheese work?

    • Absolutely! Cashew cream/cheese is a great way to add creaminess to a recipe! You would add it at the end after cooking the pasta in the IP. I can’t vouch for it flavor wise in this recipe (simply because I haven’t tried the swap yet) so you’ll want to play around with the spices based on preference but texture wise it should be spot on. xoxo

  • Jessica Formicola

    5 stars
    I love when I can have dinner ready super quickly! I can’t wait to have this for dinner tonight!

    • I’m super excited for you to try it Jessica!

  • wilhelmina

    5 stars
    This is a fabulous no fuss meal! The pasta turned out perfectly cooked and it was so yummy!

    • So glad it was a hit!

      • ST

        4 stars
        We tried this today, although the taste was as expected we got the burn signal few mins into it. Had to release pressure, add water and run it for the remaining two mins. Wanted to share experience here.

        • Thanks for the update ST! Could you share what size IP you used and if any swaps were made to noodle shape or ingredients? This helps me troubleshoot for future readers, thanks! xoxo

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