Instant Pot Pasta

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I had plentiful amounts of leftover ham from Easter and some fresh Asparagus so I decided to try a Instant Pot Pasta. I’ve heard that you can use the Instant Pot for making pasta so I decided to give it a try. I am so pleased to say that it was a great success. Perfect al dente pasta in a rich creamy sauce with crisp asparagus and ham. Fantastic and so incredibly simple. All in one pot. This is a dream in a small kitchen.

First step is to heat the Instant Pot using the Sauté button until it says “Hot.

Add the olive oil.

Finely chop onion and garlic in your food chopper or by hand, add a pinch of red chili flakes (or more to taste if you like it spicy), then add to the oil in the Pot.

Sauté onion and garlic mixture for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Stir so it doesn’t burn.

Pour in 2 1/2 cups of water and heat to simmering.

Then you just add the pasta and stir. Simple so far, right? I’ve put in some fun pasta here called Mafalda Corta that I picked up at the grocery store but Penne would work well. A general rule of thumb is to cook pasta for half the time that normal package directions specify. Here I cook it for 3 minutes, a little less then half, because I cook it in the sauce at the end too.

Now the fun part! Put on the lid. Set your Instant Pot for 3 minutes on High and make sure the dial is set to “Sealing” and no steam is escaping.

When the timer goes off, turn the Instant Pot off by hitting the Cancel button. Immediately and very carefully turn the dial to “Venting” to allow steam to escape. Use a towel to cover your hands and watch out for the steam. Also make sure your Instant Pot is in an open space. When all of the steam has escaped, remove the lid.

Set the Instant Pot back to Sauté, add cream and parmesan cheese to the noodles, then stir. That’s right, no draining the pasta. Whaaat?

Add asparagus at this point. If you don’t want asparagus, you can add some broccoli, or any other vegetable at this point. Alternatively, you can sauté the asparagus or other vegetable at the beginning with your onions.

Allow mixture to come to a boil and heat for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

When thickened and asparagus is just tender, add ham, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Give a stir and turn off the Instant Pot.

You have plenty of options here. If you want to fancy it up a bit, you can add prosciutto or if you have some leftover chicken or turkey you can add it here. If you like lots of cheese, go ahead and throw in some more or add some nice sharp cheddar. Its a great base and you can get creative.

Your final pasta, is all in one pot. It’s creamy, al dente and ready to eat. Now, wasn’t that easy? Time to dig in and enjoy.

Instant Pot Pasta

Recipe by KatherineCourse: MainCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Pasta in the Instant Pot in a creamy, cheesey sauce is easy and the pasta comes out perfectly.


  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes (optional)

  • 2 1/2 cups water

  • 3 cups of pasta (short pasta like penne)

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • 1 cup grated parmesan

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/2 bunch of fresh asparagus

  • 1 cup chopped ham

  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  • Turn Instant Pot on Sauté. When IP registers as hot, add olive oil. Add onion, garlic and chili flakes to hot oil and cook for about 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  • Pour water into the pot and when it comes to a simmer, add pasta and stir. Turn Instant Pot off by hitting the Cancel button. Put cover on and set your Instant Pot to Pressure Cook on high for 3 minutes, making sure the dial is set to “Sealing” and no steam is escaping.
  • When done, release steam completely, remove lid and put Instant Pot back to Sauté. Add cream, parmesan cheese and asparagus and simmer for about 3 minutes, until asparagus is tender and sauce has thickened.
  • Add ham and lemon juice, stir and remove from heat. Serve.

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