Pasta in the Instant Pot

Just four minutes is all it takes to whip up an entire box of perfectly cooked pasta in your Instant Pot. Give it a try!

Back in 2015 when I jumped on the Instant Pot Bandwagon, the whole “IP” craze was just starting to unravel ~ and I gave in…   the pot arrived a few days later and I was in heaven.

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, that’s 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.

Just four minutes is all it takes to whip up an entire box of perfectly cooked pasta in your Instant Pot. Give it a try!

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 wasn’t sure exactly why. But… I wasn’t ready to call it quits, so I decided to use it for pasta anyways (call me a rebel!) 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 doesn’t work – because it sure does…. but these other pastas cook so much better.

Just four minutes is all it takes to whip up an entire box of perfectly cooked pasta in your Instant Pot. Give it a try!

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 – it’s incredibly wonderful to be able to make a whole box of regular pasta for many reasons:

  • We can keep the cooked & drained pasta refrigerated and throw into our own homemade mac and cheese in a hurry
  • If they kids are hungry, we can warm up the pasta and serve with sauce, or stir in ground beef that is pre-cooked for an easy dinner
  • It’s 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!Just four minutes is all it takes to whip up an entire box of perfectly cooked pasta in your Instant Pot. Give it a try!

How to Make Pasta in your Instant Pot
Just four minutes is all it takes to whip up an entire box of perfectly cooked pasta in your Instant Pot. Give it a try!
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Cook Time
4 min
Total Time
5 min
Cook Time
4 min
Total Time
5 min
  1. 1 box of pasta, 12 - 16 oz (macaroni, bow-tie, penne, rigatoni)
  2. 4 C water (more or less)
  1. In the empty instant pot, pour the box of pasta in, and add 4 C. of water.
  2. You want JUST enough water to cover the pasta by 1/2 - 1 inch (which is about 4 C. depending on the size of your pasta box).
  3. Make sure that the water covers the pasta, then place the lid on the Instant Pot and close the valve (seal).
  4. Set the timer for manual (high) for 4 minutes.
  5. The pot will count down 4 minutes once it reaches pressure.
  6. Once the pot beeps finished, turn "OFF" the pot and perform a quick release.
  7. Use a slotted spoon to spoon the pasta into a bowl and drain off excess water (if any).
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19 thoughts on “Pasta in the Instant Pot

    1. I haven’t ever doubled it but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Just make sure you place the dry pasta within. Then, add enough water to cover the pasta by at least 1/2 if not 3/4/1 inch. Keep the same time.

      I have also made pasta with sauce like that too – except this is what I do… In the empty Instant Pot, pour your jar of pasta sauce until the jar is empty. Pour in the dry pasta. Then, fill up the empty pasta jar with water and pour water in the pot, just until it surpasses the pasta. If you have (cooked) ground beef, add that on the top. Then put the IP for high (Manual) for 4-5 minutes. Then when it’s done, just take a huge spoon and mix it up.

      Just remember that the more “full” you fill the pot, the longer it takes to come to pressure. Though I have found that it comes to pressure faster if I use the saute feature first (even if I’m no even sauteeting anything..) – it’s almost as if the temp holds and shortens the rise to pressure. Hope that helps! 🙂

  1. Tried these instructions for pasta but when I did the quick release, thick pasta water spat out the vent for a long time and made a total mess everywhere. Wondering what you think may have caused that to happen. Should I have released the vent slower? Did I use too much water? I used a brown rice/quinoa pasta that typically cooks faster then regular pasta so I actually did 3 minutes. But by the time the quick release was finished and I could open the pot the pasta was complete mush 🙁 Halp!

  2. This was an absolute disaster 🙁

    I used 16 oz of Aldi GF penne. I had to add close to 8 cups of water to cover the pasta by 1/2″. I cooked it 4 min at pressure and released the pressure. It steamed starchy water and then a bunch of the water came out of the valve as it depressurized and covered my counter and floor.

    If that wasn’t enough, when I opened the pot it was a bunch of mush. It looked like thr dumplings in chicken and dumplings.

    1. I am sorry it didn’t work for you 🙁 I only used enough water to cover the pasta barely by 1/4-1/2″. I did 4 minutes as well and it came out perfect. So well, in fact that I don’t even use the stove for pasta now.. it’s just a habit to put in the IP.

    2. Regular pasta is (white) wheat flour. If “GF” means gluten free then it’s not wheat. Could be rice, could be quinoa, could be a number of things. Quinoa is ruined easily if overcooked, for instance. Might be worth trying again with a smaller amount.

      I haven’t tried pasta yet, just got my IP, but will try it tonight with whole wheat penne. But just for myself, don’t feel like ruining a bunch without some experimentation. I’m assuming Sheryl C used regular pasta, which cooks a bit faster than WW, but think I’ll try it–without other ingred, I have some shrimp sauce already–and put it on sauté if it needs more time.

      Good luck!

      1. Hi Riley,

        I used regular pasta. It was regular, organic pasta from Costco – not gluten-free pasta or quinoa. From my own experience I have used GF and quinoa pasta and they cook differently from regular even outside of the IP. Gluten-free seems to cook faster in most cases.

        Before this post about pasta in the IP, I was like you and wanted to try with pasta… but wasn’t sure, I didn’t want to waste, but I gave it a shot anyways, because we had to bring food to church and I was in a pinch for time. So I just went with it and made it and had success. Congrats on your new Instant Pot.. I have had mine since 2015 and it’s probably the best investment we have made. I counted over 150 IP recipes between my 3 sites, I find myself using it daily (2, 3 and sometimes 4 times a day). I probably need another one.

        Let me know how your pasta turns out.

        1. I love quinoa. I don’t think we have it on this blog but we have done it on our other one (we have a combined 4 blogs of IP recipes… it’s a little crazy).

          Maybe the brand of pasta.. or perhaps trying what Steve suggested and adding a TBSP of oil. I never had issues with my pasta but I use the same pasta every time and it’s a firmer pasta.

  3. Sheryl – Thank you for these directions! I just made a box of Barilla rotini and it came out perfectly! 4 minutes!!! No waiting for water to boil! Love it!

    1. So glad you had success! Truly a game changer – right? I despise waiting for the water to boil, too! The IP allows me to put it in there and walk away for a few minutes to do something else.

    2. oh thank you Linda N….I’ve been trying to find out if anyone made Rotini with luck…Did you add anything to it ? Same amount of water? Thanks to Sherly of course…

  4. This recipe worked for me. I added more like 5 cups of water and used American beauty elbow pasta. When I quick released, I needed to throw a hand towel over the stream because the pasta water started spurting. I ran cold water over the pasta after I cooked it because I didn’t want it to get any softer. I may try 3 minutes next time to see if I can avoid having to run it under cold water. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. I did a variation: I put in a jar of sauce, added a box of penne and pushed down, then covered with enough water to cover by about 1/2″. I had to add between 2-3 jars (a 3-cup jar size.) It took about 12-15 min to get to pressure and then I used a 5 min time followed by QR. No splatter, and when I opened it the top was a bit watery, though things improved when I mixed everything. The kids liked it, and while I don’t think it was as good as the conventional way, being hands-off the whole time was, as always with the IP, very helpful!

  6. If you spray the pot with oil above the water line, the foam will not rise and shoot out the valve. I use this trick for making Oatmeal too.

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