One-pot Penne in Tomato Cream sauce made in Instant Pot - A quick and easy meal, perfect for weeknights. A favorite for both kids and adults, and a great option for gatherings. It takes maximum 20 minutes from start to finish. Pair it with a soup or salad for a perfect dinner.
I have been using the pressure cooker for a long long time. But before the instant pot, I never thought of cooking pasta in the pressure cooker. However now that I have tried Instant Pot Pasta, it is hard to go back. Perfectly cooked pasta in half the time and less dishes to do...it is a win-win for sure!
Step-by-Step Easy Instant Pot Penne Recipe
In this vegetarian pasta recipe, I used penne pasta and a store brought jar of marinara sauce. You can use any type of pasta such as bowtie, ziti, etc. Also, use any type of tomato based pasta sauce, however choose the one with no or very very minimal cheese. As we are pressure cooking the sauce and penne together in the pot, we don't want the cheese in the sauce to get stuck at the bottom of the instant pot insert. You can also choose to make the sauce at home.
Start the instant pot in sauté mode and add the marinara sauce to it. Let it come to a boil. Then add in any veggies of your choice. I added green peas in the below images, but you can add others too, such as bell peppers or mushrooms. Stir in the penne. Now we are ready to pressure cook the penne.
Change the setting to manual mode for 4 minutes. For al dente, cook for 1 minute less than half the time recommended on the box. Add one more minute for well done pasta. For example, if the pasta box says 12 minutes, then I would pressure cook for 5 minutes. I prefer to cook al dente and then add a minute or so on sauté mode if needed.
When the instant pot beeps, quick release the pressure manually. Then stir in the cream and cheese to get the rich creamy flavor.
The penne in tomato cream sauce is ready. If it is not the exact consistency you like, change to sauté mode and cook for a couple of minutes. It came out perfectly for me and I did not have to cook it any longer.
Pair this Creamy Penne with a soup or salad. Enjoy with a glass of wine 🙂
Check out other pasta recipes made in the Instant Pot:
Penne Pasta in Tomato Cream Sauce - Instant Pot
- Start the instant pot in sauté mode and heat oil in it. Add the garlic and cook until it is golden brown.
- Add the marinara sauce and let it come to a boil. This will take a couple of minutes. (See notes if you have had a Burn issue in your instant pot)
- Add a cup of water and then stir in the penne. Scrape if anything is stuck to the bottom of the pot. Most of the pasta should be covered in the sauce and water. If it is not, add some more water.
- Close the instant pot lid with vent in sealing position. Change the setting to manual or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 4 minutes. The time to cook is usually 1 minute less than half of the suggest time on the pasta box. This will result in al dente pasta.
- When the instant pot beeps, quick release the pressure manually.
- Stir in the cream and cheese, so it is mixed well with the sauce. Add in lemon juice and salt to taste. Penne is ready to be served.
- Tip: Remove the steel insert from the instant pot, so the bottom does not continue cooking from the heat.
- This recipe was created in a 6qt Instant Pot DUO60 Multi-use Pressure Cooker.
- Important: In newer versions of Instant Pot, many readers are facing a Burn message. If you have ever seen a Burn in your instant pot, I recommend skipping step 2 and adding the marinara sauce just before pressure cooking. Just spread the sauce on top of the penne, do not stir it.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.