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Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Pasta

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Our favorite Creamy Tomato Pasta prepared in a pressure cooker in less than 20 minutes. A simple weeknight dinner that’s sure to please the whole family!

Is it Monday already? The weekends come and go way too fast. Oh well, time to get back to the grind, so to speak.

Fortunately, Kim and I are sharing a recipe that should make this week a little easier. Our Instant Pot creamy tomato pasta is a quick, delicious dinner that can be made in less time than it takes to deliver a pizza.

Best of all, you don’t have to stand on your feet in kitchen after a long day at work. Using only a handful of ingredients, it’s the perfect answer to the question, “What’s for dinner?”

Just to make things even easier, I added a few tips to the bottom of the post, in case you need them. Well, shall we get started?

Oh, and if you want to try this dish in a crock pot, try our slow cooker creamy chicken pasta! It’s the same dish and you can make it with our without chicken.

A white bowl filled with the tomato pasta garnished with fresh basil.

Creamy Tomato Pasta Instructions:

Alright, so this recipe is super simple. With that being said, I cannot emphasize how important it is to follow the directions for the tomato pasta.

Otherwise, the noodles may stick and the sauce may break.

Dry noodles in the bottom of the pressure cooker liner.

To begin, place the liner into the pressure cooker and add the noodles. After that, pour in the chicken broth and heavy cream.

Do your best to ensure that the noodles are below the liquid. Use our photos as a reference.

Broth and heavy cream have been added to the noodles.

Then, pour in the pasta sauce and add the garlic powder, onion powder, Italian spices, and red pepper flakes. Simply, dump them in right in top of the sauce.

Afterward, put the lid on the machine and set the valve to, “sealed.” Press the manual/high pressure cook button and set it to cook for five minutes.

Pasta sauce and herbs have now been added to the mixture.

Last, once the timer goes off, carefully open the valve to complete a, “quick release.” Stir the noodles and serve them with your favorite garnishments like grated Parmesan cheese, garlic bread, or fresh basil.

Instant Pot Creamy Tomato pasta in the Instant Pot liner.

Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Pasta Tips:

  • The dish will thicken a lot as it cools, especially after it’s been in the refrigerator. Reheat it over low heat to retain as much moisture as possible. It will not be as “saucy” as the when it was first cooked. The noodles soak up a considerable amount of sauce. If you want, you can add a little broth or cream to the pasta as it reheats; however, this will affect the flavor.
  • Please be sure to follow the directions properly for your first attempt. The recipe was written so that the noodles would completely cook while still maintaining the integrity of the delicate cream. In other words, if you change things up, the heavy cream may break…badly.
  • Believe it or not, we prefer to use gluten-free noodles in our pressure cooker. For some reason, they have a better texture and turn out less, “gummy,” when pressure cooked than when made on the stove.
A close-up of the pasta garnished with basil and Parmesan.

Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Pasta

4.7 from 67 votes
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Author: Kimberly
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Come to Pressure: 7 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces short pasta, (penne, rotini, ziti, etc.)
  • 1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions
 

  • **Please layer the ingredients in the order listed below.**
  • Place the pasta noodles into the stainless steel liner of the Instant Pot. Pour the chicken broth and heavy cream over the noodles. Press the noodles down so they’re mostly covered by liquid.
    8 ounces short pasta
    1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • Next pour in the pasta sauce and top it with the garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Don’t stir!
    1 cup marinara sauce
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Close the lid, and make sure the valve is set to "Sealing."
  • Use the manual (pressure cook) button to adjust the time to 5 minutes. After the time is up, open the valve to release the pressure (quick release).
  • Stir the noodles and sauce. Top with your favorite cheese, fresh basil, or parsley. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 2ounces | Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 589mg | Potassium: 405mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1401IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 2mg

Notes

The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients and a serving size of two ounces of pasta. Additionally, the calorie count does NOT include the fresh basil, shredded Parmesan cheese, and bread seen in the photos. Actual calories will vary.
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59 Comments

    1. Hi Christina!

      Some people have asked about doubling the recipe in regards to the cook time (it stays the same). No one has commented to say they’ve actually doubled the recipe, though. We used a 6-quart Instant Pot for this recipe and there was enough room for the recipe as written. Doubling it may cause that size Instant Pot to be very full/too full. If you have an 8-quart, that should have enough space. Have a great evening! 🙂

  1. This was so easy to make and turned out perfect. Followed directions exactly and topped with cheese when it was done. My son enjoyed it too!

  2. hello, do you think its safe to use water and chicken flavoring to use as a broth? we have no broth sadly 🙁

    1. Hi Kaisha!

      Water by itself would work great! Vegetable broth would be another option. In regards to chicken flavoring, is it chicken bouillon cubes, powder or Better Than Bouillon? If so, any of those would work. I’d recommend going light; otherwise, it may be too salty. 🙂

    1. Hi Mary!

      I’m not sure. We haven’t used this brand of pasta. If you get a chance to try it, we’d love to know how it turns out. Have a great week! 🙂

    1. Hi Cheryl!

      Yes, that would work great! I’d recommend combining the meat to the cooked pasta after everything is done, so the meat doesn’t overcook. 🙂

      1. You’re very welcome. That’s great to hear! I’m so glad it turned out. We hope you have a wonderful week! 🙂

  3. I made this today with whole grain penne and barilla vodka sauce instead of a red tomato sauce. Also some nice red wine to pair it with. And let me tell you this sh** was f***ing delicious. It may be the tastiest thing I have ever made myself. I called my neighbor to come over just to try some. I do not think I will ever order penne vodka from a restaurant again and I am from NYC with many good Italian restaurants. What makes it all the more impressive it was so easy! AND it was fast. AND there is hardly any clean up. The only downside to this recipe is if I had it every night I would probably get fat. But otherwise 10/10 5 out of 5 stars. Well done. Thank you for bringing this recipe into my life.

    1. Thank you Jack! Kim and I are thrilled to hear you enjoyed the creamy pasta. We appreciate the comment and we hope you have an awesome day 🙂

  4. I was looking for a creamy pesto version of this. Would one jar, or homemade, of pesto and same amount of liquids be sufficient you think? Pesto has a stronger flavor so maybe 1/2 cup? Thoughts?

    1. Good Morning Stacie, Kim and I were chatting about this one and we’ve come to a consensus. You could substitute 1-cup of pesto sauce in place of the red sauce. Additionally, yes, leave the broth and the heavy cream the same. If you simply add pesto sauce to the recipe (and keep the red sauce in), you’ll have a soupy, nasty mess. Also, I would consider leaving out the red pepper flakes. Now, we’ve never tried what you’re attempting, so I can’t say it will work.

      Another option is to use our Instant Pot pesto chicken pasta recipe (found here-> https://www.berlyskitchen.com/instant-pot-pesto-chicken-pasta/). All you would need to is omit the chicken and stir in 1/4-cup heavy cream once the recipe has finished pressure cooking. I hope this information helps, have a lovely day 🙂

  5. Can I use 2% milk in place of cream. I don’t have cream at home and would like to save a trip to the store. Any other alternatives to cream are also appreciated.

    1. Good Morning Prachi, unfortunately I’m not 100% sure the 2% milk will work by itself. The dish needs a high-fat liquid in order to hold up to the cooking process. I fear the lower fat milk would simply curdle. You could try it and let us know how it turns out. If the weather is bad (like it is here), I can understand not wanting to go to the store for one recipe. Thank you for dropping by to ask, have a lovely day. 🙂

    1. Good Morning Amzi, you can use vegetable broth or water instead. Either one should be okay for a vegetarian version of the dish. I hope this information helps, have a lovely day 🙂

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