Tim’s Pressure Cooker Pasta

By January 13, 2014

Tims Pressure Cooker Pasta 225x300 Tim’s Pressure Cooker PastaSubmitted by Tim A.

Editor’s note:  For pasta, it’s important to add just the right amount of liquid. Otherwise, the pasta could become too so soggy.


  • 2 lbs of ground meat
  • 1 large sweet onion (chopped fine)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 cans of canned sliced mushrooms (small cans)
  • 1 jar 45 oz. spaghetti sause (I used chunky style)
  • 1 box (1 pound) Penne pasta, uncooked (I used Barilla)
  • 3 cups of chicken broth (more or less)
  • 1 cup red wine


  1. Sauté the onion with the garlic in the olive oil (pressure cooker on the browning setting)
  2. Add the ground meat, and brown.
  3. Add both cans of mushrooms (with liquid)
  4. Add the box of pasta
  5. Add enough chicken broth to cover the dry noodles
  6. Add wine (drink a large glass during this step)
  7. Add all seasoning (Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes)
  8. Add the jar of Ragu sauces and stir.
  9. Seal pressure cooker and cook for 20 minutes ( I set it to “meat” and lowered the time.
  10. Release pressure manually
  11. Stir and add 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  12. Let sit for 10 minutes and enjoy!


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22 Responses to “Tim’s Pressure Cooker Pasta”

  1. Maureen says:

    See this website for chicken Alfredo for instant pot:

    Haven’t tried it but sounds pretty good,


  2. Andrea says:

    Another way to do this is to make your sauce from scratch in the Instapot and then pour the dry pasta on top of that and cover the pasta with water. I don’t add salt then as there is already tons of salt in canned tomato products and in cheese. Although you can put the raw ingredients of the sauce in with the noodles, if you cook them at the same time, the sauce will taste bitter and raw. I found that 4-5 minutes is plenty for Quinoa-Corn elbow pasta. If you want to avoid all that salt, put fresh ingredients including fresh herbs and cook at the same time as the pasta, topping with fresh Greek yogurt (or storebought plain Greek yogurt) instead of commercial cheese. I like homemade as I make it super thick. So, you can make this without any salt at all and just salt as needed individually. This is important for many people. It’s really better tasting to me when the salt and olive oil are added at the table, with just enough fat in the cooking to fry the spices before other things are added.


  3. Chris says:

    I find it interesting that when someone asked how much liquid is needed to cook pasta nobody actually had an answer. Isn’t there some rule of thumb like 4 cups to every pound of pasta.


    Mona Wachsler Reply:

    Chris, what I do is barely cover the pasta with water, eyeballing it, then I salt until the water tastes like sea water. (important!) Several sites I’ve found online say to barely cover and actually push the pasta down into the water if there are tips poking up. That’s how I’ve done it and it works well. Of course that means you have to put the pasta in first. An exception is when I make mac and cheese and follow a recipe where the water is not drained after the elbows are cooked,…before adding the rest of the ingredients. The recipe I use is from dadcooksdinner.com, (http://dadcooksdinner.com/2013/04/pressure-cooker-macaroni-and-cheese.html/) and he uses 4 cups of water to 1 lb elbow noodles. Great recipe for mac and cheese by the way. (I use less salt …)


    Chris Reply:

    Thanks for the reply. I appreciate the advice. I also checked out the web site. Looks good, I already found other recipes I can use.


  4. Debora says:

    what is the correct amount of liquid


    kay Reply:

    4 cups to a pound of pasta.


  5. Christy Madden says:

    I found 20 minutes much too long – my pasta was mushy.


    Debora Reply:

    I actually did 6 minutes! Perfect


  6. Elaine says:

    I have made this numerous times…it’s a great recipe to go to for a quick, successful and delicious ilatian meal!


    NIcolette Reply:

    did you make it using the exact ingredients above?


  7. William McDermott says:

    I need a recipe for meat speghetti


    Elaine Reply:

    You are looking at a great meat spaghetti recipe right here!


  8. Dianna says:

    Making Tims pasta….can’t wait to try!


    Debora Reply:

    I have been cooking in IP now for about a year. I can definitely tell you that some of the receipes that I first found did not work well for me. My eight year old grandson is visiting for the holidays and the first meal he requested was the spaghetti in the IP. Rule of thumb for me is 6 minutes per # of dry spaghetti. Works perfect.


  9. Karen says:

    Made this recipe & just finished eating. It is very good! Didn’t have wine so I used a cup of Smiths Forge Hard Cider. It seemed to me that this recipe called for a lot of liquid, but I followed the recipe as you wrote. It turned out perfect. I did add about 2 tablespoons of dried peppers which added good flavor. Didn’t have mozzarella cheese, but shredded parmesan cheese on top. By the way, there was more than 8 oz in a can of the Hard Cider, so I drank the rest. Like I said, followed the amount of liquid in your recipe as you wrote :)


    Sophie Reply:

    How do you prevent the unit from overheating? I followed this recipe exactly, but unfortunately every recipe I try that involves pasta ends up overheating.


    Donna Reply:

    Hi Sophie, overheating is triggered by high sugar/starch foods settling on the bottom and creating ort of a thermal blanket which traps the heat at the bottom and often does not allow adequate steam formation, food will tend to burn and pressure may not be reached. Some successful workarounds are to layer foods in such a way as to allow for better circulation, and/or to add more liquid, or to add the offending foods near the end of cooking. Another approach is to use the “Pot in Pot method” of cooking in a pot placed on the rack with water below, like a double boiler. Join the conversation here if you like for more tips and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/InstantPotCommunity/


  10. Mary says:

    So, what is the correct amount of water that’s just right for pasta? This recipe is getting liquid from multiple sources…you have the spaghetti sauce, the liquid in the mushroom cans, probably some moisture from the sausage, and finally, you’ve got the chicken broth and wine. If I wanted to adapt this…say I have sausage,pasta and spaghetti sauce….obviously, I can use chicken stock/wine/water in any ratio…how much liquid total do I need in a recipe for a 1 lb box of pasta?
    Bottom line…if liquid amounts need to be correct to cook pasta, can you tell us what that correct amount is so that one can devise their own recipes? Thanks!
    Thank you!


  11. Jessica says:

    I thought you were not suppose to use pasta in the instant pot due to potential to clog the pressure release device.


    Instant Pot Staff Reply:

    Hi Jessica,

    Yes you can cook pasta in Instant Pot, as long as you don’t cook over 1/2 of the cooking pot in dry volume. The amount of water should be just right for the pasta.


    Jamahl nunn Reply:

    Does pasta falls under the section of stew?


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