Instant Pot Pasta Salad –-🍝✨ Elevate your pasta salad game with the speed and convenience of the Instant Pot! 🍝✨

Say goodbye to the traditional stovetop method and hello to a quicker, hassle-free way of making your favorite pasta salad. In this culinary journey, we’ll guide you through crafting a mouthwatering Instant Pot Pasta Salad with flavors, colors, and textures.

Instant Pot Pasta Salad
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Easy Pasta Salad Recipe

Whether preparing a side dish for a summer BBQ, a quick weekday lunch, or a delightful potluck contribution, this recipe is your go-to option. Join us as we explore the world of Instant Pot cooking and transform ordinary pasta into an extraordinary salad perfect for any occasion.

Stay tuned, and let’s embark on this culinary adventure to create a delicious pasta salad that is a breeze to make! 🍽️🌿🌞

If you are looking for some other easy Instant Pot Recipes, some of my favorites are INSTANT POT GARLIC BROWN RICE, INSTANT POT LEMON SALMON, INSTANT POT CHICKEN, AND RICE, and INSTANT POT EGG LOAF.

Ingredients Needed For Instant Pot Pasta Salad

Get ready to enjoy a delicious and hassle-free Instant Pot Pasta Salad, perfect for picnics, barbecues, or quick weeknight dinners. This delightful salad will be ready quickly with the Instant Pot’s speed and convenience.

Get ready to enjoy a delicious and hassle-free Instant Pot Pasta Salad, perfect for picnics, barbecues, or quick weeknight dinners. With the Instant Pot's speed and convenience, this delightful salad will be ready quickly.

Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.

  • Pasta: Choose your favorite pasta shape, such as rotini, penne, or fusilli, for the base of the salad. The Instant Pot will ensure it’s perfectly cooked and ready to soak up all the flavors.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: These little bursts of sweetness add a vibrant color and fresh taste to the salad. Halve them to distribute their juices throughout.
  • Cucumber: Cucumber brings a refreshing crunch to the salad. Peel and dice it for an excellent contrast to the pasta.
  • Red Onion: Thinly sliced red onion provides a mild, sweet flavor with a pop of color. Soak it briefly in cold water to mellow out its sharpness.
  • Kalamata Olives or Black Olives: These briny olives contribute a rich, savory flavor and a hint of saltiness. Slice them for even distribution.
  • Feta Cheese: Crumbled feta cheese adds creaminess and a salty kick to the salad. It pairs beautifully with the other ingredients.
  • Fresh Basil: Chopped fresh basil leaves infuse the salad with aromatic, herbaceous notes that complement the Mediterranean-inspired flavors.
  • Olive Oil: A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil ties all the ingredients together, providing a luscious, fruity undertone.
  • Red Wine Vinegar: Red wine vinegar brings a tangy acidity to balance the flavors and enhance the overall taste of the salad.
  • Dijon Mustard: A touch of Dijon mustard adds depth and a slight spiciness to the salad’s dressing, elevating its complexity.
  • Honey: A hint of honey adds just the right amount of sweetness to the dressing, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.
  • Garlic: Minced garlic cloves infuse the dressing with a subtle, earthy undertone that complements the fresh ingredients.

With these carefully chosen ingredients, you’ll create an Instant Pot Pasta Salad bursting with Mediterranean-inspired flavors perfect for any occasion. Enjoy the convenience of your Instant Pot and the deliciousness of this salad! 

How To Cook Instant Pot Pasta Salad

Here are the step-by-step directions for making this delicious pasta salad recipe. 

Instant Pot Italian Pasta Salad

Cook the Pasta:

Place the pasta in the pressure cooker. Add enough water or chicken broth to cover the pasta, ensuring it is fully submerged. Close the Instant Pot lid and set it to “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode for half the recommended cooking time listed on the pasta package. For example, if your pasta package recommends cooking for 8 minutes, set cook time for the Instant Pot to 4 minutes at high pressure. 

Quick Release and Drain:

Once the cooking cycle is complete, perform a quick pressure release by carefully turning the release valve. Open the Instant Pot lid, and drain the cooked pasta into a colander using oven mitts or tongs. Rinse the pasta under cold running water to stop the cooking process and cool it down. Allow it to drain thoroughly.

Prepare the Dressing:

Whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, minced garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Adjust the seasoning to your taste preferences.

Instant Pot Italian Pasta Salad

Combine Ingredients:

Combine the cooked and cooled pasta, halved cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, sliced red onion, Kalamata olives, crumbled feta cheese, and chopped fresh basil in a large mixing bowl.

Add Dressing:

Pour the prepared dressing over the pasta and ingredients in the mixing bowl. Toss everything together to ensure the salad is evenly coated with the sauce.

Instant Pot Italian Pasta Salad

Chill and Serve:

Cover the pasta salad and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before serving. Chilling allows the flavors to meld together. Before serving, give the salad a final toss to re-distribute the dressing. Adjust seasoning if needed.


If desired, plate your Instant Pot Pasta Salad, garnish with additional basil leaves, and enjoy this refreshing and flavorful dish!

This Instant Pot Pasta Salad is perfect for picnics, barbecues, or a quick, delicious weeknight dinner. It’s a delightful combination of textures and flavors to satisfy your taste buds. 

Instant Pot Italian Pasta Salad

Recipe Variations

Here are some recipe variations for Instant Pot Pasta Salad to suit different tastes and dietary preferences:

  • Greek Pasta Salad: Add diced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, red onion, crumbled feta cheese, and fresh dill. Use a Greek dressing made with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and red wine vinegar.
  • Caprese Pasta Salad or Easy Italian Pasta Salad: Combine cooked pasta with halved cherry tomatoes, Italian seasoning,  fresh mozzarella pearls or cubes, and torn basil leaves. Dress it with Italian Salad Dressing, or Zesty Italian Dressing. 
  • Mediterranean Pasta Salad: Mix in artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, sliced black olives, red onion, crumbled feta cheese, and fresh parsley. Use a lemon-tahini dressing with tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil.
  • Vegetarian Pasta Salad: Load up on your favorite veggies like bell peppers, broccoli florets, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini. You can make it vegan by using a dairy-free cheese or omitting the cheese altogether. A lemon-tahini dressing works well for a vegan option.
  • Protein-Packed Pasta Salad: Add grilled chicken breast, cooked shrimp, or chickpeas for a protein boost. Customize the dressing with a creamy Caesar, ranch, or honey mustard dressing.
  • Spicy Pasta Salad: Toss in some diced jalapeños, red pepper flakes, or hot sauce for a spicy kick. A chipotle-lime vinaigrette with adobo sauce, lime juice, and honey complements the heat.
  • Pesto Pasta Salad: Swap the traditional dressing for homemade basil pesto with pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. Add sun-dried tomatoes, roasted pine nuts, and grilled chicken for extra flavor.
  • Gluten-Free Pasta Salad: Use gluten-free pasta to make this salad suitable for those with gluten sensitivities or preferences. Ensure all other ingredients and dressings are also gluten-free.
  • Low-Carb Zucchini Noodle Salad: Replace pasta with spiralized zucchini noodles for a low-carb version. Customize your dressing with a light vinaigrette or lemony Greek yogurt sauce.
  • Asian-Inspired Pasta Salad: Incorporate ingredients like edamame, shredded carrots, bell peppers, and sliced scallions. Create an Asian-inspired dressing with soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger, and garlic.

Mix and match ingredients and dressings to create a pasta salad that suits your taste and dietary preferences. The possibilities are endless, and you can get creative to make your perfect Instant Pot Pasta Salad!

Instant Pot Pasta Salad

Pro Tips

Here are some pro tips to ensure your Instant Pot Pasta Salad turns out perfectly:

  • Choose the Right Pasta: Select a pasta shape that can hold the dressing and ingredients well, such as rotini, penne, or bowtie pasta. Avoid using delicate pasta types that may become mushy.
  • Cook Pasta Al Dente: When cooking pasta in the Instant Pot, aim to cook it until it’s al dente, meaning it still has a slight firmness to it. This ensures the pasta maintains its texture even after being dressed.
  • Quick Release and Rinse: After pressure cooking the pasta in the Instant Pot, perform a quick pressure release to prevent overcooking. Then, rinse the pasta under cold running water to stop the cooking process and cool it down quickly.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Whenever possible, use fresh and high-quality ingredients. Fresh vegetables, herbs, and quality cheese will elevate the overall flavor of your salad.
  • Balance the Flavors: Pay attention to the balance of flavors. If your dressing is on the tangy side, consider adding a touch of sweetness (e.g., honey or maple syrup). Taste as you go and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Chill Before Serving: Allow the pasta salad to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. This gives the flavors time to meld together and makes for a more refreshing salad.
  • Dress Just Before Serving: To prevent the salad from becoming soggy, dress it with the vinaigrette or dressing just before serving. If making ahead, keep the sauce separate until it’s time to eat.
  • Customize for Dietary Needs: Adapt the recipe to accommodate dietary preferences or restrictions. Use gluten-free pasta for a gluten-free version, or opt for vegan ingredients to make it plant-based.
  • Add Proteins Wisely: If adding proteins like chicken or shrimp, ensure they are fully cooked and seasoned to complement the salad’s flavors.
  • Garnish Creatively: Garnish the pasta salad with fresh herbs, extra cheese, or a sprinkle of your favorite nuts or seeds for added texture and visual appeal.
  • Storage: Leftover pasta salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Toss it gently before serving any leftovers to redistribute the dressing.

Following these pro tips will create a delightful and flavorful Instant Pot Pasta Salad that’s perfect for any occasion. Enjoy your culinary creation! 🍽️🥗✨

Instant Pot Pasta Salad

Can I use any pasta for Instant Pot Pasta Salad?

Yes, you can use various pasta shapes, but choosing those that hold dressing well and maintain their texture, such as rotini, penne, or bowtie pasta is be,st.

How long should I cook the pasta in the Instant Pot?

Cook the pasta for half the recommended cooking time listed on the package for stovetop cooking. For instance, if the stovetop instructions suggest cooking for 8 minutes, set the Instant Pot for 4 minutes of pressure cooking.

Do I need to rinse the pasta after cooking in the Instant Pot?

Yes, rinsing the pasta under cold running water after cooking in the Instant Pot is essential. It stops the cooking process, cools the pasta, and removes excess starch, preventing it from becoming mushy.

Can I make Instant Pot Pasta Salad in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the salad components in advance (cooked pasta, chopped vegetables, dressing). Still, it’s best to combine them just before serving to maintain freshness and prevent the salad from becoming soggy.

How long can I store leftover Instant Pot Pasta Salad in the refrigerator?

Leftover pasta salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Toss it gently before serving any leftovers to redistribute the dressing.

Can I freeze Instant Pot Pasta Salad?

Pasta salad with fresh vegetables and dairy-based dressings doesn’t freeze well, as it can change texture and flavor. It’s best enjoyed fresh.

How can I make Instant Pot Pasta Salad gluten-free?

To make it gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta. Ensure that all other ingredients and the dressing are also gluten-free.

Can I customize the ingredients in Instant Pot Pasta Salad?

Absolutely! Feel free to customize the salad with your favorite vegetables, cheeses, proteins, and dressings. You can adapt it to suit your taste and dietary preferences.

What can I serve with Instant Pot Pasta Salad?

Instant Pot Pasta Salad pairs well with various main dishes, such as grilled chicken, burgers, or barbecue dishes. It’s also a great addition to picnics, potlucks, and a stand-alone meal.

Is Instant Pot Pasta Salad suitable for vegetarians or vegans?

Instant Pot Pasta Salad can be easily adapted for vegetarians or vegans using plant-based cheeses and dressings. Ensure all ingredients are compliant with your dietary preferences.

More Instant Pot Recipes:

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Instant Pot Pasta Salad

Instant Pot Pasta Salad

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 16 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings


Instant Pot Pasta Salad –There is nothing better for a quick and delicious pasta side dish than Instant Pot.



  • 1 pound rotini pasta, uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Dressing
  • 1-2 cups water,  (enough to cover the pasta)


  • 16 ounce Italian dressing
  • 10 ounces grape tomatoes
  • 16 ounces Colby Jack Cheese, blocks
  • 6 ounces pepperoni, sliced
  • 6 ounces black olives, pitted
  • 1 large green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, sliced


  • In the Instant Pot, add the (2 tablespoons)Italian Salad Dressing, Pasta, and Water. Mix well. Add the lid to the Instant Pot and set the manual high pressure for 6 minutes. When the time is up, do a quick release.
  • Remove the pasta from the Instant Pot and drain, and mix with the rest of the Italian Dressing.
  • Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise, cube the cheese bricks, slice pepperonis in half, and slice olives in half lengthwise.
  • Dice both peppers.
  • Add tomatoes, cheese cubes, olives, and peppers to the bowl. 
  • Toss until ingredients are well distributed.  Add the pepperonis (these tend to stick together, so try to separate as much as possible), then give it one final mix.
  • Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour up to overnight, then serve!
  • Plate, serve, and enjoy!


  • Instant Pot, or Ninja Foodi
  • Large Bowl


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 707kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 33gFat: 47gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 1655mgPotassium: 357mgFiber: 10gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 1086IUVitamin C: 64mgCalcium: 460mgIron: 7mg

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