Want an easy side dish? Try this recipe and foolproof method for making Suddenly Salad in an Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Suddenly Salad
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Can you make a package of Suddenly Salad in the Instant Pot? Yes, you can. It is so easy. It’s one of my favorite Instant Pot hacks. I love it. If you are like me and are scrambling to get dinner on the table, this makes for an easy side dish or lunch.

What Is Suddenly Salad?

Suddenly Salad is a brand of prepackaged pasta salad mixes produced by General Mills under the Betty Crocker label. These convenient salad kits contain dried pasta along with a variety of seasoning packets and sometimes additional ingredients like vegetables or seasoning mixes. The idea behind Suddenly Salad is to provide a quick and easy side dish option that requires minimal preparation: cook the pasta, mix in the seasoning, and, depending on the variety, add mayonnaise or other wet ingredients.

Available in several flavors and styles, ranging from classic pasta salad with traditional seasonings to more creative blends incorporating bold flavors and international inspirations, Suddenly Salad kits offer versatility and convenience for picnics, barbecues, and everyday meals. They are designed for busy individuals and families looking to add a tasty side dish to their meals without much time or effort involved in preparation.

Instant Pot Suddenly Salad

Why You Will Love Cooking Suddenly Salad In a Pressure Cooker

Cooking Suddenly Salad in a pressure cooker offers a range of benefits that make this convenient dish even more appealing:

  • Quick and Easy: The pressure cooker significantly reduces the cooking time, making Suddenly Salad a quick option for busy days.
  • Flavor Infusion: Under pressure, the pasta and vegetables absorb dressings and seasonings more deeply, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
  • One-Pot Convenience: Everything cooks together in the pressure cooker, which means fewer dishes to wash and a simpler cooking process.
  • Perfect Texture: The controlled environment of a pressure cooker ensures that the pasta is perfectly cooked, avoiding the risk of it becoming too soft or too hard.
  • Versatile Customization: You can easily add extra ingredients like protein or vegetables, and the pressure cooker will seamlessly integrate these additions into the dish.
  • Energy-Efficient: Boiling pasta in a pressure cooker is more energy-efficient than boiling it on the stove, which saves time and reduces your energy bill.
  • Ideal for Meal Prep: Suddenly Salad made in a pressure cooker can easily be portioned out for meal prep, and it stays delicious even after a few days in the fridge.
  • All-Weather Comfort Food: Whether a cold winter evening or a hot summer day, Suddenly Salad prepared in a pressure cooker is a comforting meal that suits any season.

These points highlight why cooking Suddenly Salad in a pressure cooker is a game-changer. It offers convenience, flavor, and versatility in one easy-to-make dish.

Ingredients Needed For Instant Pot Suddenly Salad

Transform your kitchen routine with the Instant Pot Suddenly Salad, a modern twist on the classic pasta salad that promises a quick, flavorful, and versatile side dish perfect for any occasion.

Instant Pot Suddenly Salad

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.

  • Package of Suddenly Salad, any type: This convenient mix provides a flavorful and versatile pasta base, complete with seasoning, ready to be enhanced with your personal touch.
  • Water (add more if needed): The correct amount of water is crucial for cooking the pasta perfectly in the Instant Pot, ensuring it’s tender but not mushy.
  • Olive oil: Adding olive oil to the cooked pasta helps to prevent sticking, ensuring each piece is glossy and evenly coated, enhancing the salad’s texture and flavor.
  • Included Dressing Mix: Every box of Suddenly Salad comes with its unique dressing mix and instructions, allowing you to customize the salad with a perfectly matched, flavorful dressing that coats every noodle and ingredient.

How To Make Instant Pot Suddenly Salad

Instant Pot Suddenly Salad is an easy and quick way to prepare a delicious side dish. Here’s a simple guide:

Instant Pot Suddenly Salad

Add Pasta and Water to the Instant Pot: Open the Suddenly Salad package and pour the pasta into the Instant Pot. Add 1 1/2 cups of water, ensuring the pasta is fully submerged. If it seems dry, add more water until the pasta is covered.

Cook the Pasta: Secure the Instant Pot lid and set the valve to “Sealing.” Cook on high pressure for half the time recommended on the pasta package instructions (rounding down if necessary). For most pasta, this will be about 4 minutes.

Quick Release and Drain: Once the cooking time is up, carefully perform a quick release to release the steam. Once the pin drops, safely open the lid. If there’s excess water, drain the pasta.

Prepare the Dressing: Follow the package instructions to make the dressing. This usually involves mixing the provided seasoning packet with oil and water.

Combine and Chill: Add the prepared dressing to the pasta and mix well to ensure the pasta is evenly coated. For best results, refrigerate the salad for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld and the salad to chill thoroughly.

Serve: Once chilled, give the salad a good stir, adjust the seasoning if necessary, and serve as a refreshing side dish.

Instant Pot Suddenly Salad

Pro Tips

Making Instant Pot Suddenly Salad is a breeze, and with these pro tips, you can elevate your salad to impress at any meal:

  • Read the Package Directions First: Before starting, familiarize yourself with the salad mix’s specific instructions. This knowledge will guide your cooking time and how you prepare the dressing.
  • Adjust Water as Needed: Start with the recommended amount of water, but be prepared to adjust. If the pasta isn’t fully submerged, add a bit more water to ensure even cooking.
  • Use the Manual Setting: Use the manual setting on your Instant Pot to have more control over the cooking time, which is especially useful since pasta cooking times can vary.
  • Natural Release vs. Quick Release: For pasta dishes, a quick release can help prevent the pasta from overcooking. However, let the pot sit for a minute or two after cooking ends before performing the quick release to avoid splattering.
  • Enhance the Dressing: Consider enhancing the pre-packaged dressing with fresh ingredients like minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, or fresh herbs to add a homemade touch and boost the flavor.
  • Customize with Extras: After preparing the salad according to the package instructions, feel free to add your personal touch with additional ingredients like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, or olives for more texture and flavor.
  • Chill Before Serving: Suddenly Salad flavors meld and improve as it chills. If time allows, refrigerate the salad for at least an hour before serving to enhance its taste.
  • Serve at the Right Temperature: While chilling is recommended, let the salad sit out for a few minutes before serving if it’s been in the fridge for a while. This slight temperature adjustment can improve flavor and texture.
  • Keep Leftovers Fresh: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator to keep the salad fresh for your next meal.

Following these tips will ensure your Instant Pot Suddenly Salad is not only easy and quick to prepare but also deliciously memorable.

instant pot suddenly salad


Can I make Suddenly Salad in an Instant Pot with any variety of the salad mix? Yes, you can prepare any variety of Suddenly Salad in an Instant Pot. Just adjust water amounts and cooking times as needed based on the pasta type.

Do I need to alter the amount of water recommended on the box when using an Instant Pot? Typically, you’ll use less water in an Instant Pot than the box suggests for stovetop cooking. A general rule is to use just enough water to cover the pasta, about 1 1/2 cups, but adjust based on your Instant Pot model and pasta type.

How long should I cook Suddenly Salad in an Instant Pot? Start with a cooking time of half the lowest package-recommended stovetop boiling time. Adjust based on your preference for pasta firmness, considering the Instant Pot will continue cooking the pasta during the pressure release.

Can I add additional ingredients to the Instant Pot with the pasta? It’s best to cook the pasta alone in the Instant Pot to ensure it cooks evenly. Add-ins like vegetables or proteins can be mixed in after the pasta is cooked and cooled.

How do I prevent the pasta from sticking together after cooking? A quick rinse under cold water after draining the pasta can help prevent sticking. Also, tossing the pasta with a tablespoon of olive oil after rinsing can keep it loose and separate.

Is it necessary to make the dressing in advance? Preparing the dressing while the pasta cooks is a time-efficient approach. However, making it in advance can allow the flavors to meld, enhancing the overall taste of your salad.

Can I double the recipe in the Instant Pot? Yes, but ensure you do not fill your Instant Pot more than halfway with pasta and water to avoid issues with cooking and pressure release. Adjust the cooking time if necessary.

What if my pasta isn’t fully cooked after the recommended time? If the pasta is too firm after the initial cook time, you can set the Instant Pot to sauté and gently cook the pasta for a few more minutes with the lid off, stirring frequently. Add a splash more water if necessary.

How should I store leftovers? Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. The salad can be enjoyed cold or brought to room temperature for serving.

Can Suddenly Salad made in an Instant Pot be frozen? It’s not recommended to freeze pasta salads due to texture changes in the pasta and vegetables upon thawing. Enjoy your salad fresh or store it in the refrigerator.

Instant Pot Suddenly Salad

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Instant Pot Suddenly Salad

Instant Pot Suddenly Salad

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings


Can you make a package of Suddenly Salad in the Instant Pot? Yes, you can. It is so easy. It’s one of my favorite Instant Pot hacks. I love it. If you are like me and are scrambling to get dinner on the table, this makes for an easy side dish or lunch.


  • 1 package Suddenly Salad, any type
  • 1 1/2 cups water, add more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Make dressing as per the instructions (every box has different directions, so follow the ingredients needed on the box)


  • Pour the Suddenly Salad Pasta into the Instant Pot.
  • Pour the water and olive oil in, mix well.
  • Set the manual high pressure for 4 minutes.
  • Do a quick release.
  • Drain if needed
  • Prepare the dressing (every type will be different)
  • Pour the dressing it, and mix well.
  • Place in the refrigerator to cool.
  • Serve when cooled.


  • Instant Pot, or Ninja Foodi


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 299kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 10gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 8mgPotassium: 167mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mg

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