This is my son’s favorite meal, and it is quickly becoming mine since it requires very few ingredients and takes such little time, that it’s a perfect weeknight dish. I actually made it right before my son’s hockey game. So, if your kids are in sports, pin this for later, and better yet you can keep a stock of the ingredients on hand since there are so few of them. And you can always freeze the cheese. This pantry meal is so much cheaper than grabbing dinner out.
There are hundreds of recipes for pasta dishes for the Instant Pot, and I try to avoid the ones with tons of ingredients. This is a great starter or beginner recipe for the Instant Pot.
This is also a great recipe to make for potlucks, family reunions, BBQ’s, graduation parties and this is one of my kid’s favorite for all of our dinner celebrations.
Once I got my Instant Pot, I never purchased the Kraft Mac & Cheese again, with that distinctive yellow cheese packet.
Here are some tips on making pasta in the Instant Pot or your Pressure Cooker:
- Calculating your cook time-The easiest way to tell you how long to cook your pasta is to read your box. Pressure Cookers or Instant Pots, will reduce your cooking time by 1/2. So if the box says 10 minutes, only set your Instant Pot for 5 minutes.
- The above calculation makes for a softer pasta so if you like al dente pasta, divide the boxes cooking time, and divide by 2 and subtract one minute.
- Use a quick release. Since pasta is a high starch food, it will foam during the cooking process. All of the pasta needs to be done as a quick release, which will immediately stop the cooking process, if you left it for another 10 minutes, while the pressure naturally releases, you would have pasta that is mush.
- To reduce the foam, which is really not a big deal, you can add about 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pasta. I usually add a pat of butter to the Instant Pot, when I am making cream sauces, or Mac and Cheese. Since most macaroni and cheese have some sort of butter in the recipe, I just add it, because in my opinion mac and cheese taste better with butter, rather than olive oil. But since everyone’s taste buds are different, experiment, and see what you like better.
- I usually use elbow macaroni in all of my macaroni and cheese dishes, if you use another pasta, which is fine, remember that shorter noodles tend to do better in the Instant Pot, than longer noodles.
- I have great success with gluten-free pasta, I have not had great success with chickpea pasta. But, I will continue to experiment.
- The key to cooking any great pasta dish in the Instant Pot (or any other Pressure cooker) is that the water line needs to be slightly above the pasta, otherwise you will get dried out pasta. So, if your recipe calls for 2 cups of water, and you see that it will take 2 1/2 cups of water to have the water line above the pasta, just add the 1/2 cup. You can always drain the pasta if you have extra water when the time is done.
Kitchen Items Used: (Note: Affiliate links are included in this post)
Don’t Forget To Pin–
- 1 pound ground beef (I used 85% lean)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teapoon salt
- 1 pound boxed spaghetti
- 24 ounces spaghetti sauce
- 4 cups water
Start by pressing the saute button on your Instant Pot.
Add your meat and seasonings to the Instant Pot, and saute the meat, until it's brown (the entire portion of meat)
Drain the fat from the meat. (Be careful the pan is HOT)
Break the noodles and put them directly on top of the drained meat.
Add the water and sauce in, and mis well. The liquid should be above the pasta, so it doesn't dry out.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot, making sure that the valved is sealed and set manual high pressure to 8 minutes. Let it naturally release.
Once the pressure has come down, open the lid, stir.
Plate, serve and enjoy!