Don't we all love a bowl of pasta with tomato cream sauce? Everyone needs this delicious, comforting, and satisfying pasta in their dinner rotation. This easy Instant Pot Pasta is ready in under 20 minutes and is something the whole family will enjoy!
This simple Italian recipe is perfect for those days when you don't feel like chopping vegetables or washing extra dishes. The kid-friendly dish uses basic pantry ingredients that are simply layered in the Instant Pot. Top with some freshly grated parmesan for a restaurant-quality vegetarian meal that will be ready in no time.
Note: Original post published in July 2018 has been updated with new photos and a video.
EASY 20-Minute Pasta Dinner
Tomato cream sauce pasta can be prepared by novice as well as expert cooks. It perfectly fits my goal of enabling everyone to cook! This month I was approached by several mothers requesting cooking lessons for their teenagers. The more I understood how hectic and crazy their college schedules could be, the more I continued to develop simple recipes.
This recipe is created with the purpose, that making sure that all of us can put together a quick meal that is fast, inexpensive, and yet satisfying. I am so proud that this creamy tomato pasta has now become so popular not only with teenagers but with their families as well.
- Pasta - I have used penne pasta in this recipe but you can use any shape including gluten-free pasta
- Sauce - Marinara sauce or use your favorite jarred tomato sauce
- Cream - Heavy whipping cream adds the perfect creaminess to this pasta and you can also substitute it with coconut cream or cashew cream
Tips to make perfect Instant Pot pasta
- Make sure that most of the pasta is submerged in liquids
- Pressure cook time = Half the cooking time on the box minus 1 minute
- Always layer thicker liquids like tomato sauce on top
- Quick-release after the pressure cooking cycle is complete
- Always stir in cream, cheese, etc after the pressure cooking cycle
How to Make The Best Creamy Tomato Pasta
Step 1: Add pasta to the Instant Pot, add broth, and water. Layer garlic powder, red chili pepper, salt, and tomato sauce. Make sure to push all the pasta under liquids (photos 1 - 4).
Step 2: Close the Instant Pot lid and Pressure cook. Quick Release and then stir in the cream, grated parmesan, and basil or parsley (photos 5 - 8).
Serve pasta with a side of Air Fried Garlic Broccoli or String beans or Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Pair it with the Instant Pot Fudgy Brownies or Almond Flour Brownies for a fun meal that the entire family will enjoy.
- Saute fresh garlic and half a cup of diced onions in olive oil before adding the pasta
- Stir in a cup of frozen peas after the pressure-cooking cycle
- Stir in a handful of fresh or frozen chopped spinach or kale after the pressure-cooking cycle
- Use milk instead of heavy cream to lighten up the dish
- To make the pasta spicy, add extra red chili flakes or skip them altogether for a non-spicy pasta
More Instant Pot Pasta Recipes You'll Love
- Pasta Caprese - Pasta tossed with tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
- Penne Alla Vodka - Italian classic pasta dish made in a creamy tomato, garlic, and vodka sauce
- Spinach Artichoke Macaroni & Cheese - Lightened-up mac and cheese with the healthy addition of spinach and artichokes
- Spicy Taco Pasta - Spicy taco pasta with ground chicken, onions, jalapeños, cilantro, and cheese
- Spinach Mushroom Lasagna - Lasagna layered with spinach, mushrooms, garlic, and cheese
More Easy Instant Pot Recipes
- Chicken Marsala - chicken braised in buttery, wine-soaked mushrooms and herbs
- Saffron Risotto - rice cooked in aromatic saffron, wine, and parmesan cheese
- Chicken Noodle Soup with Kale - chicken noodle soup with kale cooked in under 30 minutes
Penne Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce
- 1 pound uncooked Penne Pasta
- 2 cups low sodium broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups tomato sauce plain or marinara
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
- ¼ cup basil or parsley chopped
- Add the pasta, broth, water, garlic powder, red pepper, salt to the Instant Pot insert. Layer tomato sauce on top. Gently push all pasta under liquids. Do not mix.
- Close the Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing. Pressure cook (Hi) for 4 minutes followed by quick release.
- Open the Instant Pot and stir in the cream. Add parmesan cheese and chopped basil or parsley.
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I accidentally added heavy cream before pressure cooking it.. is that still okay?
As long as you have not mixed it in it should be ok.
it is an easy fix to correct the use of the water and the recipe when you go to print it can you do that so I can upgrade my rating and it is excellent as long as you catch that problem
Agree! Fixed the instructions to include water.
Thank you for all of your hard work and making it easier for us. specially Instant Pot recipes. my ? is if i want to add soya chunks in it then when should i add it and do they need to be cook or i can add uncook?
Thank you again for all your hard work. 🙂
I would cook the soya chunks first, squeeze out all the water and then add in the end and bring the soup to a full boil
Vanessa Gorski-Villalobos says
Delicious recipe! So simple and it turned out great. Next time I think I’ll add more liquid just so when we reheat leftovers it’s got more sauce.
Great tasting recipe. However, mine stuck to the bottom and half got burned because i didnt stit it 🙁
I am so glad you enjoyed the taste. It is important to layer the ingredients, especially layering the tomato sauce in the end and not stirring it in.