Here’s how to make perfect Instant Pot Pasta every time, using whole wheat or white pasta – plus, a bonus Caprese pasta salad recipe!
How to make Instant Pot pasta
- Add canola oil, water/broth, pasta and salt to Instant Pot. Pressure cook for three minutes.
- Once cooked, release pressure valve and you’re set with perfectly cooked pasta every time!
- Take the pasta and assemble your other ingredients to make your favourite pasta, pasta salads, etc.
- To make the bonus caprese salad recipe: Add all of the ingredients under the caprese pasta salad heading to the cooked pasta and toss gently.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Canola oil – vegetable oil, grapeseed oil or another neutral oil can be used to replace canola oil.
- Water – use broth in place of water to submerge the pasta in additional flavour
- Pasta – any pasta shape will work great in this recipe.
- Salt (optional)
Caprese pasta salad
- Cherry tomatoes – grape tomatoes (red or multicoloured) can be used for this recipe.
- Bocconcini cheese – fresh mozzarella is a great substitute for bocconcini cheese.
- Basil leaves – fresh basil leaves are recommended for this recipe. If necessary, replace with an Italian seasoning blend.
- Olive oil – use a neutral oil like avocado oil, grapeseed oil or canola oil in place of olive oil.
- Balsamic vinegar – balsamic glaze or red wine vinegar with sugar can be used in place of balsamic vinegar
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
What to serve with pasta salad
Pasta salads are amazing dishes to include at your summer picnics, BBQs or potluck – it basically screams summer recipe! You can really pair almost anything with a pasta salad but if you’re in need of some ideas, here are some dishes that this pasta salad will work well with:
- BBQ chicken
- Sandwiches or wraps
- Steamed veggies
- Leafy green salad
- …and so much more!
What pasta works best for pasta salad?
This Instant Pot pasta recipe is a great way to prepare any pasta of your choice for a variety of dishes. If you’re leaning towards making this caprese pasta salad, or a similar pasta salad, it will be better to use shorter length pasta. The best pasta for pasta salads are rigatoni, farfalle, penne, or fusilli. Not only are these pasta noodles smaller and easier to eat, but they also have ridges and pockets that will hold on to the dressing. Since the dressings used for pasta salads are normally vinaigrettes, it is important to have a noodle that will hold on to the dressing!
Storing this pasta salad
Pasta salads are a great meal prep idea. The more that a pasta salad sits in the fridge, the more the flavours of the dish compliment each other. I highly recommend keeping this pasta in airtight containers as individual servings for easy access. This pasta salad will should only stay in the fridge for up to four days to ensure freshness. When you’re ready to enjoy your pasta salad, you can enjoy it cold straight from the fridge!
Freezing leftover pasta
Though the pasta salad isn’t a freezer friendly meal, you can freeze any leftover pasta for a later date. To freeze cooked pasta, allow the pasta to dry off completely for an hour or so and then transfer into a freezer safe container or freezer bag. Once frozen, the pasta will store in the freezer for up to 8 months! When you’re ready to enjoy your pasta, cook it straight from the freezer by adding 1-2 minutes to the cook time.
More Instant Pot Asian recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on storing the leftovers
Perfect Instant Pot Pasta
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 4 cups water or broth
- 1 lb pasta any size or shape; can be whole wheat or white pasta. Do NOT use gluten-free pasta
- 1 pinch salt optional
Caprese pasta salad
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 cup bocconcini cheese, sliced in half
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Add canola oil, water/broth, pasta and salt to Instant Pot in that order, making sure most of pasta is submerged just below the surface of the water. Do not stir, just press down on pasta slightly.
- Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal. Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 3 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook the 3 minutes.
- Cover the pressure release valve with a clean kitchen towel (sometimes the steam can have a bit of foam), then do a quick release of the pressure on the Instant Pot by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon. Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily. Pasta is ready to serve!
- OPTIONAL CAPRESE PASTA SALAD: Add all of the ingredients under the caprese pasta salad heading to the cooked pasta once it's had a chance to cool for at least 30-60 minutes. Toss together gently, then serve and enjoy!