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cooked pasta in a white bowl on a grey countertop
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4 from 169 votes

How to Cook Pasta in the Instant Pot

Use these easy step-by-step instructions to cook perfectly al dente pasta.
This recipe was tested in the 6-quart Instant Pot. (When this method was tested in an 8-quart Instant Pot the results were not consistent.)
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 210kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $1.00

Equipment

  • Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Pasta, any type or shape
  • 2 cups Water
  • ½ teaspoon Salt

Instructions

  • First, determine the cook time for the pasta you are using. See the notes below to determine the right time.
  • Combine pasta, water, and salt in the bowl of an Instant Pot. Give everything a stir. (See note below if cooking long, straight pasta like spaghetti, fettuccini, or linguini.)
  • Close and lock the lid.
  • Set the vent to “Sealing”.
  • Pressure cook on high for the time determined in Step #1.
  • Leave the pasta on natural release for exactly 5 minutes. (Note: Be very careful not to let it sit for any longer or the pasta will overcook.)
  • Use manual release to release any remaining pressure.
  • Open the lid and give the pasta a good stir, 20 to 30 times. (This will get rid of any dry spots that remained where the pasta was sticking out of the water during cooking. If adding sauce, stir it in at this point.)
  • Return the lid to the top of the pressure cooker (no need to lock it just set it on top) and leave the pasta for 5-10 minutes more. (Note: This step is the most important because the pasta will continue to absorb any remaining liquid and continue to cook just a bit in the residual heat of the machine. This is the key to pasta that is cooked, but not overcooked.)
  • Serve!

Notes

Find the lowest recommended cook time on the pasta box or bag. (If a range is given, use the lowest number in the range. So if the range is 9 to 11 minutes, use 10 minutes. If only one time is given and it’s odd, round down. So 7 minutes becomes 6.) Then use this chart to determine how long to pressure cook on high.
pasta in the instant pot
**0 is a real setting on the pressure cooker / instant pot. For small pasta shapes with a short recommended cook time, set the timer to zero minutes. The pressure cooker will fully pressurize but won’t hold for any amount of time.
Spaghetti, Fettuccini, or Linguini - Long straight pasta shapes like these (and angel hair, bucatini, etc.) need to be treated a bit differently than other pasta shapes.
  1. Break the pasta strands in half before adding them to the Instant Pot so that they can easily be submerged in water.
  2. Pour enough water into the Instant Pot to completely cover the pasta (note: there is no set amount, but only add water until every strand of pasta is submerged). Add salt. 
  3. Do not stir before cooking. (This will help prevent the pasta from sticking.) 
  4. Pressure cook pasta according to the time on the chart. 
  5. Leave pasta on natural release for 5 minutes and then release any remaining pressure.
  6. After cooking, stir the pasta well to loosen any strands that are stuck together.
  7. Drain well. 

Nutrition

Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 300mg | Potassium: 126mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg