How to Cook Pasta Directly in the Sauce in the Instant Pot

How to Cook Pasta in Sauce in the Instant Pot
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Here’s how to cook your pasta right in the sauce with your Instant Pot or other digital, electronic pressure cooker! With this method you can create a wonderful one-pot meal in no time, and with no fuss! It’s so easy, and it works for both regular and gluten-free pasta! We make this with the quinoa macaroni from Costco, and the Bertolli or Rao’s sauce (both also from Costco) but of course you can use any pasta and any sauce that you’d like!

Just use our special coupon code HAPPYGFVEGAN at the V-Dog website!

Before we get into the how-to of it, if you are experiencing a bit of déjà vu, yes we have written about this before. However so many people have been asking about it, we figured that we needed to write it up again.

Now, this recipe usually works best with a more robust, small to medium sized type of pasta. For example we usually make it with the quinoa gluten-free macaroni that we get from Costco, but feel free to experiment! Understand that in addition to individual taste (do you like your pasta al dente, super al dente, or on the softer side?), every pasta is different, and has different cooking times, and that’s especially true for gluten-free pasta if that’s what you are using. So if the default cooking time yields a pasta that is not quite done enough to your liking, or is too soft, then adjust the cooking time upwards or downwards a minute (yes, just a minute) from the default cooking time of 5 minutes. Even if the first time you make this you decide you want to cook it a little bit more or a little bit less the next time, we guarantee that even the first time you make pasta this way, it will be delicious!

How to Cook Pasta in Sauce in the Instant Pot


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2 cups of small pasta (macaroni, shells, orecchiette, etc.), or an 8 ounce box of pasta
1 24-28 ounce jar of sauce
1 3/4 cup vegetable broth or water (water is truly fine)
Any herbs or veggies you want to toss in (we usually add a can of mushrooms and sometimes about a half a can of peas)


Pour the sauce into the bottom of your Instant Pot. Next add the pasta, and give it a quick stir just to help the sauce get in between the pieces. Now add the broth or water, and then anything else you want to add in (herbs, veggies, etc.).

Lock on the lid, turn the vent to closed, and set to high pressure for 5 minutes. Once the 5 minutes is up, allow it to come back down to normal pressure naturally (so NPR, which stands for ‘natural pressure release’); you can turn the Instant Pot off after it’s done cooking for 5 minutes (instead of having it switch over to the ‘keep warm’ setting) to help the pressure come down a little bit faster. All this said, if you have to, you can initiate a quick release (QR) after the first 15 or 20 minutes of the NPR, just be very careful because often instead of just steam coming out of the vent, it will spit pasta goo all over the place.

Once the pressure is fully released, open the pot, give it a gentle stir, and serve. Make a note of the texture, in case you want to increase or decrease the cooking time by a minute the next time!

Bon appetit!

One-Pot Instant Pot Pasta Cooked in the Sauce
How to Cook Pasta in Sauce in the Instant Pot

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