Pressure Cooker Pasta Primavera

Instant PotPressure CookerItalianPasta

The fresh flavors of spring come together in the pressure cooker! This whole recipe takes less than 30 minutes. Irresistible!

Photography Credit: Coco Morante

With a mix of seasonal, colorful vegetables, this pasta primavera is just the thing as the seasons transition from spring to summer.

A QUICK, VEGETARIAN WEEKNIGHT MEAL

A pressure cooker makes quick work of this vegetable-packed Pasta Primavera— and I love my Instant Pot! Broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers add a rainbow of colors and flavors to a big pot of penne pasta. Then it all gets tossed with olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

The veggies steam in just 10 minutes in the pressure cooker, and then the pasta takes about 20 minutes more. It’s a convenient, easy meal that I love to whip out on weeknights. I’m always up for a pasta dish that’s packed with produce, especially when there’s not a lot of work involved!

Pasta Primavera in the Instant Pot add the vegetables to the pasta

HOW TO COOK PASTA IN THE PRESSURE COOKER

Cooking pasta in the pressure cooker sounds kinda crazy, but it really does work! The texture might come out a little bit more chewy, because cooking under pressure with less liquid means that more starch stays in the pasta. I actually enjoy it.

I keep the basic rule in mind of using a 2:1 weight ratio of liquid to dry pasta, and it always comes out great. I find that short, sturdy pastas such as penne, macaroni, and rigatoni work best.

You can use either salted water or broth. I like broth in this recipe, because the rest of the flavors are so simple and the broth contributes a savory flavor that gets absorbed into the noodles as they cook. When you’re foregoing a creamy sauce (or any sauce at all, really), it’s nice to infuse some extra flavor into the pasta itself.

Instant Pot Pasta Primavera Recipe

HOW TO TIME THIS PRESSURE COOKER MEAL

Once the proper pressure has been achieved, the pasta requires just 5 minutes of cooking under pressure, and the vegetables take even less time—just 1 minute at low pressure.

Because they cook at different rates, the pasta and vegetables should be cooked separately to avoid mushy vegetables or undercooked pasta. If you want to speed up the recipe, though, you can microwave your vegetables while the pasta cooks in the pressure cooker.

More Easy Pressure Cooker Meals!

Pressure Cooker Pasta Primavera Recipe

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Recipe note: Using a stovetop pressure cooker is not advisable for this recipe, as the higher pressure tends to create more foaming and sputtering issues with foods such as pasta.

Ingredients

  • 1 large crown (about 8 ounce) broccoli, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1 large (about 8 ounce) red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 4 large (about 8 ounces) carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (or 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Special equipment:

Method

1 Steam the vegetables in the pressure cooker: Pour a cup of water into the pressure cooker. Combine the broccoli, bell pepper, and carrots in a steamer basket and place it in the pressure cooker.

Secure the lid in its sealed position, then select the Steam program and set the cooking time for 1 minute at low pressure. (It’ll take about 10 minutes for the pot to come to pressure before the cooking program begins.)

When the cooking program ends, perform a quick pressure release by moving the lid to its venting position. When the pressure has fully released, open the pot and lift the steamer basket out of the pot using heatproof oven mitts. After removing the vegetables, lift the inner pot out of the pressure cooker housing, pour out the water, and return the inner pot to the housing.

Instant Pot Pasta Primavera Recipe fill the steamer basket Pressure Cooker Pasta Primavera Recipe fill the pressure cooker Instant Pot Pasta Primavera Recipe put the steamer basket in the pot Pasta Primavera in the Pressure Cooker release the pressure

2 Cook the pasta: To the now-empty pressure cooker, add the pasta and broth. Secure the lid in its sealed position, then select the Manual program and set the cooking time for 5 minutes at high pressure. (It’ll take about 10 minutes for the pot to come to pressure before the cooking program begins.)

When the cooking program ends, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then move the lid to its venting position to release the remaining steam. When the pressure has fully released, open the pot.

Instant Pot Pasta Primavera Recipe add the pasta Pressure Cooker Pasta Primavera Recipe cook the pasta Pasta Primavera in the Instant Pot set the timer to cook the pasta Pressure cooker pasta primavera recipe cook the pasta

3 Mix everything together and serve: Add the steamed vegetables, olive oil, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper to the pot. Stir gently until the vegetables and pasta are fully combined and evenly coated.

Spoon the pasta into serving bowls and serve hot.

Pasta Primavera in the Instant Pot add the vegetables to the pasta

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Coco Morante

Author of The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook. A self-taught cook and classically-trained soprano, Coco Morante writes and sings in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her husband and their beagle. For more recipes, visit her blog, Lefty Spoon.

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5 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Laurel

    Is this really any faster than cooking it the traditional way on the stovetop? What benefit does the Instant Pot bring to this recipe? I bought one but I don’t love it. I think the controls are not intuitive either. I find it frustrating.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Laurel! Emma here, managing editor. The biggest advantage to cooking a recipe like this in the Instant Pot is the hands-off time. You’re right that the overall cooking time is about the same, but with the Instant Pot, you’re not tied to the stove or needing to actively pay attention to a pot.

      • Laurel

        Yes, but a slow oven is hands off too. I’m thinking of making ribs or a pot roast where a long slow roast makes them tender. Also, the instant pot, IMHO, makes for a more watery result which isn’t always desirable. The only thing I’m using mine for right now is making yogurt. It’s great for that.

  2. Bonnie

    How would I cook this recipe over the stove?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Bonnie! Emma here, managing editor. You can steam all the vegetables on the stovetop or in the microwave, boil the pasta as usual, and then combine everything together. You might also check out this Classic Pasta Primavera for a stovetop version. It’s not exactly the same as this recipe, but it’s also very good. Enjoy!

Pasta Primavera in the Pressure CookerPressure Cooker Pasta Primavera