Here’s a fresh summer recipe for pasta lovers...Instant Pot Pesto Pasta! I call this a sequel to my older recipe for preparing your own pesto sauce with pine nuts and kale.
I have had a lot of reader feedback on that. So I thought a follow-up recipe showing how you can prepare this with the Instant Pot would be very helpful too. This Instant Pot Pesto pasta is vegan, nutritious, and made with homemade vegan pesto sauce.
I call it a summer recipe because now is when you get the freshest looking basil and any greens for that matter.
Basil and Kale are my top ingredients for the homemade pesto sauce that I am using for this recipe.
A sumptuous serving of pasta paired with breadsticks and marinara sauce can be one filling lunch option for your entire family.
If you are thinking about ways to incorporate greens in your kid’s diet or if you just need a dump and start an Instant Pot recipe, this one-pot pesto pasta is one good option for you.
Your kids will not say no to the inviting aroma of basil and roasted pine nuts!
If you are an avid gardener like me, with a lot of herbs in your backyard you will have fun working on this recipe! There’s something about homemade pesto that takes the flavor to the next level.
But store-bought pesto works beautifully, too if you are tied up with work on a weekday. All you have to do is dump and start!
How to cook pasta in Instant Pot
Cooking pasta in an instant pot cannot be any easier. Just dump the pasta, add water, and cook for just half the time that is mentioned on the pasta box. If you prefer al-dente style then you’d slash the time by one more minute.
Be sure to add 2.5 cups water for every 8- 9 oz of pasta, along with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and seal.
When the timer expires, use the ‘Quick Release’ option before opening the lid. Add the pesto sauce to the same pot and mix well.
That’s all there is to it unless you want to add accompaniments to pesto-like cherry tomatoes, spinach, roasted kale, or roasted broccoli.
I hope you really try this with your own homemade version of Pesto sauce instead of a store-bought version. It can be a uniquely satisfying experience when you prepare it from the herbs in your garden, not to mention it can be substantially cheaper on your wallet too.
I hope you try this out today and that you find your new favorite pasta dish here.
Tips and variations
- I used penne but you could use any shaped pasta you like, including gluten-free pasta
- Use store-bought pesto sauce or prepare your own homemade pesto sauce. Check my special pesto recipe here.
- Add your favorite vegetables like peas, roasted broccoli, or roasted kale. The choice is yours.
- Another optional step is to add vegan cheese to the pasta to add flavor.
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Instant Pot Pesto Pasta
- 8 oz penne pasta
- 2.5 cups of water
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup pesto sauce
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup roasted kale or fresh spinach - optional
- Add penne pasta water and olive oil to the Instant Pot. Pressure Cook for 5 minutes, followed by a quick release.
- Stir the pasta well and add pesto sauce, black pepper, a little salt, vegan cheese.
- This is also a good time to add in any quick-cooking veggies at this time, such as spinach, roasted kale, roasted broccoli. Toss well to get an even mix of the pesto sauce on all the pasta.
- Optionally, you could add lemon juice, red chili flakes, or vegan cheese to add flavor.
- Instant Pot Pesto Pasta is complete! Here’s to another family dinner with the Instant Pot!
Check above for step-by-step pictures (most of my recipes include pictures)
YOUR OWN NOTES
Nutritional information is an estimation only.
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Georgina | Culinary Travels
Pesto pasta is one of my favourite go-to recipes for a light, easy, quick supper. This recipe looks so tasty,
I LOVE instant Pot recipes, but I've never made pasta in it before (now's the time to change that). And pesto is one of those things I just can't get enough of. Your recipe for the Kale pesto looks incredible - I love making pesto without parm and basil to switch things up.
Loreto and Nicoletta Nardelli
We love our pasta with pesto!. It looks very creamy and for sure it would be nutritious with the added kale or spinach. Great weeknight dinner.
Love making pasta in my Instant Pot! So easy to prep and you don't have to stay next to the stove to cook.
Yes absolutely! Thank you
Look at all this green goodness! This is a classic pesto pasta dish! Looks so simple to make too! Total win!
Such a great idea to make this in an instant pot... The flavor of the pesto is amplified since it basically infused into the pasta... genius! Will be making this again.
This pesto pasta is such a great weeknight meal! It's filling and comes together so easily!
I have a huge bag of kale in my fridge that I don't know what to do with! Until now 🙂 This will be great for a weeknight dinner!
I love that this pasta is made in the Instant Pot. It makes it super convenient to prepare during the busy weeknights, and the pesto is delicious!
Very cool! I have never made pasta in the Instant Pot. It would make things a lot easier...like everything else that gets cooked in this awesome appliance.
Yes true Bernice! Thank you
What a great post! Can you believe I'd never actually cooked pasta in my beloved Instant Pot?!? How crazy, right? You totally inspired me - it's so easy and there are so many variations I can try! Even better, though - I have a huge, gorgeous potful of basil growing on my deck, so I've got the perfect makings of a summer-y basil to specifically make this pesto pasta variation for the rest of the summer! Yay!
Thank you, Shelley. Hope you will try this soon:)