Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta made in the Instant Pot! This one pot meal takes only 20 minutes to cook!
You won’t believe how easy it is to make creamy restaurant style pasta in your Instant Pot so quickly!
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You guys, I am so excited to share this recipe with you all.
I have been meaning to share an instant pot tomato based pasta recipe here for so long. But I wanted it to be perfect before I could share.
And finally, I am thrilled to share a recipe which I absolutely love!
This Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta
✓ so good and so easy
✓ restaurant style pasta with the goodness of tomatoes & fresh basil
✓ you only need 20 minutes to make this! Yes only 20 minutes between you and this creamy goodness!
✓ one pot meal, perfect for busy days
✓ made with basic pantry essentials
✓ topped with pine nuts for that extra flavor and crunch!
I never thought much of Instant Pot pasta dishes until I made this Thai Peanut Noodles. You guys love this recipe and it also gave me the confidence to try more of such one pot recipes in my pressure cooker.
My aim is to always make recipes easier for you guys. I know you guys love easy recipes which save time in the kitchen and are also filling.
This one checks all those spots so I hope you guys will love this pasta recipe just as much as you loved the noodles.
The biggest challenge when cooking pasta in the Instant Pot is a) to make sure that the pasta is cooked but not over or under cooked and b) there’s no burn message and the pot comes to pressure.
Talking about the burn message, I did wrote a post about FAQs about the Instant Pot and covered the Burn message topic in it.
So if you guys still haven’t checked it out, maybe its time so do so now especially if your model is prone to getting the dreaded burn message.
For me, 4 minutes at high pressure with a quick pressure release works perfect for the pasta. It’s al dente and that’s exactly how I like it. This is for regular pasta made with flour.
If you use pasta made with different grains, then that will definitely effect the outcome.
For this recipe, I have cooked the pasta for 4 minutes but if you prefer softer pasta, cook for 5 to 6 minutes on high pressure. Also, press the pasta slightly so that it’s little under water. I didn’t do it and it still cooked perfectly for me.
Coming to the burn message, if your model is prone to getting it, do use 1.5 cups water (12 oz) for this recipe, especially if you have the 8 qt. I have not tested it because I don’t have a 8 qt but from what I see and read, I think it would need the extra 1/2 cup water.
Also don’t stir the tomato once you have added it to the pot. That can cause a burn message too. In case your pot doesn’t ever get burn message, then feel free to stir everything together.
I also use saute on “less” mode for this recipe. The reason is that I don’t want the onion and garlic to burn, they should get fragrant but not burn. Also sauteing on low will make sure there aren’t any brown bits at the bottom which eventually means no burn message!
With abundance of fresh basil in the market in spring and summer, this recipe will be a repeat in my kitchen in the coming months.
1- Press the saute button and then press the adjust button to set saute to “less”. Once it displays hot, add 2 tablespoon olive oil. Add garlic and onion and saute for 4 to 5 minutes until fragrant.
2- Add Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, sugar and stir.
3- Add 1 cup water (you might need 1.5 cups water for 8 qt IP). Make sure there’s nothing at bottom, most probably there won’t be as we saute on low heat.
4- Then add 8 oz penne pasta.
5- Also add a can of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Do not stir especially if your Instant Pot model gives the BURN message.
6- Close the pot with its lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. For softer pasta do 6 minutes. Quick release the pressure by manually moving (be careful) the pressure valve from sealing to venting position.
7- Open the pot and stir everything together. Press the saute button again and use the adjust button to set saute to “less”.
8- Add in the heavy cream and stir.
9- Add the 2 oz cream cheese and stir.
10- Keep stirring until the cream cheese melts and mixes well with the sauce. Taste test and adjust seasonings at this point.
11- Then add fresh basil and stir.
12- Also add the pine nuts (if using, optional) and mix.
Serve this creamy tomato basil pasta with more basil or parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
If you’ve tried this Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!
Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil 30 ml
- 4-5 large garlic cloves sliced
- 1 small white onion chopped
- 1.5 teaspoons italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes or adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar optional
- 1 cup water 8 oz, a 8 qt Instant Pot might need 1.5 cups (12 oz)
- 8 oz penne pasta around 2 -2.5 cups penne pasta
- 14.5 oz can diced tomato I used fire roasted
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream 4 oz
- 2 oz cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/2 cup chopped basil
- 1-2 tablespoons pine nuts optional
- Press the saute button and then press the adjust button to set saute to "less".
- Once it displays hot, add 2 tablespoon olive oil. Add garlic and onion and saute for 4 to 5 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, sugar and stir.
- Add 1 cup water (you might need 1.5 cups water for 8 qt IP). Make sure there's nothing at bottom, most probably there won't be as we saute on low heat.
- Then add 8 oz penne pasta, a can of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Do not stir especially if your Instant Pot model gives the BURN message.
- Close the pot with its lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. For softer pasta do 6 minutes. Quick release the pressure by manually moving (be careful) the pressure valve from sealing to venting position.
- Open the pot and stir everything together. Press the saute button again and use the adjust button to set saute to "less".
- Add in the heavy cream and stir.
- Add the 2 oz cream cheese and stir. Keep stirring until the cream cheese melts and mixes well with the sauce. Taste test and adjust seasonings at this point.
- Then add fresh basil and stir. Also add the pine nuts (if using, optional) and mix.
- Serve this creamy tomato basil pasta with more basil or parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
- Boil pasta according to instructions on the package (reserve some of the boiled pasta water). To a pan on medium-low heat, add olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and onion and saute for 4 to 5 minutes until fragrant. Add the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and sugar. Then add can of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add in the heavy cream and cream cheese. Mix and let the cream cheese dissolve. Add some of the reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce a little. Let the sauce come to a slight boil and then add the boiled pasta, followed by fresh basil. Adjust consistency of the pasta, you can add more water if needed. Add pine nuts (if using). Taste test and adjust the seasonings. Serve hot!
- Remember to not stir after adding the can of diced tomatoes if your model of Instant Pot gives Burn messages.
- If using a 8 qt, you might need to add extra 1/2 cup water. I have not tested this recipe in a 8 qt but because it has a larger surface area, extra water might be needed.
- Cook for 6 minutes on high pressure for softer pasta.
81 thoughts on “Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta”
This sounds awesome. I’d like to add some veggies like bell pepper and zucchini – should I adjust something? (Bell Pepper should be cooked, not crunchy)
you can use pepper , zucchini no it will become totally mushy in this time.
I got my instant pot the other day and this was the first dish I made. We all liked it a lot. I added spinach and sun dried tomatoes.
This recipe is a keeper and going right into my files. Thanks for posting it. I made a few changes due to what I had on hand and needed to be used up : Sour cream instead of heavy cream, sun-dried tomatoes added to 1/2 can of left over whole tomatoes blended quickly, some Parmesan cheese, no penne so I used pasta I had on the shelf. This recipe is great on it’s own but can be changed up easily to suit pantry items and still turns out perfect.
Has anyone tried doubling the recipe? This looks good – would like to use it for a potluck party, so I would want to increase it to 16oz of pasta (also doubling all other ingredients). I have a 6 quart Instant Pot, so I’m more worried if that much will fit and if/how much cook time needs increased for the extra ingredients. Thanks!
doubling should be okay, go for 6 minutes cook time.
I made the recipe “as-is” and it was perfect!!! Thank you for sharing this awesome easy resturant-style dish!
My family and I enjoyed the recipe. I made a few substitutions such as vegetable broth for water, ghee instead of olive oil, 2 heirloom tomatoes (boiled, peeled and diced) for one 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, and I caramelized the tomato paste with the seasonings up to step 3. I waited till the tomato paste was a nice brown color and sticking to the pot, and then added the broth. Also, I appreciate that some of the seasonings listed say adjust to taste because I’ll put a teaspoon with a hill 🙂
This sounds delicious but how is this recipe vegan??
Hi there, can you please tell where does it say it’s vegan??
It was featured on the website: “12 of the Best Vegan Instant Pot Recipes for Easy Dinners” and this is what is written under your picture: “Hi, I’m Manali! Bringing you easy, delicious vegetarian & vegan recipes! Eating veggies can be fun, you just need to get creative in the kitchen with the right set of ingredients!” I just assumed I would be looking at a vegan recipe…
“Hi, I’m Manali! Bringing you easy, delicious vegetarian & vegan recipes!!”- it says vegetarian and vegan. It’s a 100% vegetarian blog. Lot of vegan recipes but not always vegan. Hope this helps.
I want to make this vegan. Do you recommend coconut milk instead of the cream? Any suggestions re cream cheese? Thanks!
coconut milk will work great!
This is seriously so good! I do veggie broth instead of water, it has so much flavour. It has become a staple in our household. Thanks so much for sharing!
so glad you like it Jenna 🙂
Hi I’m Darren just about to take your recipe out of the
Pot ! Yay didn’t do the cheese bit so happy days hopefully from Melbourne
hope you liked it!
Made this with my daughter for her lunch box. We added some bacon at the first step and instead of cream cheese stirred in some parmesan. It tastes delicious. I’m thinking of using this recipe and adding some chicken thigh at first step also and a bit more pasta some more water for a bulkier main meal for the family.
My kids detest tomato chunks so i use a little can of tomatoe sauce and a little extra water. I also use half n half. Yum.