Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta

Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta gets done in the Instant Pot in only 20 minutes! Perfect one-pot meal for busy days!
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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!

If you love all the Instant Pot vegetarian/vegan recipes that I share on the blog, please join me on this Facebook Group – Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes. The group shares/features vegetarian instant pot recipes and ideas from all around the web!

tomato basil pasta in a bowl with a fork digging in into the bowl. There are also some basil leaves and a small jar of olive oil in the background

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.

creamy tomato basil pasta in instant pot

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.

tomato basil pasta in a black bowl with 2 forks. There are also some basil leaves and a small jar of olive oil in the background

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.

Method

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.

step by step picture collage of making creamy tomato basil pasta in the instant pot

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.

step by step picture collage of making creamy tomato basil pasta in the instant pot

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.

step by step picture collage of making creamy tomato basil pasta in the instant pot

Serve this creamy tomato basil pasta with more basil or parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

tomato basil pasta in a black bowl with 2 forks. There are also some basil leaves and a small jar of olive oil in the background

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 FacebookInstagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta

tomato basil pasta in a bowl with a fork digging in into the bowl. There are also some basil leaves and a small jar of olive oil in the background
Manali
Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta gets done in the Instant Pot in only 20 minutes! Perfect one-pot meal for busy days!
5 from 27 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Entree
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 479 kcal

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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!

Stove-top Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

  1. Remember to not stir after adding the can of diced tomatoes if your model of Instant Pot gives Burn messages.
  2. 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. 
  3. Cook for 6 minutes on high pressure for softer pasta.

Nutrition

Calories: 479kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 10gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 401mgPotassium: 464mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 895IUVitamin C: 12.7mgCalcium: 98mgIron: 2.4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

71 thoughts on “Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta

  1. Hi, I was really interested in trying this recipe – what at level of pressure do you cook the pasta – normal or high? Because when I tried with Normal pressure at 6 minutes, the pasta wasn’t cooked at all! It was semi done. So wondering as what I wasn’t doing right..

    1. it says clearly ” cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. For softer pasta do 6 minutes.” I have never had my pasta uncooked on high pressure for 4 minutes. Try again.

  2. The ingredients list says “8oz penne pasta (2-2.5 cups)”. However, 8oz equals 1 cup … I’m confused whether I should I add 1 cup (8oz) or 2 cups (16oz) of penne pasta?

    1. hmmm weight and volume are different. Weight is determined by the heaviness, or mass, of the particular item, and is measured with the use of a scale. Volume is the amount of space that an item you are measuring takes up. 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar will not be the same by weight. Right? So it is 8 oz pasta by weight but if you place and measure it in cup it will be around 2-2.5 cups. Hope this helps!

  3. 5 stars
    This meal is incredible! Restaurant quality, enjoyed at home. We have made it three times now. Can’t wait to try your other recipes.

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you for this easy instant pot recipe. Could you post a recipe for Creamy Pesto Pasta in an instant pot? Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    This turned out so incredibly good! Also, love that it is made all in the Instant Pot and so easy to put together. I did add in some fresh spinach at the end and a little basalmic vinegar. Can’t wait to make it again!

  6. 5 stars
    Not only did I find this absolutely delicious, my kids asked for seconds! Also, I really appreciate how you took photos of each step and wrote out the instructions to accompany the pictures. That is exactly what I need when cooking, so thanks!

    1. If you divide the dish in 4 equal parts, the calorie count is an approximate of one of those servings. It is calculated automatically by a plugin.

  7. This was delicious!! A friend of mine wants to try this recipe, but she doesn’t have an Instant Pot. Are there instructions for cooking this without an Instant Pot?

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