Instant Pot Makhani Pasta

Got 30 minutes? Make this creamy Makhani Pasta inspired by Indian flavors in your Instant Pot!

Whole wheat pasta tossed in a spiced creamy Indian sauce and all comes together in 30 minutes.

It is also vegan!

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makhani pasta served in a black skillet with a spoon

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Ever since I started making pasta in my Instant Pot, I haven’t made it any other way.

And why would I? Pasta in IP is like the easiest thing ever!

It’s quick, easy and the best part, it all gets done in one-pot.

You guys love all the Instant Pot pasta recipes that I share and so I am not going to stop anytime soon.

My new Instant pot pasta recipe is inspired from Indian flavors.

When I first started eating pasta back in India, my house help would cook macaroni with Indian flavors and I would love it.

He would add the onion, tomato and some spices and it really tasted great.

In fact, I also have a recipe for Masala Mac & Cheese in my cookbook.

So I tried incorporating similar Indian flavors here and came up with this Makhani Pasta.

Whole wheat penne is tossed in a creamy spiced sauce. It is so good and makes such a quick easy meal!

This Instant Pot Makhani Pasta

✓ is one-pot meal

✓ comes together in 30 minutes!

✓ is vegan and nut-free

✓ makes a comforting flavorful meal

Now, I know some of you might have apprehensions trying a pasta with Indian flavors.

But guys, trust me on this. You will like it, I can promise you that! 🙂

This pasta can’t get any easier. First saute some onions and then add everything including pasta, tomatoes, spices and pressure cook.

Once the pasta is pressure cooked, then simply add the coconut milk for creaminess and let it simmer for few minutes. And that’s about it!

Now here, you can also heavy cream in place of coconut milk. I just preferred the coconut milk here for the flavor.

To flavor the pasta, I have used few spices like garam masala, cardamom powder, red chili powder and kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) at the end for that taste and fragrance.

I have also used kashmiri red chili powder which is mainly for the nice red color. You may skip it.

For this pasta recipe, I used whole wheat penne. If using regular flour pasta, I would probably cook for 4 minutes on high pressure rather than 6.

This is one of those meals which you can make on a busy day.

Doesn’t need a ton of ingredients, there’s very little prep time and is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

I highly recommend using Chaokoh Coconut Milk here. It truly makes a difference to the final taste of the pasta.

 

Method

1- Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil and then add the chopped garlic, ginger, jalapeño and onion.

2- Saute for 2 to 3 minutes until onions are soft. Then add the water and de-glaze the pot. Make sure there’s no brown bits stuck at the bottom.

3- Followed by the pasta.

4- And followed by a can of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, cardamom powder, garam masala, red chili powder, kashmiri red chili powder and salt. Do not stir. You may spread the tomatoes over the pasta a bit.

step by step pictures of making makhani pasta in instant pot

5- Close the pot with its lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then quick release the pressure.

6- Open the lid, stir everything and press the saute button.

7- Add the sugar, coconut milk.

8- Add kasuri methi and let the pasta simmer for 2 minutes.

step by step pictures of making makhani pasta in instant pot

Add in chopped cilantro and sprinkle cardamom powder and garam masala on top before serving.

Enjoy Makhani Pasta warm!

creamy makhani pasta in a skillet with a spoon

Ingredients Used 

Chaokoh Coconut Milk

Whole Wheat Penne

Garam Masala

Cardamom Powder

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Instant Pot Makhani Pasta

makhani pasta served in a black skillet with a spoon
Manali
Whole wheat pasta tossed in a creamy Indian inspired sauce. This vegan makhani pasta gets done in one-pot and in 30 minutes!
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Italian
Servings 3
Calories 518 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 tablespoons oil 22 ml, I used avocado oil
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger finely chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño seeded and chopped or use 1 green chili
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 cup water 8 oz/240 ml
  • 8 oz whole wheat penne pasta
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder + more to sprinkle later
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala + more to sprinkle later
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder for color
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk I used Chaokoh brand
  • 1.5 teaspoon kasuri methi crushed, dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tablespoons chopped cilantro + more to garnish

Instructions
 

  • Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil and then add the chopped garlic, ginger, jalapeño and onion.
  • Saute for 2 to 3 minutes until onions are soft. Then add the water and de-glaze the pot. Make sure there's no brown bits stuck at the bottom.
  • Followed by the pasta, can of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, cardamom powder, garam masala, red chili powder, kashmiri red chili powder and salt. Do not stir. You may spread the tomatoes over the pasta a bit using a spatula.
  • Close the pot with its lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then quick release the pressure.
  • Open the lid, stir everything and press the saute button.
  • Add the sugar, coconut milk, kasuri methi and let the pasta simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Add in chopped cilantro and sprinkle cardamom powder and garam masala on top before serving.
    Enjoy Makhani Pasta warm!

Stove-top Instructions

  • To make this pasta on stove-top, boil the pasta in a pan according to instructions on the package. Once boiled, set it aside. Reserve some pasta water from boiling.
  • Heat a pan on medium heat and once hot, add oil to it. Then add garlic, ginger, jalapeño and onion. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until softened.
  • Then add can of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, cardamom powder, garam masala, red chili powder, kashmiri red chili powder and salt. Stir well and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the sugar, coconut milk and mix. Add in the boiled pasta and mix well. You may also add some of the reserved pasta water if the sauce looks very thick. Taste test salt and sugar at this point. Let the pasta heat through. Add kasuri methi and turn off heat. Sprinkle cardamom powder, garam masala before serving and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro before serving!

Video

Notes

  1. You can use an entire can of coconut milk if you want more saucy pasta. 1 cup was good enough for me.
  2. The pasta thickens as it cools down. So when reheating, you might have to add little coconut milk. 
  3. If you don't care about this vegan, you can use heavy cream in place of coconut milk. I would probably add 1/2 cup at first and then see how much creamy it tastes and only then add more.
  4. If using regular wheat pasta (& not whole wheat), pressure cook for 4 minutes at high pressure.
  5. You may skip kashmiri red chili powder. It's only for color.
  6. Do use Chaokoh brand coconut milk. I highly recommend it.
  7. This recipe was tested in a 6qt. If you have a 8qt, you might need additional 1/2 cup water. 

Nutrition

Calories: 518kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 13gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 15gSodium: 468mgPotassium: 543mgFiber: 8gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 415IUVitamin C: 21.1mgCalcium: 70mgIron: 4.1mg
Keyword makhani pasta
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32 thoughts on “Instant Pot Makhani Pasta

  1. 5 stars
    Excellent flavours! This is going into my weeknight rotation. I substituted gluten free pasta, cooked at high pressure for 4 minutes and it was perfect.

  2. Hi Manali , looks great! I have geek instant pot. I can manually set the pressure to 6 mins but I don’t have high / low mode. What should I do ? Thanks

  3. Hello! This looks amazon! We aren’t vegan – just vegetarian. Can we just use regular 2% milk instead of coconut milk? Should we add any other flavor if not using coconut milk?

  4. Hi Manali. I have a very picky eaters at my house. So want to ask- does coconut milk give a strong flavor in this recipe? If it doesn’t then everyone will eat otherwise they won’t. I hate to make this and go waste. I know you’ve mentioned you can substitute with either heavy whipping cream or half n half. But I like to try your original recipe.

    1. Hi Amy, no it doesn’t have a very strong coconut flavor. And if you use the brand that I suggest Chaokoh Coconut Milk it has a very subtle coconut flavor and that’s why I recommend it. Hope you give it a try 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Awesome tasty recipe. My toddler loved it.
    I made few changes. I used spaghetti instead of pasta. Also, I added sweet potatoes, frozen mixed veggies and broccoli, so that my LO will eat few veggies. I also added frozen veggie balls from (IKEA). I defrosted them in microwave, added it after the pressure released. I served it after 30 mins so everything was tasting perfect.

  6. Hi Manali , I cooked this and me and my husband loved it . One question about tomato paste ,.. as we are using canned tomato paste , and we use only a tablespoon of it . how we are going to store the remaining paste ?

    1. you can freeze the remaining in ice cube tray and use as required. But honestly, I always use the tomato paste that comes in tubes (check Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods), so you use 1 tablespoon and rest of the tube keeps well in the refrigerator and is used as required. So, from next time always get the tomato paste in tube not can.

  7. 5 stars
    This was so good! I’m desi American but, surprisingly, have never had desi style pasta. This was my first time and I loved it! The flavors are perfect ❤️

    I made it with regular wheat pasta, and followed your note for 4 min high pressure + 5 min natural release which wasn’t enough though. I think your recommendation for 6 min on high pressure would be perfect not just for whole wheat pasta but for regular pasta as well.

  8. 5 stars
    I made this, not being vegetarian, I also added some lean ground beef after sauteing the onion mixture. I also doubled the recipe. I give this one a 5 star.

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