This Recipe includes
|Pasta – you can use any type of pasta like penne, spaghetti, tagliatelle, or even whole wheat pasta.|
|Pesto sauce – you can use any type of store-bought pesto sauce, or follow the recipe for my homemade pesto sauce here.|
|Spinach – frozen or fresh spinach.|
|(Optional) Onion – white onion sliced or cubed. You can use frozen pre-chopped onions as well.|
|Grated cheese – I’m using parmesan, but you can use any type of grated cheese such as gruyère, cheddar, emmental, pecorino, etc.|
Spices and accents for the sauce:
|Olive oil to flavor|
|Crushed garlic cloves or garlic powder|
|Paprika for a bit of spice|
|Crême fraiche or any type of heavy cream. You can also use greek yogurt for a lighter version.|
|Pinch of salt and pepper|
- If using fresh spinach, add it into the Instant pot after the Instant pot finishes cooking the pasta, otherwise the spinach will melt into the dish.
- If you use whole wheat pasta, add one minute to the Instant pot cooking time.
- Be sure to quick release the Instant pot immediately after it finished cooking.
Why we love it
If you have a hankering for Italian food but want something healthier than take-out, this creamy pesto pasta is just what you need to satisfy that craving.
With a handful of ingredients and the Instant pot, this herbaliciously creamy recipe is sure to please the whole family.
The word pesto means pounded or crushed and refers to the fact that the ingredients are traditionally pounded using a mortar and pestle. Now, you can make your own pesto sauce by following my recipe here, or use your favorite store-bought version.
The key to this dish is to not let the pasta overcook in the Instant pot. Quick release it immediately once the Instant pot bell sounds, and let it cool. And with that, the pasta should still remain al dente.
What to serve with it?
How to store it?
Creamy pesto pasta is not a dish that freezes very well because the pasta gets soggy, so I don’t recommend it. However, if you do want to prepare it in advance, let it cool completely and place it in an airtight glass container.
Instant pot creamy pesto pasta
- 1 lb 500g of spaghetti pasta
- 1 cup of pesto sauce
- 1 cup of frozen spinach*
- 1/4 cup of crême fraiche heavy cream or greek yogurt
- pinch of garlic powder
- Optional 1 cup grated Parmesan
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 5 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Optional 1/2 chopped onion
- Place the uncooked spaghetti into the Instant pot along with the spinach, and add water until the pasta is covered.
- Add 2 tablespoons of pesto sauce, garlic powder, frozen spinach, salt and pepper to Instant pot, along with any optional ingredients.
- Close the Instant pot and cook at Manual high pressure for 2 minutes. (If you use whole wheat pasta, add one minute to the Instant pot cooking time.)
- After the Instant Pot timer ends, quick release the steam.
- Open the instant pot and add the rest of the pesto sauce and cream (and optional parmesan) into the mix.
- Mix to let it blend completely into the spaghetti.
- Serve while warm.
- If using fresh spinach, add it to the pasta at the end, along with the cream.
- If the pasta is too watery after cooking, let it rest for 10-15 minutes for the water to reduce.
Other pasta recipes
- Ricotta stuffed shell pasta with pesto
- Mushroom and parmesan pasta bake
- Burrata pasta with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes
If you enjoyed that, check out our other classic Instant pot recipes that you can make easily. Bon appétit!