Pasta is a staple dinner item, but it can sometimes be a production to create. Luckily, we know a few handy hacks for cooking pasta with slow cookers and instant pots that will give you some precious time away from the stove to relax. And, as a bonus, we’ll show you how to take the slow out of slow cooker with some quick noodle-cooking methods and one-pot pasta tips. Here’s how to cook pasta in instant pots and slow cookers!

How to Pressure Cook Pasta

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Pressure cooking pasta is great for a few reasons. It cuts the cooking time in half, and you’ll have no more worries of boiling over pasta pots, clumpy noodles, or constant stirring.

Here’s how to accomplish perfectly cooked pasta in your instant pot or slow cooker:

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  • Add water. Fill your pot with just enough water to cover your noodles (typically 1 cup of liquid for every 4 oz. of dried noodles).
  • Add fat. Consider adding a few tablespoons of Tantillo Premier Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This works really well to reduce the starchy foam that tends to boil up.
  • Start the pot. Set the pot to low pressure and press start.
  • Cook time. There is a specific method for calculating cook time when using an instant pot or slow cooker. Divide the time given on the pasta package in half, then subtract another two minutes. This will give your pasta the perfect al dente texture.

 Pick the Right Pasta for Pressure Cooking

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This quick pressure cooking method works exceptionally well with shorter noodles such as conchiglioni, fusilloni, rigatoni, or penne. These noodles tend to cook evenly and clump less than their long-stranded cousins. Long noodles like linguine or spaghetti can be used, but just be sure to break them up into smaller pieces.

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How to Cook One-Pot Pasta

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A quick and delicious slow cooker or instant pot hack is to cook everything in the same pot. Simply combine all of your ingredients, such as Tantillo California Diced Tomatoes, onions, garlic, and basil into your slow cooker. Also add some extra liquid such as water or cream. Then, let the pasta absorb the sauce and simmer the ingredients together to create a cohesive and tasty dish.

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Here’s how to cook one-pot pasta in your instant pot or programmable slow cooker:

  • Know the right ratio. For one pound of dry noodles, add one jar of sauce and 2-3 cups of liquid
  • Add ingredients. Combine your desired ingredients in the pot.
  • Start the pot. Set the pot to low pressure and press start.
  • Cook time. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.

Pick the Right Pasta for One-Pot Cooking

All pasta types work well in creating a one-pot pasta recipe. Let your preference be your guide:

  • If you’re making a meaty tomato pasta dish, we recommend using shorter noodles that are perfect for scooping, like conchiglioni, fusilloni, rigatoni or penne.
  • If you’re making a thick and chunky vegetable pasta primavera, we suggest using longer noodles like linguine or spaghetti to twirl around other the ingredients.


Picking the Right Sauce

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All manner of jarred sauces work extremely well for one-pot pasta. You’ll need around 35 ounces, so keep that in mind when shopping. At Tantillo Foods, we offer a range of delectable sauces to enjoy with your next dish. Try our spicy Imported Italian Arrabbiata Sauce for seafood or sausage based recipes. Go for our Imported Italian Pomodoro Sauce or Imported Italian Tomato Basil Sauce for dishes with meatballs or chicken. And try out delicious Imported Italian Vodka Sauce for chicken, seafood, or vegetables.

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Adding Other Ingredients

To take your one-pot pasta dish to the next level, consider adding a few of these ingredients:

  • Cheese. Cheese is perfect for creating creamy, dreamy pastas. Add 1/2 cup of mozzarella, parmesan, or provolone for fabulous results.
  • Cream. Substitute 1 cup of liquid from the ratio to 1 cup of cream (heavy, half & half, or whole milk).
  • Vegetables. Vegetables tend to take less time to cook using this method. Add in your desired vegetables halfway through the cooking process to keep them from getting mushy.
  • Meat. Steak, chicken, sausage, fish, scallops, shrimp…you name it. Whatever protein you prefer, throw it in the pot! Be sure to cut any meat into bite-sized pieces for even cooking. In addition, if you plan on making a dish that requires ground beef, cook that ahead of time before adding it to the pot.
  • Flavorful Liquids. There are more options for your liquid than just water. Consider trying wine, stock, or broth. Again, substitute 1 cup of liquid from the ratio with the liquid of your choice. If you’re using wine, though, only add in 1/4 cup out of your ratio.

Shop Tantillo Foods For All Your Pasta Needs

Now that you know how to cook pasta in instant pots and slow cookers, it’s time to collect your ingredients. Turn to Tantillo Foods for everything you need to begin creating quick, mouth-watering meals on the go. Our high-quality pastas, pasta sauces, and cooking oils are just what you need to make a flavorful dish that you, your guests, and your family are sure to love.


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