Instant Pot Pasta Primavera gets dinner on the table super quickly! You can't go wrong with this fuss free recipe that is packed with veggies and comes together with minimal effort!
For our Pasta Primavera we use a combination of spring vegetables, lemon, garlic and fresh basil! This light primavera pasta sauce uses the freshness of the lemon and garlic with pasta water for smooth, glossy deliciousness!
Cooking pasta in the Instant Pot is quick and super easy!
Pressure Cooker Primavera Pasta
To cook pasta primavera in the Instant Pot, we firstly cook our pasta, then our vegetables and simply stir together!
This is a perfect Meatless Monday recipe and gets dinner on the table quickly!
Can Pasta be cooked in the Instant Pot
Pasta can be easily cooked in the Instant Pot (or pressure cooker), according to the packet instructions with a few simply tweaks.
We use a little salt in the water, then simply let the Instant Pot create dinner for us!
The cook time for pasta in the Instant Pot is the packet instructions divded by 2, subtract 1. For example a 12 min penne pasta will cook in 5 mins!
There is no waiting for the water to boil with this recipe as after you have pressed a few buttons, you be handsfree until the vegetables are ready to be cooked.
What is Pasta Primavera?
Pasta Primavera is a popular pasta recipe using spring vegetables. Commonly vegetarian, with a simple lemon garlic sauce, some recipes use cream also.
The appeal of primavera pasta is that you can use a variety of vegetables or look in the fridge to see if you have enough ingredients already, saving a trip to the shops!
Instant Pot Primavera
The ingredients for this recipe are shown in the photo below:
As you can see we need:
- dried pasta (use your favourite)
- cherry tomatoes
- grape tomatoes
- frozen peas
- artichoke hearts (drained)
- dried onion
- salt and pepper
- reserved pasta water (gather when draining cooked pasta)
I love using dried onion in my cooking as you get the fresh onion flavour but you save time and your tears!
Penne Pasta is a great popular choice, but you can use your favourite pasta also!
Curly pasta, spiral pasta and tubular pastas all work well for this recipe!
Instant Pot Pasta recipes
Cooking pasta in your Instant Pot is an incredibly easy and simple way to get dinner on the table!
The general rule of thumb to cook any type of plain pasta, is to use the packet recommended time frame, divide it by 2 and subtract 1 minute. So for example this penne packet says '12 mins cook time', so we divide it by 2 and get 6, then we subtract 1 minute, leaving 5 minutes cooking time.
I know you are thinking, 'but that is SO easy!', I know my friends, it is literally SO easy!!
Step by Step Pressure Cooker Primavera
The 1st setting we use on our Instant pot is the pressure cook mode. We cook the pasta much the same as on the stove top, in salted water.
Start by following the steps below:
- Add dried pasta to the Instant Pot stainless steel bowl (photo 1)
- Pour in enough water to just cover the top of the pasta (photo 2)
You can add a pinch of salt after you have added the water to cook the pasta.
- Prepare the remaining vegetables and zest the lemon (photo 3)
- Add Olive oil to Instant Pot (photo 4)
Once the Instant Pot has cooked the Pasta quick release pressure and drain the pasta. We reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water for the sauce.
Next press the saute mode as we need to cook our vegetables. (Some recipes cook the vegetables 1st, however, I prefer my method as the pot is already hot from cooking the pasta, so it sautés much quicker!)
- Add sliced garlic to the olive oil, stir for 2-3 mins (photo 5)
- Then add frozen peas and continue to stir (photo 6)
Instant Pot Saute Mode
The saute mode of the Instant Pot is much the same as pan frying on the stove. It is a quick process and we need to keep an eye on the vegetables so that we don't over cook them (yuck to mushy veggies!).
- Add asparagus to the peas and garlic, stir 1-2 mins (photo 7)
- Then add tomatoes and gently stir them to combine (photo 8)
- Season with salt and pepper (photo 9)
- Then add dried onion (photo 10)
- Next add artichoke hearts (photo 11)
- Then add cooked pasta back to the pot (photo 12)
- Squeeze lemon juice into pasta (photo 13)
- Followed by reserved pasta water (photo 14)
- Add lemon rind (photo 15)
- Stir to combine (photo 16)
It is amazing how quickly the vegetables will cook in saute mode, once we add the pasta back and lemon for the sauce, it will reheat very quickly.
I don't tend to use parmesan cheese for this primavera, as it is super healthy with all of those veggies, but if you want to, go right ahead!
Some fresh basil and cracked pepper is perfect to serve, simply sprinkle on top!
You can also freeze this recipe. So it works perfectly to meal prep on the weekends, then heat and eat on week nights!
If you want a creamy sauce, simply add ½ cup cream when squeezing the lemon juice into the pot and reduce the pasta water to 2 tablespoons.
This recipe is to tick all of your week night boxes. Simple, easy and delicious!
If pasta is your favourite thing, then here are some recipes you need to get cooking:
- Instant Pot Penne Pasta
- Instant Pot Spaghetti Bolognese
- Garlic Spaghetti
- Instant Pot Pasta with Jar Sauce
- Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta
- Ground Beef Casserole
- Tomato Mac and Cheese
- Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese
- Tuna Spaghetti
- Smoked Salmon Spaghetti
Weeknight dinners can be simple with pasta and veggies on the plate!
To check out all of the pasta recipes, I have on the blog, find them here > pasta recipes.
Instant Pot Primavera Pasta quick info
About the recipe:
- you can use your favourite type of pasta for this recipe
- you can add cream for a creamy lemon sauce
- there is no need to add any further ingredients to the IP other than the pasta, (water to cook) and a pinch of salt (to cook the pasta)
- this is a VEGETARIAN recipe
- this is an EASY recipe!
FAQs about cooking Primavera Pasta with lemon sauce in the Instant Pot
- Add the dried pasta 1st, then enough liquid to cover it
- Cook the pasta for the packet recommended length, divided by 2 minus 1.
- Different types of pasta take different times to cook, so check the packet closely!
- Your Instant pot will automatically heat before it starts to pressure cook (approx 5-10 mins)
- The sauté mode is our 'stove top saucepan' method
- this is a freezer friendly recipe
- also a family friendly recipe
This recipe is a great way to use up any leftover veggies you might have in the fridge.
- bell peppers
- red onion
If it is a vegetable and cooks quickly when sautéed, it is good to use for this recipe!
Instant Pot Pasta Primavera with easy sauce Pro tips:
These additional tips are so that you can master Primavera Pasta in your instant pot from the 1st time you cook it:
- Ensure the pasta is in one flat level in the Instant Pot
- Pour in enough water to cover but don't pour in too much (a little less is ok)
- One the pasta is cooked and pressure is released, use oven mits to remove inner pot (it will be hot!)
- Add the cooked drained pasta, press saute and add the garlic to begin cooking the vegetables
- The saute mode cooks very quickly, so keep an eye on the veggies to ensure they stay crisp and bright (not overcooked!)
Can I freeze this recipe?
Yes, this is a freezer friendly meal!
To freeze your Primavera pasta, simply wait until it is cool, then portion it out into individual or family sized servings.
To reheat this dish, simply defrost and then add to the Instant Pot again (lid off, saute mode) with a little splash of stock and stir till pasta and sauce is heated through.
Crispy vegetables, lemony garlic penne pasta, I have you covered my primavera friends x
Instant Pot Pasta Primavera
- Instant Pot
- Wooden spoon
- Chopping board
- Oven Mits
- 500 grams (1 lb) penne pasta Note 1
- 1 cup frozen peas Note 2
- 1 cup asparagus trimmed, Note 3
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
- ½ cup orange grape tomatoes cut in half
- 1 cup artichoke hearts drained, not rinsed
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 1 lemon juice and zest
- ¼ cup pasta water Note 4
- Add dried pasta to the inner bowl of Instant Pot
- Pour in enough water to just cover the pasta (2-3 cups) and add a pinch of salt
- Place lid on Instant Pot and press the pressure cook button. Set the time for the pasta (packet instructions, divided by 2, minus 1).
- As the Instant Pot pressurizes, use a knife and chopping board to prepare the vegetables, slice the garlic and zest the lemon
- Once the pasta is cooked, press the quick release button to depressurize pot. Once the safety value has dropped down, remove lid and use oven mits to remove inner pot. Drain pasta and reserve ¼ cup of pasta water (Note 5)
- Return inner bowl to Instant Pot, press the saute mode and add the sliced garlic. Stir to cook for 2-3 mins.
- Add frozen peas, continue to stir, then asparagus, cherry tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, dried onion and artichokes, stir to combine
- Add cooked pasta back to the pot, squeeze the juice of the zested lemon into pasta, followed by pasta water, lemon zest and stir to combine
- Once pasta is reheated (2-3 mins) use oven mits to remove inner bowl from Instant Pot, transfer to serving bowl and top with cracked pepper and basil leaves
- Note 1 You can use your favourite pasta for this recipe. Penne, rigatoni, curly, spiral, all work well!
- Note 2 We add the peas frozen to the pot, no need to defrost them, they will defrost and cook very quickly.
- Note 3 This is 1 standard bunch of asparagus
- Note 4 We reserve some of the pasta water to make the sauce (this is the water that the pasta is cooked in).
- Note 5 It will be easier to drain the pasta over a heatproof jug and then measure the pasta water. ie Don't try and pour the water into ¼ cup measure at the same time as draining as that is too many things going on at once.