{May 27, 2020}

This was my first time making a pasta dish inside of the Instant Pot! It was super easy and a lot of fun. I used this recipe for the pasta. I also made some chicken meatballs, browned them a bit in a pan with oil, and then finished cooking them by simply adding them inside of the instant pot before cooking the pasta! Fast and efficient, I like it. I decided to gradually add more cheddar in the end, I think it might have been equivalent to 2-2.5 cups of cheddar.

Listed below are instructions from the recipe and original chef:

1 cup milk (can replace with broth or water)
2 cups water
½ lb pasta, shells (roughly 2.75 cups) medium shells or macaroni
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt adjust to taste
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp red pepper flakes (skip or adjust to make this mild)
1 cup carrots, shredded (I roughly chop matchstick carrots)
2 cups broccoli florets (heaping cups) (about 1 large head)

After done pressure cooking: 2 cups cheddar cheese

  • Turn Instant Pot on Saute mode.  This will warm up the milk and water while we are adding ingredients and reduce the pressure building time.  This step is optional though.
  • Add milk (see notes for substitute), water, pasta, seasonings, carrots and broccoli in the pot.  Stir and close the lid.  Pressure cook for 3 minutes. This time works for medium shell pasta, check notes for different pasta shapes.
  • After cooking time is up, wait 5 minutes and then manually release the pressure in bursts. What that means is, release pressure 1-2 seconds at a time, then stop. Repeat this till most of the pressure has released and its intensity has gone down.
  • Open the lid, add heavy whipping cream and shredded cheddar cheese and stir till everything comes together.  By stirring the broccoli florets will further break down and integrate in the sauce. 
  • If at this point, your pasta looks too dry, add 1/2 cup of boiling water. Add more or less cheese, depending on your preference! 

I personally used penne because that was what I had. 5 minutes of pressure cooking plus 10 min natural release was perfect! At the end of cooking, I added a little bit of chicken broth (I had some handy ice cubes of chicken broth in the freezer!). The broccoli disintegrates into the sauce so I think next time I will up the amount of broccoli by a little more since I do like my broccoli 🙂