Instant Pot Pasta Primavera
Light and refreshing, this quick and easy Instant Pot Pasta Primavera brings your favorite seasonal veggies to the table in less than 30!
Delicious Carbs and a Healthy Dose of Veggies in One Beautiful Bowl
I love pasta and I never hold back. Nobody should!
We all deserve spoonfuls of that carby, saucy goodness.
Pasta Primavera, however, brings a lot more to the table than our usual plate of noodles. It’s packed with veggies, so in addition to enjoying a cozy meal, you’re getting a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
What Is Pasta Primavera?
Pasta Primavera sure sounds Italian, but it has no Italian roots. It was actually developed via experimentation by an American restaurateur while visiting Canada; there’s some trivia knowledge for you. The dish combines a white sauce and a medley of veggies, likely to represent the freshness since primavera, in Italian, means Spring.
What Is in Pasta Primavera?
This dish tosses pasta in a sauce made up of chicken broth, parmesan cheese, cream, salt, pepper, and basil, then adds an assortment of vegetables.
I think it’s safe to say that the vegetable choice is completely up to you. I have my got-to’s, but you can be flexible.
My version of pasta primavera is lightened up. I don’t use cream because after cooking the noodles in the broth (I use vegetable broth), they have a nice richness to them already. Plus, using a bit of the starchy broth for sauce helps.
See my recipe tips + tricks below for ways to make this recipe more rich and creamy if that’s your preference.
Is Pasta Primavera Healthy?
My version of this dish is lighter as it doesn’t call for cream or butter, and it’s packed with veggies, so it packs a nice nutritional punch by offering vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Even if you do add cream or butter, you’re still getting those health benefits!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Olive oil
- Broccolini (broccoli will also work)
- Red onion
- Sweet bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange)
- Mushrooms (I like to use Baby Bella or Cremini)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Italian seasoning
- Penne (Other short pastas will also work, like Rotini or Rigatoni)
- Vegetable broth
- Parmesan (Or Pecorino Romano)
- Fresh basil
The Gist on How to Make Pasta Primavera in the Instant Pot
- Pop all of the prepped veggies—from the broccolini to the garlic cloves—into a large mixing bowl and drizzle them with some olive oil. Add the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, and toss everything to coat.
- Set your Instant Pot to sauté mode. Add olive oil, let it heat up for a few, then add in your seasoned veggies. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 min or until they’re tender.
- Turn off the sauté function and transfer the veggies back to their original bowl. Cover the bowl with a lid or plate to keep the veggies warm.
- Transfer the pasta to the Instant Pot and pour the broth on top. Give it a good stir.
- Secure the Instant Pot lid in it’s locked position. Set the valve to “Sealing” and cook the pasta on manual high pressure for 5 minutes, or half the time it states on the package (see tips on cooking pasta in the Instant Pot below).
- Once the timer goes off, hit the quick release. Open the lid and, with a ladle, remove about 1 cup of the starchy broth and place it into a small bowl or mug; drain the rest of the broth.
- Stir the vegetables back into the Instant Pot with the pasta. Add a bit of the broth—you probably won’t need much but having extra is better than not having enough.
- Sprinkle some of the Parmesan cheese and some chopped basil into the pasta and give it another stir.
- Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with some extra Parm and chopped basil, and enjoy!
How to Cook Pasta in the Instant Pot
There are myriad tips on how to cook pasta in the Instant Pot. My method is based on my experience.
Look at the suggested cook time on the package of pasta you’re using, and cut the time in half, rounding down if necessary. If the package says to cook the pasta for 11 minutes until al dente, cook it in the Instant Pot for 5 minutes. If it says 7 minutes, cook it for 3 minutes.
Useful Tools for This Recipe
- Instant Pot
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Measuring cups + spoons
- Mixing bowl
- Mixing spoon
- Microplane or cheese grater
Recipe Tips + Tricks
- You can use water instead of broth to cook your noodles, but I would avoid it. Broth infuses the noodles with flavor and gives them a richer texture. The leftover starchy broth also works wonderfully to incorporate as a light sauce.
- You can make this pasta even creamier by adding a few splashes of cream to the noodles once they are cooked and being stirred, prior to adding the vegetables. Another option is adding a tablespoon or two of cream cheese.
- If you can’t imagine pasta without red sauce, you can totally stir some in before adding your veggies.
- If you want to use different vegetables, go for it. This recipe will work with pretty much any veg! Some suggestions: zucchini, summer squash, corn, and cauliflower.
Have You Made This Recipe?
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More Simple Pasta Recipes You’ll Love:
- Pappardelle Pasta + Arrabbiata Sauce
- Ground Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce + Peppers
- Creamy Tomato Instant Pot Pasta + Ground Turkey & Spinach
- Garlicky Rigatoni Pasta + Spinach & Toasted Breadcrumbs
Instant Pot Pasta Primavera
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 cup roughly chopped broccolini tops (or broccoli)
- 1 cup thinly sliced and diced red onion
- 1 cup julienned sweet bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange)
- 1 cup roughly chopped asparagus (woody ends removed)
- 1 cup sliced cremini or baby bella mushrooms
- 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
- 3 large garlic cloves, smashed and thinly sliced
- 1 TBSP good Italian seasoning *See notes
- 8 oz penne rotini or rigatoni would also work.
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup freshly shaved pecorino romano or parmesan
- Freshly chopped basil or parsley, for garnish
- Instant Pot or pressure cooker *See notes if you don’t have an Instant Pot
- Place all of the prepped veggies—from the broccolini to the garlic cloves—into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle them with some olive oil, then add the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper; toss to coat and set aside.
- Pop the Instant Pot onto sauté mode. Add the olive oil and let it warm up for a few minutes, then add in your seasoned veggies. Simmer them, giving them a good stir here and here for about 5-7 min, or until they're tender.
- Turn sauté mode off and transfer the veggies back to their original mixing bowl. To keep the veggies warm, cover the bowl with a lid or plate.
- Pop the pasta into the Instant Pot and pour the broth on top. Give it a good stir.
- Secure the lid onto the Instant Pot in it's locked position; set the valve to "Sealing". Cook the pasta on manual high pressure for 5 minutes, or half the time it states on the package (see recipe notes).
- When the timer goes off, hit the quick release on the valve. Open the lid and remove about 1 cup of the starchy broth with a ladle; place it into a small bowl or mug; drain the rest of the broth.
- Bring the vegetables back into the Instant Pot and stir it in with the pasta. Add a bit of the broth—you may not use the full reserved cup, but that's ok. You just want to create a bit of a sauce.
- Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese into the pasta as well as some chopped basil. Give it another stir.
- Transfer the pasta to a serving dish, garnish with some extra Parm and chopped basil, and enjoy!