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Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Pasta with Ground Turkey & Spinach

This quick and easy Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Pasta is packed with tangy tomatoes, ground turkey, and spinach for a wholesome and hearty weeknight meal.

Close up of bowl full of creamy tomato pasta.

I don’t think I could ever have too many Instant Pot pasta recipes up my sleeve; they’re just too easy and too delicious. Not to mention the fact that you’re only dirtying one pot. I don’t know many people who have the time or patience to fuss over a pile of dishes—especially on a weeknight. In my mind, we should be able to effortlessly nourish ourselves with the ability to sit down and relax soon after. So many of us are pummelling through hectic work days. We don’t just deserve a break—we need one! Which is why I adore Instant Pot meals. And even moreso, a comforting Instant Pot pasta.

Tips for perfect Instant Pot pasta.

Instant Pot full of cooked creamy tomato pasta.

Overhead shot of cream being poured into Instant Pot full of cooked rotini.

Getting the right pasta to liquid ratio is the most important part of cooking up a batch of noodles in your IP. To be honest, I still get nervous when I’m testing these recipes. But the following tips I’m about to share have yet to fail me.

  • Pasta to liquid ratio. The general rule I’ve been using is 1.5 cups of liquid for every 4 ounces of pasta. So, if you’re making 8 ounces, you’ll need 3 cups of liquid; if you’re dumping an entire pound of pasta into the IP, you’ll need 6 cups of liquid.
  • What counts as liquid? Water and broth aren’t the only things that count as liquid when it comes to the Instant Pot. In this recipe, despite cooking 16 ounces of pasta, I scaled my broth down to 4 cups because I used a 14.5 ounce can of undrained tomatoes and 1/2 cup of marinara. A 14.5 ounce can of roasted tomatoes almost measure to 2 cups, which makes up for the other 2 cups of liquid required for a 16 ounce batch. Add to that the bit of marinara, and we’ve got a perfect ratio going. Keep this in mind when you’re deciding on your liquids.
  • Cooking time. The best way to time your pasta is to cook it on high pressure for half of the cook time indicated on the box, rounded down if need be. If the recommended time is 8 minutes, you’ll set the IP to cook for 4 minutes. If the cook time is 5 minutes, round it down to 4 and cook the pasta for 2 minutes. This will give you tender pasta every time.

Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Pasta with Ground Turkey & Spinach.

Side shot close up of bowl full of creamy tomato pasta.

This pasta dish is packed with flavor, and it’s super easy to modify if you want to switch things up every now and then. For the sake of indulgence, I’ve added a bit of cream and cream cheese. But you can skip both of those additions. You can also omit the sun-dried tomatoes or swap them for artichokes or mushrooms. I recommend keeping the spinach, though. Adding greens to your meal is never a bad thing. And if ground beef is more your thing, go for it. I’ve been trying to replace ground beef for ground turkey when and where, but ground beef would totally work here.

Other Instant Pot Pasta recipes I love:

If you plan on making this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram @killing__thyme!

Bowls of creamy tomato rotini with ground turkey and sprigs of fresh basil as garnish.
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5 from 5 votes

Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Pasta with Ground Turkey & Spinach

This quick and easy Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Pasta is packed with tangy tomatoes, ground turkey, and spinach for a wholesome and hearty weeknight meal.
Course Main
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword easy, Instant Pot, Pasta, quick
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Dana Sandonato

Ingredients

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, grated or minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced (about 1.5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes; don't drain
  • 1/2 cup marinara
  • 1 lb short pasta (rotini, penne, rigatoni, etc.)
  • 3-4 handfuls of baby spinach, ribboned or roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream; more if you want your pasta even creamier
  • 2 TBSP cream cheese; I used plain, but you could also use herb and garlic.

Instructions

  • Set your Instant Pot to sauté mode. Drizzle the olive oil into the Instant Pot and let it heat up for about a minute or so.
  • Place the onions and garlic into the Instant Pot. Simmer for for about 5 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent, stirring often. Then, add the sun-dried tomatoes, ground turkey, tomato pasta, Italian seasoning, and a sprinkle of sea salt and ground black pepper. Stir well to break up the ground turkey and evenly distribute the tomato paste and the spices. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the ground turkey is cooked, about 5-7 minutes. If the Instant Pot seems to be getting dry, simply add a splash of the vegetable broth.
  • Once the turkey is cooked, turn off the sauté function. Add the vegetable broth, the entire can of fire-roasted tomatoes, juices and all, and the marinara. Finally, add the pasta. Give everything a quick stir and lock the Instant Pot lid in place; set the valve to "sealing".
  • Set the Instant Pot to cook on manual high pressure for half the time it states on the package's instructions (cooking pasta in the IP seems to work best when you halve the regular cooking time and round it down. So if the package says 11 minutes until al dente, round down to 10, and go for five minutes. If it says 15 minutes to al dente, round down to 14, and go for 7 minutes, etc.)
  • When the Instant Pot beeps notifying you that it's done, carefully do a quick release.
  • When you open the Instant Pot, stir in the ribboned spinach. It will wilt into tender spinach very quickly once it's stirred into the heat. Stir in the cream and the cream cheese, mixing until all of the cream cheese has melted evenly into the pasta.
  • Taste, and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Serve with fresh sprigs of basil.

 

5 Comments

  • Donna
    March 8, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    5 stars
    This is the first one-pot pasta I have made and really loved, even the kids came back for seconds despite the greens :) Love the fact that it can all be done in one pot, less dishes is always a huge win!

    Reply
  • debra
    March 4, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    5 stars
    Great tips on measuring out enough liquid for the IP. I’m still a newbie with the Insta pot and therefore feel like I always have to follow the recipe exactly. So helpful….and this recipe is right up our alley too.

    Reply
  • Tracy
    February 28, 2020 at 11:39 pm

    5 stars
    You definitely cannot have too many instant pot recipes OR pasta recipes!! This is perfect four our super busy weeknights and for my deep and undying love for all things creamy and all things pasta – my whole family loved it SO much they were happy to have it for dinner the next night too, which never happens! Thank you!

    Reply
  • Gloria
    February 28, 2020 at 8:33 am

    5 stars
    I love the sound of this easy weeknight dinner. Great way to sneak some extra veggies in there for the kids too. I know my family would love this. Leftovers for lunch would be great.

    Reply
  • Diane
    February 25, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    5 stars
    This is such a lovely recipe! Will be making it again.

    Reply

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