Creamy Tomato Instant Pot Pasta with Ground Turkey and Spinach
This Creamy Tomato Instant Pot Pasta is packed with tomatoes, ground turkey, and spinach for a wholesome and hearty weeknight meal.
A Bowl of Creamy Tomato-y Goodness Your Whole Family Will Love.
This Creamy Tomato Instant Pot Pasta is packed with flavor. We get the tanginess of tomatoes, the richness of cream cheese, and the heartiness of ground turkey all mixed together with a healthy dose of greens. The best part? It’s super easy to modify if you want to switch things up every now and then! Which makes it an awesome recipe to have in your rotation. Not to mention, it clocks in at under 30 minutes. (WIN.)
How to Cook Pasta in the Instant Pot.
Getting the right pasta to liquid ratio is the most important part of cooking pasta in your Instant Pot. Honestly, I still get nervous when I’m testing these recipes! But the following tips 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 oz of pasta. So, if you’re making 8 oz, 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 oz of pasta, I scaled my broth down to 4 cups because I used a 14.5 oz can of undrained tomatoes and 1/2 cup of marinara. A 14.5 oz can of roasted tomatoes almost measure to 2 cups, which makes up for the other 2 cups of liquid required for a 16 oz 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 Instant Pot 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.
Ingredients for This Crave-Worthy Instant Pot Pasta.
Since I’ve been trying to eat less red meat these days, ground turkey and chicken have become staples in this house. You could use ground beef if you prefer; you could even use ground sausage. Whichever you choose, this Instant Pot pasta promises to be easy, quick, and flavorful. Here’s everything you need:
- Avocado or olive oil
- Ground turkey
- Yellow onion
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Tomato paste
- Italian seasoning
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- Vegetable broth
- Can of fire-roasted tomatoes
- Short pasta (rotini, penne, rigatoni, etc.)
- Baby spinach
- Heavy cream
- Cream cheese
Here’s How to Make This Luscious Creamy Tomato Instant Pot Pasta.
Instant Pot pasta is such a godsend. Not only do you get a quick and filling meal done in minutes, but it comes out so flavorful and creamy because you get to cook everything up in ONE pot. Here’s what to do for this Instant Pot pasta:
- Heat up your Instant Pot on sauté mode and drizzle some avocado or olive oil into it. Let it heat up for about a minute.
- Add the onions and garlic to the pot and let them simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir often. Then add the sun-dried tomatoes, ground turkey, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning. Sprinkle in a bit of sea salt and ground black pepper. Give everything a good stir to break up the ground turkey.
- Simmer for about 5-7 minutes, or until the ground turkey is cooked.
- Turn off the sauté function. Add the broth, the fire-roasted tomatoes, and the marinara. Then add the pasta, and give everything a quick stir.
- Lock the Instant Pot lid into place and 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. (If the package says 11 minutes until al dente, round down to 10, and go for five minutes.)
- When the Instant Pot beeps notifying you that it’s done, give it a quick release.
- Open the Instant Pot and stir in the ribboned spinach. Add the cream and the cream cheese, and stir until all of the cream cheese has melted evenly into the pasta.
- Taste, and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
- Garnish with fresh basil, if you’d like!
Useful Tools for This Recipe:
Recipe Tips + Tricks.
- If you prefer to add another type of ground meat to this pasta, any will work well: chicken, beef, sausage, or lamb.
- Want an even creamier or richer pasta? Stir in more cream cheese at the end until you’re satisfied.
- In place of sundried tomatoes, you could also use marinated artichoke hearts, mushrooms, or roasted red peppers.
- This recipe will work with most short pasta shapes.
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Other Instant Pot Pasta Recipes to Try:
Get the Recipe:
Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Pasta with Ground Turkey & Spinach
- 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.
- Instant Pot
- 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.