Easy Instant Pot Sunday Night Pasta Recipe

Ah, Sunday nights – they’re the perfect opportunity to unwind after a busy week and savor the last moments of the weekend. And what better way to enjoy it than with a comforting and delicious pasta dish? As a chef specializing in easy and flavorful meals, I present you with my Instant Pot “Sunday Night” Pasta Recipe.

Thanks to the Instant Pot, this recipe is not only quick and easy to make, but it also allows you to sit back and relax while it simmers away, filling your home with tantalizing aromas. Plus, as an all-in-one-pot recipe, it helps save you time and minimize clean-up while still delivering unbeatable flavors.

Whether you’re cooking for yourself or a group of loved ones, this recipe makes a fantastic Sunday night dinner that will leave everyone satisfied and happy. So, bring out your Instant Pot and let’s get cooking for an easy and indulgent Sunday dinner!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Instant Pot
Instant Pot “Sunday Night” Pasta

Are you looking for a delicious and effortless Sunday night dinner? Look no further because this Instant Pot “Sunday Night” Pasta Recipe is all you need for an amazing meal. This dish is perfect for those busy nights when you want to enjoy a quality meal without spending hours in the kitchen. Here’s why you’ll love this recipe:

Firstly, this recipe is incredibly easy and fast to make. All you need is one pot – yes, you heard me right, just one pot! The Instant Pot does all the work for you, allowing you to sit back and relax after a long day. Just toss in the ingredients, set it and forget it!

Secondly, this dish is versatile and truly customizable. You can switch up the ingredients based on your preferences or what you have in your pantry. You can create a pasta dish with penne noodles and bolognese sauce or choose to add smothered chicken instead of ground beef. With endless variations, you’ll never get bored of this quick and easy pasta dinner.

Thirdly, making a big batch of this dish is ideal for meal prepping or feeding a large family. You will have leftovers for the next day or can freeze the remaining portions for later use. It’s perfect if you’re cooking for multiple people or enjoy having leftovers throughout the week.

Lastly, there is something about enjoying a warm plate of pasta with your family on a Sunday night that screams love and comfort. This Instant Pot “Sunday Night” Pasta Recipe creates an atmosphere that brings joy and happiness to everyone around the dinner table.

In conclusion, this Instant Pot “Sunday Night” Pasta Recipe checks all the boxes for an easy, delicious, and heart-warming meal. It’s perfect for anyone who loves good food while embracing simplicity!

Ingredient List

 Creamy and comforting, this Instant Pot pasta is perfect for a cozy Sunday night in.
Creamy and comforting, this Instant Pot pasta is perfect for a cozy Sunday night in.

Here’s everything you need for the Instant Pot “Sunday Night” Pasta recipe. This pasta dish is a perfect combination of penne pasta, ground beef, garlic cloves, onion, and savory pasta sauce. The ingredients are simple yet flavorful, and perfect for a cozy Sunday night dinner with your family or friends. You can find most of these ingredients at your local grocery store, and it’ll take only minutes to prepare the dish in your Instant Pot.

  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 jar (24 oz) pasta sauce (homemade or store-bought)

Note: You can also add red wine or short ribs to the pasta sauce for an extra depth of flavor!

The Recipe How-To

 Say hello to your new favorite weeknight dinner: Instant Pot
Say hello to your new favorite weeknight dinner: Instant Pot “Sunday Night” Pasta.

Now that you’ve gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to start cooking your Instant Pot Sunday night pasta. Follow these easy steps and enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal in no time!

Step 1: Cook the Pasta

First, transfer one pound of penne pasta to the Instant Pot. Pour 4 cups of water over the pasta and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. This will keep the pasta from sticking together. Season with salt and pepper.

Lock the Instant Pot lid in place and set it to manual high pressure mode. Adjust time to cook for 7 minutes.

Step 2: Sauté Onion and Garlic

While the pasta cooks, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, place in the onion and garlic cloves into the skillet. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until softened.

Step 3: Make the Sauce

Add canned tomato sauce (pasta sauce) to the onion and garlic mixture while stirring frequently. Add fresh or dried herbs such as basil or Italian seasoning mix for added flavor.

If you prefer a meaty version, you can also add ground beef or leftover roasted chicken.

Simmer for a few minutes more in low heat until slightly thickened. (Recommended sauce: bolognese sauce).

Step 4: Combine Pasta and Sauce

When done, use quick release valve on Instant Pot to vent steam in order to open lid safely. Turn off sauté mode from skillet containing sauce.

Drain pot of cooked pasta water then pour the pasta into a large serving bowl together with its cooked liquid.

Pour tomato sauce mixture over pasta then stir well until everything is combined evenly.

Step 5: Garnish

Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley on top before serving your Sunday dinner delight!

Substitutions and Variations

 The Instant Pot makes cooking this pasta recipe a breeze - and cleanup even easier!
The Instant Pot makes cooking this pasta recipe a breeze – and cleanup even easier!

Now, for those who like to experiment and mix things up, let’s talk about some substitutions and variations you can try out in this Instant Pot “Sunday Night” Pasta Recipe.

– PASTA: If penne is not your favorite type of pasta, feel free to swap it out for any other kind that suits your tastes. Linguine or spaghetti would both work well with this recipe.

– SAUCE: Though I recommend using bolognese sauce for a classic and delicious flavor, you can always opt for a different kind of pasta sauce. Try marinara or even alfredo sauce for a creamy twist.

– MEAT: Instead of ground beef, try swapping it out for ground chicken or turkey for a leaner protein option. Or you can also use short ribs instead of ground meat to switch things up.

– VEGETABLES: Add some extra veggies to this pasta dish! Zucchini, bell peppers, or even mushrooms would be a great addition.

– RED WINE: If you’re feeling fancy, add 1/2 cup of red wine to give the bolognese sauce an extra depth of flavor.

Remember that these variations are just suggestions – feel free to get creative and make this recipe your own by trying out different ingredients!

Serving and Pairing

 Fresh herbs and garlic infuse the creamy sauce with a burst of flavor you won't forget.
Fresh herbs and garlic infuse the creamy sauce with a burst of flavor you won’t forget.

Now that your Instant Pot “Sunday Night” Pasta is perfectly cooked and ready to be served, it’s time to think about what to pair it with. This easy and delicious pasta dish is a meal on its own, but you can always pair it with a side salad or garlic bread to make it more filling.

When it comes to pairing this dish with wine, a medium-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Chianti would be a great option. The acidity in the wine cuts through the richness of the pasta sauce, leaving your taste buds refreshed and ready for another bite.

If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic beverage to pair with this dish, try serving it with some iced tea or lemonade. These refreshing drinks complement the savory flavors of the pasta while providing a nice balance between sweet and sour.

For dessert, consider making a simple fruit tart or tiramisu. These classic Italian desserts are perfect for rounding off your meal on a sweet note. Don’t forget to serve some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top of your pasta for an extra boost of flavor.

With these pairing suggestions, you can turn your Instant Pot “Sunday Night” Pasta into a full-fledged Italian feast. Whether you’re enjoying it alone or with friends and family, this pasta dish is sure to become one of your favorites!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This dish is perfect for busy weeknights when you still want something hearty and satisfying.
This dish is perfect for busy weeknights when you still want something hearty and satisfying.

If you’re a busy chef, you know the importance of having meals that can be made ahead of time. That’s why this Instant Pot Sunday Night Pasta recipe is perfect for those who want to get ahead on meal prep.

You can make a big batch of this pasta recipe on the weekend and store it in the fridge or freezer for later use. The pasta will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days, and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When it’s time to reheat, simply microwave it or warm it up in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. If you find that your pasta has thickened too much after storing it, don’t worry! Just add some pasta sauce or water to thin out the consistency.

One pro-tip when reheating is to take the pasta out of the fridge before reheating. This not only allows the pasta to come back to room temperature but also helps prevent overcooking when reheating.

Thanks to its versatility and long shelf life, this Instant Pot Sunday Night Pasta recipe is perfect for meal prepping and planning. By taking advantage of its make-ahead capabilities, you can enjoy delicious and convenient meals all week long.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Pasta lovers, meet your new go-to recipe. Trust us, it's *that* good.
Pasta lovers, meet your new go-to recipe. Trust us, it’s *that* good.

To achieve a successful and delicious Instant Pot “Sunday Night” Pasta Recipe, there are a few tips that I would like to share with you. Follow these tips and you will be rewarded with a perfect dinner that your family and friends will thank you for.

1. Don’t overcook the pasta

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when cooking pasta in the Instant Pot is overcooking it. It is important to follow the cooking time suggested in the recipe and not exceed it. Overcooked pasta can turn mushy and unpleasant to eat.

2. Use enough liquid

Make sure you use enough liquid when cooking pasta in the Instant Pot. The rule of thumb is using 1 1/2 cups of liquid for every 8 oz of pasta. Be aware that tomato-based sauces tend to thicken over time, so it’s essential to add enough water or broth to prevent burning.

3. Let the pressure release naturally

When cooking pasta, it’s always better to let the pressure release naturally instead of doing a quick release. Sudden changes in pressure can cause the starchy content of the pasta to boil excessively, creating a foamy mess inside the pot or worse yet, cause an explosion.

4. Season correctly

To enhance your dish’s flavor profile, be sure to season your ingredients adequately at each stage of cooking. Start with salting your water before adding your pasta, then adjust your seasoning as you add grated cheese and finally taste at the end to see if anything is missing.

5. Experiment with different protein variations

Ground beef or short ribs (or both) are my favorite protein choices for this recipe, but feel free to try other meats such as chicken breast, shrimp or even tofu if you prefer a meatless option. The result may surprise you and open doors to new possibilities!

By following these simple tips, you will get perfect results every time for your Sunday night meal with family and friends. Remember, cooking is all about having fun, so feel free to let your creative and adventurous side shine – that’s what cooking is about!

Bottom Line

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In conclusion, the Instant Pot “Sunday Night” Pasta Recipe is a simple and delicious meal that you can prepare with ease. The convenience of the one-pot cooking method makes it perfect for a busy Sunday night dinner while still providing a nutritious and satisfying meal.

Whether you’re craving pasta bolognese or chicken alfredo, this recipe has options for varying tastes while incorporating the richness of olive oil, garlic cloves, onion, red wine and other ingredients like pepper and salt to produce a pasta dish that is both creamy and flavorful.

By using an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker, you’ll be able to cook the penne pasta and sauce all in one go! You’ll also have minimal clean-up as you can do everything from sautéing the onion and garlic to simmering the bolognese sauce in the same pot. Additionally, the make-ahead instructions and storing tips ensure that you will always have an easy delicious meal for a quick Sunday dinner or even batch-cook for upcoming nights.

I highly recommend this recipe to anyone who loves easy Sunday dinner ideas that taste as exquisite as any big family lunch or dinner. With its variations and substitutions, you will never tire of eating it. Plus it’s perfect for making big batches on Sunday night roast dinners too!

So next time you’re planning your Sunday night meal, give this Instant Pot “Sunday Night” Pasta Recipe a try! You won’t regret it.

Instant Pot "Sunday Night" Pasta

Instant Pot “Sunday Night” Pasta Recipe

Easiest meal EVER! Pasta with a meat sauce and only 1 pot to clean. My friend's picky eater had seconds!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Calories 412.4 kcal


  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb ground meat (beef or turkey)
  • 18 frozen meatballs (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar pasta sauce (I use Classico)
  • 1 (1 lb) box penne


  • Cook the frozen meatballs in the oven according to the package instructions.
  • While the meatballs are cooking, set the instant pot to saute mode and throw in the olive oil, onion and garlic until soft.
  • Add in the ground meat, salt and pepper and cook until well browned. Deglaze the pan with a little less than a 1/4 cup of water. Just make sure nothing is stuck on the bottom.
  • Pour in the pasta sauce and add 1 jar + 1/2 jar of water. Stir well. Turn off the instant pot.
  • Add the pasta on top of the meat sauce but do not stir it around. Just push it down to fully submerge.
  • Cook it on high pressure for 5 minutes and do a quick release. Add in the browned meatballs and serve immediately!

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 227gCalories: 412.4kcalCarbohydrates: 80.1gProtein: 8.3gFat: 7.3gSaturated Fat: 1.4gCholesterol: 2.6mgSodium: 917.8mgFiber: 12.1gSugar: 12.2g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Easy, Kid-Friendly
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