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Instant Pot Tomato Beef Pasta

Break out your Instant Pot for a hearty comfort food dinner! This one pot tomato beef pasta recipe can be on your family’s table in less than 30 minutes.

Overhead view of dishes of Instant Pot Tomato Beef Pasta with serving dishes with Parmesan cheese and a tray of garlic bread in the background.

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Have you tried cooking pasta in the Instant Pot yet? I finally gave it a shot, and I’m so glad I did!

This Instant Pot Tomato Beef Pasta recipe came about because I wanted to convert one of my favorite childhood meals into something that could be made in the Instant Pot.

It worked like a charm, and was possibly even easier than the stovetop version that I grew up with!

Overhead view of Instant Pot Tomato Beef Pasta.

One of the issues I’ve had in the past when making this recipe on the stovetop is inconsistent cooking time. Sometimes the pasta would be hard in spots, and other times it ended up too mushy.

I’ve also had mixed results when trying to use whole grain pasta. So for the Instant Pot version, I went with a standard pasta to see how it went.

The specific shape of pasta doesn’t necessarily matter for this recipe. What you need to pay attention to is the cooking time listed on the package of pasta. I recommend using fusilli or rotini – but any package that states that the pasta needs to cook for 11 minutes for “al dente” will work well here.

Overhead view of dishes of Instant Pot Tomato Beef Pasta with serving dishes with Parmesan cheese and garlic bread.

Since we’re making this in the Instant Pot, the actual cook time for the pasta (once pressure is reached) will be much less than if you were putting it into a pot of boiling water. It only takes only FIVE minutes.

It will take a few minutes to reach pressure, so keep that in mind when planning dinner time.

4 photos of steps for making Instant Pot Tomato Beef Pasta

Start by browning the meat in the base of your Instant Pot using the Sauté function. Once it’s browned, if you have excess grease, you can drain it at that point. I used 85% lean ground beef and didn’t have too much grease, so I left it.

If you need to drain some, I recommend using a baster to suck up the drippings and removing them from the base of your Instant Pot. I had an incident yeeeears ago where I melted a turkey baster that I used in a cast iron pan.

It was a plastic baster, so I knew I needed a change. I bought the stainless steel version of this baster that has an angled tip that’s heatproof up to 600°F.

Releasing the pressure quickly once the cooking time finishes will ensure that your pasta won’t overcook.

Overhead view of dishes of Instant Pot Tomato Beef Pasta with serving dishes with Parmesan cheese in the background.

My family’s favorite side dish for this Tomato Beef Pasta is garlic bread. This Skillet Garlic Parmesan Bread and My Favorite Garlic Bread are both great options, perfect for dunking!

I love this recipe because it reminds me of cozy dinners with my mom when I was a kid. I also love that it makes so much – it’s easily 6 servings and holds up well in the fridge for several days. Great for lunches!

I packed some in my son’s insulated LunchBots thermal bowl and it was a big hit at school.

Overhead view of dishes of Instant Pot Tomato Beef Pasta with serving dishes with Parmesan cheese in the background.

Looking for more Instant Pot recipes? Check out some of our favorites:

Recipe for Instant Pot Tomato Beef Pasta

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3/4 view of dishes of Instant Pot Tomato Beef Pasta with serving dishes with Parmesan cheese and a tray of garlic bread in the background.

Instant Pot Tomato Beef Pasta

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes (plus time for buildingpressure)
  • Yield: 6 Servings
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Break out your Instant Pot for a hearty comfort food dinner! This one pot tomato beef pasta recipe can be on your family’s table in less than 30 minutes.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef (I used 85% lean)
  • 1 pound fusilli or rotini pasta
  • 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 (46-ounce) bottle tomato juice
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Set Instant Pot to “Sauté” and adjust to “more”. Once the pot is hot, add ground beef. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking the meat apart with a wooden spoon until browned all over. Drain fat, if necessary.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, salt, and pepper. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add tomato juice, ketchup, brown sugar, and chili powder. Stir to combine, then stir in the pasta. Close the lid, adjust the vent to “sealing” and set the Instant Pot to “Manual” high pressure for 5 minutes. Once the timer goes off, manually release the pressure (quick release) before opening the lid.
  4. Serve pasta with grated Parmesan and sprinkled over top with garlic bread alongside.

Notes

Use a pasta that takes 11 min for al dente, according to the box.

A turkey baster is a good tool for getting inside of your Instant Pot to drain fat. Just make sure yours has a heat-proof tip (not plastic).

Total time doesn’t account for the time it takes for the Instant Pot to reach pressure, which can vary. It will likely take another 5-10 minutes total, but it’s hands-off time.

Keywords: Instant Pot, pasta, comfort food

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6 Comments

  • Lori H

    Oh wow, I haven’t cooked that in such a long time, but I love that it brings memories to mind for you! I just have to add that your garlic bread looks so delicious that I’m seriously craving it now!

    • Ashley

      It’s been quite a while since I made it, too, because of all the issues I was having with the pasta not cooking right in the skillet. It worked so well for SO many years and then I dunno what happened. But this worked out great! I think it’d be good with ground turkey, too. (And yes, definitely ALWAYS add garlic bread!) 😉

  • Carol

    Hi, this recipe looks great and I’m anxious to try it. Just wondering though, when does the pasta go into the Instant Pot?
    Thanks!

    • Ashley

      Thank you SO much for catching that, Carol! I forgot to put that part in the instructions. I’ve revised it above, but you stir it in right before you close the Instant Pot to start cooking (after you stir in the tomato juice and spices). I hope you enjoy this recipe – please come back and let me know what you think!

  • Charlie Nachman

    Hi,
    Prepared this for dinner today and we all enjoyed it. Simple to prepare (used ground turkey) and had great flavor. Made some garlic bread to go with it.

    Another great meal

    Thanks

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