Not too long ago, we dedicated a whole article to our love and appreciation for a witty kitchen tool called the Instant Pot. Some of the pictures in there displayed the cooking of a delicious and easy comfort dish: whole grain, veggie-rich vegan Instant Pot Pasta.
Today, we want to share the recipe for this vegan one-pot meal with you.
See, with devices like a pressure cooker, it’s super convenient to prepare your whole meal in just one pot. Even different components, like pasta and veggies in this case, can be cooked at the same time.
Why We Love the Instant Pot
Before we discovered this little miracle, though, we were happy to just cook our beans and whole grains from scratch in under an hour… especially doing so hands-off, just setting a timer and walking away.
But then, we started to discover more and more options and soon prepared lentil chilis, curries, vegan one-pot pasta, or 1-minute steamed veggies in there.
Now, we’re seriously hooked!
That’s what I truly realized during our recent vacation to Asia where I couldn’t bring it with me, of course. So, back to canned beans. Cooking brown rice for 40 minutes in a small pot on the stove and having it spill here and there.
Once you tasted the freedom, it’s tough to go back. So, I got really excited that soon after our return, I was able to prepare all my favorite dishes again! Because freshly cooked beans aren’t even comparable to canned ones.
But let me get back to the Instant Pot pasta recipe I was about to share…
This satiating and nutritious comfort dish made our weeks looking for a new place to stay a lot more convenient and pleasant. Driving around to look at apartments, the uncertainty, settling in and meeting family and friends again – all of this can be truly exhausting and get you out of balance.
And what would be better than some good old pasta on the sofa at night?
The awesome thing is that our comfort meals aren’t bad for you at all. Nothing to “make up” again the next day, no heaviness in your stomach or acne breakouts. Instead, you just fuel your cells with lots of essential nutrients for the next day!
The Best Vegan Instant Pot Pasta
If you’re now looking at the ingredients for this vegan pasta recipe and find something you don’t like or cannot find at your local store – fear not, my friend. This is super duper versatile and I get you can easily create a version that’ll be delicious and wonderful for you, too.
Except if you don’t like tomatoes, that would be a tough one. But who doesn’t like tomatoes, anyway?
This pasta marinara is a perfect example of easily upping your vegetable intake, too. We highly encourage you to use the vegetables you already like for this dish and simply swap out the ones you don’t. Zucchini, eggplant or bell pepper are relatively easy to love – but let us know which combination you prefer!
We decided to keep this recipe soy-free and veggie-rich as we think this offers enough substance and a nice mouthfeel. Oh, and did we mention that the pasta itself doesn’t need to be cooked and drained separately?
Yep, all the inexpensive and delicious ingredients just go directly into the Instant Pot (sauteéing the veggies for just a minute, a function that’s included in the kitchen tool), stir them around, and set the timer. Then, you can walk away and do whatever you like… coming back a couple of minutes later to a freshly cooked dinner.
Especially when cooking for the whole family, including children, this will be super helpful when dinnertime comes around. Who doesn’t just love pasta? Plus, the Instant Pot (depending on the size you own) will most likely feed a family of 3 or 4 pretty easily.
Delicious Vegan Instant Pot Pasta Variations
If you want to make this dish gluten-free, simply swap the whole grain penne for gluten-free short pasta made from corn, rice, or quinoa.
Depending on your taste, you can be more generous with the seasonings. But don’t go all-in right from the start, the pressure cooking can intensify some of the flavors, so adjust right before serving the pasta.
We sometimes like it a bit more spicy and “Arabiatta” style and add a bit of chili to it (especially nice when it’s cold outside).
Not only will every kid probably love it but you could also serve this dish at dinner parties with friends while showing off your versatile kitchen magician. And if you’re a college student without a proper kitchen, this could be a game changer. We’re happy to state that we’ve made a lot of people very happy by serving this vegan pasta marinara!
Oh, and can you imagine how easy the washing up will be? Let me just say again: one pot.
So, if you’re a beginner chef, plant-based curious, or chronically busy wife and mom… this kind of dish could be perfect for you.
I should probably mention that you could make it in a normal pot on the stove as well, it just takes a lot longer (around 40 minutes cooking time) plus you’ll need to watch and stir it. But definitely a manageable alternative if you don’t have an Instant Pot – you won’t be left out.
Please let us know in the comments below how your pasta marinara turned out and whether your family liked it! You can also rate the recipe, Pin it for later and tag us on Instagram when you make it – we’d love to see your creations.
- 12 oz whole-grain pasta (340 g)
- 2.5 cups water (590 ml)
- ½ cup vegetable broth (120 ml)
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small eggplant, chopped
- 2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped (350 g)
- 2 cups fresh spinach (60 g)
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cups button mushrooms, sliced (150 g)
- 1 tbsp balsamic or white wine vinegar
- ½ tbsp salt
- Few dashes black pepper
- 2 oz tomato paste (56 g)
- 1 tbsp Italian herbs
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- Fresh basil to garnish
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Few crumbs of homemade cashew cheese
- Start by pressing the “saute” function on the Instant Pot and let it heat up. Then add the onion and garlic with a splash of vegetable broth.
- Sauté for 30 seconds, stirring occasionally, then add the mushrooms, eggplant and Italian herbs for another 30 seconds, adding more vegetable broth to prevent sticking.
- Hit the cancel button and add all of the other ingredients: the vegetables, spices, water, vinegar, pasta, and the rest of the vegetable broth to the Instant Pot.
- Stir around, mixing the ingredients - make sure the tomato paste dissolves and the pasta is pushed down as much into the sauce as possible.
- Then, place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock it in place. Check to make sure the valve is sealed.
- Press the Manual button and use + or – to adjust the time to 7 minutes. The Instant Pot will now start building up pressure, which usually takes a couple of minutes. It then cooks the pasta for you, counting down the minutes on the screen to zero.
- When the 7 minutes are up, you will hear the Instant Pot beeping. Carefully quick release the pressure by moving the valve to one side, keeping face and hands away. You can use a towel to do so, and can even place it over the valve to catch the steam and any liquid that might spray out.
- Once the pressure is released, you can open the lid and stir the pasta. Taste test it, and add more seasonings if needed.
- Place into a bowl and garnish with fresh basil and nutritional yeast if you like! (We used some cashew cheese in the picture)
- You can use any vegetables you like in this recipe.
- For a gluten-free version, simply swap the whole grain pasta for a gluten-free variety.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400 Total Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 9mg Sodium: 2563mg Carbohydrates: 74g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 16g Sugar: 18g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 19g