Vegan Instant Pot Pasta Recipe (Easy One Pot Pasta Marinara)

by Alena
Aug 27, 2018
vegan one pot pasta marinara with basil in a speckled bowl on a stone surface next to some fresh tomatoes
2K Shares

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…

Instant Pot ingredients for one pot pasta on chopping board

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!

Throwing spices for one pot pasta into the instant_pot

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.

Instant Pot with finished pasta top down view

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. 

Finished vegan instant pot pasta served on plate

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.

Vegan Instant Pot Pasta Recipe

Vegan Instant Pot Pasta Recipe

Yield: 3
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Healthy & easy vegan one pot pasta marinara made with whole food plant-based ingredients. This oil-free Italian comfort dish is prepared in just 20 minutes total, using the Instant Pot. Soy-free & gluten-free possible. A real family favorite and great way to eat more vegetables!

Ingredients

  • 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)

Optional toppings

  • Fresh basil to garnish
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Few crumbs of homemade cashew cheese

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Stir around, mixing the ingredients - make sure the tomato paste dissolves and the pasta is pushed down as much into the sauce as possible.
  5. Then, place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock it in place. Check to make sure the valve is sealed.
  6. 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. 
  7. 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. 
  8. Once the pressure is released, you can open the lid and stir the pasta. Taste test it, and add more seasonings if needed.
  9. Place into a bowl and garnish with fresh basil and nutritional yeast if you like! (We used some cashew cheese in the picture)

Notes

  • 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
Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed. Just focus on whole plant-based foods and eat until satiety!
woman in grey vegan shirt with her hands on her hips looking to the left and smiling
Alena has been eating a plant-based diet for 6 years and is passionate about sharing her learnings in the fields of nutrition, wellbeing, and vegan ethics. She is the co-creator of nutriciously and loves music, reading, nature, traveling, yoga & good food. Alena received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy, and social work.
dark grey spotted bowl with a variety of vegetables next to small bottle of green smoothie isolated on light background

Free Vegan Transition Course

become fully plant-based.

Our free transition eCourse teaches you how to meet your nutrients easily and create simple, tasty meals. You’ll also get a free 3-day meal plan, education on the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle and how to navigate social situations.

23 thoughts on “Vegan Instant Pot Pasta Recipe (Easy One Pot Pasta Marinara)”

  1. Delicious. However, mine came out more like a minestrone. I’ll try cut the water and broth to 2 cups imstad of a combined 4 cups.

    Reply
    • thanks so much for the valuable feedback, I made the recipe again a couple of times and decided on 3 cups liquid total :) Have you tried making it with 2 cups?

      Reply
  2. This was exactly what I was looking for, and it only took my 15 minutes! I did it on my lunch break and it turned out so good. Thank you!

    Reply
  3. YUM! I didn’t get any complaints from the family, which is a rarity. I modified mine a bit by adding different veggies and it turned out great!! I added the spinach after I opened the instant pot, since it really doesn’t need long to cook. 10/10 will make again.

    Reply
  4. Made this last night. The flavors are wonderful but there is way too much liquid! Sprayed tomato steam all over my counter and ceiling. Would make again but with way less water!

    Reply
    • Hey Laura,
      thanks so much for the feedback! You know what, I’ll go ahead and make this myself again this week. Might be possible I wrote down the wrong quantities – which would be a bummer. Thanks for letting me know and sorry it didn’t turn out so great… Let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with!
      Best wishes,
      Alena

      Reply
  5. Loved it, added different veggies, served with marinaria sauce and parmesan cheese.
    Too much water, will cut back to 2 cups net time ,I did not add the paste. ! I made it on the stovetop in a soup pan.

    Reply
    • Hey Barb,
      thanks for the feedback – I made the pasta again these days and ended up using 3 cups of liquid in total as well as 7 minutes of cooking time which turned out perfectly! It does work a bit differently with the IP, so it’s possible that the stovetop version needs more or less water.
      Best wishes,
      Alena

      Reply
  6. Hi,
    Absolutely love my Instant Pot. I had never had home cooked beans before the instant pot. You’re right, the taste difference is night and day. This is a great recipe. It’s winter here in Wisconsin , USA, no fresh tomatoes, eggplant, etc. I improvised and made this with frozen broccoli, canned fire roasted tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach. It turned out very good but I am looking forward to summer when I can make it as written with my own garden vegetables. Thanks for another great recipe and for all you do to help new and old vegans.

    Reply
    • happy you love your Instant Pot so much as well! Awww sorry to hear about the produce but as you found out this so easy to modify :) thanks for the kind words and sharing all of this!

      Reply
  7. Hi Alena! Happy New Year! What size instant pot did you use for this recipe? I only have a 3qt because it’s just me. Do you think this recipe is doable with my mini instant pot?

    Reply
    • Hey Pam,
      yes I assume a 3qt would work for the recipe as mine is usually around half full. You can add fewer veggies so the volume is decreased if you’re worried. Let me know how it turns out :)
      Warmly,
      Alena

      Reply
  8. I notice some people have had trouble with the quantity of liquid in this recipe. I’m going to try it tonight and wondered if the recipe had been tailored to take those issues into consideration. Any advice? I’m excited to try it!

    Reply
    • Hey Sarah,
      I just made the recipe again and reduced the liquid to 3 cups total as well as the pressure cooking time to 7 minutes which prevents the pasta from going a bit too mushy. I now updated the recipe!
      The feedback was really mixed, for some it was too liquid and too mushy, for others it came out perfect.
      Best wishes,
      Alena

      Reply
  9. How does your pasta not get overcook through this method? I tried it two times and altough the flavors are great it turns out very mushy. I have the same 6qt instapot

    Reply
    • Hey Flavini,
      I just made the recipe again and tried pressure cooking the pasta for only 7 minutes which improved the consistency in my opinion! Also reduced the liquid to 3 cups total (see updated recipe).
      Hope that helps! The feedback was really mixed, for some it was too liquid and too mushy, for others it came out perfect.
      Best wishes,
      Alena

      Reply

Leave a Comment

2K Shares
Share
Tweet
Pin