Pasta has never been easier! This Instant Pot pasta alfredo is a lightened up version of a classic. It’s super creamy and delicious!

The world of pressure cooker pasta can be confusing and weird. Does it really work to cook pasta start to finish in the Instant Pot, you might be asking yourself??

With the right recipe, it sure does!

Taking notes from this uber-popular Instant Pot ziti recipe, I’m excited to introduce you to this stellar Instant Pot alfredo recipe. Hands-off and so easy, I’m in the camp that thinks pressure cooker pasta is a dream come true!

spooning helping of instant pot pasta alfredo in double stacked white bowls

Lightened Up

There’s nothing fancy shmancy about this pasta. But that’s the appeal. It is simple and tasty.

And while it isn’t calorie-free, after a lot of testing, I perfected the ideal version: super creamy even with a lightened up switcheroo, swapping out most of the cream for milk.

All of the ingredients, minus the Parmesan cheese, go into an electric pressure to cook for a few short minutes.

Pro tip: to calculate the cooking time for pasta in an electric pressure cooker, take the al dente cooking time on the back of the pasta package, cut in half, and subtract an additional two minutes. So for pasta that cooks to al dente in 12 minutes, the pressure cooker time would be 4 minutes.

adding pasta shells to milk in pressure cooker, setting time to six minutes on pressure cooker, cooked pasta in pressure cooker, adding parmesan cheese to pasta in pressure cooker

Give it a Minute

After letting the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, quick release the remaining pressure and remove the lid.

DON’T PANIC.

The pasta might look a little sketch. Too much liquid? Curdled? Deep breaths. Everything is fine.

Give the pasta a good stir and it will all come together. Add the Parmesan cheese, give another stir, and MAGIC. Creamy dreamy pasta goodness coming your way.

pasta shells with creamy alfredo sauce in insert of electric pressure cooker

Serve Immediately

This pasta makes a fantastic quick lunch or eat-it-right-away dinner. As a make-ahead meal? I have to be honest, it’s probably not going to be stellar.

The longer the pasta sits, the less saucy it gets, and it can go from creamy to sticky and dry in a few minutes.

So, my recommendation is to make this easy Instant Pot pasta alfredo when you know you can eat it pretty much right away.

That’s not to say my kids haven’t gobbled up the leftovers without blinking an eye. But if you have slightly more mature taste buds than my teenagers, and you’re looking for a saucy, creamy wonder of a pasta dish, dig in immediately.

spoon scooping up pasta shells in creamy alfredo sauce in white bowl

Optional but Delicious

If you happen to have leftover grilled chicken laying around OR want to grill chicken just for this, it elevates an already pretty darn yummy alfredo dish to stellar proportions.

Truly, though, the last four times we’ve made this, it’s just been for lunch. Without any frills or accoutrements. And since I believe in being fully transparent: most of us have eaten it straight out of the Instant Pot.

Life. When you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

No matter how you choose to serve this (and with what manners you choose to employ), I hope it makes your pasta loving heart happy and fulfilled!

grilled chicken on top of instant pot pasta alfredo shells in white bowl

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spoon scooping up pasta shells in creamy alfredo sauce in white bowl

Instant Pot Pasta Alfredo

4.92 stars (12 ratings)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chicken broth (I use low-sodium)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • 16 ounces (454 g) pasta (see note)
  • ½ to 1 cup (57 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions 

  • Lightly spray the bottom and sides of a 6-quart electric pressure cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Pour in the broth.
  • Whisk or blend the milk and flour together until smooth. Add to the pressure cooker along with the cream, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and pasta. Stir to combine.
  • Secure the lid and set the valve to seal. Calculate the cooking time by taking the cooking time on the pasta package, cutting it in half and subtracting two more minutes. (So for pasta that cooks to al dente in 12 minutes, the IP cooking time would be 4 minutes.) Cook on high pressure for the calculated time.
  • Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Quick release the remaining pressure. If liquid spurts through the valve, close the valve and try again in a few minutes. Remove the lid and give the pasta a good stir.
  • Add the Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Serve immediately with more Parmesan and/or grilled chicken, if desired.

Notes

Pasta: I’ve made this with everything from shells to penne. It’s very adaptable to different types of pasta, although I haven’t tried it with strand pasta, like spaghetti or fettuccine. Follow the instructions in step #3 to calculate exact cooking time. 
Cooking Time: if you plan to let the pressure naturally release fully, you may want to subtract a minute or two off the cooking time so the pasta doesn’t overcook. 
Serving: 1 serving, Calories: 500kcal, Carbohydrates: 66g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 64mg, Sodium: 852mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g
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