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Instant Pot Gluten Free Pasta with Meat Sauce

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My favorite way to make gluten free pasta is in the Instant Pot. It’s easy, full of flavor and comes out perfect every single time.

Bowl of rotini in front of the Instant Pot it was cooked in.

One of the reasons I love making gluten pasta in my Instant Pot is because of how it melds the flavors of the sauce with the pasta. Every bite of this main dish explodes with flavor even though it’s made with simple ingredients.

It’s also quick to make for dinner compared to the traditional method of boiling water on the stove top. And, since it’s a one pot meal, clean-up is easy too! It’s the perfect easy weeknight meal to add to your meal plans.

If you’ve been struggling to get gluten free pasta to cook correctly in your Instant Pot, follow my easy recipe for good results. Your whole family will love this tasty meal… even those who aren’t gluten free!

Ingredient List

  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds of Italian sausage
  • ½ cup of diced onion
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
  • 2 boxes of Barilla gluten free rotini noodles
  • 2 jars of pasta sauce
  • 4 cups of filtered water
  • Parmesan cheese

Equipment List

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Instant Pot

By the Numbers: How to Make Instant Pot Gluten Free Pasta

Follow these simple steps to learn how to make the best gluten free pasta in your Instant Pot electric pressure cooker.

Step 1: Brown Sausage.

The first step is to press the Saute button on your Instant Pot. Add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive and allow it to warm up. Once it’s warmed, add 2 pounds of Italian sausage or ground beef and cook until mostly browned.

Ground sausage being browned in Instant Pot.

Step 2: Add Onion and Garlic.

Once the meat is brown, add ½ cup of diced onion and cook until it’s translucent. Next, stir in 4 cloves of minced garlic and cook until it’s fragrant.

Garlic and onion added to browned ground meat.

Step 3: Add Sauce, Water and Seasoning.

Press Cancel to turn off the heat. Use your wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot so you don’t get a burn notice. Add 2 jars of pasta sauce, 4 cups of filtered water and 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning, then stir until well combined.

Meat sauce being stirred in Instant Pot.

Step 4: Add Pasta.

Pour 2 boxes of gluten-free pasta on top of the other ingredients. Use a wooden spoon to gently press the noodles down under the liquid, but do not stir the noodles.

Gluten free rotini added to meat sauce in Instant Pot.

Step 5: Pressure Cook Pasta.

Seal the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the pressure release valve is in the sealing position. Press the Pressure Cook button and cook on High Pressure for 8 minutes. As soon as the time is elapsed, do a Quick Pressure Release and open the lid. If you do a natural release, the pasta will be overcooked.

Cooked rotini with meat sauce in Instant Pot.

Step 6: Serve Gluten Free Pasta.

Use your spoon to stir the pasta and make sure everything is well combined. Serve in a bowl garnished with grated parmesan cheese and/or fresh basil, if desired.

Bowl of gluten free pasta garnished with parmesan cheese.

Tips for Making Instant Pot Gluten Free Pasta

Answers to all of your questions about making this Instant Pot pasta recipe, which is so delicious you won’t know it’s gluten free.

1. Which type of gluten-free pasta work best?

There is so much variability in the quality of gluten-free pasta noodles. I find the brand that holds up the best in the Instant Pot is Barilla. We use both their standard gluten free noodles as well as their lentil pasta. They both work great.

Other brands don’t tend to hold up as well in the Instant Pot, especially the brown rice noodles. Quinoa pasta does okay, but not as good as Barilla, which is a combination of rice and corn.

As far as types of pasta, I find that gluten-free rotini and gluten free penne pasta work the best. You can use gluten free spaghetti noodles, but they have a greater tendency to clump. You really have to arrange them in a crisscross pattern just right and I’ve had better success with rotini and penne.

If you want to use gluten free macaroni noodles, cut the cook time down to 4 minutes like in my Instant Pot Gluten Free Mac and Cheese recipe.

If you go with different shapes or brands, keep in mind that the cook time may also be different.

2. What type of pasta sauce?

You can use any jar of tomato sauce made for pasta like arrabbiata or marinara sauce. I’ve used many different brands and flavors and it always turns out great. I don’t recommend using a cream-based sauce such as alfredo.

3. Substitutes for Italian sausage?

The reason I like using Italian sausage in this recipe is that it really gives it a strong Italian pasta flavor. When we don’t have sausage, I will use ground beef and add extra homemade Italian seasoning. You can use any ground meat, including ground turkey, or even cubed chicken as long as you brown it first.

4. Can the ground meat be omitted?

Yes, you can make the pasta without the meat sauce by omitting the ground meat. Do not adjust the amount of sauce or water you add.

5. Is it okay to add fresh veggies?

Yes, sometimes we’ll add some sliced zucchini, bell peppers or mushrooms into the pot with the ground meat, onions and garlic. It turns out great as long as you don’t add more than a couple cups of veggies.

6. Is it okay to add cheese?

I don’t recommend adding dairy ingredients like cheese during the pressure-cooking process as it tends to curdle. You can add as much cheese as you want after it’s cooked though!

Sometimes we stir in about a cup of ricotta cheese or mozzarella cheese and we almost always top our pasta with parmesan cheese (Misfits Market usually has a great price).

7. How to make al dente pasta?

My family prefers our pasta a little more cooked than al dente. If you prefer yours on the firm side, you’ll want to set your Instant Pot to 6 minutes of cook time the first time you make it.

You may have to experiment with the cooking times by increasing or decreasing by a minute the next time you make it to find the texture your family prefers.

8. Can this recipe be halved?

Yes, we will often make a half batch of this recipe for lunch. Don’t try doubling it though… it won’t fit in your Instant Pot.

9. Where to buy Italian sausage?

You can often find it in the meat section at the grocery store. I often get ground Italian sausage with my orders from Misfits Market because they usually have a good price on it.

10. How to store leftovers?

This recipe should make plenty of leftovers for most families. You can store any leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Instant Pot also makes a silicone lid so you can just seal your Instant Pot pan and place it in the fridge.

Just be aware that gluten free pasta isn’t as good left over as regular pasta. It tends to break down more when re-heated, but still tastes good the next day. I recommend reheating it on the stovetop over low heat until warm.

11. More Instant Pot main dish recipes?

If you enjoy simple recipes like this gluten free pasta, try making one of these recipes for dinner:

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Bowl of Instant Pot gluten free pasta.

Instant Pot Gluten Free Pasta Recipe

After making this gluten free pasta recipe in your Instant Pot, you’ll never want to make it any other way. It’s super easy and has the perfect taste and texture.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Pressurizing Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Recipe Servings: 8

Ingredients

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Wooden spoon

Instructions

  • Turn your Instant Pot onto Saute mode and add olive oil to warm. Once warmed, add the Italian sausage and cook until browned.
    Ground sausage being browned in Instant Pot.
  • Add the onion and cook until translucent, then stir in garlic and cook until fragrant.
    Garlic and onion added to browned ground meat.
  • Turn off heat, make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot, then stir in pasta sauce, water and Italian seasoning.
    Meat sauce being stirred in Instant Pot.
  • Pour the pasta in over the other ingredients. Press the noodles down gently under the liquid, but for best results, do not stir.
    Gluten free rotini added to meat sauce in Instant Pot.
  • Seal the lid on the Instant Pot, close the pressure valve then cook on High Pressure for 8 minutes. As soon as the time is elapsed, do a quick release of the pressure and open the lid.
    Cooked rotini with meat sauce in Instant Pot.
  • Stir to make sure everything is well combined. Sprinkle grated parmesan over the top of the pasta, if desired.
    Bowl of gluten free pasta garnished with parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Calories: 821kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 899mg | Potassium: 324mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 23IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 3mg

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