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April 9, 2021

Easy Instant Pot Pasta Salad

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Large bowl filled with easy Instant Pot Pasta Salad with tomatoes and cucumbers

 

Instant Pot Pasta Salad is the quick and delicious side perfect for all your Spring and Summer parties and dinners.  

 

If you’re looking for an incredibly easy dinner side dish, look no further than this delicious pasta salad recipe.  It’s made quick and easy meal that will help you get dinner on the table in minutes.  Drop the pasta into the pot, cook the pasta in just a few quick minutes, toss with your favorite dressing, cheese and veggies and you’re good to go!  

We serve this pasta salad recipe all Spring and Summer long.  It’s a great vegetarian pasta salad, too.  Whether it’s the 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, St. Patrick’s Day or just a need for a quick and easy lunch or dinner side, this is our familys favorite.  

What’s even better is Instant Pot pasta salad is very versatile and can be made with any of your favorite pasta, veggeies, cheese and dressings.  

We typically keep our pasta salad pretty simple by adding feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bow tie pasta and zesty Italian dressing.  However, from time-to-time we also love adding bell peppers, pepperoni slices and cubes of cheddar and pepper jack cheese.  

Don’t love bow tie pasta?  No problem!  Feel free to replace with elbow pasta, tricolored rotini or any of your favorite pasta shells. 

One of the reason we love pasta in the Instant Pot is how quickly and consistently you can cook the pasta.  No need to boil pasta or over cook it.  The Instant Pot cooks pasta perfectly every time.  You cannot go wrong with pasta salad in the Instant Pot, all! 

We hope you enjot this easy Instant Pot easy recipe as much as we do!  

 

Large bowl filled with Instant Pot Pasta Salad with tomatoes and cucumbers

 

ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO SERVE PASTA SALAD

While we made this easy pasta salad recipe with just a few key ingredients, there are so many great ways to make this amazing side dish.  Here are just a few additional ingredients we love to put into our pasta salad: 

  • Red bell peppers 
  • Green or yellow bell peppers
  • Cubes of your favorite cheese such as Pepper Jack cheese, Cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese and more!
  • Black olives 
  • Pepperoni or Salami chucks or slices
  • Red wine vinegar 
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette 
  • Salt and pepper
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Butter pickles or dill pickels
  • Red onion 
  • Red peppers
  • Italian seasoning
  •  

If you’re looking for some great side dishes, here are a few of our favorites, too!  Each are really simple and can be completed in less than 10 minutes.  We hope you love these as much as we do!  

 

Large bowl filled with easy Instant Pot Pasta Salad with tomatoes and cucumbers

 

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COOK PASTA IN THE INSTANT POT?

When cooking Instant Pot meals with pasta feel free to choose any pasta shell you might prefer.  Regardless of which pasta you choose, be sure to follow the cooking times indicated on the box of your pasta choice.  Whatever the box says – cut it in half and subtract 2 minutes. 

For example, if the box says to cook for 10 minutes, you will cut that in half (5) and subtract 2.  All together you would cook for 3 minutes.  

If for any reason you don’t feel as though your pasta is cooked enough, you can always place the lid back on your Instant Pot and pressure cook again for 0 minutes.  That should do the trick!

 

WHAT IS THE FASTEST WAY TO COOL PASTA FOR PASTA SALAD?

If you are looking to quickly cool your cooked pasta for pasta salad there are a few techniques you can choose from.  

First, drain the cook pasta in a colander.  You can either rinse the pasta in cold water for 2-3 minutes, or until fully cooled, or you can place the colander into a large bowl filled with ice water.  Once cooled, drain and add your favorite ingredients below.  

Additionally, if you are prepping for a larger party, you can also place the drained pasta into the refrigerator for an hour+ or until cooled completely.  

 

WHAT IS THE BEST STORE BOUGHT DRESSING FOR PASTA SALAD?

 

If you are looking to make an easy Italian pasta salad, we love to use either Olive Garden Italian Dressing or Paul Newman’s Italian Dressing.  We also often use a good Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing.  Feel free to use as little or as much as you might like.  

 

CAN YOU MAKE PASTA SALAD IN ADVANCE?

Yes, you absolutely can!  When I make this pasta salad recipe in advance, I cook the pasta as instructed below, add a bit of olive oil to the pasta to keep it from sticking together overnight and place it in the fridge. 

I then cut any veggies and cheese, cover and place in a fridge safe container.  The following morning, I add the veggies and other toppings along with the dressing of choice serve and place in a serving dish.  

You are welcome to add all of the ingredients together and add dressing the night before.  However, be aware that the pasta and veggies will soak up the majority of the dressing overnight.  With that said, I recommend adding additional dressing moments before you plan to serve.  

 

HOW LONG WILL PASTA SALAD LAST IN THE FRIDGE? 

Love leftovers as much as we do?  Store your pasta salad in an airtight contrain in the fridge for up to 5-7 days.  With that said, we also like to add our salad dress of choice to our individual plates if we know we are going to have leftovers as opposed to eating the entire batch at a party.  Doing so will help the pasta from going bad sooner.  

 

WHAT GOES WITH PASTA SALAD? 

We love to serve Instant Pot pasta salad with corn on the cob, juicy hamburgers, BBQ chicken, jerk chicken sliders, brats and hot dogs and so much more!  

 

Large bowl filled with easy Instant Pot Pasta Salad with tomatoes and cucumbers

 

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INGREDIENTS FOR INSTANT POT PASTA SALAD:

  • 1 pound Rotini pasta (you can also use bow tie pasta, elbow macaroni, etc.)
  • 2 1/2 cups water or chicken broth (vegetable broth will also work)
  • 2 large cucumbers, sliced and cut into quarters 
  • 10 ounces grape tomatoes, cut into halves 
  • 3/4 cup Feta cheese (feel free to add more if you prefer) 
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1/3 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette or Italian Dressing (feel free to use less or more to your liking)

 

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT PASTA SALAD:

  • Turn on your Instant Pot and select the ‘Pressure Cook’ function on high.  Move the valve to the sealing position based on your Instant Pot model. 
  • Add pasta and water or chicken broth to your Instant Pot, secure the lip and cook for 4 minutes.  
  • Once the timer beeps, quick release pressure.  If for some reason your pasta is not cooked to your liking, you can place the lid back onto the Instant Pot, pressure cook for an additional 0 minutes and release pressure again.  
  • Once you have released pressure, carefully remove the lid and drain the pasta.  
  • Once pasta has been drained, you can either run over with cold water to cool or place into the fridge.  
  • While your pasta is cooling, cut up any veggies and cheese and place aside.  
  • Once the pasta has cooled, add veggies, cheese and dressing of your choice.  Stir or toss in a mixing bowls until all ingredients are mixed.  
  • Serve and enjoy!

 

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Bowl of Instant Pot Pasta Salad recipe

Easy Instant Pot Pasta Salad

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This Instant Pot Pasta Salad is an easy side dish perfect for Spring and Summer.
SERVES/MAKES: 6 people
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Rotini pasta (you can also use bow tie pasta, elbow macaroni, etc.)
  • 2.5 cups water or chicken broth (vegetable broth will also work)
  • 2 large cucumbers, sliced and cut into quarters 
  • 10 ounces grape tomatoes, cut into halves 
  • 3/4 cup Feta cheese (feel free to add more if you prefer) 
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1/3 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette or Italian Dressing (feel free to use less or more to your liking)

Instructions:

  • Turn on your Instant Pot and select the 'Pressure Cook' function on high.  Move the valve to the sealing position based on your Instant Pot model. 
  • Add pasta and water or chicken broth to your Instant Pot, secure the lip and cook for 4 minutes.  
  • Once the timer beeps, quick release pressure.  If for some reason your pasta is not cooked to your liking, you can place the lid back onto the Instant Pot, pressure cook for an additional 0 minutes and release pressure again.
  • Once you have released pressure, carefully remove the lid and drain the pasta.  
  • Once pasta has been drained, you can either run over with cold water to cool or place into the fridge.  
  • While your pasta is cooling, cut up any veggies and cheese and place aside. 
  • Once the pasta has cooled, add veggies, cheese and dressing of your choice.  Stir or toss in a mixing bowls until all ingredients are mixed. 
  • Serve and enjoy!

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