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Instant Pot Pesto Pasta

Quick and easy Instant Pot Pesto Pasta tossed with cherry tomatoes, spinach, Parmesan, and delicious basil pesto.

Pesto Pasta is delicious either hot or cold and is a great idea for lunch or for potlucks. This pasta comes together in under 30 minutes and makes at least 8 portions!

One bowl of instant pot pesto pasta tossed with Parmesan and cherry tomatoes.

Quick and Tasty Pasta

This Pasta Pesto is so quick to make and it's a great dish to bring along to a potluck or to put in lunches for the next day.

This pasta salad is tasty whether it's hot or cold making it versatile for hot or cold lunches.

The rotini pasta can be swapped out for any pasta you have on hand. Spiral pasta is great for thin sauces but penne works well with this dish as well. The pressure cooking time is a very simple formula.

To determine pressure cooking time for pasta, divide the time in half that it says on the package and then subtract 1 minute.

Once the pasta is pressure cooked, there usually isn't any need drain the liquid and in fact a little bit of liquid from the pasta is great to help sauces and other add in's stick to the pasta.

RELATED: Instant Pot Chick fil A Copycat Mac and Cheese

Side view of rotini pasta with cherry tomatoes and spinach.

Ingredients in Instant Pot Pesto Pasta

The ingredients used for this Instant Pot pesto pasta are easy to find and easy to put together to create this flavorful dish. For a full list of the ingredients with their measurements, check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Rotini Pasta (Penne pasta works great for this dish as well) - I prefer rotini pasta or other spiral pasta because the pesto gets into all the nooks and crannies and covers the pasta well.
  • Butter
  • Salt & pepper
  • Spinach - rinsed, patted dry, and chopped
  • Cherry tomatoes (grape tomatoes are a good substitution)
  • Basil pesto - homemade or jarred, whichever you prefer!
  • Cream cheese - softened cream cheese will melt into the pasta easier than using cream cheese right out of the fridge. Either way if fine but softened cream cheese saves a little bit of time.
  • Parmesean - Shredded or grated works well.
  • Chicken broth (you can substitute chicken broth for vegetable broth or for water if you wish)

RELATED: Instant Pot Taco Pasta

Fork lifted above bowl with rotini pasta, spinach, and pesto in it’s tines.

How to Make Instant Pot Pesto Pasta

There are simple steps to make pasta in the Instant Pot and it starts by making sure that the dry pasta is completely submerged so that the pasta cooks evenly.

Rotini pasta is added to the inner liner and the chicken broth (or liquid of choice) is added on top. If needed, gently press the pasta down into the broth to submerge the pasta completely.

Once the pasta is submerged, the butter, salt and pepper are added to the pot. The ingredients are not stirred and the lid is closed as well as the vent.

The pressure cooker is then set to 4 minutes and once the pressure cook time is up, the pressure is slowly and intermittently released from the pot. Please refer to your pressure cooker manual for how to safely proceed with this step.

The lid is then removed and the cream cheese is stirred into the pasta. If there is a small amount of liquid left in the pot with the pasta, that is okay!

This will actually help the cream cheese and the basil pesto cling to the pasta noodles. The chopped spinach, cherry tomatoes, pesto, and Parmesan are then stirred into the pasta mixture.

When serving, serve with sprinkled Parmesan if desired. This Instant Pot Pesto Pasta can be served hot or cold.

Two bowls of pesto pasta topped with Parmesan and cherry tomatoes.

📖 Recipe

Yield: 8 servings

Instant Pot Pesto Pasta

two bowls of pesto pasta topped with Parmesan and cherry tomatoes

Quick and easy Instant Pot Pesto Pasta tossed with cherry tomatoes, spinach, Parmesan, and delicious basil pesto.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes


  • 1 lb box rotini pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup basil pesto
  • ¼ cup cream cheese
  • 3 cups spinach, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth (or liquid of choice)
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes


  1. Add the rotini pasta to the inner liner of the Instant Pot.
  2. Add the broth and gently press the pasta to submerge the pasta in the liquid.
  3. Add the butter, salt, and pepper.
  4. Close the lid and the vent.
  5. Set to 4 minutes on MANUAL/HIGH PRESSURE.
  6. Once the pot has done pressure cooking, carefully and intermittently "quick release" the pressure away from the face.*
  7. Open the lid and add the cream cheese and stir.
  8. Mix in the basil pesto, spinach, cherry tomatoes, and Parmesan.
  9. Serve hot or cold. Serve with Parmesan cheese if desired.


*Please refer to your pressure cooker's manual for how to carefully perform a quick release.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 260Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 912mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 10g

Nutrition calculation is a rough estimate and can vary depending on the cooking technique and the exact ingredients used. For informational purposes only.

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