Busy Night Pasta

This post is sponsored by Fry’s Food Stores

I finally did it, I made pasta in my Instant Pot.

Try this Busy Night Pasta recipe! It's simple and fast! Make a pasta dinner tonight in the Instant Pot!

Pasta is already quick and easy to cook but some days are so long I need to make it even easier. Don’t I sound dramatic!

Most of the time I work from home, this is a huge perk of my job, but when I actually go to the office I feel like I can’t function after work. I think my inner introvert gets overwhelmed at all the traffic, talking and smiling. By the time I make it home and pick up my kids, I’m spent. Maybe not too spent to cook pasta but I don’t mind making it easier. I take the motto, “work smarter, not harder” to heart.

Try this Busy Night Pasta recipe! It's simple and fast! Make a pasta dinner tonight in the Instant Pot!

This recipe is as easy as making pasta with broccoli and adding sauce. That’s basically it, you can skip the rest. Just kidding, but you can make this pasta on the stove or in the Instant Pot. I’ll give you directions for both.

Cooking Pasta in the Instant Pot

Simple Truth Organic whole wheat rotini cooked perfectly. Let me share a few things I learned about making pasta in the Instant Pot.

  • Gluten-free pasta is way more temperamental. I’m sticking to stove top for GF pasta.
  • When cooking pasta in a pressure cooker you want to do it on low pressure.
  • When cooking pasta in the Instant Pot, cook it on manual for HALF of the minutes needed for stove top cooking. So, if the box says cook it for 10 minutes, you’ll cook it on low pressure in the Instant Pot for 5 minutes.

The only downside to cooking a dish like this is that the broccoli gets very soft. Thankfully, I like my broccoli super soft, especially in pasta and casseroles. I don’t mind very soft broccoli, but if you want your broccoli more on the firm side, you may want to steam it separately. I don’t because it goes against my plan to make this meal as easy as possible.

Try this Busy Night Pasta recipe! It's simple and fast! Make a pasta dinner tonight in the Instant Pot!

Choosing the Right Ingredients

I regularly get questions from people asking me what pasta they should buy. The key is to find whole grain pasta. I buy the healthiest ingredients I can afford. That means organic when possible.

Last year we had a new Fry’s Food Store open up right outside our neighborhood. They make eating healthy so easy! I love their Simple Truth Organic brand of products. I was surprised at how budget-friendly their organic line of products is. Plus, they do have gluten-free for those who need it!

The Simple Truth Organic whole wheat pasta was perfect in the Instant Pot! I think it is because there is only one ingredient, whole wheat flour. Nothing extra!

Try this Busy Night Pasta recipe! It's simple and fast! Make a pasta dinner tonight in the Instant Pot!

This pasta and bread are both organic, whole grain wheat products. They are not suitable for someone with Celiac disease, or gluten-sensitivity or allergies. You can make this recipe on the stove top with gluten-free Simple Truth Organic Pasta! I like the GF macaroni made with organic brown rice flour, organic amaranth flour and organic quinoa flour. That’s it!

I keep pasta, sauce and frozen veggies on hand at all times for quick, family-friendly meals. I like to put a lot of veggies in my pasta but my kids are picky, I mean purists. Yeah, we will go with purists but you all know what I mean. They don’t want a lot of extra stuff in their pasta. They always get nervous when I make pasta because I use it as an opportunity to add every random veggie I can find.

I wanted this dish to win them over and it did! In fact, my 7 year old said, “this is the only pasta I want you to make ever again.” My 5 year old went on and on about it too.

Busy Night Pasta for the WIN!

Another thing I love about making pasta is it’s so easy and doesn’t dirty a lot of dishes. Does anyone else skip cooking so they don’t have to clean up?

This recipe uses just one pot for the main dish. I also made a quick salad using organic greens. If you plan ahead, you can have fresh herbs on hand for bolder flavor!

Try this Busy Night Pasta recipe! It's simple and fast! Make a pasta dinner tonight in the Instant Pot!

Busy Night Pasta

Stove Top Directions

  • One 16 oz box of Simple Truth Organic Pasta
  • 4 quarts water
  • One 25 oz. Jar of Simple Truth Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
  • One 10 oz bag of frozen organic Broccoli
  1. Bring the water to a boil. Dump in the pasta and give it a quick stir.
  2. Set your timer for 5 minutes less than the cooking time on the side of the box, it will vary depending on the type of pasta you are cooking. I cooked rotini which needed to cook for a total of 8-10 minutes. I set the timer for 5 minutes.
  3. When the timer goes off, add the broccoli florets and set the timer for the rest of the pasta cooking time, should be 5 minutes.
  4. When this timer goes off, drain the pasta and broccoli and pour in the sauce. Stir and heat on low until the sauce has warmed up.

Using the 16 oz box, it made 8 servings. Plenty for two dinners which made me happy! The gluten-free pasta usually comes in a slightly smaller box, serving 6. Still enough for dinner and leftovers.

Instant Pot Directions

I’ve only successfully made whole wheat pasta in my Instant Pot. If you are using gluten-free pasta I recommend following the stove top directions above.

  • One 16 oz box of Simple Truth Organic Pasta
  • 4 cups water
  • One 25 oz. Jar of Tomato Basil Simple Truth Organic Pasta Sauce
  • One 10 oz bag Simple Truth Organic frozen Broccoli florets
  1. Pour Pasta, 4 cups of water, one 10 oz bag of broccoli and one 25 oz jar of Simple Truth Tomato Basil pasta sauce into your Instant Pot.
  2. Close and lock the lid so that the vent is sealed.
  3. Press the pressure button to switch pressure to low. Press the Manual button and use the arrow buttons to lower to 5 minutes.
  4. The Instant Pot will come to pressure, then beep when done. Once done, carefully do a quick pressure release by turing the seal to open the vent.
  5. Once pressure is released, open the lid and store well. Allow to cool before serving. It’s a perfect time to prepare your salad.

Don’t miss my other Instant Pot recipes!

Try this Busy Night Pasta recipe! It's simple and fast! Make a pasta dinner tonight in the Instant Pot!

Instant Pot Pasta
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • One 16 oz box of Simple Truth Pasta
  • 4 cups water
  • One 25 oz. Jar of Tomato Basil Simple Truth Sauce
  • One 10 oz bag for frozen organic Broccoli
Instructions
  1. I've only successfully make whole wheat pasta in my Instant Pot. If you are using gluten-free pasta I recommend following the stove top directions above.
  2. Pour Pasta, 4 cups of water, one 10 oz bag of broccoli and one 25 oz jar of Simple Truth Tomato Basil pasta sauce into your Instant Pot.
  3. Close and lock the lid so that the vent is sealed.
  4. Press the pressure button to switch pressure to low. Press the Manual button and use the arrow buttons to lower to 5 minutes.
  5. The Instant Pot will come to pressure, then beep when done. Once done, carefully do a quick pressure release by turing the seal to open the vent.
  6. Once pressure is released, open the lid and store well. Allow to cool before serving. It's a perfect time to prepare your salad.

This post was sponsored by Fry’s Food Stores. All opinions are my own.

Instant Pot Lentils, Broccoli Mashed Potatoes and Carrots

One of the first things I learned to actually cook when I was a kid was pot roast with potatoes and carrots. I clearly remember my Mom calling me from work and telling me what to do to get dinner started. I think I was in 5th grade and I was so proud that I could make a grown up meal.

While I don’t cook meat any more, occasionally I want a meal that isn’t all mixed together. I know some of you have noticed that most of my meals are soups, casseroles, one-pot type of recipes. Sometimes, I want a main dish and side dishes.

This easy Instant Pot recipes will impress your family. This vegan recipe is comfort food in a bowl.

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I used my memories of my first solo cooking experience to create a new Instant Pot recipe. Don’t worry; it’s plant-based, full of fiber and cholesterol free.

I love using lentils in place of beef in my recipes. Like my Lentil Shepherd’s Pie, Lentil Tacos, Instant Pot Lentil Tacos, “Beefy” Lentil Soup and more.

This time I made Lentils, Broccoli Mashed Potatoes and Carrots. They were all cooked at the same time in my Instant Pot. I have the 6 quart IP by the way.

This easy Instant Pot recipes will impress your family. This vegan recipe is comfort food in a bowl.

You could definitely cook these separately on the stove if you don’t have an Instant Pot. See why I bought mine!

This recipe requires that you have a steamer basket. I bought this one on Amazon and I’ve been very happy with it. It collapses so it can be stored in a small space.

I wanted to have an easy recipe where I could throw everything in and have it cooked together. The carrots and broccoli do get over cooked with this method. I don’t mind because the broccoli is getting mashed into the potatoes anyway. I feel it’s a small price to pay to avoid having to cook multiple items at different times.This easy Instant Pot recipes will impress your family. This vegan recipe is comfort food in a bowl.

Instant Pot Lentils, Broccoli Mashed Potatoes and Carrots

This easy recipe will feed a family of four with some leftovers. If you love carrots you may want to add extra though. You can make it your own by adding your favorite spices or extra veggies.

Instant Pot Lentils, Broccoli Mashed Potatoes and Carrots
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry brown lentils
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups of water
  • 5 russet potatoes, peeled if desired and cut in half
  • 4 large carrots cut in half (to fit in pot)
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cups rice milk (any unsweetened plant milk is acceptable)
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
Instructions
  1. Pour lentils into your Instant Pot and sprinkle the onion powder and garlic powder on top. Add the 2 cups of water.
  2. Place the steamer basket on top of the lentils.
  3. Put the potatoes, carrots and broccoli in the steamer basket.
  4. Close the lid and make sure the release is in the sealed position.
  5. Press the Manual button and use the arrows to bring it down to 10 minutes.
  6. Once done, turn off and let the pressure reduce naturally. After 10 minutes you can do a quick release.
  7. Sort the food by placing the carrots in a small bowl, the potatoes and broccoli in a large mixing bowl and the lentils can stay in the Instant Pot. Don't forget to discard the bay leaf.
  8. Pour plant-based milk, salt and nutritional yeast over the potatoes and broccoli. Use a potato masher to make mashed potatoes.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste.

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Chickpea and Rice Soup

We’ve fallen in love with a new soup! Actually, it’s an old classic that I’ve turned into a healthy, plant-based family favorite, Chickpea and Rice Soup. Plus, I’m giving you instructions for both the stove top and Instant Pot versions.

This vegan and gluten-free Chickpea and Rice Soup is easy and delicious. It has stove top and Instant Pot instructions. This is my favorite Instant Pot recipe!

This post contains affiliate links.

You know I love my Chickpea Noodle Soup. I didn’t think life could get much better than that until I tried Chickpea and Rice Soup.

I really wanted to make a soup that I could make in the Instant Pot. I don’t make noodles in the Instant Pot because we usually use gluten-free noodles and they are more temperamental that their wheat counter parts.

The first time I made this soup, I did a stove top version to try to get all the proportions correct. Then I started working on my Instant Pot version. I made this soup so many times we grew a little sick of it. Not because of the taste but because it was the only thing I ate for days. Yes, days!

Usually when I make something with chickpeas I’ll use canned because chickpeas have such a long cooking time. I really wanted to get away from using canned though so I ordered some from Amazon. If you don’t have a Prime membership you are missing out! Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial OR Give the Gift of Amazon Prime!

I found Palouse Brand and was intrigued. Not only are they non-GMO but they give you a code so you can track your chickpeas to see the field they were grown in. Also, they are not irradiated, sounds strange to have to say but a lot of companies  expose food to radiation for sterilization. Maybe that is why these seem to taste so much better than other chickpeas I’ve had.

This vegan and gluten-free Chickpea and Rice Soup is easy and delicious. It has stove top and Instant Pot instructions. This is my favorite Instant Pot recipe!

Veggie Broth

Whichever process you follow to make this soup, Stove Top or Instant Pot, I highly recommend you use my Veggie Broth Mix. It will make the best soup. If you use my Veggie Broth Mix you won’t need to use the seasonings mentioned in the recipe, just use salt with the mix.

If you just can’t bring yourself to make my mix then you can use your favorite pre-made broth instead of water or use the seasonings I recommend. Your call! I like to make recipes that don’t have to be 100% exact.

Make sure you use brown rice when you make this. If you get a quick cooking rice this recipe won’t work. You need a rice that can stand up to a long cooking time in the Instant Pot with the chickpeas. If you only have a fast cooking rice, I recommend using the stove top version and adapting the recipe as needed.

Stove Top version (with canned chickpeas)

I know some of you will want to make this soup right away before you have a chance to order your Palouse Brand chickpeas from Amazon. You probably have all the ingredients already since they are regular pantry staples.

When I’m cooking recipes on the stove I like to start with my onion. I’ll add my diced onion to the pan and allow it to begin cooking, add a little water if needed when it starts to stick. Normally, I’d add my veggies next but since I cook with brown rice it takes a long time to cook on the stove. Add your brown rice and water and seasonings (or broth mix). Allow the rice to cook for 15 minutes. Then add the rest of your veggies. Cook the soup for another 30 minutes. Last, add your canned, drained and rinsed chickpeas. Your rice and veggies should be done. Add salt to taste.

This vegan and gluten-free Chickpea and Rice Soup is easy and delicious. It has stove top and Instant Pot instructions. This is my favorite Instant Pot recipe!

Instant Pot version (with unsoaked chickpeas)

Even though this soup is easy, it’s one of the longest cooking things I’ve made in the Instant Pot. This recipe takes at least 20 minutes to come to pressure the first time. It isn’t a fast soup.

I’ve made this in the Instant Pot three ways. One is to cook everything at the same time even though the veggies get very soft. It’s easy because you add all the ingredients and cook on manual for 40 minutes with a natural pressure release. Yes, it’s that easy.

The second way is to cook the chickpeas and rice together, then add the veggies for a few more minutes. My husband likes it all cooked together because he prefers the veggies super soft. I like my veggies a little more firm but it requires a two step cooking process.

To make the two step cooking process work you’ll add dry chickpeas and rice to your Instant Pot with 4 cups of water. Cook on manual for 35 minutes. Once this is done, turn it off and allow the pressure to come down naturally for at least 10 minutes. Then carefully let out the steam.

Add the rest of the ingredients (veggies, spices unless using my veggie broth mix, and water), and give it a good stir so that nothing is stuck to the bottom. Cook on manual for 5 minutes then allow the pressure to come down naturally again.

It’s important to note that a lot of people have trouble getting their Instant Pots to come back up to pressure a second time after cooking something. If you run into this problem you can try to wash your lid and sealing ring (but be careful, it will be hot).

Instant Pot version (with Soaked Chickpeas)

This is the third way I’ve made Chickpea and Rice Soup and my favorite! It does require a little preplanning because you have to soak the chickpeas over night.

First, rinse off one cup of chickpeas and put them in a pot or large bowl with 4 cups of water. Then, the next morning rinse your soaked chickpeas in clean water and put them in your Instant Pot with your rice, veggies, spices and 8 cups of water. Give it a stir and press manual. Move the arrows to go down to 23 minutes. Once done, allow the pressure to release naturally, then scoop and enjoy!

This vegan and gluten-free Chickpea and Rice Soup is easy and delicious. It has stove top and Instant Pot instructions. This is my favorite Instant Pot recipe!

Chickpea and Rice Soup

This plant-based soup is also gluten-free. It’s a great fall or winter soup and uses basic pantry and fridge staples that we almost always have on hand.

 

Chickpea and Rice Soup
 
This version is for using unsoaked chickpeas in the Instant Pot. See other cooking versions above.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry chickpeas
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 4 cups water (for step 1)
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 4 cups water (for step 2)
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
Instructions
  1. Add rice, chickpeas and 4 cups of water to your Instant Pot.
  2. Close the lid and vent.
  3. Press manual and use the arrows to go up to 35 minutes.
  4. Allow the IP to naturally release the pressure for at least 10 minutes. Then open the lid.
  5. Add the rest of the veggies, spices (or Veggie Broth Mix mentioned above) and 4 more cups of water.
  6. Stir everything well and make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom.
  7. Close the lid and vent.
  8. Press manual and use arrows to go down to 5 minutes.
  9. Once done, allow pressure to release manually.

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“Beefy” Lentil and Veggie Soup

I was craving a savory, hearty soup. I knew what I wanted. I wanted Beef Stew without the beef. Armed with my favorite veggies and determination, I got a delicious, vegan soup with a nod to the traditional beef stew.

A vegan take on Beef and Veggie Stew, this Plant-Based Lentil and Veggie Soup is a hearty and healthy soup your whole family will love.

How can you make a beefless stew? I used my favorite beef substitution, lentils.

For me, lentils are down right magical. They make great tacos, taste wonderful plain or seasoned, cook quickly and are easy to prepare. I’m a huge lentil fan!

The first time I made this Lentil and Veggie Soup I did it quickly in my Instant Pot with Massel beef flavored broth (but it’s actually called concentrated liquid stock). I was blown away by how good it was. My husband took all the leftovers to work (which was slightly devastating) because it was so good.

I knew I had to recreate it for my friends who didn’t have an Instant Pot and wanted to cook it on the stove. I also wanted to season it with only spices instead of a ready made broth. This soup is delicious with my Dry Broth Mix but that doesn’t lend a “beefy” flavor that I was wanting. I came up with something a little different, and I didn’t even use nutritional yeast.

"Beefy" Lentil and Veggie Soup is a hearty and healthy family favorite. Add this to your plant-based meal plan.

“Beefy” Lentil and Veggie Soup

I’ve made this a few times now and I’ve used different potatoes each time. I always find it difficult to estimate potato sizes for recipes. I’ve made it with 2 huge potatoes and with 6 small potatoes. The important thing is to think about serving size. If you were going to serve potatoes as a side dish, how many of your potatoes (whatever size you have) would you need. This soup needs 3-4 side dish serving sizes (or 2 main dish serving sizes) of potatoes.

You could add more veggies to this soup. I make it this way because these are the veggies I usually have available. If you want to try something else I recommend celery and green beans.

If you are making this in your Instant Pot, you’ll add all the ingredients as directed, then cook on manual with high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow it to release pressure naturally. Stove top directions follow below.

"Beefy" Lentil and Veggie Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6+ servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 6 small potatoes, diced (see note above)
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 3 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
Instructions
  1. Add all of the chopped veggies to a large pot on medium heat. I like to do this as I'm cutting them but if you pre-cut them you can do it all at once.
  2. Add the dry lentils, careful to sort them for debris. I found a stick in mine.
  3. Add the water and all of the seasonings and cover with a lid.
  4. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Check soup, make sure the carrots and potatoes are soft.
  6. Remove the bay leaf and serve.

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Instant Pot Black Beans and Rice

If you’ve been here for a while you know I’m all about easy recipes. I think this Instant Pot Black Beans and Rice recipe is my new favorite. Why? Because you use a few ingredients and cook them all together and it turns out great, like magic. Instant Pot Black Beans and Rice [Read more…]

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