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.

This page contains affiliate links.

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.

This page contains affiliate links.

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…]

One Pot Veggie Pasta + 3 Tips

How long does your meal prep take each day? Do you spend hours frolicking around the kitchen making everything from scratch?

Neither do I. It sounds lovely, it really does but I don’t have enough time for that. Maybe one day, but until then I’ll take some short cuts. Shopping smart, easy meals and snacks along with having a plan, make eating better in a hurry possible.

One Pot gluten-free Veggie Pasta - Copy

Shop Smart

I regularly get questions about grocery shopping. We are fortunate to have a Sprouts nearby. We do almost all of our shopping at Sprouts. They have the best produce that is always reasonably priced, a great selection of organic and gluten-free products and I can get in out of the store quickly. Plus, they have great Deals of the Month that are always a great value!

tortilla chips and Larabars

Easy Meals and Snacks

I like to plan quick meals for busy nights and leftovers for busier nights. I reserve meals that take longer to prepare for weekends. I buy things like pasta, Muir Glen Pasta Sauce, ready to eat cereal, Larabars, fresh fruit, fresh veggies and Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips. By the way, those items and more are 35% off right now, no coupon needed.

No matter how busy I get, I can have a quick meal or an easy snack in only a few minutes. This helps tremendously when I’m rushing out the door and need to pack food for the day for all of us.

Veggies

Having a Plan

Meal planning isn’t just, “what are we going to eat?” It’s also when am I going to shop and who is cleaning up. Have I ever said how much I hate doing dishes? A lot!

We often do our shopping on the weekends but when possible we shop on Wednesdays because that is double ad day at Sprouts. No, you don’t have to clip coupons or carry the ad, it means the sale prices for the previous set of ads and the new ads are both valid. You’ll get the best deals!

When you get home from Sprouts go ahead and chop some veggies. Then you can grab your veggies, hummus and Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips for a snack, even when you are in a hurry.

Doing a ton of dishes kills my back so I’ll try to make one pot meals whenever I can. Psst! The recipe below is a one pot meal!

Organic veggie pasta

One Pot Veggie Pasta

Veggie Pasta
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 8 ounce package of gluten-free pasta
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 25.5 oz jar of Muir Glen Pasta Sauce (Tomato Basil)
Instructions
  1. Pour 4 cups of water in a skillet, cover with a lid and bring the water to a boil.
  2. Once boiling add the pasta, stir and cover with the lid for 5 minutes. Stir every few minutes.
  3. Add the veggies and stir again, then cover with the lid. Set timer for 10 minutes but stir regularly.
  4. Drain pasta and veggies in a colander then immediately rinse with cold water.
  5. Pour pasta and veggies back into skillet then add pasta sauce and stir well.
  6. Heat for a few minutes until sauce is warm.

The pasta I used had a 15 minute cooking time. If your pasta has a shorter cooking time, like 10 minutes, you’ll want to add the veggies at the same time as the pasta. Make sure your pasta is covered in water, the veggies don’t have to be. The skillet allows the water to come to a boil faster.

I also made sure to cut all my veggies into small pieces while the water was coming to a boil. That allowed them to cook quickly. I just cut extra veggies for salad and a snack later.

For more great deals check out a Sprouts near you! I promise you’ll love it too!

Sprouts will also be hosting a Get and Give Back sweepstakes. Five lucky winners will be selected to receive a $2,000 Sprouts gift card and nominate a local food bank in their community to receive a $2,000 monetary donation.

Chickpea Nuggets

Did you find me on Pinterest? Don’t miss my other easy and delicious recipes or my weekly email filled with plant-based tips.

I love dipping foods. Whether it’s apples in peanut butter (or allergy-friendly substitute) or carrots in hummus I’m a dipper. One of my tips to get kids to eat healthier is to provide a dip.

These Chickpea Nuggets are so good you won’t even need a dip but I’m partial to my Barbecue Sauce.

Chickpea Nuggets are vegan, gluten-free, and a fun kid food. They are easy to make and delicious.

You may be thinking, Holly, we are plant-based or we have food allergies, we aren’t going near mystery nuggets. Let me stop you right there and share that these nuggets are healthy, allergy-friendly and my family LOVED them. I should probably also mention that they were easy.  [Read more…]