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Easy Instant Pot Margherita Pasta

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Bright and fresh tomatoes, chewy and tender mozzarella cheese, and freshly torn basil make this easy Instant Pot Margherita Pasta one of the simplest, just most delicious summer meals!

a bowl of margherita pasta on a red napkin

What is Margherita? 

No, we’re not talking about the drink—that’s margarita without the h! 

Margherita refers to the fresh, luxurious combination of tomato, mozzarella, and basil. Most commonly found on pizza, this classic combo was born in Naples, Italy over 150 years ago, where it was a favorite of farmers and nobles alike. 

While no one knows its exact date of origin, the pizza rose to fame in 1889 when Chef Raffaele Esposito of Pizzeria Brandi served the pizza to Queen Margherita of Savoy. In the wake of Italy’s reunification, Chef Esposito presented the pizza as a celebratory tribute to the colors of the Italian flag and named it after the Queen herself. 

Thus, the Pizza Margherita was born. 

a bowl of angel hair pasta with basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella

Easy Margherita pasta recipe

A traditional Margherita pizza requires hours of work and dedicated study to accomplish technical perfection. Most of us don’t have that kind of time, so I wanted to take those flavors and make them accessible in—wait for it—10 minutes. I swapped pizza dough for pasta, added some white wine for richness, and here we are! 

This Instant Pot Margherita pasta is stunningly simple, and it’s a great way to use up some extra angel hair or spaghetti you might have lying around. To make it more of a vegetable pasta, feel free to add some spinach or roasted red peppers to your Instant Pot at the end!

I like to use marinated mozzarella balls (I find them in the fresh cheese aisle at Costco, Trader Joes, or really any grocery store), which add so much delicious and easy flavor!

Instant Pot margherita pasta

How to make Instant Pot Margherita pasta recipe

Want an easy one pot meal? This is it.

When I say simple, I mean that this is probably the easiest Instant Pot pasta recipe out there. There are four steps: 

  1. Add liquids to Instant Pot.
  2. Submerge pasta in liquids (alternate how you drop them so that they don’t clump as much).
  3. Drop tomatoes on top of pasta.
  4. Cook for TWO MINUTES and serve immediately with fresh mozzarella and basil.

This is one of those recipes that I want everyone to know about because it is so easy! Everyone needs a recipe like this: you’re exhausted, hungry, but don’t want to eat scrambled eggs. This is done in about the same amount of time, and it’s 100x more satisfying. 

Chicken Margherita pasta 

To add some protein, add chicken tenderloins to the pasta while it is cooking. Alternatively, add shredded rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken to the dish as you plate. 

margherita pasta with tomatoes, cheese, and pepper grinder in the background

Margherita pasta salad 

Feeling summery? Just cool things down to take this margarita pasta from warm and savory to light and summery. 

Sub the angel hair noodles for bowtie and let them cool before adding the mozzarella balls. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss with a little extra olive oil or pesto. Try experimenting with fresh spinach, roasted red peppers, lemon juice, or roasted summer squash. 

Sometimes I even like to mix in some spaghetti squash! It’s a great way to trick the fam into eating some extra veggies, and it’s super easy to make! Check out my spaghetti squash recipe and FAQ here

i love my Instant Pot cooking for one cookbook
A version of this recipe is in my new cookbook!

What size Instant Pot for Margherita Pasta? 

I’ve found that my 6 quart Instant Pot fits a perfect amount for my family! If you’re only cooking for one or two, feel free to chop the recipe in half and make it in the 3 quart Instant Pot. You can also find a variation of this recipe for one in my new cookbook!

More Instant Pot pasta recipes

About Lisa

About Lisa

Lisa childs holding an instant pot lid with a mickey instant pot

Lisa Childs is the food blogger behind Tried, Tested, and True. Join the hundreds of thousands of people each month that learn from Lisa-

Subscribe to her website, follow her on Instagram at @tried_tested_true, follow her on Pinterest, and find her on Youtube at Tried Tested and True. She is passionate about giving home cooks confidence using their Instant Pots. Make sure to sign up for our email newsletter to hear from personally from her weekly! Learn more about Lisa.

Graphic of Easy Instant Pot Margherita Pasta with two pictures of a bowl of pasta.
Easy Instant Pot Margherita Pasta

Easy Instant Pot Margherita Pasta

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes

Bright and fresh tomatoes, chewy and tender mozzarella cheese, and freshly torn basil make this easy Margherita Pasta one of the simplest, just most delicious summer meals!

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups water or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine or white cooking wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz. angel hair pasta, broken in half
  • 2.5 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups marinated mozzarella balls, drained (reserve the oil)
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons reserved oil from the marinated mozzarella

Instructions

    1. Add water or broth, wine, onion, red pepper flakes, and salt to the Instant Pot. Sprinkle the pasta noodles in an alternating pattern to prevent clumping and sticking, trying to submerge the noodles as much as possible.
    2. Add the tomatoes on top of the noodles and do not stir.
    3. Lock the lid, turn the knob to sealing and press the pressure cook or manual button and adjust the time to 2 minutes.
    4. Perform a quick release by turning the knob from sealing to venting.
    5. Using tongs, toss and break up any noodles. Add the mozzarella balls, basil, and reserved oil. Toss again and serve immediately.

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