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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!
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.
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!
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:
- Add liquids to Instant Pot.
- Submerge pasta in liquids (alternate how you drop them so that they don’t clump as much).
- Drop tomatoes on top of pasta.
- 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 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.
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
- Instant Pot Sausage and Kale Pasta
- Easy Mac and Cheese Dinner
- Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash with Lemon Cream Sauce
- Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash + FAQ
- Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Egg Noodles
- Chicken con Broccoli | Olive Garden Copycat
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- 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
- 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.
- Add the tomatoes on top of the noodles and do not stir.
- Lock the lid, turn the knob to sealing and press the pressure cook or manual button and adjust the time to 2 minutes.
- Perform a quick release by turning the knob from sealing to venting.
- 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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