Instant Pot Penne & Meatballs

The very first time I made this, I made it for a demo at an RV rally and it came out PERFECT.  An easy first time recipe that is almost fool-proof.

2 pound bag of frozen meatballs

3 cups water

16-18 ounces penne pasta (the bag I used was 17.6 ounces)

24 ounces pasta sauce, jarred or home made

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, optional to add some heat (or any other spices you’d like to add)

  1. Add meatballs to the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  2. Pour 3 cups of water over the meatballs.
  3. Add pasta over the meatballs and water.
  4. Pour pasta sauce over the pasta.
  5. Sprinkle red pepper flakes over the pasta sauce, if using
  6. Do not stir.
  7. Cover and lock the lid.
  8. Make sure pressure release valve is closed or set to ‘Sealing’.
  9. Select “Manual”mode, high pressure and set time to cook for 6 minutes for al dente or 7 minutes for a softer pasta.
  10. The Instant Pot will beep when it finishes cooking the pasta and meatballs.  Turn the Instant Pot off by pushing the ‘Keep Warm/Cancel’ button.
  11. Manual turn the pressure release valve to ‘Venting’ and be careful to watch out for the steam that will be released as the pressure is released.
  12. Once the pressure is released, removed the lid, give everything a good stir to combine and enjoy!

So easy, so tasty!


Baked Ravioli


Baked Ravioli

SO easy!  Great to make for a small dinner with friends.  No fuss.  Just make a salad to accompany the dish and toast up some crusty bread.  Delicious!

  • 24 oz frozen ravioli
  • 26 oz marinara sauce (I used home made frozen meatsauce)
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  1. 1.  Heat oven to 400°F. Spray bottom and sides of a 9×13 rectangular baking dish with cooking spray.

  2. 2.  Spread approximately 3/4 cup of the sauce in baking dish. Arrange half of the frozen ravioli in a single layer over the sauce and top with half of the remaining sauce and half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers once, starting with ravioli. 

  3. 3.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for 15 minutes longer or until bubbly and hot in the center. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Cheesy Orzo with Broccoli

Serves 3-4

1 cup orzo
1-1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4-1/2 cup 2% milk


Add orzo to a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes then add chopped broccoli and cook for 2 more minutes, or until orzo is tender. Drain well (broccoli florets are notorious for holding onto water) then return to the pot. Add cheeses, butter, and 1/4 cup milk then stir well and add more milk if needed. Season with salt to taste.

*I’ve used asparagus or green beans in place of the broccoli and both are just as yummy.

Creamy Tortellini Soup

My husband doesn’t get overly enthusiastic about anything so when he told me that he ‘really, really, really, really enjoyed’ this soup, I knew I had a winner!  Give it a try, I’ll bet you love it too!

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled & thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 package (12-ounces) frozen cheese tortellini
  • 3 ounces fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream
  1. Melt butter in a large soup pot.
  2. Add onion, garlic, carrots, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.  Saute until veggies are tender, about 5 or 6 minutes.

  1. Whisk flour in until mixture is crumbly.
  2. Slowly add broth whisk until combined and there are no clumps.
  3. Bring soup to a boil.
  4. Add frozen tortellini and spinach.
  5. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until tortellini is tender and heated through.
  6. Stir in heavy cream; bring to a steady boil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until smooth and thickened.
  7. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
  8. Taste for salt and pepper, and adjust accordingly.

Soooo GOOD!

Amish Noodles

*This is a recipe that was served to us at an Amish home in northern Indiana.

1 lb. noodles (I used Katie’s noodles from the Dutch Country Market)

1/2 can Cream of Chicken soup

2 Tablespoons butter

Chicken soup base, to taste

Cook noodles according to package directions.  Mix cooked & drained noodles with soup, butter & soup base.

You’ll go back for seconds!

Instant Pot Lasagna

I have tried several different lasagna recipes over the last 32 years of our marriage and have never been thrilled with the results.  Plus every recipe I tried made a HUGE lasagna that never gotten fully eaten.

This recipe was just the perfect size for the two of us…one meal the night it’s made and then one more meal later on.  The flavors were just right too.

– Dry lasagna noodles
– 24 oz Jar pasta sauce (I like Barilla Olive Oil & Garlic)
– 1 cup Ricotta cheese
– Shredded Parmesan cheese
– Shredded mozzarella cheese
– 1 lb ground beef (you could use ground Italian sausage or a combination of sausage & ground beef)
– Garlic powder, taste
– Salt & Pepper, to taste

Spray spring form or push pan with olive oil spray or something similar.

Brown ground beef (or whatever meat you’re using) adding the garlic powder, salt & pepper to your liking.

Break the raw lasagna noodles into pieces to fit the bottom of your pan the best you can.

Spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese onto the noodles.

Next layer will be your meat…just enough to lightly cover the ricotta.

Spoon spaghetti sauce over the top of the meat…not too much, not to little…just enough to lightly cover everything.

Lastly, cover with both cheeses (Parmesan and mozzarella).

Repeat…noodles, ricotta cheese, ground meat, spaghetti sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.  You should be able to get about 3 layers depending on the depth of the pan you’re using. If you’re getting a bit too full by the last layer omit the meat but layer everything else.

Add 1.5 cups of water to the bottom of your Instant Pot.

Cover the pan of lasagna with aluminum foil and use a ‘sling’ to lower the pan onto a trivet in your Instant Pot.

Cook on Manual, High Pressure for 23 minutes.  When timer goes off, turn Instant Pot OFF and do a 20 minute Natural Pressure Release (NPR).

Carefully remove pan from Instant Pot and let sit for 10 minutes before uncovering or removing from pan.

**You can use your favorite lasagna recipe as well.  Or doctor this one with your favorites – mushrooms, onions, etc.

Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo

8 ounces dried fettuccine noodles or whatever variety you choose, broken into thirds
2 cups of water
1 – 15 ounce jar of Alfredo sauce
1 cup (fresh or frozen) chicken, diced
2 teaspoons chicken base
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
½ teaspoons ground pepper
Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

  1. Place water, chicken base, garlic, noodles and chicken into Instant Pot.
  2. If using frozen chicken, set timer to 2 minutes.  If using uncooked chicken set timer to 3 minutes.  Cook at HIGH PRESSURE on Manual and do a Quick Pressure Release (QR) when the timer goes off.  Once pressure has been released, turn off the machine.
  3. Once pressure has been released, unlock and remove the lid, being careful to watch for any remaining steam. Stir the pasta and cooking water briefly. If needed, remove the pot and drain excess cooking water.
  4. Add the Alfredo sauce and  pepper to the pasta.  Mix well.  Garnish with a small amount of grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.  Serve immediately.

Instant Pot Goulash

My husband is a ground beef lover so anything I make with ground beef goes over well.  However, goulash is a definite favorite and this recipe was a hit.

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can whole kernal corn, drained
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups dry elbow pasta
  1. Turn IP to ‘Saute’ and when pot says ‘Hot’ add 1 Tbsp olive oil.  Add onions and saute 3 minutes then add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.
  2. Add ground beef, season with salt and pepper and cook until browned. Drain excess fat.
  3. Add the beef broth, crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire and drained corn.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well.
  4. Stir in pasta. Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure the release valve is set to sealing. Cook on ‘Manual’ setting  for 4 minutes.
  5. When when the timer goes off do Quick Release (QR).

Serve with warm crusty bread for a yummy comfort meal.

Instant Pot Cheesy Sausage Pasta

  • 1 pound smoked sausage, cut into bite sized slices
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ lb penne pasta, uncooked
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (10 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, undrained
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • Add sausage, onions and garlic to Instant Pot. Saute until there are brown bits on the bottom of pot.
  • Deglaze pot with chicken stock.
  • Add in penne pasta, roasted red peppers, along with the liquid from the jar and the spinach.
  • Stir to combine. Cover and cook 7-9 minutes (or half the time listed on the package of the pasta) high pressure, quick release. Remove lid, add cheeses. stir until melted and serve.

Instant Pot Macaroni & Cheese

If you like creamy macaroni & cheese…you’ll love this recipe!  This easy 4 minute (plus prep time) dish is super creamy and delicious!

  • 1 16 oz box elbow macaroni (I like Barilla because it has ridges!)
  • 1 can of evaporated milk
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I like Velveeta shreds)
  • 4 cups of water
  1. Add the macaroni, water, salt and butter to your Instant Pot, no need to stir.
  2. Ensure that pressure release valve is set to ‘Sealing’ or closed.

    Set to ‘Manual’ and set timer for 4 minutes.

  3. When timer goes off, turn the Instant Pot off (Keep Warm/Cancel) and do a quick release (QR).
  4. When pressure has been released take the lid off.
  5. Press the ‘Saute’ button and add the evaporated milk and stir.  Slowly add cheese and stir until melted and creamy.

IP Mac & Cheese served here with IP Honey Maple Glazed Pork Chops