Instant Pot Taco Pasta

Sep 25, 2019

Written by Meg Dow

This post was written to contribute to the topic of In the Home and Motherhood for the What Lola Likes blog by Meg Dow. All facts, opinions, and professional tips are Meg’s.

When I’m in a crunch, the kids are hungry, and I’ve got a half hour before I need to head out to the next thing on my list, I automatically grab my Instant Pot and some pasta for a super easy recipe.

Photo provided by Meg Dow

Honestly, it’s astonishing how easily and quickly you can feed your family with Instant Pot pasta dishes.

Plus, the kids love it, and I do too. You can mix up the sauces, seasoning and pasta shapes so the recipe never gets old. I love that it’s a one-pot meal; you can even brown the meat straight in the Instant Pot using the “sauté” mode before adding the pasta and cooking it together. 

Intimidated by the Instant Pot?  Don’t be! You can check out this post on why I love the Instant Pot and the FAQ section to answer all your questions. 


How do you cook pasta in an Instant Pot? Take a look at our Instant Pot recipe below for a detailed example. We recommend turning the vent to “sealing” and cooking the pasta on manual for five minutes with your broth and/or seasoning of choice. Just as you need liquids when cooking pasta on the stove, you need liquids for the Instant Pot too. When the five minutes are done, manually release the pressure and make sure the pasta is cooked to your taste. Stir in any cheeses and toppings, and that’s it!

How does an Instant Pot work? Instant Pots use high pressure and high temperatures to rapidly cook your food. It is an amazing way to cook foods that typically would take long periods of time in a matter of minutes. 

What is the best Instant Pot? My favorite Instant Pot is the Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer.

There are many different versions and brands of pressure cookers out there. Look at a variety of options to get the best one for you. 

How do you know when the pasta is done? After about five minutes of cooking manually, release the pressure and check the pasta. Most pasta types will be ready after five minutes, but some might need a bit more time. To continue cooking pasta in the Instant Pot after checking it, simply turn on the sauté mode and cook to desired doneness. 

Are Instant Pots hard to clean? No, it’s easy to clean! Place the insert on the bottom rack of the dishwasher and the lid on the top rack. Easy as that!

Do you have other Instant Pot recipes? Yes! You can find more recipes here!

Did you know you can also make dessert in the Instant Pot? One of my favorite desserts is linked below.  Just be sure to switch out the rubber ring on your lid to you designated “sweet ring” so your desserts don’t taste like tacos! 

This recipe is part of my Fall Supper Club — a built-out seasonal meal plan with grocery lists and quick, family friendly recipes for breakfast, dinner, dessert and snacks too! Snag your free trial here. Now let’s make this quick and tasty Instant Pot recipe that will feed your family fast.

Instant Pot Taco Pasta

Instant Pot Taco Pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 Pound Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 (28 OZ) Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 Teaspoons Taco Seasoning
  • 1 ½ Cups Jarred Red Salsa
  • 3 Cups Medium Shell Pasta
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • Optional Toppings:
  • Avocado, Diced
  • Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
  • Cilantro, Torn
  • Pickled Jalapeño
  • Extra Cheddar Cheese, Shredded


    1. Turn the Instant Pot on sauté mode. Brown the ground beef, breaking it up with a spatula until meat is cooked and browned.

    2. Add the diced tomatoes, taco seasoning, salsa, pasta and chicken stock (great job for kids). Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the vent to "sealing." Cook on manual for 5 minutes.

    3. Manually release pressure and stir in cheddar cheese. Add toppings and serve with a side of choice.


    1. Brown the ground beef in a large cast iron skillet. Add the tomatoes, taco seasoning and salsa.

    2. Cook pasta to package directions. Drain and combine with meat mixture. Add cheese and toss to combine. Add optional toppings.


*You can also use ground chicken or turkey instead of ground beef.

*Change up the shapes of the pasta to make it fun and creative for kids.

*Be sure to use a mild salsa if you have young kids. If you are worried about spiciness substitute tomato sauce for salsa. 

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Meg has worked as a private chef and caterer for over 12 years.  She has also worked at one of the top restaurant consulting firms in the world opening up and creating menus for dozens of restaurants.  She quit her consulting job as the Head Chef of Recipe and Development to start her family.  After her second child was born she felt a deep desire to help other moms in her same position to get meals on the table for their families.  She started More Momma and has loved every second of the journey! 


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