Instant Pot Creamy “Baked” Ziti
The easiest, fastest, most delicious pasta you’ll ever eat!
2 cups broth (I use low-sodium chicken broth)
2 cups cream (see note for lightened up substitutions)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
16 ounces uncooked ziti pasta or other tube-shaped pasta
15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 to 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil, for serving (optional)
Lightly spray the bottom and sides of a 6-quart Instant Pot with nonstick cooking spray. Pour in the broth and cream and add the salt, pepper and garlic.
Add the pasta; don't stir, but if it's mounded in the center, arrange into an even layer. Pour the crushed tomatoes evenly over the pasta and sprinkle the oregano and basil over the top. Don't stir.
Secure the lid of the Instant Pot, set the valve to seal, and select "manual" or "pressure cook" and dial up or down to the minutes needed --> take the cooking time on the pasta package directions, cut it in half and subtract two more minutes. So for pasta that cooks to al dente in 12 minutes, the IP cooking time would be 4 minutes (add an extra minute if you like your pasta super soft).
Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then quick release the remaining pressure. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir thoroughly (it's ok if there are some darker, cooked spots on the bottom of the pot/bottom layer of pasta). Serve the ziti immediately with chopped, fresh basil, and additional Parmesan, if desired.
Optional: adding a pound of ground beef or Italian sausage is fantastic with this recipe! Cook the meat on the saute function with a little salt and pepper, drain the grease, and proceed with the recipe (just make sure when you add the broth to scrape the bottom of the pot really well before adding the other ingredients).
Lighten it Up: If you want to lighten up the cream a bit, I've had great success making this with 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon cornstarch (whisked together) + 1 cup cream. I haven't tried subbing all the cream for a milk + cornstarch mixture, but you could experiment!
For an Extra Saucy Pasta: add 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra broth, cream or crushed tomatoes. Any variety of tube pasta will work great here! When I can't find ziti, I've used penne or rigatoni. Also, I've subbed in a 15-ounce can diced tomatoes blended with 2 tablespoons tomato paste for the crushed tomatoes with great results.
Collecting go-to recipes & ideas to make your home life happier and easier
I have been inspired. My aunt Pam created a blog with all of her tried and true recipes that she has collected throughout the years, whether the recipes be from other blogs, family members, or friends. I decided I wanted to do that too.
I’m not an amazing cook by nature. In fact, I rarely ever cooked while I was growing up. The first night in my college dorm when I was 18 years old, I tried to bake a store-bought pizza and burned it to a crisp.
Since then, however, I have become a master at copying other peoples’ recipes and perfecting them myself. I cook for my small family, mostly, but sometimes I cook for larger gatherings. When I find a really good recipe, I want to share it with others! Sometimes I make the most DELICIOUS meals. Like this hopeful veggie and sausage sheet pan dinner that I PRAYED my little 1 and 4 year olds would eat, and LO AND BEHOLD, they did! Broccoli, green beans, red peppers, and potatoes! It was a miracle! Other times, I make something that I want to throw up just looking at. Like the time I tried to make a split pea soup for my husband and (at the time) 3 year old. It turned into this disgusting mushy paste, and my daughter took one look at it, looked at me with a more than disgusted face, and I said, “We’re having cereal tonight.” I won’t be sharing any of THOSE types of recipes on this blog :) I want to share only the best!
That’s why I decided to create this little blog. To share my tried and true recipes with you. A collection of the best dinners, breakfasts, snacks, breads, and especially desserts that I’ve ever successfully made. I hope you enjoy as much as I do!