Instant Pot bowtie pasta is an easy and quick meal. Combine bowtie pasta with a simple bolognese made from jarred sauce for a hearty pasta dinner that's on the table in 30 minutes.
My kids love this rich and hearty bowtie bolognese. I love this comforting pasta dinner, too. But what I really love is that the entire meal is cooked and served in one pot and dinner is on the table in 30 minutes.
Saute your ground meat of choice (plant-based meat works too), add pasta, jarred marinara, seasonings and water, and you're done!
The pasta cooks for just a few minutes but tastes like it has simmered for a great long while.
If you'd like to try another bowtie pasta recipe, check out my recipe for Instant Pot artichoke spinach dip pasta.
Bowtie pasta: Also called farfalle, this pasta is shaped like a bowtie. You can substitute other short pasta, such as penne.
Ground meat: My first choice for this recipe is either ground beef or plant-based ground "meat". But you can also use ground chicken or turkey. If using ground beef, draining off some of the grease after the meat is sautéed is optional.
Jarred pasta sauce: Use your favorite jarred marinara. Lately I've been liking Trader Joe's Three Cheese Pomodoro sauce. Also, Cup of Jo did a taste test of jarred marinara sauces.
Seasonings: I add salt, garlic powder and onion powder for more flavor. You could also add dried oregano or Italian seasoning. Wait to add fresh herbs (like basil, oregano or parsley) until after the pasta is cooked.
How to Cook Jarred Pasta Sauce in an Instant Pot
Jarred marinara (and other thick tomato products like tomato paste) are more likely than other ingredients to burn and stick to the bottom of the Instant Pot.
There are two ways to avoid this.
#1: Thin out jarred sauce with liquid
This is the most important tip. Marinara sauce burns because it is thick and sticks to the bottom of the pot when it heats up. Water or broth will thin out the sauce, making it easier for the sauce to move around the pot more freely as it heats up, instead of just sticking to the bottom.
Plus, you need the liquid to cook the pasta! I usually add 2 cups of water for every 8 ounces of pasta + 1 jar of sauce.
#2: Add the sauce last, so it's on the top layer above the pasta
Preventing the sauce from coming into direct contact with the bottom of the pot also helps to keep it from burning. Sauce is the last ingredient I add in this recipe, before adding water. I also keep the marinara sauce at the top of the pot in my recipe for Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs.
An exception to this rule is my recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan Pasta, which is one of the more popular recipes on my site. I developed this recipe before I knew about adding marinara sauce on the top layer and do you know what? The recipe works great. No burning reported!
I think this is because I add 2 cups of water to dilute the sauce and because the pasta only cooks for 4 minutes.
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Instant Pot Bowtie Pasta
Instant Pot bowtie pasta is an easy and quick meal. Combine bowtie pasta with a simple bolognese made from jarred sauce for a hearty pasta dinner that's on the table in less than 30 minutes.
Total Instant Pot Cooking Time: 12 minutes to reach pressure + 5 minute cook time + instant release
- Prep Time: 8
- Cook Time: 5
- Total Time: 13 minutes
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Italian American
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef, ground turkey or plant based ground meat
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 24-to-26 ounce jar marinara/pasta sauce
- 2 cups water
- 8 ounces uncooked bowtie pasta (also called farfalle)
- Press the Saute button on the Instant Pot. Add olive oil to the pressure cooker pot. Add the ground meat. Saute the meat for about 5 minutes, just until the meat is no longer pink.
- While the meat cooks, season it with salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Use a spatula to break the meat up into small pieces as it cooks.
- Turn off the saute function. Use the spatula to scrape the bottom of the pot, making sure no bits of meat are stuck to the pot.
- Add the bowtie pasta in an even, flat layer over the meat. Do NOT stir.
- Pour the marinara sauce over the pasta, evenly covering the bowties. Do NOT stir.
- Measure out the two cups of water. Pour the water into the empty marinara jar and shake the jar with a lid to get all of the sauce off the sides of the jar. Pour the water into the Instant Pot, over the bowtie pasta. Remember, do NOT stir.
- Make sure all of the pasta is covered by water. If needed, gently press down on the bowtie pasta so that each noodle is covered by at least a little bit of water.
- Lock the lid in place. Make sure the steam valve is in the sealed position.
- Press the Manual button and program the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- When the cooking time is done, release the pressure instantly.
- If the sauce seems watery when you open the lid, don't worry! Just stir the pasta well and let it sit for a few minutes with the lid on before serving.
- If the pasta is too al dente for your liking, don't worry! Just let the pasta sit for a few minutes with the lid on before serving.
If you are substituting another pasta shape, choose a short, thick noodle like rigatoni or penne. If you'd like to make Instant Pot spaghetti, try this recipe for Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs.
If you'd like to make this recipe using 1 pound of pasta, then add 3 ¾ cups water. Otherwise, you can follow the same recipe instructions. You might want to add another cup of marinara, or another ½ pound of ground meat to give the pasta more flavor.
This recipe was tested in a 6-quart Instant Pot.
Keywords: instant pot, instant pot pasta, bowtie noodles, instant pot bowtie pasta,