How to Cook Pasta in Slow Cookers and Instant Pots®

How to Cook Pasta in a Slow Cooker

You can use slow cookers to make pasta as long as you don’t mix the pasta in with the sauce and leave it sitting in the slow cooker for an extended period of time. Doing so will result in pasta that is mushy, soggy and unappetizing. For best results, keep the pasta separate until serving. Prepare whatever sauce or dish you are pairing with pasta in the slow cooker and then combine it with pasta that has been cooked al dente.

How to Cook Pasta in an Instant Pot

Instant Pots® are another great tool for cooking sauces and dishes that will be paired with pasta. You can also use your Instant Pot® to cook pasta, however, there is no way to ensure it will come out perfectly al dente. Using the low-pressure setting and the right timing can help you get close.

To cook only pasta in an Instant Pot®, follow these instructions:

  • Place the dried pasta in the pot and add water until it is just barely covering the pasta-about half an inch above, at most. Depending on the size of the box of pasta you are using, this is generally around 4 cups of water. The key is to make sure all of the pasta is covered with water.
  • Then, shut the lid, seal the valve and manually set the pot to cook the pasta at low pressure for half the time recommended on the box. If the cooking time is an odd number, just halve it and round down to the nearest minute (so, 9 minutes would become 4 minutes). Keep in mind that the Instant Pot® will spend about 10-11 minutes heating up before it begins to pressure-cook, so if you set it for 4 minutes, the whole process will take about 15 minutes.

For Instant Pot® pasta recipes and more tips and tricks on how to use an Instant Pot® to cook different pasta dishes, visit