You are going to love this super easy recipe for Instant Pot Cheesy Sausage Rigatoni. It’s practically a dump and start recipe that’s ready in no time so it’s perfect for busy weeknights. The flavor is kid-friendly, yet savory and delicious for adults as well. This one is a winning easy recipe!
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Cooking Pasta in the Instant Pot
Making pasta in my pressure cooker is probably my favorite thing! It’s such a comfort food, it’s super easy, you don’t have to strain the pasta, and it’s so quick. It’s usually a one-pot clean-up which in my book is amazing! This Instant Pot Cheesy Sausage Rigatoni is a variation of my original and very delicious Creamy Sausage Rigatoni recipe. I made this one a whole lot easier for when you’re running short on time.
You can make all kinds of pasta in the Instant Pot, even plain pasta for things like mac and cheese. If you’re making plain pasta, make sure to check out my trick for avoiding a mess when releasing the pressure. I have lots of easy pasta recipes so I put them all together in one post. If you like pasta as much as I do, check out my Easy Instant Pot Pasta Recipes post.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Cheesy Sausage Rigatoni
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients for this easy sausage rigatoni recipe. Buy a pound of ground sausage. I prefer the Hot Italian ground sausage, but you can certainly buy the mild one. The “hot” sausage we buy is really flavorful and my kids aren’t bothered by the spice level.
You will also need rigatoni pasta, a jar of marinara sauce, water, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. For after cooking you’ll need mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan. That’s it! I told you it was simple and easy!
Here are some essential prep tools, utensils, and appliances I used to make this recipe.
Here is a list of the products featured in this post or products similar to those featured in this post:
- Instant Pot
- Meat Masher
- Measuring Spoons
- Small Food Prep Bowls
- Mini Prep Bowls
- Pinch Bowls
- Wooden Utensils
- Liquid Measuring Cups
12 Must-Have Instant Pot Cookbooks
If you’re looking for a cookbook with easy and reliable Instant Pot recipes, then check out my list of approved Instant Pot Cookbooks.
How to Make Sausage Rigatoni in the Instant Pot
This is practically a dump-and-start recipe, which literally means you’ll dump the ingredients in the pressure cooker and start it. The only “if” is, first, you have to brown the sausage. But, that’ll only take a handful of minutes. So, let’s get started!
Cook and Season the Sausage
Set your pressure cooker to “Sauté” and use the “Adjust” button to adjust the heat level to “Normal”. When the pot reads “Hot” add the sausage and start cooking it. As it cooks, break it down with a wooden spatula or meat masher and brown it for about 4 minutes.
Add the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and mix them into the sausage and continue cooking until it’s cooked through. This will take about another 2 or 3 minutes. Once the sausage is cooked through, turn off the “Sauté” function.
Add the Pasta and Sauce to the Pot
Next, add the water to the pot and deglaze the bottom of the liner by scraping it with a wooden spoon. Add the rigatoni pasta and push it down into the water as much as possible. Then pour the jar of marinara sauce evenly over the top of the pasta. At this point, do not mix the ingredients together. Just leave the marinara sauce sitting on top.
Tomato-based products tend to burn to the bottom of the Instant Pot liner. So, not mixing the marinara sauce into the pasta will let us avoid a “Burn” message.
Set the Cook Time
Now it’s time to close the pot and set the pressure release valve to the “Sealing” position. Select the “Manual or “Pressure Cook” function on the pot and cook on “High Pressure” for 7 minutes. Your pot is likely already set to cook at “High Pressure” but, if necessary, you can use the “Pressure Level” button to adjust your pressure cooker to cook at “High Pressure”.
Perform a Short Natural Pressure Release
Once the cooking time has completed, allow for a 2-minute Natural Pressure Release. That means that you’ll just let the pot sit for 2 minutes until the digital display reads “L0:02”. After that, release the rest of the pressure manually and when the pin drops, open the pot.
Add the Final Ingredients
Finally, add the mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, and parmesan cheese to the pot and mix them into the pasta until the cheeses are fully melted. You can top each plate of pasta with some extra parmesan as well! Enjoy!
I know you’ll love this Instant Pot Cheesy Sausage Rigatoni as much as we do. Let me know in the comments when you try it and don’t forget to give it a star rating if you love it!
Instant Pot Cheesy Sausage Rigatoni
RIGATONI PASTA AND ITALIAN SAUSAGE IN A CHEESY MARINARA SAUCE
for the Italian sausage
- 1 pound Italian sausage I prefer Hot Italian sausage
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
for the Pasta
- 3 cups water
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta
- 1 jar marinara sauce 24 ounces
to add After Cooking
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese freshly shredded
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
- parmesan cheese shredded or grated
- Cook Sausage: Turn the pressure cooker on ‘Sauté’. Adjust the heat level to ‘Normal’ and allow the pot to heat up. Once the display reads ‘Hot’, add the Italian sausage and cook, breaking it apart into smaller and smaller pieces as it cooks. Continue for 4 minutes. Add the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and mix into the sausage and continue cooking until cooked through. About another 2 or 3 minutes. Turn off ‘Sauté’.
- Add Pasta and Marinara: Add the water to the pot and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Add the rigatoni pasta and push it down into the water as much as you can. Pour the marinara sauce evenly over the top of the pasta. Do not mix.
- 7-Minute Cook Time: Close the Instant Pot, set the pressure release valve to ‘Sealing’ and set the pot to cook on ‘Manual’ or ‘Pressure Cook’, ‘High Pressure’ for 7 minutes.
- 2-Minute NPR: Once the 7-minute cook time has completed, allow for a 2-minute Natural Pressure Release. When the 2-minute NPR has finished, release the remaining pressure and then open the pot.
- Add Cheeses: Add the mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, and parmesan cheese to the pot and mix into the pasta until the cheeses are fully melted.
- Serve and enjoy!
6 thoughts on “Instant Pot Cheesy Sausage Rigatoni”
Sounds great! I’m thinking of trying cottage cheese instead of ricotta—anyone tried this swap? I did this the last time I made lasagna, and it turned out great… thoughts on trying it here? Should I go for it?
Hi Julie! You can definitely try! Ricotta is creamier than cottage cheese and has a bit more flavor, but it’s worth a shot! Let me know if you try it!
I made this and loved it! I’m wondering if there’s other ingredients I can use in place of pasta to make this low-carb friendly?
Hi Gina! I’m so glad you enjoyed this! Hmmm, no pasta..you can probably make chicken breasts with the same ingredients. You can also use spaghetti squash instead. Or just make the sausage/ground beef and omit the pasta. The recipe would have to be adjusted in terms of liquid and time possibly but it would probably be good! Thanks for stopping by the blog!
I made this tonight for the first time and it is so good! I did add about 1/4 lb of ground beef to the sausage, used fresh onion and garlic and eyeballed the cheese, but that’s because I’m a rebel! 😂
Hi Erika! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this! Happy cooking you rebel, you!