This easy Instant Pot Alfredo is cooked all in one pot and ready in minutes making it the perfect dinner for busy weeknights. With the classic flavor combination of butter, garlic, and parmesan cheese this recipe is sure to please!
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Back-to-school season is here which means it's time to pull out all of the quick, last-minute meals. This Alfredo is one of my go-to suppers. It can be served as it is, or you can add in some cooked chicken and broccoli for a more well-rounded meal.
This was inspired by my recipe for instant pot mac and cheese, and pairs well with this homemade cheesy garlic bread. Of course, and simple salad also is another great side dish option and also helps to lighten up an otherwise heavy meal.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Even though the cooking method is anything but traditional, the ingredients for this Instant Pot Alfredo are all the usual suspects.
- Minced Garlic or garlic powder
- Pasta (penne, rotini, Shells, bow-tie, ziti, or rigatoni all work well)
- Salt and pepper
- Heavy Cream - for a lighter option you can swap some or all of the heavy cream with half and half or milk.
- Parmesan Cheese
- Fresh Parsley (optional, for garnish)
See the recipe card for quantities.
The only special equipment that you will need for this recipe is an instant pot. You can use other brands of electric pressure cookers but you may have to change the cooking times and/or method.
I use an instant pot pro plus (affiliate) which I LOVE. I like that I can set the steam release method at the beginning of the cooking process and I can start the instant pot cooking time from my phone which is especially nice for foods that need to cook for a long time.
This recipe is the perfect example of a 'set-it-and-forget-it' meal.
Add the garlic, pasta, water, and salt to your instant pot.
Place the lid on the instant pot and set the valve to "sealing" Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes, then perform a quick pressure release to prevent the pasta from overcooking. When the pin drops, remove the lid and gently stir the pasta.
There are slight variations between different Instant Pot models. I have included instructions for the most common model, but if you are unsure how to operate your Instant Pot, then you can find your owner's manual here!
Add the heavy cream, black pepper, and parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted and everything is well combined.
Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and additional parmesan cheese if desired and enjoy!
Tip: Occasionally foam and butter can come from the vent when the pressure is released from the instant pot. Many people suggest placing a towel over the vent to reduce the mess, but Instant Pot advises against this. Instead, switch from a quick release to an intermittent release where you release the steam for a few seconds, then seal again. Repeat until the pin drops.
Here are some of my favorite ways to change up this recipe:
- Add chicken - stir in cooked and diced chicken when you add the cheese. Be sure to check out my recipe for crock-pot shredded chicken, which is a meal prep staple!
- Add veggies - Many vegetables will go well with alfredo. Stir in frozen peas or sliced cherry tomatoes with the pasta in step 1. Add steamed broccoli, or raw fresh spinach when stirring in the cheese.
- Low carb - Swap traditional pasta for low-carb pasta from Great Low Carb Bread Co. Other low-carb pasta may work, but I have only tried it with this brand so if you use another then proceed with caution.
Store leftover Alfredo in the fridge for up to 5 days in a sealed container. Reheat in the microwave or oven until heated through.
Tip: If you find that your pasta is dry when reheating, try adding a couple of teaspoons of cream or milk and some additional grated parmesan cheese.
Yes, you can, but it must be mixed with some other liquid or it will burn. For this reason, I prefer to simply stir it in at the end.
Make sure that the pasta is covered with about ½-1" of water. Set the instant pot to cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. When the cooking time is up, perform a quick pressure release. Cooking time may vary slightly depending upon the variety of pasta used.
Garlic, Black Pepper, and Italian parsley are most commonly used in Alfredo. Many people also like to add in a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg.
If you find that your Alfredo had dried out some, simply add in a bit of milk or cream and/or butter until it reaches the desired consistency.
- If foam is spurting from the vent when the pressure is released from the instant pot. If this happens, switch from a quick release to an intermittent release where you release the pressure in intervals.
- If you find that your pressure is dry when reheating leftovers, add a bit of heavy cream or milk until it reaches the desired consistency.
Instant Pot Alfredo
- Instant pot
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Add the garlic, pasta, butter, water, and salt to the instant pot.16 oz Pasta, 4 tablespoon Butter, 4 cups Water, 1 teaspoon Salt, 3 cloves Garlic
- Place the lid on the instant pot and set the valve to "sealing" Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes, then perform a quick pressure release to prevent the pasta from overcooking. For most models, press the manual button, then use the + or - buttons to adjust the time for 4 minutes. When the cooking time is complete, to quickly release the pressure simply turn the sealing valve to "venting."
- Once the pin drops, remove the lid and add the heavy cream, black pepper, and parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted and everything is well combined.1 cup Heavy Cream, ½ teaspoon Black Pepper, 8 oz Parmesan Cheese
- Garnish with parsley and additional parmesan cheese if desired and enjoy!Fresh Parsley
The nutrition information listed here is only an estimate and is simply provided as a courtesy. It nor any other information within this post should constitute medical or nutritional advice. Be sure to read all packaging and ingredient labels for potential allergens. Optional ingredients are not included unless otherwise specified.