How Long to Cook Noodles in the Instant Pot: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you tired of waiting for a pot of water to boil and constantly monitoring the stove to cook your noodles? The Instant Pot, a popular multi-cooker, offers a convenient and hassle-free way to prepare perfect noodles every time. In this article, we’ll dive into the world of Instant Pot noodles, exploring the optimal cooking times, techniques, and tips to ensure al dente perfection.

Understanding the Instant Pot Noodle-Cooking Process

Cooking noodles in the Instant Pot is a game-changer. Unlike traditional stovetop methods, the Instant Pot uses pressurized steam to cook the noodles quickly and evenly. This process not only saves you time but also ensures consistent results, making it an excellent choice for busy weeknights or meal-prepping.

The key to successful Instant Pot noodle-cooking lies in understanding the timing and pressure release methods. By following a simple formula and adjusting the cooking time based on the type of noodles you’re using, you can achieve the perfect texture every time.

The Instant Pot Noodle-Cooking Formula

To determine the ideal cooking time for your noodles, follow this simple formula:

  1. Find the recommended cook time on the noodle package: Most noodle packages provide a range of cooking times or a single recommended time for stovetop preparation.

  2. Take the lowest, even number in the range: If the package provides a range, such as 9-11 minutes, use the lowest even number, which in this case would be 10 minutes. If only one time is given and it’s odd, round down. For example, if the recommended time is 7 minutes, use 6 minutes.

  3. Divide the time in half: Take the number you determined in step 2 and divide it by two.

  4. Subtract two minutes: This adjustment accounts for the time it takes the Instant Pot to come to pressure and the natural release period.

  5. Pressure cook on high: Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for the calculated time.

  6. Use a 5-minute natural release: Once the cooking time is up, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for 5 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure.

For example, if the recommended cook time on the noodle package is 9-11 minutes, you would:

  1. Take the lowest even number in the range, which is 10 minutes.
  2. Divide 10 by two, which gives you 5 minutes.
  3. Subtract two minutes, leaving you with 3 minutes.
  4. Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 3 minutes.
  5. After the cooking time is up, allow a 5-minute natural release before manually releasing any remaining pressure.

Adjusting Cooking Times for Different Noodle Types

While the formula above provides a good starting point, it’s important to note that different noodle types may require slight adjustments to achieve the desired texture. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Long, straight noodles (e.g., spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine): Break the noodles in half before cooking to ensure they are fully submerged in the water. You may need to add more water to cover the noodles completely.

  • Gluten-free or alternative noodles (e.g., lentil, chickpea, or quinoa noodles): These noodles tend to be more delicate and may require slightly less cooking time. Start with the calculated time and adjust as needed for future batches.

  • Fresh or homemade noodles: Fresh noodles may require less cooking time than their dried counterparts. Start with a shorter time and adjust as needed.

Remember, cooking noodles in the Instant Pot is an iterative process. Pay attention to the texture and adjust the cooking time accordingly for your next batch.

Tips for Perfect Instant Pot Noodles

To ensure consistent and delicious results, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use enough liquid: For every 8 ounces of noodles, use at least 2 cups of liquid (water, broth, or sauce). This ensures the noodles are fully submerged and cook evenly.

  • Stir the noodles: After releasing the pressure, give the noodles a good stir to prevent them from sticking together and to distribute any remaining liquid evenly.

  • Let the noodles rest: After stirring, replace the lid (without sealing) and let the noodles rest for 5-10 minutes. This allows them to absorb any remaining liquid and continue cooking in the residual heat.

  • Avoid overcooking: Resist the temptation to let the noodles sit for too long after the natural release, as they can quickly become overcooked and mushy.

  • Adjust for altitude: If you live at a high altitude, you may need to increase the cooking time slightly to compensate for the lower atmospheric pressure.

  • Experiment with one-pot meals: The Instant Pot is perfect for creating delicious one-pot meals with noodles. Add your desired sauce, protein, and vegetables to the pot before cooking, and enjoy a complete meal in one convenient dish.

Delicious Instant Pot Noodle Recipes to Try

Now that you know the secrets to perfectly cooked noodles in the Instant Pot, it’s time to put your skills to the test with these mouthwatering recipes:

  • Instant Pot Mac and Cheese: Combine elbow macaroni, cheese, and other ingredients for a creamy and comforting mac and cheese in no time.

  • Instant Pot Chicken Spaghetti: A classic family favorite with tender chicken, spaghetti noodles, and a savory tomato sauce.

  • Instant Pot Pad Thai: Enjoy the flavors of Thailand with rice noodles, shrimp, scrambled eggs, and a tangy pad thai sauce.

  • Instant Pot Beef and Noodles: Tender beef, egg noodles, and a rich gravy make this dish a hearty and satisfying meal.

  • Instant Pot Ramen Noodle Soup: Upgrade your instant ramen with fresh vegetables, protein, and a flavorful broth.

With the Instant Pot, the possibilities for delicious noodle dishes are endless. Experiment with different noodle types, sauces, and ingredients to find your family’s new favorites.


Cooking noodles in the Instant Pot is a game-changer for busy home cooks. By following the simple formula and adjusting for different noodle types, you can achieve perfectly cooked noodles with minimal effort. Embrace the convenience and versatility of the Instant Pot, and enjoy delicious noodle dishes any night of the week!

How To Cook Plain Spaghetti Pasta in the Instant Pot


How long does it take to cook noodles in a pot?

Spaghetti typically takes 8-10 minutes. Linguine is thicker and may take 10 or more minutes to cook. Fettuccine can also take 10 or more minutes. It’s crucial to stir long noodles as they’re cooking, to prevent the strands from all sticking together and creating a lump of pasta.

Can you overcook noodles in Instant Pot?

If you’re scratching your head at the idea of undercooked noodles, let me explain: It’s very easy to overcook pasta in the Instant Pot because the pot is so well insulated and hot that the noodles continue to cook even after the lid is removed.

How long do dry noodles take?

Most dried ribbons of pasta such as linguine, spaghetti and tagliatelle take between 8-10 mins. Shorter, thicker pasta shapes like bows or penne take 10-12mins and fresh pasta such as ravioli and tortellini will be done between 3-5mins.

Leave a Comment