A healthy and fast pasta dish made in the Instant Pot – chicken sausage and peppers round out this one-pot meal. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner!
3 links Italian chicken sausage, casing removed
1 bag frozen pepper strips (14 oz bag or about 3 bell peppers cut into strips)
1 jar pasta sauce (about 24–26 ounce jar)
1 box whole wheat pasta (16 oz box)
3 cups water
Optional: add a few dashes onion powder, garlic powder, basil
A few handfuls fresh spinach
Shredded Parmesan or Italian cheese
- Add olive oil to instant pot, turn on to sauté.
- Add chicken sausage, and cook, breaking up into smaller pieces.
- When chicken sausage is mostly cooked, add peppers. Scrape the bottom of instant pot to remove browned bits. If using fresh peppers, add a little water to help scrape the browned sausage from the bottom of the pot.
- Cook peppers and sausage for a minute or two.
- Turn off instant pot. Then add the next ingredients layered in the following order and DO NOT MIX.
- Pour pasta sauce on top of the sausage and peppers. Feel free to add any extra seasoning you like here or just before you seal the instant pot.
- Pour pasta on top of the sauce.
- Pour water on top of the pasta. I like to then gently poke the pasta down a little bit so that most of the pasta is submerged under water.
- Place the lid on and twist to seal. Be sure the valve is set to sealing.
- Press the pressure cook button and set to five minutes.
- Once the instant pot is finished cooking, let the timer count up for 2-3 minutes natural steam release.
- After 2-3 minutes, release the steam by turning the valve to venting. I find it helps to cover it with a towel and use a spoon to move the valve to keep my hands away from the hot steam.
- Once the steam is released, open the lid and stir.
- Add fresh spinach and stir to wilt it slightly.
- Serve with cheese.
The recipe is written for fresh sausage, but you can use pre-cooked sausage instead. Just dice it up and add it into the instant pot with the sauce layer.
You can try other veggies in here too – mushrooms and zucchini may add a bit of extra water after cooking, but would be delicious in this dish!
The timing on the recipe is approximate – I included the time the Instant Pot has to come to pressure in the cook time, so just know it will take about 30 minutes from start to sitting down to eat 🙂
Keywords: instant pot, pasta, spaghetti, whole wheat, healthy, quick, fast, weeknight meals