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WE EAT | Instant Pot Shrimp Pasta

July 23, 2018

a few things that you might not know about me.. or you might, who knows.

(pre-kids) I used to be a personal chef (not trained, just prepared meals for clients with special diet needs). I used to write a (healthy) food blog.. as well as all the recipes that were on that food blog. when I was pregnant with Baker I agreed to sell my food blog to a health and wellness company and I completely regret never putting my hundreds of recipes and years of documentation of the food we ate and the food I cooked for my clients into a cookbook or even just a printed out document for my personal use!

this creativity with food continued after the twins were born and I cooked and prepared every single thing they ever ate for the first 12 months of their life. I’ll never forget how hard Jordan and I laughed when I spent a couple hours making a roasted red pepper + rosemary + goat cheese puree for my 8 month old twins to eat and they completely turned up their noses at me. screamed in my face and spit that puree out everywhere. we settled on their favorite sweet potato + cinnamon + banana that night.. and I never got “fancy” with my purees again.

I dont get into the kitchen as much as I used to and I don’t cook with “fancy” ingredients or spices as often, either- but thats okay because this is the life stage we’re in. I seek out simple. sometimes my recipes come from a box or a jar and sometimes they are made with whole + fresh ingredients.

this one is a little bit of both! I’ve been experimenting with my instant pot that I received as a mother’s day gift and up until now I’ve followed every recipe I’ve found on Pinterest exactly as written and they’ve all come out perfectly! we were out running errands this weekend and Jordan mentioned cooking something in the instant pot after we got home.. and pasta sounded good to everyone! so thats what we decided on..and I made it up as I went 🙂I picked up a jar of vodka sauce (my favorite!!) as well as some really yummy grated parmesan cheese and heavy whipping cream for the base of the sauce and decided that shrimp would be our protein (although we’re on a chicken sausage kick and meatballs would have been awesome in this, too!). and we cant forget sourdough to soak up the sauce. probably not the healthiest recipe I’ve ever made, but it was easy and SO quick to roll together. I had dinner on the table, start to finish, in less than 20 minutes. it took me longer to shell the shrimp than it did to load the ingredients and hit the “pressure cook” button on the machine.

one thing I’ll mention about this recipe is the use of pasta (starch) and milk (whipping cream). I often use half and half  or 2% milk in stove-top cream sauces for a lower fat option but since I wasn’t sure how it would do in the instant pot I went with the real stuff. up until now every recipe I’ve made has allowed me to release the steam without spewing everywhere.. except this time. after my countertop was covered in cream/starch mess I did a little research and found an article (HERE) about allowing your pot to rest and release some of the pressure and heat on its own after the timer dings. yeah, I didn’t do that. so make sure you do!! 

instant pot creamy shrimp pasta

serves 6-8

  • 1 pound large raw shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half & half
  • 2-3 cloves fresh minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound shaped pasta
  • 2 cups red pasta sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. turn on your Instant Pot to “sauté” and warm the olive oil. add the raw shrimp and sauté until bright pink. remove from pot and set aside.
  2. turn off the pot. add the broth, cream, garlic, salt, pepper and noodles to the instant pot in that order. try not to stir, and make sure all noodles are sitting on top and just slightly covered. they do not need to be submerged to fully cook.
  3. set your Instant Pot to “pressure cook’ (also known as “manual”) for 6 minutes.
  4. after your timer dings allow the pot to rest on its own, about 5-6 minutes longer, and then fully release the pressure from the pot. you might want to keep a dish towel handy in case there is a little bit of sputter even after your pot has rested.
  5. add the red pasta sauce (I used a jarred vodka sauce) to the Instant Pot and give it a stir.
  6. slowly add in both cheeses while stirring. add the cooked shrimp and allow to thicken.
  7. serve!
  • Lauren
    July 23, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    This might be a stupid question, but I’m wondering if I could make this without an instant pot, just cooking on the stove top … sounds yummy!

    • amber
      July 23, 2018 at 4:47 pm

      Yes, definitely! I would just cook the pasta as package directs and simmer the sauce ingredients together until warmed. Sauté the shrimp separately as I directed for the Instant Pot. Hope that helps! Enjoy!

  • Kathleen
    July 25, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Are you able to buy wild shrimp? I live in a large metropolitan area in a state with a long Atlantic coastline yet can only find the unhealthy farmed shrimp from Thailand these days! The wild ones are apparently so expensive that markets and less expensive restaurants no longer offer them.

    • amber
      July 25, 2018 at 1:11 pm

      I am able to buy wild shrimp! These were purchased on sale for about $10/pound which seems normal to me for large U10 fresh shrimp. The places we shop for meat and seafood usually have the fresh caught wild shrimp option.