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Pressure Cooker Penne with Sausage and Peppers |

Pressure Cooker Penne with Sausage and Peppers

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


Pressure Cooker Penne with Sausage and Peppers. A one-pot pasta from the pressure cooker, perfect for a rustic weeknight dinner.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 3 medium bell peppers, trimmed and sliced into 1/2 inch strips (I use a red, green, and yellow - the “stoplight pepper” pack at my grocery store)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (4oz) grated parmesan, plus more for topping
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil (plus more for garnishing)


  1. Brown the sausage: Heat the olive oil in the pressure cooker over medium-high heat (sauté mode adjusted to high in my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker) until the oil starts shimmering. Add the pieces of sausage and cook until browned and crispy on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Move the browned sausage to a bowl with tongs or a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat behind as possible.
  2. Sauté the onions and peppers: There should be at least a teaspoon of fat left in the pressure cooker pot from the sausages; if not, add another teaspoon of olive oil. Add the onion, bell peppers, and garlic to the pot, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes, scraping any browned bits of sausage from the bottom of the pot into the onions and peppers.
  3. Pressure cook for 4 minutes with a quick pressure release: Stir the bowl of browned sausage back into the pot, including any juices in the bowl. Add the penne pasta, 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes, and 4 cups of water. Sprinkle in the teaspoon of salt, then stir. Poke down any pieces of penne sticking up out of the water - if they’re not submerged, they might not cook. Lock the lid and pressure cook on high pressure for 4 minutes in an electric or stovetop PC, then quick release the pressure in the pot. Carefully open the lid - away from you, please, the steam in the pot is boiling hot!
  4. Stir in parmesan and basil, and serve: Stir in 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil. Serve, topping with more grated parmesan and minced basil if you like.


  • Substituting jarred peppers: I saw some recipes online that recommend jarred peppers - that’s fine, but drain them first, and don’t add them with the onions - add them with the tomatoes, since they are already cooked.
  • Penne can be subbed out for any smaller tubular pasta. Ziti is almost exactly the same - just squared off ends instead of diagonally cut. Macaroni noodles would work too.
  • Every now and then, the pot will start spitting starchy pasta water out of the vent when quick releasing. When that happens, close the vent - carefully, the steam is hot - to stop the quick release and the mess. Let the pot sit for five minutes to calm down before starting to quick release again.


  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Weeknight Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian