This family-friendly pressure cooker pasta has a rich, meaty sauce and a whopping 18 grams of protein per serving. Takes only minutes to cook!
This post has been sponsored by Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff.
“Mom, that pasta was really good.”
My sixth grader told me this after I’d delivered a plate to him at the computer while he was doing online schoolwork.
(Okay, fine. He was playing a weekly Minecraft game online with friends, but that counts as social enrichment these days, right?)
The point is, when he brought his empty plate to the kitchen along with that compliment, I knew this recipe was a keeper.
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This fast, one-pot meal is rich and satisfying, with a thick, meaty sauce. And it uses a lot of basic pantry staples and some time-saving shortcuts.
It makes the perfect amount for our family of four (which includes one always-hungry teen). But feel free to double it if you’ve got a bigger crowd or want leftovers.
Is beef good for kids?
Yes, beef is a high-quality source of protein, which means it has all the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein) that we need to get from food. It also has nutrients like iron and zinc that are important during growth and development.
One serving of this pasta has a whopping 18 grams of protein (here’s how much protein kids need in a day) and is an excellent source of iron.
How to choose Ground Beef
- Choose Ground Beef that’s bright red in color and firm to the touch (avoid any packages that have tears or excessive liquid in them).
- Buy packages on or before the sell-by date.
- Use or freeze it within two days of buying it (Ground Beef is more perishable than steaks or roasts).
How to safely thaw frozen Ground Beef
It’s best to thaw ground beef in the refrigerator. But if you’re pressed for time, take this advice from the USDA:
- Thaw in the microwave: If you’re defrosting meat in the microwave, cook it immediately, since some parts of the meat will start cooking in the microwave.
- Thaw in water: Place the meat in an airtight plastic bag and submerge in cold water, changing the water every half hour. Cook immediately.
Note: The USDA does not recommend refreezing meat that’s been thawed using these methods! If you want to re-freeze it, cook it first.
A few recipe notes
- If you can’t find farfalle (bowties), swap in a similar size and shape such as fusilli or penne.
- If you can’t find 93% lean Ground Beef, simply drain off some of the excess fat after browning.
- Use whatever jarred sauce your family likes best.
- If you don’t have heavy cream or don’t want to use it, you can skip it. It gives an extra creaminess but is not essential to the recipe.
- Many pressure cooker pasta recipes call for a five-minute cook time. I found that four minutes resulted in a better “al dente” (soft but still firm) texture.
- To avoid mushy pasta, be sure to do a quick pressure release and don’t let the pasta cook any longer than directed.
Get more recipes using beef
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ small onion, diced
- 1 pound 93% lean Ground Beef
- ½ cup beef broth or stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 cups uncooked farfalle (bowtie) pasta (about 8 ounces)
- 1 ½ cups jarred pasta sauce
- 1 cup water
- 2 handfuls fresh spinach, chopped
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
Store the extra cooked beef in your fridge for another recipe the next night, such as beef and bean burritos, or freeze it and make this dish another night. Another option: Double this recipe to use the entire pound.
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Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1 portion
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 344Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3.5gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 649mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 4gSugar: 6.5gProtein: 18g