Home > Instant Pot > 4 Ingredient Pasta Salad

4 Ingredient Pasta Salad

This 4 Ingredient Pasta Salad cooks your noodles directly in the dressing in the Instant Pot. Ready in under 30 minutes, it doesn’t get much quicker or easier than this! 

Glass bowl filled with 4 ingredient pasta salad.

So you’re hosting a barbecue, a summer dinner, a game night potluck, or, maybe, you’re just cooking dinner. You need to make a pasta salad, and less ingredients equals less work! 

I love this 4 Ingredient Pasta Salad recipe because it is the most low maintenance pasta salad you will ever make. There are infinitely more ways that you can dress this Instant Pot Pasta Salad up and make it more fancy, but at its core, this recipe is delicious and all you really need. 

Simple, light, flavorful, and fast, this is everything you want in a recipe! Simply cook your pasta in your Instant Pot (or on the stovetop for that matter), add your feta and tomatoes, chill, and serve! 

The Instant Pot makes cooking pasta easy and painless, with no guesswork trying to figure out if it’s ending up with the right texture. That’s why dishes like my Slumgullion, Instant Pot Broccoli Pasta, and Spicy Rigatoni are also made in the pressure cooker! 

I also love cooking pasta in the Instant Pot because the zesty italian flavor is infused right into the noodles! So flavorful! 

Serve this dish as a side for barbecue chicken, Garlic Parmesan Chicken Skewers, or as its own main course. You’re going to love it!  

Ingredients for 4 Ingredient Pasta Salad

Labeled ingredient shot.
  1. Rotini Noodles: You can choose any kind of pasta you’d like. As a best practice, if you are using a different type of pasta than the recipe calls for, check the back of the box to see how long you cook it on the stovetop. Cut that time in half, then add 1 minute. This is how long you cook your pasta in the Instant Pot. 
  2. Italian Dressing: I like using Kraft Zesty Italian, though you can use whatever you’d like.
  3. Feta Cheese: Use a fresh block or already crumbled. 
  4. Cherry Tomatoes: Cut into quarters

How to Make this Recipe

Step 1: Cook the Pasta

Dry pasta and liquid in the bowl of an instant pot
Cooked pasta in the bowl of the instant pot

Open the lid of your Instant Pot, and add the Italian dressing and 2 cups of water

Add the noodles into the Pot, making sure that all of the noodles are covered by the liquid. 

Put the lid on the Instant Pot and turn it to HIGH for 6 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is complete, perform a Quick Release.

Step 2: Chill

Pour the noodles and the extra liquid into a bowl, and place in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

At the end of that time check on your noodles. They should have absorbed the rest of the liquid in the bowl.

Step 3: Add Toppings

Pasta topped with tomatoes and feta cheese
Pasta mixed with tomatoes and feta cheese

Add the feta cheese and cherry tomatoes. Stir and enjoy! 

Expert Tips

  • You can serve your 4 Ingredient Pasta Salad warm or place it back in the fridge for another 20 minutes to serve cold.
  • Do not rinse your pasta after it comes out of the pressure cooker! Instead, place the pasta in a bowl and allow it to soak up all of those extra juices. It will be so much more flavorful! 
  • If you like a stronger Italian dressing flavor or more liquid in your pasta salad, you can add ½ cup of Italian dressing into the bowl after tasting, and stir. 

Variations

4 Ingredient Pasta Salad in a glass bowl surrounded by tomatoes

This recipe has 4 ingredients just to make life easy, but there are so many ways that you can make this recipe more fancy! Here are some suggestions: 

  • Add Protein: Shrimp, chicken, salami, ham, or bacon would all be great!  
  • Change the Cooking Method: Instead of cooking the pasta in Italian dressing and water, try swapping out the water for chicken broth. Even more flavor will get infused directly into your noodles! 
  • Change the Dressing: Balsamic vinaigrette, raspberry vinaigrette, or any other bottled dressing that you can find would be fun to play with! You can also make homemade dressing if you prefer. 
  • Add Vegetables: Bell peppers, cucumbers, red onions, broccoli, or peas can all be added to give your pasta salad some more color. 
  • Other Additions: Olives, mozzarella balls, and arugula are all great choices.
  • Herbs: Chives, basil, sage, or oregano all pair well with pasta! 
  • Add Crunch: Pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds (pepitas), slivered almonds, and pistachios would all be great additions. 

Recipe FAQs 

Close up of instant pot pasta salad.
How to Store

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The tomato and feta will be tastiest the fresher the salad is, so try to eat it quickly! 

Because this 4 Ingredient Pasta Salad is made with an oil-based dressing, it does freeze rather well. Simply put the leftovers in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Move the frozen pasta salad to the fridge the day before you’d like to eat it to allow it to thaw. 

Can This Be Made Ahead of Time? 

Yes! For ultimate freshness, I would recommend cooking the pasta ahead of time as well as prepping the tomatoes and feta (stored separately). However, do not toss the tomatoes and feta into the salad until you are ready to eat. 

Should Pasta Salad be Served Cold? 

Typically, yes, pasta salad is served cold. If you want to serve your dish cold, simply put it in the fridge after assembly for about 30 minutes. You can serve it hot if you prefer that.  

Does Pasta Need to Cool Before Making Pasta Salad? 

It does not have to be all the way cooled, but do not assemble your Instant Pot Pasta Salad when the pasta is piping hot, as it will change the texture of the tomatoes. This is why the instructions call for resting the salad in the fridge for 15 minutes before assembly. The pasta will still be warm, but it will have cooled down significantly during that time. 

Did you enjoy this recipe for 4 Ingredient Pasta Salad? If so, make sure to check out these other recipes I picked out just for you: 

4 Ingredient Pasta Salad

This 4 Ingredient Pasta Salad cooks your noodles directly in the dressing in the Instant Pot. Ready in under 30 minutes, it doesn’t get much quicker or easier than this!
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 461kcal

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 8 oz dry rotini noodles
  • 1 cup Italian dressing
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 ½ cups quartered cherry tomatoes

Instructions

  • Open the lid of your Instant Pot, and add the Italian dressing and 2 cups of water.
  • Add the noodles into the Pot, making sure that all of the noodles are covered by the liquid. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and turn it to HIGH for 6 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is complete, perform a Quick Release.
  • Pour the noodles and the extra liquid into a bowl, and place in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
  • At the end of that time, check on your noodles. They should have absorbed the rest of the liquid in the bowl.
  • Add the feta cheese and cherry tomatoes. Stir and enjoy! Serve warm or place it back in the fridge for another 20 minutes to serve cold.

Notes

Recipe copyright The Domestic Spoon. For educational and personal use. 
    • Rotini Noodles: You can choose any kind of pasta you’d like. As a best practice, if you are using a different type of pasta than the recipe calls for, check the back of the box to see how long you cook it on the stovetop. Cut that time in half, then add 1 minute. This is how long you cook your pasta in the Instant Pot. 
    • Italian Dressing: I like using Kraft Zesty Italian, though you can use whatever you’d like.
    • Feta Cheese: Use a fresh block or already crumbled.
    • Cherry Tomatoes: Cut into quarters
    • You can serve your 4 Ingredient Pasta Salad warm or place it back in the fridge for another 20 minutes to serve cold.
    • Do not rinse your pasta after it comes out of the pressure cooker! Instead, place the pasta in a bowl and allow it to soak up all of those extra juices. It will be so much more flavorful! 
    • If you like a stronger Italian dressing flavor or more liquid in your pasta salad, you can add ½ cup of Italian dressing into the bowl after tasting, and stir. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 461kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 1020mg | Potassium: 321mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 453IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 211mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @TheDomesticSpoon or tag #TheDomesticSpoon!

Related Recipes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating