Home > Instant Pot > Spicy Rigatoni with Sausage and Cream Sauce (Instant Pot) 

Spicy Rigatoni with Sausage and Cream Sauce (Instant Pot) 

This Spicy Rigatoni is ready in under 25 minutes. Cooked in the Instant Pot with spicy sausage, a tomato cream sauce, and red chili flakes, this flavorful pasta will leave you wanting more! 

Close up of spicy rigatoni in a bowl with a fork

You may have originally heard of Spicy Rigatoni when the Carbone Spicy Rigatoni recipe took off on social media earlier last year. But I’ve been making Spicy Rigatoni for ages, and there is more than one delicious recipe out there! I’ve got the proof!

This recipe is made using rigatoni noodles, Italian sausage, red pepper flakes and a tomato cream sauce. And the best part? It’s cooked entirely in your Instant Pot, with most of the work being hands-off! You can enjoy a restaurant-level dinner without ever leaving your house. 

You’re going to love this elevated pasta dish! Serve it with Garlic Parmesan Chicken Skewers for more protein, or as a main course before indulging in these Soft and Chewy Monster Cookies.  

Why Make this Recipe

  1. Dinner in Under 25 Minutes: Need a quick dinner to serve to your family or your guests after a long day? This pasta can be thrown together in under 25 minutes, with just 10 minutes of active work! The rest is simply time in the Instant Pot. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
  2. Flavorful: Spicy Rigatoni is made with spicy Italian sausage, fresh garlic, delicious marinara sauce, and parmesan cheese! The spicy Italian sausage and the red pepper flakes give a kick of flavor that you won’t forget. 
  3. Easy Ingredients: There’s nothing worse than when you are trying to make dinner, but you can’t find one of the ingredients your recipe needs. This recipe is made with simple ingredients that are easy to find in the grocery store.  

What Do I Need to Make this Recipe? 

Ingredients 

labeled ingredient shot
  1. Garlic: I highly recommend fresh garlic instead of jarred, as it adds so much flavor to this recipe! 
  2. Italian Sausage: If you want only mildly spicy rigatoni, you can also opt for mild Italian sausage and then just add the red pepper flakes. This gives a small kick for those that are still learning to love spice. If you really love spicy food, check out Pakistani Chicken Karahi Recipe
  3. Heavy Cream: Because of the fat content in heavy cream, you can cook this in the Instant Pot, despite some common misconceptions (that’s why this Instant Pot Fettuccine Alfredo works just fine). Do not fear pressure cooking your heavy cream! However, you can not substitute this ingredient with milk or half and half, because they will curdle under the pressure. 
  4. Rigatoni: I love this type of pasta for this recipe! If you want to use another type of pasta, you certainly can. Make sure to read the instructions on the back of the box of whichever pasta you choose. Cut the minutes in half, then add 1. This is how long you need to pressure cook a different variety!
  5. Red Pepper Flakes: To add some extra spiciness to this dish. Feel free to add more or less depending on your spice tolerance. 
  6. Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated parmesan is your best best. However, if you do not have time to grate your own parmesan, make sure to buy a high quality brand as it will melt into the sauce more easily! Use any leftover parmesan to make this Parmesan Risotto

Tools 

  1. Pressure Cooker: The most common brand of pressure cookers is the Instant Pot, but feel free to use any electric pressure cooker. 
  2. Wooden Spoon: For sautéing the garlic and sausage and also for stirring the pasta. 

How to Make this Recipe

Step 1: Sauté 

Raw sausage in an instant pot
cooked sausage in an instant pot

Turn your Instant Pot to saute and add the butter, allowing it to melt. Then add the minced garlic and saute for about 60 seconds until fragrant. 

Add the ground sausage into the instant pot and cook on saute until browned and crumbly. 

Step 2: Cook the Pasta

instant pot with liquids in it to cook pasta

Add the chicken broth, heavy cream, marinara sauce, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning. Mix, then use a wooden spoon to scrape any burnt bits off of the bottom of the Instant pot. This is important so that you don’t get a burn notice. 

Add the rigatoni. Do not mix the rigatoni into the sauce, but use your spoon to gently press the pasta so that it is as covered as possible by the liquid ingredients.

Put the lid on and set your Instant Pot to High for 6 minutes. Once the pressure has built and the Instant Pot has cooked for 6 minutes, perform a quick release. 

Step 3: Finishing Touches 

cooked spicy rigatoni in the instant pot

Open the lid of the instant pot and allow the steam to clear. 

Then, add the grated parmesan cheese, ¼ cup at a time. Mix until the cheese melts and makes the sauce thicker. Enjoy!

How to Avoid Burn Notices

Burn notices can be common when making pasta in your pressure cooker. To easily avoid burn notices, make sure to follow the instructions carefully, as they detail out some best practices: 

  1. Scrape the Bottom: When cooking your sausage on saute, you may get some cooked pieces of sausage that stick to the bottom of the pot. If you do not scrape up these burnt bits, they could set off a burn notice when you are pressure cooking your pasta. To avoid this, make sure to add the liquid into the pot and then scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to remove any burnt pieces. 
  2. Add Ingredients in the Right Order: You want to make sure that you are adding the liquids into the pot before adding the pasta. If the pasta is touching the bottom of the pot, it may burn while cooking. Instead, add the liquid into the pot, then add the pasta. Use a spoon to gently push the pasta underneath the liquid so that it cooks thoroughly, without pressing it all the way down to the bottom of the pot. 

Instant/Quick Pressure Release vs Natural Pressure Release

Cooked pasta in the instant pot liner

Instant vs Natural Pressure Release is something you will need to know as you continue to cook with your Instant Pot. When the pot is brought to pressure, there are two ways you can release that pressure: Instantly or Naturally. 

  • Instant Pressure Releases mean that you press a button and steam shoots out of the top of the pot, so be careful when you do it! This stops the cooking process, and is best for pastas and vegetables to keep them from getting mushy. 
  • A Natural Pressure Release means that you naturally allow the pressure to decrease over time, taking anywhere from 10-30 minutes. This means that the contents of the pot continue to cook for that time, albeit less quickly. This is good for beef or soups. 

This recipe calls for a Quick Release because we do not want the noodles to get soggy while waiting for the pressure to release. 

Expert Tips

  • For best results let the pasta sit for about 10 minutes before serving to allow the sauce to thicken up. 
  • I love using this sauce base in my Instant Pot Palomino Sauce. You can also easily adapt this recipe to be an Instant Pot Vodka Pasta by using the measurements of sauce in this article.
  • You can add a small sweet onion and sauté this with the garlic if desired. 
  • If you want some extra greens, feel free to stir some spinach into the pasta at the same time as the parmesan cheese. 

Recipe FAQs

spicy rigatoni noodles on a fork
How to Store Leftovers 

You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. This pasta is actually very good when reheated, especially if you add a little butter! 

You can store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Can I Use a Different Meat?

For sure! Ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken would be great substitutes for ground sausage. Make sure you season the meat so that it has a lot of flavor once cooked! If you love ground meat and pasta, try out my Instant Pot Slumgullion recipe!

Can I Make this Recipe Without an Instant Pot?

You definitely can! Follow all of the instructions but in a normal pot on the stove instead of in an Instant Pot. When it comes time to pressure cook, simply allow the pasta to cook for whatever amount of time the box calls for. 

Did you enjoy this Spicy Rigatoni Recipe? If so, make sure to check out these other recipes I picked out just for you : 

Bowl of spicy rigatoni with a fork

Spicy Rigatoni with Sausage and Cream Sauce

This Spicy Rigatoni is ready in under 25 minutes. Cooked in the Instant Pot with spicy sausage, a tomato cream sauce, and red chili flakes, this flavorful pasta will leave you wanting more!
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Pressure Building Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 869kcal

Equipment

  • Electric Pressure Cooker
  • Wooden Spoon

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 lb Spicy Italian Sausage
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • ¾ cups heavy cream
  • 1 ¾ cup Marinara Sauce
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • ½ lb dry Rigatoni pasta
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan

Instructions

  • Turn your Instant Pot to saute and add the butter, allowing it to melt. Then add the minced garlic and saute for about 60 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add the ground sausage into the instant pot and cook on saute until browned and crumbly.
  • Add the chicken broth, heavy cream, marinara sauce, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning. Mix, then use a wooden spoon to scrape any burnt bits off of the bottom of the Instant pot. This is important so that you don’t get a burn notice.
  • Add the rigatoni. Do not mix the rigatoni into the sauce, but use your spoon to gently press the pasta so that it is as covered as possible by the liquid ingredients.
  • Put the lid on and set your Instant Pot to High for 6 minutes. Once the pressure has built and the Instant Pot has cooked for 6 minutes, perform a quick release.
  • Open the lid of the instant pot and allow the steam to clear. Then, add the grated parmesan cheese, ¼ cup at a time. Mix until the cheese melts and makes the sauce thicker. Enjoy!

Notes

Recipe copyright The Domestic Spoon. For educational or personal use only. 
  • Garlic: I highly recommend fresh garlic instead of jarred, as it adds so much flavor to this recipe! 
  • Italian Sausage: If you want only mildly spicy rigatoni, you can also opt for mild Italian sausage and then just add the red pepper flakes. This gives a small kick for those that are still learning to love spice. If you really love spicy food, check out Pakistani Chicken Karahi Recipe
  • Heavy Cream: Because of the fat content in heavy cream, you can cook this in the Instant Pot, despite some common misconceptions (that’s why this Instant Pot Fettuccine Alfredo works just fine). Do not fear pressure cooking your heavy cream! However, you can not substitute this ingredient with milk or half and half, because they will curdle under the pressure. 
  • Rigatoni: I love this type of pasta for this recipe! If you want to use another type of pasta, you certainly can. Make sure to read the instructions on the back of the box of whichever pasta you choose. Cut the minutes in half, then add 1. This is how long you need to pressure cook a different variety!
  • Red Pepper Flakes: To add some extra spiciness to this dish. Feel free to add more or less depending on your spice tolerance.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated parmesan is your best best. However, if you do not have time to grate your own parmesan, make sure to buy a high quality brand as it will melt into the sauce more easily! Use any leftover parmesan to make this Parmesan Risotto.
  • For best results let the pasta sit for about 10 minutes before serving to allow the sauce to thicken up. 
  • I love using this sauce base in my Instant Pot Palomino Sauce. You can also easily adapt this recipe to be an Instant Pot Vodka Pasta by using the measurements of sauce in this article.
  • You can add a small sweet onion and sauté this with the garlic if desired. 
  • If you want some extra greens, feel free to stir some spinach into the pasta at the same time as the parmesan cheese.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 869kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 59g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 2114mg | Potassium: 840mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1401IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 204mg | Iron: 4mg
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