Instant Pot 2-Cheese Pasta with Cauliflower

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instant pot two cheese pasta with cauliflower recipe
Connie Miller/Milk Street: Fast and Slow

Friends, break out your Instant Pots. Christopher Kimball’s newest title, Milk Street: Fast and Slow, shows you how to make the most of that appliance that possibly hiding in the back of your closet and definitely waiting for the moment it can make your life a little easier. Up first? This two-cheese pasta with cauliflower, which is luscious and creamy and comes together in 35 minutes.

One important tip: Don’t be tempted to chop the cauliflower into small pieces before cooking it, lest you end up with a mushy mess of veggies. By keeping it in four larger pieces during the cooking time, it will retain some of its crispy texture by the time it hits your plate.

Reprinted with permission from Milk Street: Fast and Slow by Christopher Kimball, copyright © 2020. Published by Voracious, an imprint of Little, Brown Books.


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

1 medium garlic clove, smashed and peeled

One 2-pound head cauliflower—trimmed and quartered, core intact

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces short, curly pasta (such as gemelli or fusilli)

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to serve

1½ ounces pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated (½ cup), plus more to serve

1½ ounces aged provolone cheese, finely grated (½ cup), plus more to serve


1 .Select the Normal/Medium Sauté setting on the Instant Pot. Add the oil and garlic and cook, stirring, until the clove is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic, then add the cauliflower quarters. Cook, occasionally turning the cauliflower, until the pieces are well browned on all sides, 8 to 12 minutes. Add the pasta and pepper flakes, stirring to coat with the oil, then add 2¼ cups water, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Distribute the pasta in an even layer; it should be almost fully submerged in liquid (it’s fine if the cauliflower is not fully submerged).

2. Select Cancel, secure the lid and move the pressure valve to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook or Manual; make sure the pressure level is set to High. Set the cooking time for 3 minutes. When the pressure cooking is complete, quick-release the steam by moving the pressure valve to Venting. Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot.

3. Stir the mixture, breaking the cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Add the pecorino and stir until the cheese is evenly distributed and melted. Add the provolone, then stir until the pasta is glossy and lightly coated with melted cheese. Taste and season with salt and black pepper. Serve drizzled with additional oil and sprinkled with additional cheese and pepper flakes.

Nutrition Facts
  • 483 calories

  • 20g fat

  • 56g carbs

  • 21g protein

  • 6g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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