This Penne Pasta is loaded with red lentils and veggies. This is a pandemic-special dish – NO fresh veggies required. BUT, despite that constraint, this dish is still loaded with lots of nutrition – red lentils, frozen veggies, herbs, etc.
This dish will also please adults and kids alike. You see, the red lentils are ground and blended in with the pasta sauce such that your young ‘un will not notice. This is not a carb-heavy dish that is just pasta, pasta, pasta – but a well, balanced meal…Booyah!!
And this dish is a one-pot dish. Yes, siree!! There’s no boiling water and draining pasta business. I love this new trend of making Mac and Cheese and all kinds of pasta dishes on the Instant Pot (one-pot style)!! You know me, I love a time-saving kitchen hack any day.
This is such a simple recipe.
- Grind red lentils in a coffee grinder
This will ensure 1) leveling the cooking time with pasta = 5 minutes pressure 2) disappear the lentils into the sauce and trick the li’l ones !! (Insert evil laugh here)
- Stir fry ingredients to absorb the oil, herbs, and the garlicky flavors
- Add canned tomatoes, penne pasta, close lid and pressure cook for 5 min
- Keep it vegan or add cheese at the end.
Instant Pot Penne Pasta loaded with red lentils and veggiesCourse: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: Italian, AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Make Penne Pasta quickly in an Instant Pot with this one-pot recipe. This pasta is loaded with protein from red lentils and 2 cups of vegetables. Healthy and Tasty!!
1.5 cups Penne Pasta
1/4 cup Masoor Dal (Split Red Lentils)
1 cup Frozen Mixed Veggies
1 cup Frozen Chopped Spinach
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Dried Herbs
1 tsp Dried Oregano
2 tsp Dried Parsley
1.5 tsp Dried Basil
0.5 tsp Dried Thyme
0.5 tsp Dried Dill
OR substitute above with 2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
- Other Ingredients
1/4 tsp Dried Granulated Garlic (or powder)
3 Tbsp Dried Onion Flakes
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Can Water = 1.75 cups
Salt and Pepper
3/4 cup Shredded Cheese (Optional)
- Pour 1/4 cup of split red lentils and grind it in a coffee grinder for about 10-15 seconds until you get a medium ground powder.
- Set Instant Pot in Saute Mode. Once the pot is hot, add olive oil, granulated garlic, onion flakes and stir for a few seconds (Be alert -Do not let it burn).
- Add the ground red lentils and stir fry for about 30 seconds.
- Add the herbs, stir for 10 seconds. Next add the frozen mixed veggies, and spinach. Stir well, scraping all the sides and bottom and mix well.
- Now add the canned tomatoes and water to the instant pot. Finally add the penne pasta and salt to taste. Mix well. Set Manual Pressure to 5 minutes.
- Once the Instant Pot is done. Give it 10 minutes to relax and open the lid, releasing any remaining steam. If you want more al dente; open at 5. Add shredded cheese, pepper to taste. Stir and serve.
At the start of the “stay-in-shelter”, I saw many people on my twitter and Whatsapp feeds who were gung-ho to try really complex recipes. They were very proud to show step 1-20 of a 4-course meal (I mean – All power to folks who try!! You go Bro/ Sis).
But recently, folks have lowered their tune a little. They just want to pull a meal together quickly and go about their Zoom meetings :). If you are tired of cooking you could try this easy dish…It should not take anymore than 15 minutes to put this meal together.
Some other easy 10-minute dishes that require no fresh veggies and are geared towards reduced grocery store trips (pandemic- friendly) are:
I hope you enjoyed this hearty Instant Pot Penne Pasta loaded with red lentils and veggies recipe. Do try it and post your thoughts and comments below. I look forward to reading them.
Stay safe, everyone!! Stay Positive and sending my love to all of you!!