Instant Pot Recipes from a Chef's Wife and IP Enthusiast

Zesty Red Wine Vinaigrette Instant Pot Pasta Salad

Start to finish cook time: 16 minutes (11 pressurize + 3 high pressure + 2 depressurize)
*reaching pressure time is based of a 6QT*
**BEST IF MADE A FEW HOURS IN ADVANCE TO SOAK FLAVOR**
Effort Level: Low
Servings: 6 servings


BBQ season is upon us and that means pasta salad!!! Although I like most pasta salads, I freaking love pasta salad that is red wine vinaigrette based. This is so good- tanginess of vinegar, saltiness and spicy seasoning, sweetness of sugar, the crunch of cucumber/onion/carrots, the healthy fats of avocado... Yum

Now this recipe is fast, but I encourage you to make it a few hours before hand and here is the reason why. This gives your pasta time to soak in all those yummy favors and keeps the body present. You can make it right before and throw in freezer to chill for a few minutes when in a bind, but as my husband said try it once where you let it sit for a few hours and you will see the difference in flavor.

If you want to jump straight to the recipe, no need to keep scrolling it's right below. If you want step-by-step pictures though, I've included those below the recipe. And as my Chef husband says, "Food is love". Enjoy!






Ingredients 
  • 2 1/2 cups dried tri-color rotini (roughly 1/2 box)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt (to water for pasta boil)
  • 1/2 seedless cucumbers, quartered
  • 1/3 of red onion, thin sliced
  • 1/2 cup matchstixs carrots
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup & 1 tbsp red wine vinegar 
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 1/4 tsp sugar 
  • 3/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning 
  • 1/8 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp regular salt (for vinaigrette seasoning)

Instructions
  1. Add water, pasta,  and 1 tsp salt to your Instant Pot. Stir.
  2. Seal and set to high pressure for 3 minutes and allow 11 minutes to reach pressure. Be sure the steam vent is set to the sealed position.
  3. Dice avocado into squares and lightly salt. Quarter cucumbers.
  4. Cut red onion in half and thin slice if you have a mandolin this is perfect for for that extra thin slices. Soak for several minutes in cold water, this removes that extra onion "bite" that can be overwhelming.
  5. Mix in a measuring cup 1/4 cup & 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 2 1/4 tsp sugar, 3/4 tsp oregano, 1/8 tsp creole, 1/8 tsp garlic salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix and set aside.
  6. Once it beeps that it's finished on high pressure, allow to sit for 2 minutes before releasing remaining pressure. Pour pasta into strainer, to remove excess water. Turn on facet on cold, toss pasta until pasta is cold to the touch.
  7. After cold and strained, add pasta to a bowl. Toss in prepared vegetables and dressing you have prepared. 
  8. IMPORTANT- If you can, let sit for a few hours in the fridge- this will enhance the flavor (but if you do this, do not add avocado until closer to serving so it doesn't brown). If you don't have the time, you can put in the freezer for a few minutes to finish the cooling process but sitting for a bit gives better flavor. Enjoy!
Add pasta, water, and salt. Set to 3 minutes high pressure, allow
X minutes to build pressure. Once it beeps, let sit 3 minutes
before releasing remaining pressure.
Thin slice 1/2 of a red onion. 
Soak red onion in water for several minutes. Quarter cucumber, dice
avocado. Measure out carrots. Pre mix oil, vinegar, and all seasonings
in a measuring cup and set aside for later. 
Strain excess liquid and run under cold water until
pasta is cold to the touch. 
Toss cold pasta with dressing mix and veggies. If
time permitting, let sit for several hours in the fridge to
enhance the flavor. If time isn't on your side, let sit
in freezer for a few minutes just to add extra give
extra chill.
Enjoy!