Instant Pot Penne Rustica is a copycat recipe for Macaroni Grill’s penne rustica. Featuring sauteed shrimp, chicken, and prosciutto, penne pasta, and a creamy rosemary sauce.
If you’re like us and love this dish, but had your local Macaroni Grill close you’re probably looking for a copycat version of it to make at home.
This dish is also inspired by Top Secrets Recipe’s copycat version of the dish that is made on the grill and then baked in the oven.
Some ingredients have been omitted and others were added or increased to make it possible to cook in an Instant Pot.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Penne Rustica
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Medium-Sized Shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tail-off
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
Heavy Whipping Cream
Chopped or Sliced Pimentos
This looks like a lot of ingredients, but trust me, it’s so flavorful and it’s surprisingly easy to make.
The Pasta Magic Formula
Pasta cooked in an Instant Pot does have a magic formula for how long to cook it and how much liquid to use.
If you have not heard of the magic formula, look at the time the package says to cook your pasta. It’s typically a range, so look at the lesser number.
If it’s an even number, perfect, if not, decrease it by 1 digit to get there. Then divide that number in half, and subtract 2 minutes.
Example: Box says to cook 11-12 minutes.
Since it is not an even number, decrease by 1 digit to get 10. Then divide in half to get 5, and subtract 2 = 3 minutes total cook time.
The reason it cooks so quickly is because the Instant Pot also needs to build pressure and heat. During that time it is already beginning to cook the pasta.
However, in this dish, we are combining not just pasta, but also chicken, shrimp, and prosciutto. This changes the time a little bit.
I found 5 minutes to be the perfect time to get al dente noodles.
How much liquid for penne in an Instant Pot?
A general rule of thumb for pasta is to add 2 cups liquid per 8 ounces of pasta.
In this particular recipe, instead of doubling the cups of liquid for the 16 ounces of penne, I added 1/2 cup less, so 3 1/2 cups liquid to 16 ounces.
It worked perfectly and still covered the penne, which is also important for pressure cooking pasta.
Try these other delicious Italian dishes!
- Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan
- Air Fryer Five Cheese Lasagna Fritta
- Breadcrumb Caesar Salad
- Chicken Marsala
- Crispy Homemade Pizza Crust
- Meatloaf Marsala
- Old Chicago’s Italian Nachos Copycat Recipe
- One-Pot Three-Cheese Chicken and Spinach Pasta
- Sheet Pan Italian Pork Tenderloin and Vegetables
- Spicy Honey Prosciutto Flatbread
- 16 oz Uncooked Penne
- 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 6 oz Medium-Sized Shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tail-off
- 2 oz Prosciutto, chopped
- Shallot, diced
- 1-2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Minced Garlic
- 3 tbsp Marsala Wine
- 1 1/2 cup Chicken Broth
- 2 cups Water
- 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 2 tsp Rosemary
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Thyme
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
- 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 cup Grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup Milk
- Grated Parmesan
- Chopped or Sliced Pimentos
- Rosemary Sprigs
- Tenderize chicken with a mallet, pat chicken dry with paper towel, and season with salt and pepper. Set Instant Pot to Saute setting and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, add chicken breasts and shallots and cook until chicken is browned and onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Set onion and chicken aside. Slice chicken into strips. Add shrimp and garlic to the pot. Cook until shrimp is no longer translucent and they pinken, about 1-2 minutes on each side.
- Set Instant Pot to Saute setting and deglaze pot with Marsala wine. Scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. This prevents the infamous Burn error. Whisk in water, chicken broth, dijon mustard, rosemary, salt, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Add penne and make sure pasta is covered with liquid, but do not stir. Add chicken, shrimp, and chopped prosciutto on top of the pasta.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot, seal, and use the Manual setting to cook for 5 minutes. Pressurizing will take approximately 10 minutes.
- Once it is done cooking, quick release (use an oven mitt to prevent burning!) In a bowl, whisk together heavy whipping cream, milk, and Parmesan. Set Instant Pot to Saute setting. Slowly add cream and cheese to the pot and carefully stir to thicken as the cheese melts.
- Serve topped with pimentos, sprinkle with paprika, sprigs of rosemary, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top.
If using pre-cooked shrimp, skip sauteeing and add them to the Instant Pot when the chicken is adding back in before closing the lid to cook the pasta.