Recipe: Chef Alli's Creamy Penne with Hamburger

My good friend Chef Alli is a lifesaver! Anytime I'm trying to figure something out - I text her and she's there for me with answers. I recently got an Electric Pressure Cooker (aka Instant Pot Lookalike) from the folks at Crock Pot and decided to make dinner - and wasn't sure where to start! 

Chef Alli sent me a couple of her tried and true perfection recipes to get started with and it was a huge success! I went for the Creamy Cheeseburger Penne and was not disappointed - this dish went together so quickly and came out perfectly! (If you want to learn new recipes for your EPC - follow Chef Alli on Facebook - she does a Facebook Live every Thursday night!) 

Here's the Electric Pressure Cooker that Crock Pot sent me - it's on special for $69.99 right now too! It came with a cookbook and it's pretty easy to use - but there are little quirks as you get to know your electric pressure cooker and it helps to have a pro in your pocket. 

That's why this recipe was a great starter! You start out with it on the "brown/saute" setting and brown the ground beef (or ground pork) and onions. I didn't worry if it was a little pink because I know it's going to get cooked more.

From there you layer on the ingredients - and one tip was DO NOT STIR! The noodles will float to the top and you want the liquid on the bottom. Also - yes - you use UNCOOKED noodles - that was the question I had to ask Alli when I was making this - they cook in the EPC.

When it came out - it was perfect! The noodles were al dente - still with a little bite to them - and even the onions had texture still - nothing was mushy. I am making this recipe again this week - and adding mushrooms to the mix! (of course - I love mushrooms!)

Chef Alli's Creamy Penne Pasta with Ground Beef

My friend Chef Alli is the bomb when it comes to the Electric Pressure Cooker and she shared her recipe for Creamy Penne Pasta with Ground Beef and I put my own little spin on it!
prep time: 10 minscook time: 10 minstotal time: 20 mins


  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic (or 3 cloves)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 8 oz mini penne pasta (uncooked)
  • 24 oz jar marinara
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1/2 brick cream cheese, cubed


  1. Set Electric Pressure Cooker (EPC) to saute setting and add olive oil to pot
  2. When oil is hot, add onions, garlic and ground beef. Brown until beef is no longer pink. Drain fat from pot. 
  3. Add salt, basil and oregano, stir gently
  4. Evenly pour shells over ground beef in EPC, then add marinara sauce and water. DO NOT STIR!!! I REPEAT - DO NOT STIR!!!
  5. Lock EPC lid into place and switch to High Pressure setting for 5 minutes (on mine - I had to select Chili - then High Pressure)
  6. When timer sounds, perform a quick release to remove all pressure from EPC. Remove lid.
  7. Stir in milk, parmesan, mozzarella and cream cheese
  8. Serve!


You can swap the milk/cream cheese for 1 cup whipping cream. Next time, I'll add mushrooms too.

Follow Chef Alli on Facebook - she does a Facebook Live every Thursday with a new EPC recipe! 

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