Today I’m sharing my favorite childhood dish, beefaroni. Yeah, I know. It’s nothing fancy but it’s what I loved to eat as a child. This Instant Pot Beefaroni recipe comes after years of trying to get it just right. And now it’s perfect.
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I first remember having you know who’s beefaroni when I was in elementary school. My mom gave me money to get something to eat from the Bodega (corner store) and I came back with a can. We weren’t the type of family to eat out of a can which is probably why whenever I had a little extra money I would buy Chef Boyardee. I loved the beefaroni and the ravioli.
This is a really filling and hearty dish. As a kid it was one of my favorite things to have. And I have to admit as a grown up, I still like it. But I am a lot like my mother and I’d rather make something than buy it out of a can. It also costs a lot less to make it yourself.
These days a can of beefaroni can run you as much as $2.50. You can make a huge pot of it for just about $6.00. So when I’m looking for a really comforting dish that reminds me of childhood, I make beefaroni.
I’ve tried to make beefaroni many times over the last couple of years. My first try I used store bought tomato sauce. Then I tried making my own tomato sauce stovetop. What I realized through trial and error and lots of research on Ettore “Hector” Boiardi it’s all in the sauce. I had to get the sauce right and then everything else would fall into place.
I love the story behind the original dish too. It’s Chef Boiardi recipes (put into a can) that helped bring Italian food into American homes. Of course, I’m happy that I didn’t give up. It took a while but I finally figured out a great sauce. Now my Instant Pot Beefaroni recipe is spot on.
BTW … I really think the pasta makes this dish, so if you can pick up 1 pound mezzani rigate pasta do it!!
Instant Pot Beefaroni
Instant Pot Beefaroni
- 1 pound cavateppi or mezzani pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 medium onion minced
- 8 ounces tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
Optional Toppings: parmesan cheese, fresh basil & creme fraiche
- Cook noodles stove top according to directions. Once cooked drain and set aside.
- While noodles are cooking season ground beef with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Mix well.
- Press saute on the Instant Pot and add olive oil. Once hot, add ground beef to pressure cooker and brown.
- Once meat has browned, add onions and tomato paste. Mix well. Then add garlic, sugar and tomato sauce.
- Cancel saute, place lid on IP and lock. Make sure pressure valve is closed.
- Press manual, high pressure and set time for 25 minutes.
- Once finished allow pressure cooker to natural pressure release.
- Remove lid from pressure cooker and add noodles to ground beef sauce.
- In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water to make a thick mixture.
- Press saute button on pressure cooker and add cornstarch mixture to noodle and beef mixture a little bit at a time.
If you would prefer not to add cornstarch allow beef and noodle mixture to simmer (uncovered) until the liquid evaporates.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
So the kids get plain beefaroni but I jazz it up for the adults with some fresh chopped basil and creme fraiche. Yup… dress it up, or dress it down this Instant Pot Beefaroni is perfect for your children and for you. If you need a dessert try my creme brûlée.
I’m sharing my childhood favorites. What are your favorite meals from childhood?