Short Rib Pasta with Butternut and Arugula - Danielle Walker

It has been a while since I shared a brand new recipe with you all, so I am so excited to share this recipe for Short Rib Pasta with Butternut and Arugula! With the new year in full swing, my kids back in school, and activities back in session, I need all the quick and easy meals on rotation. This recipe is made in the Instant Pot, which limits the number of dishes used and gets a delicious flavorful meal on the table in no time! The short ribs are seared in the Instant Pot with garlic and spices and then cooked with pasta and butternut squash. It is a great weeknight meal to make when you don’t have a ton of time to monitor dinner. You can just set it to pressure and let it cook! 

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, I have also included a slow cooker version for this Short Rib Pasta. Both versions give you tender and flavorful short ribs for a simple weeknight (and kid-friendly!) meal. If you prefer to keep it 100% paleo, I also have instructions on how to make it with spiralized veggies below! 

Short Rib Pasta on a white plate

The pasta:

My kids eat 100% gluten-free and with that, I include some grains like organic brown rice pasta, and white rice. If you are able to tolerate grains, you can use brown rice pasta or your favorite gluten-free pasta in this recipe. I am able to tolerate chickpea pasta, so when I am making this recipe for myself I like to use that. Cassava pasta would also work here if you can tolerate it. A good rule of thumb when making pasta in your instant pot is to set the pressure timer to half the time the box calls for. I have found this works with just about all gluten-free pastas! 

If you are looking to keep this recipe for Short Rib Pasta 100% paleo, you can use vegetable noodles such as zucchini or sweet potatoes. Simply reduce the broth called for in the recipe to ½ cup and stir in the noodles with the arugula. The hot liquid in the pot will cook the vegetable noodles sufficiently. 

Two white plates with Short Rib Pasta

Braising the meat

The most important step in this recipe is browning the short ribs. That is where most of the flavor from the beef will come from by giving this dish depth and spice. I put my pressure cooker on the saute mode and brown all sides of the ribs. It is really important to make sure that they are deep brown on all sides. Don’t worry if the brown bits are sticking to the bottom of the pot; it will add more flavor and will lift once you add the broth. 

More Instant Pot Recipes

My next cookbook coming out in Fall ‘22 will have a bunch of brand new Instant Pot recipes (all with slow cooker or stovetop modifications!) –  but in the meantime, I have a ton of recipes on the blog for you! You can check out my Slow Cooker and Instant Pot tab over on my blog for plenty of easy one-pot recipes for those busy work weeks!

One white plate with Short Rib Pasta and a yellow colored drink in a clear glass on the side

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photos by Ashley Lima


Short Rib Pasta with Butternut and Arugula

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4.9 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Danielle
  • Prep Time: 7 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds bone-in short ribs
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups beef bone broth
  • 12 ounces peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 8 ounce uncooked grain-free pasta shells
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chopped arugula
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    Optional : cashew parmesan cheese (page 315 Eat What You Love), for topping


  1. Heat the oil in the bottom of an electric pressure cooker using the sauté function on high heat. Season the short ribs well with sea salt and pepper. Add the short ribs, and brown really well on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, chili powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant. Pour in the bone broth and secure the lid. Set the machine to meat/stew for 40 minutes.
  2. Quick release the pressure and shred the meat with 2 forks. Remove the bones. Add the butternut squash, pasta, sea salt and pepper. Return the lid to the pot and set the machine to manual high pressure for 0 minutes. Press the start button. When the cooking cycle is complete, allow the pressure to naturally release for 8 minutes. Manually release the remaining pressure. Remove the lid, stir in the lemon juice and arugula, and let stand for 5 minutes to wilt. Divide the pasta into bowls and serve hot with a sprinkle of Cashew Parmesan Cheese or a dash of red pepper flakes.
  • Slow Cooker Instructions: Cook the beef in the broth with the spices for 6 hours on low. Shred the meat and add the butternut squash and continue cooking for 2 hours. Cook the pasta separately on the stovetop according to the instructions on the box, or roast sweet potato noodles according to page 129 in Healthy In a Hurry (Smoky Shrimp and Mussels Pasta).



Tidbits: To swap the grain-free noodles in for vegetable noodles such as zucchini or sweet potato, reduce the broth to 1/2 cup and stir in the noodles with the arugula. The hot liquid in the pot will cook the vegetable noodles sufficiently.


Short Rib Pasta with Butternut and Arugula


  1. Cheryl says:

    Do you think you could use spinach instead of arugula?

  2. Jennifer says:

    I really want to try this recipe; it sounds delicious! However, being a pressure cooker novice, I do not understand the instructions where it is said to set the pressure cooker to manual and set to 0 minutes. Is that a typo? Seems that 0 minutes wouldn’t cause the pressure cooker to run at all. Can someone help this novice out?

  3. Nicole A from KC says:

    Hello –
    I’m new to the instant pot – is that a typo in step two? How do you high pressure for 0 minutes?

  4. Toni Page says:

    Is the time correct for how long the Instapot needs to be set once you have added the butternut squash, pasta, etc? Zero minutes?
    Thank you for clarifying!

  5. Maria says:

    We added a little too much salt I think and the fat of the short ribs didn’t render like we expected it to (we did the Instapot method), but it was a tasty meal!! Looking forward to making it again

  6. Susan Martorana says:

    Can you please verify the number of cooking minutes after adding the squash and pasta?
    Thanks…can’t wait to try this!

  7. Samara Kline says:

    In step 2, should you really set the machine for manual high pressure “for 0 minutes”? Or is that a typo?

  8. Kristin says:

    Excited to give this a try! Any suggestions for a sub for the arugula? Maybe spinach?

  9. V wilson says:

    high pressure for 0 minutes???

    Got all the ingredients to make it and can’t proceed until step number 2’s fourth sentence tells me how long to cook the squash and pasta!!
    Hope you fix this right away; the waiting is the hardest part, lol.

  10. Jenny Orkin says:

    Hello Danielle! I cannot wait to make this beautiful meal for my family. Thank you for sharing it. In step 2 for the IP version, how many minutes do you cook the squash + pasta?

  11. Liz Igo says:

    Hello! Looking forward to making this recipe next week. I had a quick question though- in the instant pot directions after the meat shredding instructions, it says to add the rest of the ingredients and set for 0 minutes. Is this supposed to be 10? Or how long is it supposed to cook?
    Thanks, Liz

  12. Dana M says:

    Yum! This is delicious. Even my picky teenager loved it! It was easy to make in the instant pot. I do not have one with the meat/stew setting, but it still came out great. The ribs were tender and the squash melted right into the dish. This is easy, flavorful and a great way to get some different veggies in for kids. Will definitely keep this in rotation.

  13. Marie says:

    I am in the process of making this recipe and it states to cook to the pasta/potatoes for 0 minutes. How long should it be?

  14. A says:

    Wondering if I missed a step. I made this tonight and it smelled delicious and had amazing flavors but was inedible because the amount of grease throughout. What did I do wrong?

  15. Sabrina says:

    This was amazing!! I had to add a couples mins (2) to cook my choice of pasta a little more, and add more broth because I got the dreaded burn message….but all that aside it was AWESOME!! Soo flavourful. Thanks for another top shelf recipe Danielle 🙂

  16. Leeandra says:

    Hi!! Can I use frozen butternut squash? I have some in my freezer and wanted to make this recipe.

    Thank you!!

  17. Kelly says:

    Could I sub in frozen butternut squash? If so, when would you add it to the pressure cooker and for how long?

    Thanks! Can’t want to try this recipe!

  18. Kelly P. says:

    This was delicious even my husband or kids (two boys 6, and 8) cleaned their plates! Had to sub in bison chick roast for the short ribs as none of my local grocery stores had them this week.

  19. Stephanie says:

    Made this last night ahhhhhmazing. I did have to cook longer in the instapot for the meat to shred. I will definitely make this again. I switched out the arugula for spinach.

  20. Margaret says:

    Oh my Danielle hats off to you for answering the same questions over and over and over! What a patient soul you are 😊I’m sure it must do your head in! Why people don’t scroll through the current questions to see if someone else has addressed their query!

  21. Stephanie says:

    I made this last week and used spinach as I couldn’t find arugula. This was absolutely amazing!! Definitely a keeper!! Will be making it again next week. Sooooo goodn

  22. Kate says:

    I love this dish. I’ve made it 3 times.

    Usually I use Banza chickpea pasta, but today I used Jovial cassava pasta – the pasta got very mushy, which is not the case when I use Banza.

    Also, I had a little less meat (2.3 lbs) and I seared the meat 9 minutes before adding the onions and garlic, because I was afraid I’d overcook the short ribs. Do not be afraid of this. The meat wouldn’t fall off the bone like it normally does when I cook this dish.

    Just thought I’d share some of my learning curve in case it helps anyone else.

  23. Kristie says:

    I only have boneless short ribs. Do I need to adjust the time on my pressure cooker?

    • Danielle says:

      I haven’t tried it with that specific cut but I believe that there are no adjustments needed for the time. However, I’d double check your appliance instructions and see what it says. Happy cooking!

  24. ginger says:

    LOVE this recipe! SO good, but can you help me figure out how to translate the meat/stew setting for a pressure cooker… second time making this for Christmas/New Years and it takes way longer than the 40! Thanks for a great recipe!

  25. Sally R says:

    Looking forward to making this for friends. What appetizers and desserts would you suggest? Do you think it needs a salad I addition to the arugula?

    • Danielle says:

      Totally up to you and what you think your guests would like! On the website, if you click RECIPES, you’ll see buttons for both desserts and appetizers that will bring up lots of options.

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