Instant Pot Cafeteria Noodles–buttered egg noodles kicked up a notch! A super fast and easy recipe for classic comfort food.
Instant Pot Cafeteria Noodles
Cafeteria noodles are taking TikTok by storm lately! They are a leveled up version of the easy butter noodles that you used to eat in the cafeteria at school. My version is, of course, made in the Instant Pot, which makes them even easier!
These noodles make a perfect side dish to any meal, whether it’s roasted chicken, grilled steak or roasted eggplant. They can also be served as a main course on their own, topped with some Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of parsley. You can also add a can of drained tuna or some rotisserie chicken into the pot.
One of the great things about making buttered egg noodles in the Instant Pot is that it saves time and makes cleanup a breeze. Unlike traditional stovetop cooking methods, there’s no need to boil water separately or dirty additional pots and pans. Simply add the ingredients into the pot, pressure cook for 1 minute and stir! That’s it! The texture of the noodles comes out perfectly making them a crowd-pleaser for everyone at the table.
- Better than Bouillon Chicken Base–you can also use 4 cups of chicken broth instead of the water and chicken and base.
- Black pepper
- Egg noodles–you can also use another type of pasta like rotini
- Campbell’s Cream of Chicken with Herbs Soup–or cream of mushroom soup or cream of celery soup
Turn Instant Pot to saute setting. Add in the water and let the pot start heating up while you gather the rest of your ingredients. Add in the chicken base and stir a bit to dissolve. Add in the pepper and butter.
Add in the noodles and finally the condensed soup. Don’t stir.
Turn off saute setting. Cover the pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 1 minute. When time is up let pot sit for 5 minutes and then move valve to venting. Remove the lid.
Stir well. If needed, loosen with a bit of milk. Serve and enjoy!
Equipment that I used
- I used my 6 quart Instant Pot*. You can also make this in an 8 quart pot.
- Measuring spoons*
- Measuring cups*
- Serving spoon*
What do I serve with buttered egg noodles?
If you are looking to create a more complete and well-rounded meal, there are several options for what to serve alongside the noodles. Roasted or grilled meat (chicken, beef, pork), vegetables (roasted broccoli, green beans or asparagus), bread or rolls (crusty baguette, garlic bread or dinner rolls).
What if I don’t want to use canned cream of soups?
Make your own cream of soup: You can easily make a cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup at home with just a few ingredients. You would add in your homemade version of the soup after the pressure cooking time is up instead of before.
Use cream cheese: use half of a brick of cream cheese in its place. Place the cream cheese on top of the uncooked noodles and stir it in after the cooking time is up. You may need to add in some extra seasonings and maybe some milk to loosen up the noodles a bit.
Can I freeze leftover cafeteria noodles?
Yes, you can freeze leftover cafeteria buttered egg noodles for later use. Here are some tips for freezing and reheating them:
- Cool the noodles: Allow the noodles to cool down to room temperature before freezing. This will prevent them from forming ice crystals and becoming soggy.
- Portion the noodles: Divide the noodles into individual portions that you can easily reheat later. This will prevent you from having to thaw and reheat the entire batch at once.
- Place in an airtight container: Place the portioned noodles in a freezer-safe, airtight container or freezer bag. Make sure to label the container with the date and contents.
- Freeze the noodles: Place the container in the freezer and freeze for up to three months.
- Reheat the noodles: To reheat the frozen buttered egg noodles, simply remove the desired portion from the freezer and place it in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave the noodles for 2-3 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
Alternatively, you can also reheat the noodles on the stovetop. Place the frozen noodles in a saucepan with a small amount of water or chicken broth. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
It’s worth noting that freezing may alter the texture of the noodles slightly, but they should still be flavorful and enjoyable. By following these simple tips, you can freeze leftover buttered egg noodles and enjoy them again at a later time.
Variations of Instant Pot Cafeteria Noodles
These noodles can be customized in many ways to suit your taste preferences. Here are some variations of cafeteria egg noodles:
- Add fresh herbs: To give your egg noodles a fresh and fragrant flavor, you can add fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, or rosemary. Always add fresh herbs to your dish after the pressure cooking time is up.
- Lemon noodles: For a tangy twist, add a splash of lemon juice to the pot after pressure cooking time is up. You can also add lemon zest for extra flavor.
- Garlic noodles: Garlic lovers will enjoy adding minced garlic or garlic powder to the pot after the pressure cooking time is up.
- Mushroom noodles: Add sautéed mushrooms to the cooked noodles for a rich and earthy flavor.
- Tomato basil noodles: For a light and fresh twist on the classic dish, add diced tomatoes and fresh basil to the noodles.
- Meaty noodles: You can also add cooked and diced chicken, meatballs, tuna or cooked ground beef to the noodles for a more substantial meal.
More Instant Pot recipes that use egg noodles
Jackie Kennedy’s Casserole (Instant Pot Version)
A simple noodle casserole that was supposedly served by the first lady during her stay in the White House. This casserole uses basic ingredients and comes together quickly with the help of your Instant Pot and air fryer lid.
Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
This recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup is fast and easy to make. No need to cook the chicken ahead of time, just add it straight to your pressure cooker along with the veggies and broth. We love making this recipe on a cold day or when we have a sick one in the house.
Instant Pot Husband’s Delight
Instant Pot Husband’s Delight could be called wife’s delight or kid’s delight too! Everybody loves this sour cream noodle bake with egg noodles, ground beef, red sauce, cheese and sour cream. Speed up the prep process of this casserole with your Instant Pot.
Did you know you can filter the recipes on my website to search by meat type, IP or Crockpot, low carb, gluten free, etc.? Use the filter to find exactly what you are looking for.
Instant Pot Cafeteria Noodles
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 minute (plus 5 minute NPR)
- Total Time: 11 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
Buttered egg noodles kicked up a notch! A super fast and easy recipe for classic comfort food.
- 4 cups water
- 1 Tbsp Better than Bouillon Chicken Base
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 (12 oz) package egg noodles
- 1 (10.75 oz) can Campbell’s Cream of Chicken with Herbs Soup
- Turn Instant Pot to saute setting. Add in the water and let the pot start heating up while you gather the rest of your ingredients.
- Add in the chicken base and stir a bit to dissolve. Add in the pepper, butter, noodles and finally the condensed soup. Don’t stir.
- Turn off saute setting. Cover the pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 1 minute. When time is up let pot sit for 5 minutes and then move valve to venting. Remove the lid.
- Stir well. If needed, loosen with a bit of milk. Serve and enjoy!
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Instant Pot
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
John M. says
This came together perfectly and tasted great! As soon as I took my first bite, I knew where that name came from. Took me back down Memory Lane to be sure. I made this as written in my 3 qt. IP Mini, with the addition of 1/2 tsp. each of basil, oregano & parsley to make up for not finding cream of chicken soup w/herbs, and thanks to advice from a helpful commenter here. A brand called ‘Yolk Free’ egg noodles comes in 12 oz. packages here in the Intermountain West. Thanks for another winning recipe, Karen.
John M. says
That should read ‘No Yolk’ egg noodles.
I love Memory Lane! Always a fun trip!
what if we wanted to add meat to the IP like about 1-2lbs of chicken? what would the timing be for that?
Hey Cory, if it’s raw meat you’ll want to cook it beforehand. If you are adding it cooked rotisserie chicken you can just add it in on top of the noodles.
made these tonight, raving phone calls and sending recipe to my family it was so good.
oh this is fun to read! Thanks Sue!
Wonderful! Easy and goes with everything. Didn’t have egg noodles so used bow tie pasta. Worked fine. Probably better with noodles but we LOVED IT!!
Yay! So glad you loved it Linda!
3/5/23 – Made this as a side dish for a family dinner. Used the 3 quart IP. It was well received! Noodles came out perfect. I used a digital scale to measure out the 12 oz of egg noodles as packages of egg noodle around here are 16oz. Will be adding this to my favorites and plan to make often in the future. Next time I’m going to try the mushroom variation or the Tomato basil variation.
So glad you all liked it! I have seen both 12 ounce and 16 ounce bags…I guess the latest one I used was 12 ounces.
Once the noodles are done and I want to thin it out, do I have to use milk? Can I use a little stock or broth?
sure! That would be great
We tried this tonight with a few changes. I didn’t have the chicken “better than bouillon” so I used the garlic version. Browned some hamburger (like you suggested in the variations) and then after the time was up, I added some frozen peas I had steamed in the bag. Turned out delicious and will be added to our regular rotation because it was so easy and fast.
wow good idea on the beef and peas! That makes it into a dinner for sure!
Barbara, we must live in the same area of Canada —- I’ve never seen Cream of Chicken Soup with herbs either! The recipe sounds really good Karen.
In the area of Canada I live in we don’t get Campbells Cream of Chicken soup with Herbs …… we only get plain Cream of Chicken soup ….. what herbs would you suggest adding?
You can just use cream of chicken! Will be great!
I have a can of Campbell’s Cream of Chicken with Herbs soup. The herbs added are basil, oregano, and dried parsley. The sodium contenti s higher. With Herbs, it is 790 mg. plain cream of chicken has 410 mg.
THANKS Lynn ….. that is so helpful!!