Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs is a dinner everyone can agree on.
This Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe is a makeover of the classic and uses just a few ingredients you probably already have for dinner in less than 30-minutes!
This is my go-to when I’m pushing the schedule.
It is a quick, one-pot meal that reminds me of my grandma’s spaghetti.
It tastes and has a texture like baked spaghetti, more than a stovetop sauce.
Try adding fresh spinach leaves to the top of the pot for cooking or swap the marinara for Alfredo.
This is usually my meal to use up leftover meatloaf.
An easy dinner recipe perfect for any busy weeknight and delicious the next day.
Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Function and Time: Manual or Pressure Cook for 10-minutes
20 minute cook time
Release Method + Time: Quick Release
Total Time: 25 minutes
Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe Ingredients:
1 lb frozen meatballs
1 lb spaghetti, uncooked pasta
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
24 oz. marinara sauce
3 cups water
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
fresh basil, optional
How to Make Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
Get ready to cook.
Arrange frozen meatballs (or leftover meatloaf) in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
Place uncooked spaghetti on top of the meat, fanning out–criss-cross in opposite directions to avoid clumping.
Drizzle spaghetti with Olive Oil.
Pour jar of spaghetti sauce on top of the noodles.
Add 3 cups of water to the pot.
Lock Lid and Set Time:
Lock the lid and turn the valve to the “sealing” position.
Press Manual or Pressure Cook and set the time for 10-minutes HIGH pressure.
When the timer beeps, Quick Release steam; keeping hands and face away from steam.
Note: Quick release is essential. Don’t use Natural Release, or you will have a mushy mess.
It’s Going to Look Soupy:
When you take the lid off the pot, it will look a little liquidy–like soup. You’ll want to stir it well to incorporate all of the liquid into the noodles and break up any clumps of noodles. Then let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving on Keep Warm to set up.
Add Cheese and Serve.
Open Instant Pot, stir in cheese and basil (if using), and serve immediately.
We love this easy instant pot spaghetti with garlic bread.
Pasta in the Instant Pot:
- When cooking pasta in the Instant Pot the standard cooking time in the Instant Pot is half the time the package directions say, with a Quick Release of the pressure when done for the best results. It’s not always 100-percent accurate, but very close.
- You can use other pasta shapes–they have varying cooking times to reach al dente:
- Macaroni is typically 4 minutes
- Penne is 5 minutes
- Farfalle is 5 to 6 minutes
- The best ratio of pasta to water is 4-ounces of pasta to 8-ounces of water (or broth). It doesn’t matter much what shape the pasta is, it’s the weight that matters most.
You can skip the meatballs and opt to brown 1 pound of ground beef or ground turkey first.
- Turn Instant Pot to the saute function (on low, if available). Add the olive oil. When hot, add the ground beef to the bottom of the pot. Saute, breaking up the meat, until browned. Turn off saute mode. Drain excess grease. Deglaze the pot after browning the meat. When the meat is done cooking, pour in the water or chicken stock while scraping the bottom of the pot. It’s important to scrape everything off the bottom of the pot to avoid the burn notice on the Instant Pot. Besides, the browned bits stuck are morsels of flavor!
Then add uncooked spaghetti noodles, pasta sauce, water, and press Manual HIGH Pressure, and set the cooking time for 10-minutes.
Use the recipe above as a foundation for an easy meal.
It’s easy to customize.
Here are a few of my family’s favorite ways:
- Add an Onion – Yellow onion is my go-to; however, a white onion works just as well. I keep chopped onion in baggies in my freezer (in one cup measurements) and then add a baggie to the pot. You can also saute the onion by preheating the Instant Pot using the “saute” setting. Add 2 teaspoons of Olive oil–once the oil is heated, add the chopped onion and saute until the onion is softened and almost translucent. (Recipe instructions above will then begin.)
- Garlic – Use fresh garlic for the most aromatic flavor. I use 6 cloves of garlic freshly minced.
- Use different meats– I love the frozen meatballs for busy nights, but on a spaghetti night where I’m laxer in getting dinner to the table, we use lean ground beef to make meat sauce spaghetti. However, you could opt for ground pork, ground Italian sausage, ground turkey, or ground chicken.
- Salt-to taste
- Pepper –coarse black pepper is our go-to.
- Garlic Powder-1 tsp garlic powder, in addition to the garlic cloves.
- 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
- Spaghetti Sauce – You can use a 24 oz. jar of your favorite store-bought sauce, or try our Italian Gravy Homemade Sauce for the best results.
- Substitute the water for Chicken Stock – use Homemade Chicken Stock when available. You can also use Vegetable Stock in needed.
- 1 Can Diced tomatoes, drained–if you like a little more “chunk” to your sauce
- You can use any ground Italian sausage, ground pork, ground turkey, or ground chicken instead of beef if you’d like.
- If using jarred pasta sauce: you may need to adjust the seasoning. Many store-bought sauces don’t have as much flavor as homemade, so feel free to taste it and add more salt, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, or herbs.
- Whole Wheat Pasta: Whole wheat pasta is delicious, but if overcooked can have a mushy texture. Look at the package directions and pressure cook the pasta for half of the time that the directions suggest.
- Red Pepper Flakes and Parmesan Cheese make the best spaghetti toppings.
The advice to drape a towel over the pressure release valve when releasing the pressure is bad advice.
It is NOT safe.
The Instant Pot valve is designed to release steam upward, and putting anything over it makes it a hazard and may
damage the appliance. It can also create an unsafe vacuum effect, causing steam to be sucked back into the cooker.
Do not use a towel or cloth to cover the valve while it’s releasing.
What is your fast family dinner?
- 1 lb frozen meatballs
- 1 lb spaghetti, uncooked pasta
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 24 oz. marinara sauce
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- fresh basil, optional
Get ready to cook.
- Arrange frozen meatballs (or leftover meatloaf) in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Place uncooked spaghetti on top of the meat, fanning out--criss-cross in opposite directions to avoid clumping.
- Drizzle spaghetti with Olive Oil.
- Pour jar of spaghetti sauce on top of the noodles.
- Add 3 cups of water to the pot.
Lock Lid and Set Time:
- Lock the lid and turn the valve to the "sealing" position.
- Press Manual or Pressure Cook and set the time for 10-minutes HIGH pressure.
- When the timer beeps, Quick Release steam; keeping hands and face away from steam.
- Note: Quick release is essential. Don't use Natural Release or you will have a mushy mess.
- It's Going to Look Soupy:
- When you take the lid off the pot, it will look a little liquidy--like soup. You’ll want to stir it well to incorporate all of the liquid into the noodles and break up any clumps of noodles. Then let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving on Keep Warm, to really set up.
Add Cheese and Serve.
- Open Instant Pot, stir in cheese and basil (if using), and serve immediately.
- We love this easy instant pot spaghetti with garlic bread.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 547Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 1212mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 22g
The Nutritional Information may not be accurate. This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.