Instant Pot Pasta and Meatballs is an easy one pot dinner made entirely in the pressure cooker. Add the ingredients, cook and eat -- perfect for busy days!
Easy pressure cooker penne pasta and meatballs is one of the easiest Instant Pot recipes you can make. It's definitely one of the easiest Instant Pot dinner recipes I've ever made! Seriously, you just dump everything into the Instant Pot, pressure cook it, and eat!
So, I've been testing out the easiest possible dinner recipes lately. I'm thinking about easy dinners that you can make when you are on vacation or away from home -- with only a few ingredients. See, as much as I love to eat out and try new restaurants when we're on vacation, that gets expensive very fast!
I'm also thinking about easy dinner recipes for crazy busy days or those days when you're tired, the kids are wired, and you can't deal with making dinner from scratch. You get it, right?
The other day I made super quick and easy spaghetti and meatballs in the Instant Pot so that one of the girls could have a quick dinner before heading out to a competition. We liked it, but we like Instant Pot spaghetti with meat sauce more.
So when I needed a quick lunch before another one of our girls was going out with some friends, I switched things up and made meatballs with penne pasta instead of spaghetti. And you guys, my whole family practically inhaled it!
How to make Instant Pot pasta and meatballs
You can use fresh homemade meatballs in the Instant Pot, but like I said, we're all about quick and easy dinners today. I used frozen meatballs, jarred sauce, pasta, spices and a little bit of tomato sauce for extra flavor.
I added a little bit of olive oil to the pot first. Then I put the meatballs on the bottom and layered the uncooked penne pasta over the meatballs.
Next, I added an entire jar of marinara sauce, a can of tomato sauce and some spices. Don't mix the sauces -- Just add the water around the sides and over the pasta.
Add some spices for extra flavor, pressure cook the meatballs and pasta, and you've got a delicious one pot dinner! in just a few minutes! I tossed in some Parmesan cheese at the end, but it's optional.
This Instant Pot pasta is really all about the meatballs!
You could add some mozzarella or even a little bit of cream for a completely different pasta dish! And a little bit of fresh basil is the icing on the cake.
But since we're talking about the easiest dump and go Instant Pot dinners in the universe today, you can leave out the extra spices, cream and all that, although the fresh basil does add a nice touch. Just saying.
Looking for more quick and easy Instant Pot dinner recipes?
- Instant Pot creamy kielbasa tortellini
- Instant Pot creamy shells and beef
- Instant Pot macaroni beef casserole
- Instant Pot creamy taco pasta
- Instant Pot Mom's best chili recipe
Recipe for Instant Pot Pasta and Meatballs
Instant Pot Pasta and Meatballs
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 16 small meatballs (frozen)
- 1 16-ounce box penne pasta (uncooked)
- 1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce (no salt added)
- 3 ½ cups water
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Spread olive oil evenly over bottom of Instant Pot, and add meatballs
- Add pasta over meatballs, and add marinara sauce and tomato sauce over pasta
- Pour water around sides and over the pasta, and add Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Do Not Stir
- Cover with lid, and turn vent to Sealing position
- Hit PRESSURE COOK for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes cook time, do a quick release
- When pin drops, carefully open lid and stir pasta and sauce together. Top with Parmesan cheese, if using, and serve.
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
I hope you enjoy this easy Instant Pot pasta and meatballs as much as we do!
Teri Sweetin says
I'm making this tonight but want to add diced carrots and some ricotta cheese, do I need to make any changes to time to cook? Or liquids? Thank you
You don't need to make any changes, but add the ricotta after pressure cooking.
Dawn Molisky says
I have another question - I asked about cooking time if doubling but now that I plan to actually make this coming up I see concerns with the amount of water for just a single batch - do I double the amount of “all” the ingredients with the pasta and meatballs? Sauce, water etc? Thanks!
Yes, you need to double the sauce and water if you are doubling the amount of pasta and meatballs.
I am very new to instant pot cooking - If doubling this do I also double the cooking time or does it still take the same amount of time?
Yes, the cook time stays the same. Hope you enjoy it!
I left a review saying it was way too watery - but after letting it sit for 5 minutes it was fine. I would still recommend using a little less water - probably 3 cups. 🙂
The sauce does thicken as the pasta sits. I'm glad you liked it!
I followed all directions to a T - and I suggest using less water! Our pasta turned out like soup 🙁
Next time I’ll likely use 2.5 cups!
What is the meatballs are uncooked ?
I haven't tried making this with uncooked meatballs. But, I would brown them first in the oven, air fryer or in the IP. Then, add the pasta and make the recipe as directed.
What about if I mad emy own meatballs and froze them. Is the cook time same as frozen meatballs from the store. Not sure if store bought meatballs are half way cooked. Let me know
As long as the meatballs are cooked, you can definitely use those without changing anything in this recipe. I do that when I can.
Tammy Jennings says
Excellent recipe! Thank you!!!
Thank you so much, Tammy. I'm so happy you enjoyed it!
No comments regarding the water diluting the tomato sauce. Assume 3-1/2 cups is okay?
Most of the water is absorbed by the pasta, but you could go down to 3 cups for a thicker sauce if you want.
Could this be made with medium sized quartered potatoes and tomato soup with frozen meatballs? Old family recipe.
If the soup is thin enough, you should be able to cook it all together in the pot. If you're using a can of soup, you would need to add a thin liquid so it doesn't burn.
Jessica Ford says
Delicious and easy to make!
Awesome! Thanks so much, Jessica!