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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!

instant pot pasta and meatballs with basil

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.

penne pasta and meatballs in instant pot

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.

instant pot pasta and meatballs with marinara sauce

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!

instant pot pasta and meatballs on spoon

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?

Recipe for Instant Pot Pasta and Meatballs

4.84 from 12 votes

Instant Pot Pasta and Meatballs

By: Dee
Instant Pot Pasta and Meatballs is a quick and easy one pot dinner made in the pressure cooker. It's perfect for busy days and when you're on vacation!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Pressure and release time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes
Servings: 10


  • 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)
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  • 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.



Recipe was made in 8-quart Instant Pot and 6 quart using Cooked Perfect Meatballs, Barilla brand pasta and marinara sauce and Hunts tomato sauce. Amounts and cook time are same for both size pressure cookers.


Calories: 320kcal

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
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Instant Pot Pasta and Meatballs

I hope you enjoy this easy Instant Pot pasta and meatballs as much as we do!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Mae says:

    Will one jar of sauce suffice?

    1. Dee says:

      I think one jar is plenty. But if you like extra sauce, you can add a little more or stir in more at the end and let it heat up before serving 🙂

  2. Ann says:

    It sure would be nice if you could add email to your list of ways to share your recipes. I’m not very technology savvy
    so when I see a good recipe I like to send it to myself to add to my recipe collection on my iPad. If I don’t, I may
    never see the recipe again. Thanks for your help.

    1. Dee says:

      Hi Ann. You can choose to receive recipes emailed to you. You should also be able to hit print and save the recipe card when you’re on the iPpad. Let me know if this makes sense, and I would be glad to help! 🙂

  3. carrie @ frugal foodie mama says:

    And why haven’t I bought an Instant Pot for myself yet?? I can’t believe how quickly you can have this one the dinner table! 🙂

    1. Dee says:

      You need to to get one! It makes life so much easier. 🙂

  4. Patricia @ Grab a Plate says:

    Mmm! I like that basil over the top! This is a great dish, and how fab to more quickly make my favorite — meatballs!

  5. Cathy @ Lemon Tree Dwelling says:

    One of our favorite dinner options! Love how easy this is!

  6. Kimberly says:

    Easy, quick and delicious – that’s always a great combo!

  7. Krista says:

    I love seeing what can be made in an instant pot! This looks so tasty!

  8. Toni | Boulder Locavore says:

    This looks really good!! I would love to add it to our weeknight favorites!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      I hope you enjoy it, Toni. This pasta is one of our favorites!

  9. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says:

    This is just wonderful!5 stars

  10. Amanda says:

    This is making my mouth water! Such an amazing recipe!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks, Amanda. It’s so easy to make, too! 🙂