Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce made in the pressure cooker is an easy fix-it-and-forget-it dinner that is ready in just 30 minutes. Your family will love this simple pasta recipe, and it’s definitely kid approved!
If you’re new to the world of pressure cooking, this easy Instant Pot spaghetti and meat sauce is a terrific starter recipe to try. This was the very first dinner I made in the Instant Pot, and it was a huge hit with my family. One bite, and we were hooked!
Actually, jasmine rice was the first thing that I cooked in my new pressure cooker. I wanted to play it safe, so I chose an inexpensive side dish for the maiden voyage, so to speak. I just followed the recipe that was in the little booklet that came with the Instant Pot, and the rice was perfect — even better than the rice from our favorite Thai restaurant!
So after that win, I decided to try making spaghetti in the pressure cooker. Now personally, I’m kind of a pasta snob, and I’m usually picky about how I cook pasta, especially spaghetti. But, I’m also all about quick an easy one pot dinners, so after looking at what seemed like a billion recipes for Instant Pot spaghetti, I began experimenting.
I tried different amounts of pasta and different types and amounts of sauce until I was finally happy with the end result. And friends, I really, really recommend experimenting like crazy with Instant Pot recipes. What works for me may not work for you, so it may take several tries before you find that perfect spaghetti recipe — or any recipe, really!
But this recipe for Instant Pot spaghetti, definitely works for me, and I think you’ll like it, too! This time, I added a can of diced tomatoes after a reader told me she had done this with my Instant Pot creamy shells and beef recipe and loved the result. I used an entire 16 ounce box of spaghetti, and the liquid to pasta ratio was perfect. I also tried using a little less than a whole box of spaghetti, and I got got the same result without using the diced tomatoes. Like I said, it’s all about experimenting.
The trick to cooking spaghetti in the Instant Pot is to break the noodles in half and layering them in sort of a criss-cross pattern. This way, you can get them all under the liquid, and the noodles won’t clump together. You may have some spaghetti strands on the very top that stick a little, but they break apart easily once you stir everything up.
To make spaghetti in the pressure cooker, just saute some lean or extra lean ground beef. Make sure no browned bits are sticking to the bottom — You can deglaze the pot with a little bit of water if you need to. Then, add your layered spaghetti, a jar of pasta sauce, the diced tomatoes and water.
I just fill up the empty jar of sauce with water and pour it all around the sides and middle of the tomato layer, and then, I poke it a little with a spatula to make sure the water gets down through the layers and all the pasta is covered. You don’t need to stir it all together!
After the pot comes to pressure, it takes just 5 minutes for the spaghetti to cook! I like to let the Instant Pot do a natural release for about 5 minutes, and then I release the steam, using a wooden spoon or cooking tongs — don’t want to risk any burns! And that’s it!
There are no messy stoves to clean up and only one pot to wash. Plus, everyone loves the texture of Instant Pot spaghetti!
Tips for Cooking Spaghetti in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
- Season meat for extra flavor
- Deglaze pot and scrape up any browned bits after cooking meat
- Break spaghetti in half and layer in pot
- Make sure pasta is covered with liquid, but don’t stir it together
- Stir after pressure releases to break up any clumps
How to Make Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 16-ounce package spaghetti, uncooked and broken in half
- 1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 3 cups water
- Turn Instant Pot to saute, and when it reads HOT, add the olive oil and onion, and cook until slightly soft
- Add the meat, Italian seasoning, salt, garlic powder and pepper, and cook until no pink remains, stirring frequently
- Hit CANCEL, and add a little water if needed, to deglaze bottom of pot
- Break spaghetti strands in half, and layer on top of meat in a criss-cross pattern
- Pour marinara sauce over pasta
- Pour diced tomatoes over sauce
- Pour water around sides and on top of tomatoes, and push down lightly with spatula to make sure water gets through layers and all pasta is covered
- Cover with lid, turn valve to SEALING, press PRESSURE COOK or Manuel on some models, and set cook time to 5 minutes
- When cooking is done, let pressure do a natural release for 5 minutes, then hit CANCEL, and do a quick release until pin drops
- Open lid, and stir spaghetti and meat sauce together well before serving
My family is crazy about this kid-friendly Instant Pot spaghetti and meat sauce, and they won’t have it any other way now. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
Sharing this easy recipe with The Weekend Potluck