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Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce with spaghetti noodles, ground beef and pasta sauce is an easy dinner perfect for busy weeknights. This easy Instant Pot spaghetti recipe is a family favorite ready in just 30 minutes!

instant pot spaghetti and meat sauce in white bowl with basil, Parmesan cheese and bread

If you’re new to the world of pressure cooking, this easy Instant Pot spaghetti and meat sauce is a terrific starter Instant Pot recipe to try. This was the very first dinner I made in the Instant Pot years ago.

This easy Instant Pot pasta was a huge hit with my whole family, and I have been making this easy recipe ever since. One bite, and we were hooked!

Since then, I cook pasta in the Instant Pot whenever I can. If you like Instant Pot pasta recipes, try my Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef or Instant Pot Creamy Taco Pasta. Check out my collection of Instant Pot Recipes for even more electric pressure cooker recipes!

instant pot spaghetti and meat sauce in white bowl

Why You’ll Love Instant Pot Spaghetti

  • Easy and Delicious
  • Simple ingredients
  • Cooks in one pot — no draining!
  • No messy stove to clean up
  • Budget friendly — makes a lot so you have leftovers!
  • Perfect for busy families
  • Picky eater approved — trust me on this!


You can find the ingredients for this easy dinner recipe in any grocery store.

  • Ground beef — choose lean ground beef or extra lean ground beef so you don’t have to drain the grease. Can sub ground Turkey or Italian sausage.
  • Onion — can sub onion powder or dried minced onion
  • Olive oil — to prevent sticking
  • Seasonings — sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning
  • Spaghetti noodles — thin spaghetti or thick spaghetti. Break them in half before using
  • Pasta sauce — I love Bertolli brand or Rao’s pasta sauce. You can use homemade pasta sauce or your favorite marinara sauce
  • Diced tomatoes — adds texture and extra liquid without watering sauce down. You can add tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes
  • Water — to cook the pasta or beef broth for more flavor. Some readers use red wine!

How to Make Spaghetti in the Instant Pot

Here’s an overview of the spaghetti and meat sauce recipe. You’ll find details in the printable recipe card below.

First cook the onion in olive oil on saute mode. Then add ground beef, seasonings, and cook until no longer pink.

Make sure no browned bits are sticking to the bottom of the pot — You can deglaze the pot with a little bit of water or broth if you need to.

brown ground beef, onions and spices in instant pot

After cooking, place dry uncooked spaghetti on top of the cooked meat. The trick to cooking spaghetti in the Instant Pot is to break the noodles in half. Then, layer them in sort of a criss-cross pattern. 

If you have ever played Pick Up Sticks, you’ll get this!

This way, you can get them all under the liquid, and the noodles won’t clump together. 

layer spaghetti over meat to make in instant pot

Then, add a jar of pasta sauce, the diced tomatoes and water.

You may have some spaghetti strands on the very top that stick a little, but they break apart easily once you stir everything up. 

instant pot spaghetti and meat sauce with diced tomatoes in pot

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.

Don’t stir it all together or it will be too thick, and you may get the burn notice.

Cook Time

After the pot comes to pressure, it takes just 5 minutes of cooking time on high pressure for the spaghetti to cook!

If you want more al dente pasta, cook for 4 minutes. Then, do a quick pressure release. You can use a wooden spoon or cooking tongs for this part.

stir spaghetti noodles and meat sauce in instant pot

Be sure to stir the cooked pasta very well after pressure cooking. This will help break up any noodles that stick together. Don’t be alarmed if it looks watery. The pasta will absorb more of the liquid as it cools down.

How to Store and Reheat

Refrigerate leftover spaghetti in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat individual portions in your microwave. Freeze spaghetti in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months.

Expert Cooking Tips

  • Season meat for extra flavor
  • Deglaze pot and scrape up any browned bits after cooking meat to avoid burn message
  • Break spaghetti in half and layer in pot
  • Make sure pasta is covered with liquid, but do not stir before pressure cooking!
  • Toggle the release valve back and forth for a gradual quick release if liquid sprays out during pressure release.
  • Stir very well after pressure releases to break up any clumps of pasta
  • If you use a larger jar of pasta sauce, you can skip the diced tomatoes
instant pot spaghetti and meat sauce in bowl with side of bread

Serving Suggestions

We love homemade garlic bread and a green salad with this one-pot dinner. Top the spaghetti with fresh basil or fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese for extra flavor.

5 from 26 votes

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

By: Dee
Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce with spaghetti noodles, ground beef and pasta sauce is an easy dinner perfect for busy weeknights. This easy Instant Pot spaghetti recipe is a family favorite ready in just 30 minutes!
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
pressure time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 10


  • ½ yellow onion , chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ 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
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  • 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, turn the pressure release valve to do a quick pressure release or gradual quick release, hen hit CANCEL
  • When pin drops, carefully open lid, and stir spaghetti and meat sauce together well before serving


I use Barilla brand pasta and Bertolli or Rao’s marinara sauce, but any brand is fine, although results may be different depending upon thickness of the sauce.
For al dente pasta, cook for 4 minutes and do a gradual quick release.
To make spaghetti and meatballs, put meatballs on bottom, and layer remaining ingredients on top.
If you use a larger jar of pasta sauce, 32-oz or more, you can skip the diced tomatoes.


Calories: 271kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 712mg, Potassium: 557mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 352IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 3mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Like this? Leave a comment below!

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!

If you love this pasta recipe as much as we do, please leave a star rating and/or comment. For more easy family recipes and comfort food anyone can make, sign up for the weekly newsletter and follow on social media.

Post was originally published in 2018 and updated in 2023.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Ebony says:

    So simple to make. Kids wanted something in a hurry! They loved it!5 stars

  2. Dan says:

    Thought I would try this for Dad’s turn to cook! This was a hit! Easy to do also. Will be making this often!5 stars

  3. marilyn mussman says:

    Most excellent! Added crushed red pepper, more seasonings, zucchini & peppers. I used 3/4 of the noodles. Everyone loved it!

  4. Karen says:

    Keeping all other ingredient measurements the same, would the time be the same if I used just 1/2 pound of spaghetti?

    1. Dee says:

      Yes, the time remains the same.:)

  5. Marilyn says:

    I love this recipe. Made it several times!

    1. Dee says:

      Thank you so much, Marilyn! I’m glad to hear that!

  6. Danea says:

    I would use less spaghetti because I like more sauce.
    Recipe is very good. I’ve made it twice.

    1. Dee says:

      Thank you so much, Danea! I’m glad you liked it!

      1. Jason says:

        If I double the amount of meat should I double everything in the recipe?

      2. Dee says:

        You don’t have to, but you would have more meat than anything. If you want more of a balance, I’d double everything.

  7. Vicki Pawlitschek says:

    My husband and I have made this Instant Pot spaghetti
    several times. It’s the best ever! We use 1 pound of hamburger AND 1 pound of of HOT ground sausage. We keep all other measurements the same except I do tend to use just a tad extra of the spices and instead of marinara sauce we like Paul Newman’s Sockarooni spaghetti sauce. We also use only 3/4 package of spaghetti noodles so we have a good sauce ratio.5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks so much, Vicki! Love that you use hot sausage — I love that, but my family does not. 🙂

  8. Marcia Osborne says:

    This was surprisingly good! My husband is a spaghetti snob and he liked it.
    I did use whole wheat spaghetti and 2 large cloves of minced garlic, instead of garlic powder, but I messed up the layering and it still turned out fine. I forgot to put the pasta on top of the browned beef, so it went on top of the sauce, with diced tomatoes and water over all.
    We’ll definitely make this again. It’s so much easier than the traditional stove-top method.

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks! I’m glad you both liked it! I always thought I was a spaghetti snob, but I really love the way IP spaghetti turns out!