15 Minute Instant Pot Spaghetti

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Instant Pot spaghetti is a 15-minute one-pot meal made with seasoned ground beef, a flavorful marinara sauce, and tender spaghetti noodles perfect for slurping! This classic dinner is made even better by taking tons of shortcuts without skimping on all the things we love about a wholesome and hearty bowl of pasta!

Spaghetti and meat sauce is always a comforting dinner to fall back on around here. It’s easy, cheap, and a family favorite. As much as I love a traditional authentic bowl of pasta, sometimes I just don’t have the time to wait for the water to boil or simmer a sauce on the stove for hours!

Plate of Instant Pot Spaghetti with a meaty tomato sauce topped with Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Using the pressure cooker to make Instant Pot spaghetti has been a game-changer on busy weeknights or fun-filled weekends where the last thing I want to do is spend time indoors. Ok, so it’s not exactly the traditional pasta that grandma used to make or anything authentic you’d find at a fine dining restaurant in Italy, but the Italian-inspired flavors sure makeup for it!

Instant Pot pasta is a dump-and-go recipe that is so flavorful, so easy, and a shortcut worth keeping around.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick and easy. An entire meal completed in 15 minutes has never been easier!
  • One pot meal. Perfect for dumping, setting, and eating, but also easy to clean up.
  • Make ahead. This recipe can be doubled or tripled if need be. Make a big batch to serve a crowd on a budget or portion it out for meal prep.
  • Flexible. You can use whatever type of pasta you like and whatever kind of sauce you have on hand. You can add veggies, make it a little spicy, or make it completely vegetarian. It’s that simple!

Ingredients

ingredients needed for instant pot spaghetti.
  • Olive oil
  • Ground beef
  • Garlic
  • Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • Water (or beef broth)
  • Spaghetti pasta
  • Good quality marinara sauce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped basil

Please scroll ⬇️ to the recipe card to see the full ingredient amounts and instructions.

How to Make Instant Pot Spaghetti

I usually brown my meat first for more flavor, but it’s not necessary! I’ll explain how to use both methods.

Step 1: Press the sauté button on your pressure cooker and wait for it to say HOT.

Step 2: Once it’s heated, add olive oil, ground beef, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook the meat until no longer pink, breaking it up as it cooks. Press cancel.

browning the ground beef and adding the seasoning.

Step 3: Pour in the water and use it to deglaze the pot by scraping the brown bits off the bottom.

deglazing the pot with water.

Step 4: Take your spaghetti noodles and break them in half. Lay 1/4 of them down in one direction (separate with your hands if they’re too close together), and the other 1/4 in the opposite direction to form a criss-cross pattern, and then repeat for all the noodles. (I usually do 4-6 layers of noodles in criss-cross patterns and it doesn’t stick together).

uncooked spaghetti pasta layered in criss cross pattern.

Step 5: Pour diced tomatoes and ⅔ of the marinara sauce (save the rest for later) over the noodles, covering the noodles completely but DO NOT STIR.

tomatoes poured over uncooked spaghetti pasta.

Step 6: Close the lid and set the valve to sealing. Pressure cook on high for 6 minutes then turn the valve to the venting position to immediately release the pressure.

Step 7: Open the lid, stir everything together, add the rest of the marinara sauce. Serve hot with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and chopped basil.

Enjoy!

tongs taking out cooked spaghetti from the instant pot.

Recipe Tips

  • Do not stir. Once you’ve laid your spaghetti down and poured the sauce on top, do not stir. The order in which you lay your ingredients matters because it helps to avoid the burn notice. The sugars in the sauce will burn quickly. Deglazing the pot with water not only helps to provide liquid but removing the brown bits also helps to avoid the burn notice.
  • Criss cross pattern. Breaking the noodles in half so that they fit in the pot. Laying them in a criss-cross pattern is so that they don’t stick together in a clump. They still might a bit, but it’s less likely you’ll get some undercooked strands when they’re not all in one direction.
  • Quick release. It doesn’t take long for spaghetti to cook in the Instant Pot! To avoid mushy pasta, release the pressure immediately.
  • Thicken it up. Once you open the lid you’ll see a lot of liquid. It will thicken up on its own as it cools and the steam is released. To hurry this up a bit, you can turn on the sauté mode and allow the liquid to cook off that way.
  • Double the recipe. If your pot is large enough (an 8-quart size) then you can double the recipe and keep the same cooking time. If you are using a 6-quart size, you may only be able to make 1.5 the amount.
Plate of Instant Pot Spaghetti with a meaty tomato sauce topped with Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Substitutions & Variations

  • Sauce. I use a good-quality marinara sauce for maximum flavor! Using a store-bought jar is also a great way to cut down on overall cooking time.
  • Skip browning the meat. As I mentioned earlier, browning the meat initially is a way to add a bit of extra flavor to the recipe. Those brown bits are heaven! However, it’s also not necessary. You can make this a true dump and set recipe by chopping the onions finely, breaking the meat up into smaller chunks, and then layering the ingredients as listed.
  • A different meat. Swap the ground beef for ground turkey, chicken, or sausage instead.
  • Meatless. You can even omit the meat altogether and make this a vegetarian Instant Pot spaghetti.
  • Pasta. Use whatever pasta you like! Whole wheat, gluten-free, medium pasta, you name it. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • Load up the veggies! You can make this Instant Pot spaghetti even healthier by adding more veggies. Don’t worry, they can stay hidden by chopping them finely if you’re serving picky eaters! Try adding some mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, or broccoli. You can even add a handful of spinach at the end. It will wilt in the residual heat.
  • Make it creamy. If you love a creamy sauce, stir in 4 ounces (half a block) of cream cheese at the end. It’ll lighten up the sauce, cut down on the tomato acid and still keep it nice and tangy!

What to Serve With Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

What’s pasta night without garlic bread?! We love serving a freshly baked loaf of air fryer garlic bread and a side Caesar salad. Either that or air fryer broccoli or asparagus. Just depends on what I’ve got in the fridge!

FAQs

How to store leftovers of Instant Pot spaghetti?

Definitely! This Instant Pot spaghetti and meat sauce recipe will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days. Make sure to cover it in an airtight container and enjoy leftovers for the week!

Is it ok to add uncooked pasta to the Instant Pot?

Definitely! That’s part of the appeal of this recipe is that you don’t need to boil water to cook the pasta first.
The liquid from the broth and the sauce will create enough steam to pressure cook the pasta until they’re nice and tender.

What if my noodles are slightly undercooked once the cooking time is over?

If they’re just a bit underdone this is an easy fix! Once you’ve opened the lid and stirred everything, you may notice some noodles are still not cooked fully. In this case, put the lid back on the pot and allow it to sit in the heat for a few minutes. This should do the trick!

More Recipes Like This

RECIPE

Plate of Instant Pot Spaghetti with a meaty tomato sauce topped with Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Instant Pot Spaghetti

Quynh Nguyen
Instant Pot Spaghetti is a 15-minute one-pot meal made with seasoned ground beef, a flavorful marinara sauce, and tender spaghetti noodles. No draining required!
5 from 44 votes
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian Inspired
Servings 6 people
Calories 495 kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Measuring Cup

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup water (or beef broth) 6 quart Instant Pot use 1 cup, 8 quart Instant Pot use 1.5 cups
  • 1 (16 oz) spaghetti pasta
  • 1 (28 oz) jar good-quality marinara
  • 1 (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese, for garnishing
  • chopped basil, for garnishing

Instructions
 

  • Set the Instant Pot on [Sauté] mode. Wait until the display reads "Hot". Then, add olive oil, ground beef, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook and crumble the meat until no longer pink. Then, press [Cancel].
  • Deglaze the pot with water (or beef broth), scraping any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Break the spaghetti noodles in half and lay them in a crisscross pattern so that it does not clump together. Do not stir. Pour in the diced tomatoes and ⅔ of the marinara sauce (save the rest for later).
  • Close the lid, making sure the pressure release valve is in the "sealing" position. Press [Pressure Cook/Manual] and set it on High Pressure for 6 minutes. When the time is up, quickly release the pressure by turning the pressure release valve to the "venting" position. Stir the spaghetti and add the rest of the marinara sauce.
  • Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped basil.

Notes

6 quart Instant Pot: use 1 cup of water
8 quart Instant Pot: use 1.5 cups of water

Tips:

  • Do not stir. Once you’ve laid your spaghetti down and poured the sauce on top, do not stir. The order in which you lay your ingredients matters because it helps to avoid the burn notice. The sugars in the sauce will burn quicker. Deglazing the pot with the broth not only helps to provide liquid but removing the brown bits also helps to avoid the burn notice.
  • Criss cross pattern. Breaking the noodles in half is so that they fit in the pot. Laying them in a criss-cross pattern is so that they don’t stick together in a clump. They still might a bit, but it’s less likely you’ll get some undercooked strands when they’re not all in one direction.
  • Quick release. It doesn’t take long for spaghetti to cook in the Instant Pot! To avoid mushy pasta, release the pressure immediately.
  • Thicken it up. Once you open the lid you’ll see a lot of liquid. It will thicken up on its own as it cools and the steam is released. To hurry this up a bit, you can turn on the sauté mode and allow the liquid to cook off that way.
  • Double the recipe. If your pot is large enough (an 8-quart size) then you can double the recipe and keep the same cooking time. If you are using a 6-quart size, you may only be able to make 1.5 the amount.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating