by Olena

Instant Pot Lasagna

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Olena Osipov
5 from 79 votes

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This lazy Instant Pot Lasagna recipe is made without a springform pan. In 30 minutes! Yes, it’s possible to add uncooked pasta, meat, and sauce to cook in a pressure cooker, and enjoy the best, easy, and healthy lasagna you’ve ever had! It rivals any traditionally made lasagna in all its saucy, cheesy comfort food goodness! A flavourful, one-pot meal that is ready in no time and makes for a family meal that everyone can agree on!

My kids love any time I make Instant Pot spaghetti or Instant Pot chicken pasta. They love pasta and I love shortcuts! I know dinner will be eaten and enjoyed. During the summer, we often make low-carb zucchini lasagna. So, this recipe was expectedly a hit. Enjoy!

Instant Pot lasagna on a plate with a fork

Lazy Instant Pot Lasagna

Words can’t describe how easy and tasty this Instant Pot lasagna recipe is. Bold flavours, tender noodles, and melted cheese. All there in one pot. The noodles don’t even need to be cooked first. Pinch me! It’s crazy easy and the fastest way to make a lasagna hands down. All of this is done without the use of a springform pan!

I tested and retested this recipe to make sure it works without getting the dreaded Burn notice, which doesn’t happen when I make slow cooker lasagna. I succeeded (obviously, or this post would be weird) and I couldn’t wait to share this recipe with you!

The electric pressure cooker produces flavourful Italian food (well, really any food) with much less effort and in a fraction of the time. There is no long baking time, no simmering of sauces, no browning first, and no cooking for hours afterward. Just look at this scrumptious Instant Pot bolognese sauce that you don’t have to simmer and stir for an hour like with homemade meat sauce! Or Instant Pot meatballs that you don’t have to brown first and then cook for another hour.

This recipe is so quick and easy, and yet still produces the same restaurant quality, Italian-inspired classic dish that we all know and love. It’s made with seasoned ground turkey, dark leafy greens, fresh mozzarella, and low sodium tomato sauce. Tender noodles, perfect seasoning, and saucy, cheesy goodness can also be super healthy!

It’s so hearty and comforting and a year-round dish. Ground turkey lasagna doesn’t heat the kitchen in the summer so you can enjoy it with a glass of red wine on the patio and in the winter it’s a quick warming meal on a cooler evening.

Why This Pressure Cooker Lasagna Recipe Works?

  • It’s downright delicious! It’s got all of the best qualities of a traditionally made lasagna all in one pot! You may never go back to a baked lasagna again.
  • It’s quick and easy. A quick browning of the turkey followed by a ‘dump and set’ hands-off cooking experience for lazy weekends, or busy evenings after school, and any time in between.
  • Leftovers. This simple layered ground turkey lasagna is like a best friend, always there when you need them. Leftovers for lunch, dinner, weekends, or freeze it for later!
  • Healthy. We’re using fresh ingredients wherever possible. Kale or spinach, freshly grated cheese, avocado oil for browning, and of course we aim to use a tomato sauce that doesn’t have any added sugar. Not to mention the lean ground turkey we’re using. So good!
sliced Instant Pot lasagna inside the pot

Instant Pot Lasagna Recipe Ingredients

Lazy Instant Pot lasagna recipe ingredients are similar to this simple turkey pasta casserole. Both are lazy (because, let’s be honest here) and very versatile.

  • Ground meat: Ground turkey, beef or chicken will work. I used turkey, which is leaner meat but ground beef will give you a more traditional flavour. You can also make it vegetarian with tofu, mushrooms, or cooked white beans.
  • Lasagna noodles: No need to pre-cook the pasta. I have used Kamut (whole wheat), regular, and gluten-free. They all work well. No-boil (oven-ready) noodles are OK too. I also tried brown rice noodles with chicken lasagna roll-ups so I can imagine they would be great in this recipe too.
  • Tomato sauce: I used the cheapest plain tomato sauce from a can. My only word of caution is if your tomato sauce is not low in sodium, add less salt.
  • Spinach or kale: You can skip the kale or spinach if you are not a fan, however it does add a ton of nutrients and flavor.
  • Seasoning: Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper is all you need to impart amazing flavour.
  • Mozzarella or cheddar cheese: Added after cooking on top and melts from the residual heat.

TIP: Grate your mozzarella from a block rather than using pre-shredded, pre-packaged cheese. You’ll get a much fresher flavor and have an easier time with melting!

How to Make Ground Turkey Lasagna In Instant Pot

If you are new to pressure cooking, check out my Instant Pot guide for beginners. My mind is blown how it took 3 minutes of prep and 7 minutes of cooking time to make ground turkey lasagna that is just as good as traditional lasagna.

Cooking Ground Meat

  • Preheat: Press Saute and wait until the display says Hot, which takes about 3-5 minutes. Add a drizzle of oil.
  • Add meat: Cook ground turkey while breaking it into small pieces.
  • Season: Add the spices halfway through the browning process. We want ground meat seasoned well and other ingredients will absorb its flavour.
  • Divide: Remove half of the meat into a bowl and press Cancel.

Layering Lasagna

The main thing to remember when layering ground turkey lasagna in an Instant Pot is that you want your meat on the bottom and the tomato sauce on top. This rule applies to any layered pressure cooker recipe, for example, Instant Pot cabbage rolls casserole. Other than that, it’s a free for all, friends.

  • Layer #1: Add water on top of half of the ground turkey that remained in the pot. Break 4 noodles in half and lay them on top of the meat and water.
  • Layer #2: Add half of the kale on top of the noodles and break 4 more noodles in half and lay them on top of the kale.
  • Layer #3: Add the ground turkey from the bowl, remaining half of the kale on top of the noodles, and then pour 14 oz of the tomato sauce on top.
  • Layer #4: Break the last 4 noodles in half and lay on top of everything, then pour the remaining 14 oz can of tomato sauce overtop.

How Long to Cook Lasagna in Pressure Cooker?

  • 7 minutes on High and then let stand for 10 minutes. Set the cooking time for 7 minutes. It will take some time to come to pressure. When the cooking time is done, you’ll let it naturally release (aka leave it alone) for 10 minutes before turning the valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure.
  • When you open the lid the lasagna will be like a casserole. A bit saucy. It won’t’ be soupy or messy though. The longer lasagna sits, the more it will set as the pasta absorbs the liquids and settles.
  • Sprinkle cheese on top, cover, and let the lasagna sit for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted. Do not cook with the cheese. The Instant Pot stays warm for a while, especially if you have the Keep Warm function on. Covering the pot is enough to melt the cheese.

Optional Add-In’s and Variations

  • Load it up with veggies! If you want to add more veggies to your lasagna, think about adding a layer of chopped, sliced, or diced mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, or broccoli.
  • Ricotta or cottage cheese + egg: I do not use either but many readers ask. Mix both and layer them on top of the meat.
  • To make this gluten-free, use gluten-free lasagna noodles instead of regular, whole wheat, or anything of the sort.
  • A vegetarian version. This is a simple swap of ground turkey for tofu crumbles or completely omitting added protein and just upping the number of vegetables.
  • Meat option. Ground turkey isn’t the most flavourful meat on its own, but in this ground turkey lasagna recipe it’s exceptional! You can, however, switch to ground chicken which is also lean, or go the more traditional route of ground beef.

Tips for Best Results

  • Double the recipe? I do not recommend doing this because the Instant Pot will not come to pressure even in an 8-quart pot. If you want a bulkier Instant Pot lasagna recipe with a bit more meat, you can add 1 lb extra meat. If you are good at eyeballing recipes, you can also another layer of noodles.
  • For 3 quart Instant Pot: Cut the ingredients in half (even the water), but keep the same cooking time.
  • Layer as directed. There is a method to the madness. Layering in such a way ensures the ground turkey lasagna noodles get cooked and nothing burns.

Tip: Do not season the turkey right away! You’ll notice the recipe states that you should start browning first and then add the seasoning halfway. This is because if you add the seasoning early on, it’ll stick to the bottom of the pot and start to burn.

FAQs

Why did my Instant Pot say burn?

Could be several reasons. Did you add the seasoning too early? Did you add enough water? How about your sauce, did you add the amount required and layer it as directed? Any of these missteps could have played a part in why you got the burn notice. Last, check to make sure your Instant Pot is in good working order to make sure it’s not a faulty appliance.

Why was there too much water?

If you’ve added more veggies like zucchini, mushrooms, and peppers into this lasagna, they produce water. It may also be because the water to ingredient ratio was off balance and therefore not all of it got absorbed. The good news is when you let it sit, it should absorb most, if not all of it. Even if it doesn’t, it’ll just sit at the bottom of the pot.

What is the reason behind not having the meat mixed with the sauce? 

Tomato sauce is notorious for burning if placed on the bottom of the Instant Pot. So I recommend any layering recipe like this, to keep the tomato sauce away from the bottom!

Will I need more than 2 cups of water for 8qt instant pot? 

Nope. No matter the size of your Instant Pot, unless it’s a small 3-quart pot, the number of ingredients will remain the same. So will the cooking time.

Can I make this Instant Pot Lasagna vegetarian?

You can. Some readers have enjoyed using a meat substitute with sauteed mushrooms or they have had success using white low-sodium beans.

Can I add ricotta?

For sure. I typically don’t, but when mixed with an egg, some people have used it as a layer on top of the meat.

Can I use gluten free lasagna noodles?

To make this a completely gluten-free dish use gluten-free lasagna noodles, they’re great. Gluten is hidden in many things, so you’ll want to make sure the remaining ingredients are certified gluten-free.

pressure cooker lasagna sliced with spatula

Serving Recommendations for Lasagna

Slicing: You can cut through Instant Pot lasagna with a spoon, knife, or spatula. It will feel like cutting butter. That’s how tender this lasagna is!

Serving: Serve hot garnished with parsley and freshly cracked pepper. Sprinkle more Parmesan cheese on top.

Bread basket: What’s a lasagna without a loaf of crusty bread to sop up the sauce? A sourdough, French bread, or Italian loaf would be great. Serving your bread as an appetizer with garlic olive oil bread dip will make you feel like you have created your own restaurant at home!

Side dish idea: Craving greens? Serve with zesty arugula salad, grilled romaine lettuce, or a refreshing cucumber salad.

Need a starter salad? Beet salad with arugula and feta is a bit heartier and is great when serving company.

Dessert: Keep it light and serve a no bake strawberry cheesecake to finish off the meal or an almond flour cake. So easy!

Making Instant Pot Lasagna in Advance

Keep warm: As a food blogger, I test and retest recipes all day long, so our dinner is often ready at 1 PM. With Instant Pot lasagna, I can keep the warm function on for 10 hours. It’s amazing. Since there is a bit of liquid on the bottom, the lasagna keeps warm without burning.

Refrigerate: If there are any leftovers, I cover the inner stainless steel pot with a glass or silicone Instant Pot lid, remove it from the outer pot and refrigerate.

To reheat cold lasagna, I simply put the inner pot back in the outer pot, cover with the lid, and press Steam or Pressure Cook for 1 minute. The saute function works too. If you don’t see much liquid on the bottom, add 1/4 cup. We need a bit to create steam to warm the lasagna through.

More Instant Pot Pasta Recipes

Need more ideas? Browse 45 more pressure cooker recipes and never think “What’s for dinner?” again. Or check out Instant Pot meal plans.

Instant Pot lasagna on a plate

I hope you enjoy this Instant Pot lasagna as much as we do. It is so seriously healthy, easy and may I say authentic?!

Would love to hear from you in the comments below!

Instant Pot Lasagna

Instant Pot Lasagna {No Springform Pan}

This lazy Instant Pot Lasagna recipe is made without a springform pan. In 30 minutes! Yes, it's possible to add uncooked pasta, meat, and sauce to cook in a pressure cooker, and enjoy the best, easy, and healthy lasagna you've ever had! It rivals any traditionally made lasagna in all its saucy, cheesy comfort food goodness! A flavourful, one-pot meal that is ready in no time and makes for a family meal that everyone can agree on!
4.98 from 79 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Casserole
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 313kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 11 oz 12 sheets lasagna noodles
  • 2 x 14 oz cans tomato sauce low sodium
  • 3 cups kale or spinach chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 oz 1 cup mozzarella or cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Parmesan cheese optional
  • Parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • On Instant Pot, press Saute and wait until display says Hot. Takes 3-5 mins. Swirl oil to coat and add ground turkey. Start breaking into pieces with spatula.
    Instant Pot Lasagna
  • Add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Keep cooking until brown or about 5 minutes, constantly breaking into small pieces and stirring.
    Instant Pot Lasagna
  • Press Cancel and remove half of ground turkey into a bowl. Time to layer lasagna.
    Instant Pot Lasagna
  • Layer #1: Add water and break 4 noodles in half and lay on top.
    Instant Pot Lasagna
  • Layer #2: Add half of kale and break 4 noodles in half and lay on top.
    Instant Pot Lasagna
  • Layer #3: Add ground turkey from the bowl, remaining half of kale and pour 14 oz can tomato sauce on top.
    Instant Pot Lasagna
  • Layer #4: Break 4 noodles in half and lay on top. Then pour remaining 14 oz can of tomato sauce.
    Instant Pot Lasagna
  • Pressure cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. Let pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes and then turn valve to Venting.
    Instant Pot Lasagna
  • When you open the lid, lasagna will be like a casserole, a bit saucy. Not soup though. The longer lasagna sits, the more it will be like lasagna as pasta absorbs the liquids and settles.
    Instant Pot Lasagna
  • Sprinkle cheese on top, cover and let lasagna sit for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted. Do not cook with cheese. Instant Pot stays warm for a while, especially if you have Keep Warm on. Covered pot is enough to melt the cheese.
    Instant Pot Lasagna
  • Cut with a spoon or spatula and serve hot. Keep warm to eat later. To reheat, add 1/4 cup of water and press pressure cook for 1 minute or Steam.
    Instant Pot Lasagna

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.

    Video

    Notes

    • Ground meat: Ground turkey, beef or chicken work. I used turkey. You can also make it vegetarian with tofu or cooked white beans.
    • Lasagna noodles: No need to pre-cook pasta. I used kamut (whole wheat), regular, gluten free and no-boil (oven ready) noodles are OK too.
    • Tomato sauce: I literally used the cheapest plain tomato sauce from a can. My only word of caution is if your tomato sauce is not low sodium, use less salt.
    • Spinach or kale: You can skip kale or spinach if you are not a fan.
    • Mozzarella or cheddar cheese: Added after cooking on top.
    • Ricotta or cottage cheese + egg (optional): I do not use but many readers ask. Mix both and layer on top of meat.
    • Double the recipe? I do not recommend to do so because Instant Pot will not come to pressure, even 8 quart. You can add 1 lb extra meat and if you are good with eye balling recipes, another layer of noodles.
    • For 3 quart Instant Pot: Cut ingredients in half (even water) but keep same cooking time.
    See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 580mg | Potassium: 411mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2631IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 2mg
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