This Easy Instant Pot Lasagna Recipe is made without a springform pan in 30 minutes! It is possible to add uncooked pasta, meat, and sauce to your pressure cooker and enjoy saucy, cheesy lazy lasagna.
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Words can’t describe how easy and tasty this Instant Pot lasagna recipe is. Bold flavors, tender noodles, and gooey cheese. All there in one pot. You don’t even need to boil noodles first. Pinch me!
It’s crazy easy recipe and the fastest way to make homemade lasagna, hands down. All of this is done without the use of a springform pan or cake pan!
I tested and retested this recipe to make sure it works without getting the dreaded Burn notice. I succeeded (obviously, or this post would be weird) and I couldn’t wait to share this pressure cooker lasagna with you!
The Instant Pot produces flavourful Italian comfort food with much less effort and in a fraction of the time. There is no long baking time, no simmering of sauces, 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.
Why This Recipe Works?
- Delicious. It’s got all of the flavors of lasagna combined with tender noodles and cheesy goodness on top. All best qualities of a traditional lasagna, so your whole family will love it. You may never go back to a baked lasagna again.
- Quick and easy. A quick browning of the beef followed by a ‘dump and go’ hands-off cooking method for lazy weekends or busy weeknights.
- Leftovers. This simple Instant Pot lasagna is like a best friend, always there when you need them. Leftovers for lunch, dinner, weekends, or freeze it for later!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Instant Pot lasagna recipe contains simple ingredients and they are just like for a classic lasagna recipe. There is also full recipe card below.
- Ground meat: Ground beef, ground sausage, or Italian sausage is more of a traditional choice, where as ground turkey or ground chicken will work as well.
- Lasagna noodles: No need to pre-cook the pasta. I have used regular lasagna noodles, as well as whole wheat noodles and gluten-free noodles. No-boil, also known as 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. Same goes for spaghetti sauce, use it but add way less salt and no seasonings.
- Ricotta cheese: I originally didn’t add ricotta out of fear it will curdle, but many readers mixed it with an egg, and added it as a layer on top of meat.
- Spinach or kale: You can skip the kale or spinach if you are not a fan.
- Mozzarella cheese or cheddar cheese: Added on top after cooking.
- Seasonings: Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper is all you need to impart amazing flavor.
How to Make Lasagna in the Instant Pot
My mind is blown how it took 7 minutes of cooking time to make lasagna in the pressure cooker just as good as traditional lasagna. So, let’s make some Instant Pot lasagna, it’s easy!
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 beef (or I used ground turkey) while breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon.
- Season: Add the spices halfway through the browning process. We want ground meat seasoned well and other ingredients will absorb its flavor.
- Divide: Remove half of the meat into a bowl and press Cancel.
Swap ground beef for tofu crumbles or completely omit the meat. Instead use drained white beans, sliced mushrooms or chopped veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini or bell peppers. Word of caution is not to use too many watery vegetables.
The main thing to remember when layering 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 (beef broth or chicken broth for more flavor) on top of half of the ground meat that remained in the pot. Break 4 uncooked noodles in half and lay them on top of the meat mixture in a single layer, overlapping a bit.
- 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 meat 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.
If you want to add more veggies to your Instant Pot lasagna, think about adding a layer of chopped, sliced, or diced mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, or broccoli.
How Long to Cook Lasagna in Pressure Cooker?
You may be wondering “how long to cook lasagna in a pressure cooker?”. And it’s a valid question because actual cook time is 7 minutes. However, it will take some time for the pot to come to pressure. Depending on the size of your Instant Pot. My 8 quart pot takes about 10 minutes to pressurize.
When the cooking time is done, you’ll hear a beep. Now do Natural Pressure Release aka leave it alone, for 10 minutes. Then turn 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.
Tips for Best Results
- Don’t double the recipe: I do not recommend to double the recipe because 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 add another layer of noodles.
- Do not season ground beef right away: You’ll notice the recipe states that you should start with browning meat 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.
- 3 quart Instant Pot: Cut the ingredients in half (even the water) but keep the same cooking time.
- 8 quart Instant Pot: The amount of ingredients remains the same, including water. So does the cooking time. Same goes for larger 10 quart pressure cooker.
Instant Pot lasagna is hearty and comforting year-round easy dish. It 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 perfect meal on a cold night.
- Slicing: You can cut through lasagna with a slotted spoon, knife, or spatula. It will feel like cutting butter. That’s how tender lasagna noodles are!
- Serving: Serve hot garnished with fresh basil or fresh 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, garlic bread, 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 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.
Storing and Reheating
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.
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.
How to Freeze Lasagna
This lasagna is great for freezing. You can freeze entire cooked lasagna or in individual portions for easy reheating. In either case, cook and let it cool completely. Then transfer in airtight containers in a freezer for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the fridge overnight. I recommend to reheat it in a microwave, so lasagna doesn’t dry out.
It could be because some brands add water or more of it to the tomato sauce. Also possible if you have added more veggies like zucchini, mushrooms, and peppers as they produce water. Or because it just looks watery when it is first cooked.
The good news is when you let it sit, it should absorb most, if not all of it. So close the lid and give it 10-20 minutes. Even if it doesn’t, it’ll just sit at the bottom of the pot.
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.
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.
Original recipe doesn’t call for it but you can combine ricotta with egg and add it on top of meat layer.
More Instant Pot Pasta Recipes
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!
Easy Instant Pot Lasagna
- 1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
- 11 oz lasagna noodles 12 sheets
- 2 x 14 oz cans tomato sauce low sodium
- 3 cups kale or spinach chopped
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp oil for frying
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 4 oz mozzarella or cheddar cheese shredded (1 cup)
- Parmesan cheese optional
- Basil or parsley for garnish
- On Instant Pot, press Saute and wait until display says Hot. Takes 3-5 minutes. Swirl oil to coat and add ground beef. Start breaking into pieces with spatula.
- Add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Keep cooking until brown or about 5 minutes, constantly breaking into small pieces and stirring.
- Press Cancel and remove half of ground beef into a bowl. Time to layer lasagna.°Layer #1: Add water and break 4 noodles in half and lay on top.°Layer #2: Add half of kale and break 4 noodles in half and lay on top.°Layer #3: Add ground beef from the bowl, remaining half of kale and pour 14 oz can tomato sauce on top.°Layer #4: Break 4 noodles in half and lay on top. Then pour remaining 14 oz can of tomato sauce.
- Pressure cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. Let pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes and then turn valve to Venting.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Freeze: Up to 3 months.
- 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.
- Spinach or kale: You can skip kale or spinach if you are not a fan.
- 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.