Instant Pot Spaghetti is easy, one pot and ready in 30 minutes! Brown the meat, add uncooked pasta, sauce and voila!

Other Italian inspired dinners we love to make in the pressure cooker include Instant Pot lasagna and Instant Pot chicken pasta.

Instant pot spaghetti on plate with fork and garnished with parsley.

Instant Pot spaghetti recipe with meat sauce is a go-to meal on a busy weeknight. It’s budget-friendly, comforting, and an easy dinner recipe!

We’re not trying to replicate an authentic Italian pasta dish because we all know any true Italian recipe requires old-fashioned time and effort.

What we are trying to do is give the essence of Italian-inspired flavors a modern twist with the magic of the Instant Pot!

It’s a cross between two reader favorites spaghetti in tomato sauce and homemade meat sauce. And I have to admit for healthy pasta recipe it sure comes close to the real deal!

Every busy home cook needs to keep this recipe in their arsenal. One pot spaghetti Instant Pot (even the browning of the meat) means not only an easy dinner, but easy clean up too!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Familiar mouth watering taste is just one reason you will love this pasta that can be enjoyed year round!

  • Family favorite: Kids and adults alike will love this dish.
  • It’s quick and easy: 10 minute cook time plus more hands off than any other method, even my slow cooker crockpot chicken spaghetti!
  • Double the recipe to serve a larger crowd. The best part is, the cook time remains the same.
  • Leftovers are just as good the next day and the day after that.
  • A one pot spaghetti meal: Make for easy clean up!

Easy Spaghetti Ingredients

Ground beef, tomato sauce, spaghetti, parmesan cheese, spices, pepper mill and maple syrup.

What I love about this recipe is that you can use 5 simple ingredients you have on hand! It’s convenient and flexible with any ground meat, pasta, or sauce.

  • Pasta: You can use white, whole wheat or gluten free spaghetti noodles. As for the shape, you can use long or short pasta, realistically. It’s totally flexible.
  • Ground meat: Ground turkey or lean ground beef are usually what I have on hand. Poultry will make Instant Pot spaghetti leaner and therefore a healthier choice.
  • Tomato sauce: Plain canned tomato sauce to which we’ll add simple spices. Salt and a bit of sugar to reduce acidity. You could opt for jarred spaghetti sauce or marinara sauce that already has spices, salt, and sugar added to it.
  • Spices: Dried oregano, basil and thyme or just Italian seasoning. You can skip them with jarred pasta sauce.

How to Make Spaghetti In an Instant Pot

There’s no waiting for the water to boil and no sauce splattering all over the place.

This Instapot spaghetti recipe comes out perfectly cooked and not mushy and the entire dish is super flavorful.

Browned ground beef and wooden spatula in Instant Pot.

Brown meat: Press Saute and cook ground beef until it’s in small pieces. If it is beef or lamb, I would drain it mid way to reduce the fat and speed up sauteing.

Then, add 2 cups water and seasonings, and scrape the bottom of the pot.

Broken spaghetti on top of browned ground meat in Instant Pot.

Add pasta: Break pasta noodles in half and lay them criss cross in 6 layers.

Tomato sauce on top of spaghetti in the pot.

Add sauce: Pour tomato sauce on top and do not stir. Do not worry about water and sauce not covering the noodles. There is enough steam inside the pot to soften them under pressure.

Cooked spaghetti with meat sauce closeup.

Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes: Then do Quick Release to release the pressure after it is done.

Stir and let sit for 3 minutes to soak up the juices. If the pasta is too firm for your liking, let it sit about 10 minutes longer.

Tips for Best Instant Pot Spaghetti Results

Using a pressure cooker will transform your idea of there being only one way to make pasta, this is one of my favorite Instant Pot recipes for beginners!

  • If pasta is “crunchy”: Close the lid and let it sit an extra 10 minutes after cooking. Pasta cooks fast so it’s always better to undercook and allow it to sit. You can’t reverse overcooked pasta.
  • Too much liquid: When you first open the pot, spaghetti might look very watery. Give it a stir and a few minutes to absorb more of the surrounding liquid.
  • Clumping noodles: Criss crossing pasta resolves most of the clumping issue. Even if there is some clumping, that’s completely OK. Just use a fork to separate them.
  • Gluten free pasta: I would reduce cooking time from 5 minutes to 3 minutes.

Do I Stir Before Turning on Instant Pot?

No. You do not stir until after cooking is done. This is to prevent burn which can happen if tomato sauce is at the bottom of the pot.

Can I Double Instant Pot Spaghetti?

If you have 8 quart Instant Pot, you can double the ingredients for pressure cooker spaghetti but keep the same cook time.

For a 6 quart pot, you can only add 1.5 times ingredients and the cook time remains the same.

For a 3 quart Instant Pot, cut all ingredients in half (even the water) but keep the same cook time.

What to Serve With Spaghetti?

Freezing and Storing Instructions

Storing and reheating: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Best way to reheat it is in the microwave.

Freezing: Cooked pasta is one of those foods that doesn’t thaw well, too mushy.

However, if you are meal prepping the entire recipe, cook spaghetti for 3 minutes, cool (pasta will keep cooking with residual heat) and freeze in portions.

Then thaw and reheat in the microwave or bake in oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. This will help with the overcooked pasta issue.

More FAQs

How do you keep noodles from sticking together?

Using the criss cross method when layering the noodles in the pot. This means taking some of your noodles and layering them flat across the pot in one direction. Then taking another handful and layering them across in the opposite direction. Continue doing this for all the layers.

This should help, although there may still be clumps after cooking. Just stir with tongs and use a fork to separate them.

What if my spaghetti is still undercooked?

Close the lid and let the pasta sit for 10 minutes. The hot sauce and steam inside the pot will “cook” it to your desired texture.

Can I use jarred pasta sauce or my own meat sauce recipe?

Yes! Just follow the recipe and skip spices.

Can I make this without meat?

Yes. Put water in first, then seasonings, noodles and sauce. Do not stir. Enjoy a meatless spaghetti.

Can I make this with frozen ground meat?

Yes, but you need to thaw it first using my Instant Pot frozen ground beef method then proceed with recipe.

More Instant Pot Pasta Recipes

Browse 45 healthy Instant Pot recipes.

Instant pot spaghetti on white plate garnished with parsley and parmesan cheese.
Instant Pot spaghetti on a plate with garnish and a fork.

Instant Pot Spaghetti

Instant Pot Spaghetti is easy, one pot and ready in 30 minutes! Brown the meat, add uncooked pasta, sauce and voila!
4.95 from 94 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 320
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Pressure Up & Down 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp oregano dried
  • 1 tsp basil dried
  • 1 tsp thyme dried
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or sugar
  • 10 oz whole wheat spaghetti or white spaghetti
  • 28 oz tomato sauce low sodium
  • Grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley or basil for serving

Instructions 

  • On 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot, press Saute and wait until display says Hot. Add meat and cook until brown in color, breaking into pieces constantly. Instant Pot doesn't really brown the meat and it doesn't have to be cooked through. If cooking beef, I drain the fat in the middle of cooking.
  • Add water, oregano, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Scrape the bits off of the bottom of the pot with spatula while stirring everything. Helps to avoid Burn message. Press Cancel.
  • Break noodles in half and add criss cross in about 6 layers. It helps to prevent noodles from sticking. Pour tomato sauce and maple syrup on top. Do not stir.
  • Close the lid, turn pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 5 minutes.
  • After Instant Pot has finished cooking, release pressure using Quick Release method by turning valve to Venting and open the lid. Spaghetti will look watery. Don't worry. Stir gently and let sit for 3 minutes.
  • Serve hot garnished with parsley or basil and grated Parmesan cheese. Or however you like spaghetti. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Best way to reheat is in a microwave.
  • Freeze: Do not freeze leftovers. For meal prepping entire recipe, cook spaghetti for 3 minutes, cool (pasta will keep cooking with residual heat) and freeze in portions. Then thaw and reheat in microwave or bake in oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. This will help with overcooked pasta issue.
  • To double the recipe: If you have 8 quart Instant Pot, you can double the ingredients but keep same cook time. For 6 quart, you can only add 1.5 times ingredients but not double – same cook time.
  • 3 quart Instant Pot: Cut all ingredients in half (even water) but keep same cook time.

Nutrition

Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 679mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    The perfect Spaghetti! It turns jarred sauce into a much thicker, creamier texture that coatsevery noodle. I make this all the time, and it’s so much tastier and easier than cooking noodles and sauce separately. No need to add the seasonings with a jar of sauce either. A new family favourite… Thank you for this one!

  2. 5 stars
    Hi again,I did get a burn notice but when I opened the pot and mixed it it was cooked so we had it with the shrimp.It was yummy! There was only a little stuck so no biggie.Just don’t know why I got the notice I never get it with the sausage.Maybe you can figure it out again it was yummy.

    1. Oh good that it turned out! Thanks for updating. The layer of meat on the bottom creates a better barrier from sauce touching.

  3. 5 stars
    Hi there,
    This is our favorite recipe and we always make it with sausage.I was wondering if I could make it with shrimp instead.The hubby has a hankering for shrimp and spaghetti with a red sauce.So what do you think?Thanks in advance for the advice!

    1. I think that would work, just add your uncooked shrimp on top of pasta. If you are using cooked shrimp, you probably don’t need to stir it in until the end. Note the recipe has not been tested, so I am not sure exactly how it will turn out but do let us know 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    omg Olena ive beeb wanting to try it forever but nervous wow its so good and quick in 5 min
    have been following your blogs for over a year now Thank you

    From Carol Ann

    Happy Holidays

  5. 5 stars
    Tried your recipe this week with ground turkey and it was delicious! I used spaghettini noodles, kept the same cook time and the noodles were perfect! My husband and son loved it! I’d like to try with veggies next time. How do you recommend adding red peppers and carrots to the recipe? Should I include when browning the meat, as you’ve mentioned for onions, celery and mushrooms?

  6. 5 stars
    I did mine with frozen meatballs and used the saute to brown and followed the rest of the direction and it was amazing

  7. 5 stars
    Questions- still working on being friendly with my IP. No problems yet but intimidated from PC explosions in the ’50’s!

    Can I use black bean pasta? What modifications needed?

    Can I use prepared (store bought!) marinara or spaghetti sauce? Already have some & want to use it up.

    Your a gem! The detailed explanations, videos , substitutions etc. for each record are good sends to us rookies!

    Nsmaste

    1. Black bean pasta – yes, reduce cook time to 3 minutes. Black bean pasta is quite strong taste, I would recommend a chickpea or red lentil pasta with this pasta. If using your favorite jarred pasta sauce: Reduce dried herbs to only 1 tsp and salt to 1/2 tsp, and eliminate maple syrup. Jarred sauce is already seasoned.

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