by Olena

Instant Pot Spaghetti (Video)

by Olena

5 from 4 reviews

Instant Pot Spaghetti is healthy one pot dinner ready in 20 minutes. Pasta, meat and sauce – all cook in one pot. It is true Italian meal with a lot of flavor and little effort. So hearty!

This Easy Instant Pot spaghetti and meat sauce is a cross of my spaghetti with tomato sauce and homemade meat sauce. You can use any ground meat, pasta or sauce. Kids will love it!

instant pot spaghetti

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Instant Pot spaghetti is one of those dinners that saves the busy weeknight. Or who am I kidding, most weekends with kids are just as busy.

That’s when me or Alex throw meat, pasta and sauce in our pressure cooker and healthy dinner is on the table in 20 minutes. Also try my lasagna without the springform pan. One pot, your mind will be blown once again haha.

All year round, friends. Even in summer because Instant Pot doesn’t warm up your kitchen.

Don’t have an Instant Pot yet? Check out which one you should buy. And you should very soon. Life changing magic pot! You are welcome.

instant pot spaghetti and meat sauce garnished with parmesan and basil

Ingredients for Instant Pot Spaghetti Recipe

What I love about this Instant Pot spaghetti and meat sauce is that you can use ingredients you have on hand. And most of us always stock sauce, pasta and meat. Fresh or frozen.

My next experiment will be with frozen meat and I will report back.

You need 5 simple ingredients:

  • Pasta
  • Ground meat
  • Tomato sauce
  • Spices
  • Water

And you see how I didn’t specify exactly ground beef or turkey because options are endless. Let’s go over them!

ground beef, tomato sauce, pasta, cheese, spices

What Pasta Works?

You can use white, whole wheat or gluten free spaghetti. I would reduce cooking time from 5 minutes to 3 minutes for gluten free pasta. Worst case scenario, if it’s a bit crunchy, you let it sit a few extra minutes after cooking. It’s pasta, it cooks fast and is better to undercook.

As for shape, you can use spaghetti, linguine or fettuccine. See I used whole wheat fettuccine. Because that’s all I had that day. And we absolutely loved the outcome.

You can use any shape pasta. Penne, bow ties, fusilli, elbow macaroni etc.

Always good idea to keep in mind that whole wheat or gluten free pasta offers more nutrition than white pasta. More fiber, vitamins and nutrients. Up to you. Not judging.

instant pot spaghetti grabbed with tongs

What Ground Meat Can I Use?

Ground turkey, ground beef, ground chicken, ground lamb or even ground venison.

I used ground beef because that is what I felt like that day. We just ate a lot of ground turkey days prior. And I like to balance things out. I grew up on beef, love its taste and eating red meat 1-2 times a month is fine in my books.

Poultry will make Instant Pot spaghetti more lean and therefore a healthier choice. It is a personal preference.

Should I Drain the Meat?

If it is beef or lamb, I would drain it mid way sauteing. Grab the inner pot with a towel and drain into the bowl. Discard into compost or garbage when solid. Apparently, fat is bad for sewer and drain pipes. Just a tip.

Draining any ground meat half way will also speed up the cooking process. As meat will not be “boiling” in liquid. Instant Pot doesn’t really brown-brown the meat, so it’s especially helpful.

drained fat from ground beef in a bowl

Which Tomato Sauce is OK?

Option #1 – Plain canned tomato sauce. All you have to do with it is to add simple spices, salt and a bit of sugar to reduce acidity. I buy cases of low sodium organic tomato sauce at Costco because it is cheap. That is what I used because I always have it on hand.

Option #2 – Jarred seasoned sauce like spaghetti or marinara. This sauce already has spices, salt and sugar added to it. And costs more accordingly. You can use 25-28 oz jar and reduce spices, salt and eliminate the maple syrup.

How to Make Instant Pot Spaghetti

If you are new to cooking with Instant Pot, check out my Instant Pot guide. 15 basic things that will answer many of your questions. K, now let’s cook.

  1. Brown meat on Saute.
  2. Add water + seasonings and scrape the bottom of the pot stirring everything.
  3. Lay broken in half pasta noodles criss cross in 6 layers.
  4. Pour tomato sauce on top and do not stir. Remember me saying “I’ll slap your hands if you stir”.Prevents Burn.
  5. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes and do a Quick Release with pressure after.
  6. Stir and let sit for 3 minutes to soak up the juices.

Do not worry about water and sauce not covering the noodles. There is enough steam inside the pot to soften them under pressure.

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Below is a photo with 8 oz of spaghetti. It was too heavy on meat to my taste. I added 2 more ounces of pasta, closed the lid and let pressure cooker spaghetti “cook” pasta while just resting.

instant pot spaghetti and meat sauce with a spoon

What if I Got Burn?

You should not. I tested and tested this recipe. But in 1% case you did (“lucky” you), it could be for the following reason:

  1. You have a very brand new model of Instant Pot that is a bit more sensitive.
  2. Little black bits that are left from sauteing stick to the pot. If they aren’t removed, pressure cooker will make them more hot and “think” they are burning. If you deglaze with water and incorporate them into the recipe like I advise, you won’t get the “burn” notice, promise.
  3. You stirred by accident. Remember, slapping hands?:)

More Easy Instant Pot Dinners (One Pot)

I hope you enjoy this Instant Pot spaghetti recipe, come back and tell me how you liked it in the comments below.

instant pot spaghetti

Watch Olena Make Instant Pot Spaghetti

And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for weekly cooking videos!

Print

Instant Pot Spaghetti

5 from 4 reviews

Instant Pot Spaghetti is healthy one pot dinner ready in 20 minutes. Pasta, meat and sauce – all cook in one pot.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Italian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef, turkey or chicken
  • 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
  • 10 oz whole wheat spaghetti
  • 28 oz tomato sauce, low sodium

Instructions

  1. On Instant Pot, press Saute and wait until display says Hot. Add meat and cook until brown in colour, breaking into pieces constantly. Instant Pot doesn’t really brown the meat and it doesn’t have to be cooked through.
  2. If cooking beef, I drain the fat in the middle of cooking. Up to you. Healthier.
  3. 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.
  4. Break noodles in half and add criss cross in about 6 layers. It helps to prevent noodles from sticking.
  5. Pour tomato sauce and maple syrup on top. Do not stir.
  6. Close the lid, turn pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on High for 5 minutes.
  7. After Instant Pot has finished cooking, release pressure using Quick Release method by turning valve to Venting and open the lid.
  8. Spaghetti will look watery. Don’t worry. Stir gently and let sit for 3 minutes.
  9. Serve hot garnished with basil and Parmesan cheese. Or however you like spaghetti. Enjoy!

Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Do not freeze.

Notes

You can use white, whole wheat or gluten free spaghetti. Or even fettuccine like I did. Cook gluten free pasta for 3 minutes, others no change. Worst case scenario, if it’s a bit crunchy, you let it sit a few extra minutes after cooking. It’s pasta, it cooks fast and is better to undercook.

For more meat and sauce, use 8 oz of noodles. I liked 10 oz because feeds more and less meat.

Replace thyme, basil and oregano with 1 tbsp of Italian seasoning.

You can replace tomato sauce with a jar of your favorite sauce! If you do so, reduce dried herbs to only 1 tsp and salt to 1/2 tsp, and eliminate maple syrup. Jarred sauce contains sugar already.:)

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

9 comments on “Instant Pot Spaghetti (Video)

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  1. Used my instant pot for the first time today, tried this recipe. So quick and easy, lovely flavour and great ratio of meat/sauce to pasta. Loved how I didn’t need to hover over the hob or do any stirring!
    Anyone tried adding mushrooms to the recipe? I usually add these to my bolognaise but not sure when to add? Thanks for the recipe and instant pot advice!

  2. We bought an Instant Pot Duo on Black Friday and have hardly used it. This recipe was super easy because I had previously cooked crumbled ground beef (when it was on sale) and had different size containers in the freezer. Also I used 32 oz. Classico Pasta Sauce from Costco. Our grandson suggested we make it again when his family comes to visit in August. It was delicious. Our goal now is to use the IP at least once each week.

  3. Hi, I just stumbled upon you while looking for healthy uncooked oat snacks 🙂 Just wondering is an instant pot different to a slow cooker? Could I do the same thing with the slow cooker, or would I need to do the sauteing (?) etc on stove then into the pot…..would times be the same after that?Or does this sort of recipe not translate well to a slow cooker? I really am a desperate housewife (a little bit chubby at this stage) in need of healthy stuff that is more than my 5 current meals….I too have a kid who eats everything I give him. Your answer would be awesome, thanks so much. I will keep browsing 🙂 Regards from Finland (but really a South African married and living here)

  4. OK THIS CAME OUT PERFECT!! Literally the pasta comes out just like you always want it to come out but it never does when you cook it in the stove😅 I made this two nights ago and my husband and mom loved it so much!!

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