Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Posted on Dec 4, 2017
One Comment

Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Oh, how I’ve had fun learning the ins and outs of pressure cooking the past few months, and spaghetti has become a weeknight favorite around here.  It’s easy and quick ~ everything cooks together in one pot ~ and so good.  Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce is perfect to get on the table in under 30 minutes, any day of the week.

Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

I have made this with ground sirloin and also with ground turkey, I love it both ways.  Meathead is probably more fond of the beef but honestly, the turkey was just as good and my girls all loved it that way.  Use what you like or prefer.  So simple, just brown the meat with some onion, garlic and a little seasoning, and then add water, spaghetti, and your favorite jarred pasta sauce.  Set the pressure cooker for six minutes, let it sit for six more minutes and then it’s done!!  How easy is that? (I sound like Ina, ha!).

Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Not many ingredients here and I’m definitely pretty picky about what I use.  I like ground sirloin if I use beef, and for ground turkey, a mix of dark and white meat (all white will be dry and bland).  You could use a homemade marinara sauce, and I have, but my go-to favorite is Rao’s, so that’s what I use.  And for the pasta, I prefer De Cecco for pressure cooking because, in my experience, it holds up better and will turn out closer to al dente, not at all overcooked and mushy.  And a good sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano to finish.

Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

I think I now prefer this Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce over the regular method of cooked pasta topped with sauce.  It all cooks together and the flavors all meld into one glorious pot of pasta.  And any leftovers are terrific reheated the next day.  If you haven’t tried spaghetti in your Instant Pot, this is a great way to make it and I guarantee the whole family will love it.

Best, Kelly

A few notes and observations:

  • You can use more than a pound of ground meat and I often do, usually up to 1⅓ pounds of ground meat.
  • You can also use less spaghetti, but if you do, lower the water amount to 2½ – 2¾ cups.  It’s kind of trial and error, but I like a saucy sauce so I keep the water at 2¾ – 3 cups.
  • I kind of find pressure cooking to be more “exact”, like baking, with ingredient amounts, etc.  That said, this has been a forgiving recipe and the pasta , meat and water amounts can be adjusted easily.
  • Watch seasoning amounts ~ seasonings and aromatics are more intense cooked under pressure.  Be careful on how much crushed red pepper you use!!

Some other Instant Pot dishes that you might also like to try are Pho Ga, Easy Barbecue Ribs and Country Green Beans, Potatoes and Ham. 

Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Instant Pot Spaghetti in Meat Sauce, all in one pot. Use ground beef or turkey, your favorite marinara sauce and dinner is on the table in 30 minutes.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian/American
Servings: 6
Author: Kelly ~ the hungry bluebird
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey (I like ground sirloin, use a mix of white and dark turkey meat)
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti, broken in half (I prefer De Cecco brand)
  • 3 cups marinara sauce, jarred or homemade (I like Rao's)
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
  1. Turn on sauté feature on Instant Pot and heat olive oil until hot.  Add onions and cook until translucent.  Add garlic and stir for just a bit until fragrant.  Add ground turkey and continue cooking and stirring to break up clumps until browned and no longer pink.  Add the Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Stir to combine and cook another minute.

  2. Turn off sauté setting.  Add water and 1 teaspoon salt to the pot.  Lay spaghetti on top and then cover with marinara sauce.  With tongs, carefully and gently toss to combine, making sure all the spaghetti is covered with liquid.

  3. Secure lid and seal Instant Pot.  Set for 6 minutes on high pressure.  When finished, let pressure naturally release for 6 more minutes (set a timer!).  Manually release remaining pressure and carefully remove lid.

  4. With tongs, stir and toss to combine spaghetti and sauce, carefully breaking up any clumps of pasta.  Taste and adjust for salt.  Serve with plenty of freshly grated Parm and Enjoy!

Recipe Notes
  • I have often used more ground meat, up to about 1⅓ pounds and it works just as well, in fact, we prefer a little more meat!
  • You can also use less spaghetti, like 12 ounces.  If so, drop the water down a little, to 2¾ cups.
  • Pressure cooking times and pasta varies, a good starting point is to cut the package boiling instructions in half and set cooking time to that amount, followed by the same natural release time. I recommend the 6 minutes based on De Cecco brand and my al dente preference.

*Inspired by Cooking with Curls.

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One thought

  1. Denise Holland

    February 20, 2018

    Very delicious. Added some mushrooms and onion & garlic powder too. I added a little less than a pound of spaghetti. Hubby said its yummy a half a dozen times.