Instant Pot Spaghetti with meat sauce, all in one pot. Use ground beef or turkey, your favorite marinara sauce and dinner is on the table in 30 minutes.
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.
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!).
Step by Step Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
- Cook onions and garlic in olive oil on sauté function
- Add ground beef or turkey and brown
- Add some spices and cook a minute or two, turn off sauté
- Add water and salt, then lay the spaghetti on top
- Cover in marinara sauce and gently mix and submerge the spaghetti
- Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes, 6 minutes natural release, then release remaining pressure
- Open, toss spaghetti and sauce to combine and separate strands
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. All that's left is a good sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano to finish. ~ Kelly
Recipe Notes and Tips
- 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!!
Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey (I like ground sirloin, or a mix of light 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.