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Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

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.

Spaghetti swirled on white serving plate

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.

Two photo collage of spaghetti twirled on plate, with fork

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. 

Tossed spaghetti and sauce in the Instant Pot

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

Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, step by step photo collage in Instant Pot

  • 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

Two photo collage of plate of spaghetti in front of Instant Pot

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!!

Overhead of spaghetti on white plate

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

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Spaghetti swirled on white serving plate

Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

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.
4.95 from 20 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 550kcal


  • 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!

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.


Calories: 550kcal Carbohydrates: 65g Protein: 25g Fat: 21g Saturated Fat: 7g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 54mg Sodium: 1030mg Potassium: 762mg Fiber: 5g Sugar: 7g Vitamin A: 534IU Vitamin C: 10mg Calcium: 58mg Iron: 4mg
Did you make this recipe? Please comment, rate it and share! And mention me on Instagram @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird so I can see!

*Inspired by Cooking with Curls.


Recipe Rating


Friday 29th of March 2024

I am going to make this tomorrow for my family. Could I double the recipe and use an 8 quart instapot? Would I need to change the timing? I have thin spaghetti noodles.

Kelly Wildenhaus

Tuesday 16th of April 2024

Sorry for the delay in responding. I would not recommend doubling this recipe in the Instant Pot. I have never tested that and I'm pretty sure it would be way too much, even in a larger size pot. Hope that helps.


Friday 14th of January 2022

Made this fir the 2nd time. First was by the letter. This time I used frozen Italian meatballs put in after sauté onions 3 cups water, whole bag spaghetti noodles, 2 jars spaghetti sauce covered noodles. 6 mins pressure cooked 6 natural release. Perfecto!!!


Tuesday 8th of December 2020

Love this recipe, it's my go to spaghetti recipe!


Tuesday 26th of May 2020

Amazing. I've made this several times and it comes out delicious. MY KIDS LOVE IT! Tonight I'm doubling up the meat (ground turkey) to make more leftovers. Kinda tired of cooking so much lately. Wish me luck!


Sunday 7th of June 2020

I love the leftovers, it freezes well, too!


Monday 3rd of February 2020

Delish. I’m not a great cook, but even I could make this and it came out great! Didn’t have any spaghetti so I used gf farfalle and used seasoned ground turkey. This is definitely a keeper.


Friday 28th of February 2020

Glad you liked it, I use ground turkey all the time!