Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Posted on Dec 4, 2017
30 Comments

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 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. 

If you’ve tried this Instant Pot Spaghetti, please rate it below in the comments and let me know how it went ~ I love hearing from you! HUNGRY FOR MORE?  Subscribe to my Newsletter and come hang out with me on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK for all the latest updates.

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.
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner/Instant Pot, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian/American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 490kcal
Author: Kelly ~ the hungry bluebird

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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!

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.
Keyword: instant pot spaghetti, instant pot spaghetti and meat sauce, simple instant pot pasta recipes, easy recipe
Did you make this recipe? Rate it below and share on Instagram so I can see!Mention @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird !
 

*Inspired by Cooking with Curls.

 

30 thoughts

  1. Avatar

    Denise Holland

    February 20, 2018

    5 stars
    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.

    Reply

    1. Avatar

      Denise Holland

      February 22, 2018

      I forgot to mention, he’s Italian. 😄

      Reply

      1. Kelly

        Hahaha!! So glad you guys like it. I make it all the time around here, my family loves it!

        Reply

  2. Avatar

    Marylou

    April 15, 2018

    This is one of my family’s favorites. I’m making it for supper tonight with a couple extra people coming to join us. My question is, do you know if I doubled the recipe, would it turn out in a 6 qt IP. I’m contemplating cooking all of the onions, meat, etc. and then taking out half of the meat mixture and making two separate batches. Of course would be so much easier if I could just do the double batch and be done.

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      I’m not sure about doubling this recipe. As long as it doesn’t go above the fill line in the insert. I think it might be too much for a 6-quart pot.

      I’m glad you like the recipe ~ my family loves it!

      Reply

      1. Avatar

        Marylou

        April 17, 2018

        Thank you!! I ended up doing two separate batches. Would have been way too much for the 6 quart IP. I did double and sauté onions, meat, etc. and got that al browned up. Dumped it in my 8 cup glass measuring cup to make sure I was dividing it in half and then continued to follow the recipe. Just put fist batch in a covered pot until second batch was done. Perfect!!!! 😊💕

        Reply

  3. Avatar

    Marylou

    April 15, 2018

    5 stars
    Oh!! Forgot to rate this recipe. Love it!!!

    Reply

  4. Avatar

    5 stars
    Hi – What size Instant Pot do you use for this recipe? I have the Instant Pot 6-qt Duo 7-in1 – will that work? This will be my first time using it!! Thank you. ~ Melissa

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      I use a 6-quart model and it’s a good size for everything I’ve tried in the Instant Pot.

      Reply

  5. Avatar

    5 stars
    Just made this for my hubby and I-only the 2nd meal I have attempted in my new Instant Pot 6qt. It was delicious!!! I followed the directions to cut down on the amount of pasta (12oz) and used 2 and 3/4 cups water. Also followed hint to cut boiling time on box in half-and it was perfect!!! I used Barilla thin spaghetti and set for 5 minutes pressure cook and 5 minutes natural release and the pasta was cooked exactly the way we like it!!! Sending this recipe to my daughter in law and sharing with friends!! Thanks for the detailed directions!! They really helped this newbie!!

    Reply

  6. Avatar

    Hi! Thanksgiving for the recipe. I have tried one-pot pasta in my multi cooker before and all the pasta clumped together while it was pressure cooking. I wasn’t able to stir it a minute or so in to help separate the strands. I was wondering if you had any tips on how to stop this happening? Thank you!

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      The pasta clumps a little bit but I have had no problem when I stir it and the strands easily come apart. When you put the sauce over the pasta, carefully make sure all the strands are coated and submerged before you seal the pressure cooker.

      Reply

  7. Avatar

    Can you use quick release instead of natural release? This is my first time using the Instant Pot. Instruction booklet says natural release may take 10-40 minutes until the float valve drops.

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      With this spaghetti recipe, you want to quick release after timing 6 minutes from when cooking stopped. So when it beeps that it’s finished, set a timer for 6 minutes and then do a quick release.

      Reply

  8. Avatar

    5 stars
    This was HANDS DOWN the best spaghetti recipe we’ve tried. It’s now our ONLY spaghetti recipe. Can’t wait to share this with our grown kids…👊🏻❤️

    Reply

  9. Avatar

    5 stars
    Hands down the BEST spaghetti recipe we’ve tried. Great video, great written instructions, great dinner👊🏻❤️

    Reply

  10. Avatar

    I’m trying this tonight in my Ninja Foodie. Life got a lot easier since I got an IP ! Thanks for the recipe .

    Reply

  11. Avatar

    This was easy, quick and delicious. I am a vegetarian so I used frozen vegetarian meatballs that had partially thawed in place of meat. I added a little extra marinara to cover the noodles and because my family likes saucy spaghetti. Also I added about 5-6 fresh mushrooms. Even with these substitutions it turned out perfect! Thank you

    Reply

  12. Avatar

    5 stars
    My family LOVES this! One of our favorite meals in the Instant Pot!! So so good!! 😊😊😊

    Reply

  13. Avatar

    Linda Underwood Roberge

    May 24, 2019

    5 stars
    I made this wonderful Italian dish earlier this evening. Amazing taste within a short amount of time. Recipe is true as stated on thehungrybluebird.com site. There is a lot of give and take on this recipe, so the amount of Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce Recipe may be increased or decreased. Leftovers are big in our home. What’s not eaten immediately can be frozen for future meals. Thank you for your site and all the recipes that you share🍜.

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      Kelly

      May 27, 2019

      You are so welcome, glad you liked it! We always have leftovers and that’s my husband’s favorite thing the next day, for breakfast!!

      Reply

  14. Avatar

    I am a bachelor. Made this and turned out great. Skipped some of the ingredients. Cooked the meat with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Added the dry noodles and sauce. Then cooked as per your directions. Added some salt & Italian spices after finished. Stirred a bit and ate. Gave the neighbor a bowl of it and still enough left for 2.5 more nice size servings. Thanks for the recipe. 😊

    Reply

  15. Avatar

    Laurie F

    July 16, 2019

    5 stars
    This is a great recipe! I used 450g of a 900g pkg of spaghetti. I followed the directions exactly.
    Plenty to go around 🙂

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      Awesome!!

      Reply

  16. Avatar

    5 stars
    I made this twice and it came out perfect both times! The recipe is too big for two people. How would I cut it in half? If I put half as much of everything in, what would the time be?

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      Same time. Drop the water amount down some and maybe just 2 cups of marinara. Not really any science to it except keep the time the same.

      Reply

  17. Avatar

    Marilyn

    July 23, 2019

    5 stars
    Super easy & it was excellent!

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      It’s a keeper, my family loves this spaghetti!

      Reply

  18. Avatar

    5 stars
    We loved this! I live in a high altitude and had to do it a few minutes longer because my noodles were crunchy.

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      Great! I had no idea altitude would affect the timing, also depends on the brand of pasta. Glad you liked it 😊

      Reply

Reply