This is the best and easiest way to make spaghetti and meat sauce: Everything cooks together in the instant pot, dinner is ready in just 30 minutes!
I have made my fair share of unsuccessful instant pot pastas – but this recipe is definitely a winner! The sauce comes out delicious and flavorful and the spaghetti cook to perfection.
The most important thing when cooking pasta in the instant pot is to avoid overcooking it. 6 minutes may seem like a short time, but it really is enough so please do not increase the cooking time.
Ingredients you’ll need
This is an overview of ingredients. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- Beef: I used lean ground beef, but you can use any fat content. Mixed ground beef and pork is also great, and ground sausage works as well.
- Pasta sauce: I used tomato basil. Any tomato-based jarred pasta sauce you like is fine.
- Green pepper: Skip if you don’t like the taste of green pepper. Can also use diced one diced celery stick instead.
How to cook spaghetti in the instant pot
It’s super easy to cook spaghetti and meat sauce in your electric pressure cooker! No need to cook the pasta and sauce separately, everything cooks together in one pot. And it only takes 6 minutes of pressure cooking time – so quick and so simple.
- Make sure to scrape any bits off the bottom of the instant pot after browning the beef. Otherwise it could trigger the “burn” warning during pressure cooking.
- I recommend a natural pressure release of 2-3 minutes before manually releasing pressure (makes for less splatters). I always cover the valve with a kitchen towel to help combat splatters as well.
- Make sure to measure out the water exactly, and use the right size jarred pasta sauce. Otherwise, the recipe may not work out as expected.
- Do not pre-cook the spaghetti! They cook right in the instant pot with the sauce.
Make sure to stick to the exact liquid requirements of the recipe. Not adding enough liquid will keep the pasta from cooking through. If you added enough liquid and the pasta is still underdone, your exact brand of pasta might need an extra minute of cooking time. Make sure there is still enough liquid in the pot, then seal the lid again and pressure cook for one more minute.
If you only have frozen ground beef and forgot to defrost it, you can still make this recipe. Place the unwrapped frozen ground beef on a trivet in your 6-quart instant pot. Add 1 cup water, seal the lid and pressure cook on “high” for 5 minutes. Quick release the pressure, then carefully remove the trivet and beef (hot! use oven mitts!). Use the beef as directed in the recipe.
I like to make a big green side salad with Italian dressing to serve alongside spaghetti and meat sauce.
More easy instant pot dinners
Watch the recipe video
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Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 (12-oz) package spaghetti, uncooked
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 2 (24-oz) jars tomato basil pasta sauce
- Set a 6-quart electric pressure cooker to sauté. Add oil, then cook onion and pepper until softened.
- Add beef, stir to break up and brown; drain if desired. Sprinkle with seasoning, stir well and switch off the instant pot.
- Spread uncooked spaghetti over beef and vegetables. Pour in water (it should nearly cover the spaghetti).
- Spread pasta sauce on top of the spaghetti. Do not stir!
- Close lid and set valve to "seasling". Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes.
- Once time is up, switch off pressure cooker and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Open pressure cooker using quick release method (check manufacturer's instructions), then stir very well and serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 430Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 1225mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 6gSugar: 15gProtein: 29g
Cynthia Watkins says
I just got my instant pot, and this is the first recipe I made! It was delicious. I think I used too much water this time, but it was really good!