Instant Pot Spaghetti
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This Instant Pot Spaghetti is quick, easy and full of flavor! Pasta and meat sauce cook together in the Instant Pot for an easy dinner.
When everyone’s hungry and you need to get dinner on the table fast, this Instant Pot spaghetti recipe is just the quick and easy recipe you need! You can brown the meat and cook the pasta all in the Instant Pot pot for the ultimate convenient family-friendly meal.
I first shared this Instant Pot Spaghetti recipe almost four years ago, and it continues to be one of the recipes that I make most often for my family for dinner. It’s ready in just over 30 minutes and everyone in the family loves it!
Why make spaghetti in the Instant Pot? Spaghetti isn’t a difficult meal to make on the stove, so why make it in an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker? The real benefit is that you don’t have to watch multiple pots on the stove. You don’t need to drain the pasta, so you won’t dirty a colander, and you don’t need separate pots for the pasta and the sauce. Since the pasta cooks right in the marinara sauce, it absorbs the flavor of the sauce as it cooks. Everyone always tells me that this is the most flavorful spaghetti!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Easy Dinner Idea: It’s made with just 6 ingredients, plus salt and pepper. The active prep time is just 10 minutes, and the whole meal will be ready in 35 minutes.
- Easy Clean Up: You’ll have only one pot to wash at the end.
- Customizable: You can use ground beef, ground turkey or Italian sausage for the meat sauce. Both white and whole wheat pasta work well. You can even make vegetarian spaghetti. Find all of the details below.
- Crowd-Pleaser: This spaghetti is a flavorful comfort food dinner that the whole family will love.
Instant Pot Spaghetti Recipe Ingredients
The ingredient list for this recipe is short and simple! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Ground Beef: I like to use lean ground beef because there won’t be much grease to drain off after browning it. You can also use 80/20 and just drain off the grease after browning.
- Seasonings: Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper add flavor.
- Water: The water is required to cook the pasta and also to allow the Instant Pot to pressurize. It will be absorbed as the pasta cooks.
- Spaghetti: Use either white or whole wheat spaghetti in this recipe. I’ve tested the recipe with both with good success.
- Marinara Sauce & Tomato Sauce: Cooking the pasta right in the sauce gives it so much flavor. I usually use a jar of store-bought marinara sauce to save time, but you can use homemade marinara sauce if desired. One 25 ounce jar of sauce equals about 3 cups.
How to Make Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
I’ve tested this recipe in both my 6 quart and 8 quart Instant Pots and it works perfectly in both. If you’re new to Instant Pot cooking, my guide on how to use an Instant Pot can help you to get started.
- Brown the meat using the Instant Pot sauté function. Then turn the sauté function off.
- Add the seasonings and water. Stir well, scraping up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Break the spaghetti noodles in half and arrange them in a criss cross pattern on top of the meat; do not stir. Arranging the noodles in different directions keeps them from sticking together as they cook.
- Pour the tomato sauce and marinara sauce on top of the spaghetti. Again, do not stir.
- Pressure cook on high pressure for 5-7 minutes. (Specific timing instructions are given in the recipe card below).
- Do a quick pressure release.
- Let it rest for 3-5 minutes, stir and serve!
- Turkey Spaghetti: Substitute ground turkey for the ground beef.
- Italian Sausage: You can replace half or all of the ground beef with Italian sausage. Remove the sausage from the casings and crumble it as you brown it in the pot.
- Vegetarian Spaghetti: To make vegetarian spaghetti, put the water and seasonings in the pot first and stir (or start by sautéing some vegetables as described below). Then layer the pasta as directed in the recipe and pour the marinara and tomato sauce on top. Do not stir after adding the pasta and sauce. Pressure cook as directed.
- Add Vegetables: Before browning the ground beef, sauté chopped vegetables in 1 tablespoon of olive oil using the Instant Pot sauté function. Try chopped onion, carrots or bell pepper. If you wish to add quick-cooking vegetables such as chopped fresh spinach or frozen peas, stir those in after pressure cooking and then let stand with the lid on for 5 minutes.
- Gluten-Free: Use a gluten-free pasta, such as Barilla gluten free. Readers have tried this recipe with gluten-free pasta with good success.
- Use a good quality marinara sauce that you love the flavor of, as it will impact the flavor of the finished dish.
- Do not stir after adding the spaghetti or sauce. You will arrange the spaghetti in alternating directions (see photo above) to prevent the noodles from sticking together.
- Be sure to do a quick release right away when the cook time finishes so that the pasta doesn’t over cook. Be careful as there will be a lot of hot steam that escapes through the steam release valve.
- When you first open the Instant Pot, the sauce may look watery. Give it a stir and let it rest for 3-5 minutes and it will be perfect!
What to Serve with Spaghetti
We love topping our servings of spaghetti with grated Parmesan cheese. You can also add a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat and some chopped fresh basil for a pop of fresh flavor. These side dishes pair perfectly with this Instant Pot spaghetti:
More Easy Instant Pot Recipes
If you love this Instant Pot spaghetti, try one of these delicious Instant Pot Recipes next:
This Instant Pot spaghetti is a quick and easy dinner idea that you’ll want to add to your meal plan rotation. The leftovers reheat wonderfully for an easy lunch or dinner the next day.
Instant Pot Spaghetti
- 1 pound lean ground beef, or ground turkey
- 4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 16 ounces uncooked spaghetti, white or whole wheat
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 25 ounce jar marinara sauce, see note below
- Turn on the Instant Pot sauté function and add the ground beef. Cook, crumbling with a spoon or spatula, until browned. Turn the Instant Pot off. Drain off any excess grease.
- Add the water, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Take small handfuls of the spaghetti noodles, break them in half, and lay them in the pot arranged in different directions (to prevent the spaghetti from sticking together). Do not stir.
- Pour the tomato sauce and marinara sauce over the spaghetti. Do not stir.
- Close Instant Pot lid and move the steam valve to the sealing position.
- Pressure cook at high pressure for 7 minutes if using regular white spaghetti with a package cook time of 9-11 minutes. Pressure cook at high pressure for 5 minutes if using whole wheat spaghetti with a package cook time of 7-9 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 15-20 minutes to come to pressure and then the cook time will start counting down.
- As soon as the cook time ends, do a quick release (carefully move the steam release valve to the venting position. Then wait for all of the steam to escape and the pin to drop down).
- Remove the lid, stir. You will see some liquid in the pot. This will absorb after just a few minutes. Let the pasta rest for 3-5 minutes and then serve.
- Use a good quality marinara sauce that you love the flavor of, as that will impact the flavor of the finished dish.
- If you want vegetarian spaghetti, leave out the meat and skip the sauté step (or sauté some vegetables, such as onions, bell peppers and carrots in a bit of olive oil). Put the water in the pot, followed by the seasonings. Then add the spaghetti as directed in the recipe. Pour the sauce over the top of the spaghetti and do not stir. Pressure cook as directed in the recipe.
- I first shared this recipe in 2018 and have since updated it to use a full 16 ounce box of spaghetti, rather than half a box. If you wish to halve the recipe, omit the can of tomato sauce, use a full 25 ounce jar of marinara sauce and halve all of the other ingredients (including the water).