Instant Pot Spaghetti

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Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs is one of the easiest weeknight meals you’ll ever make! Your family will love the flavor and you’ll love the easy cleanup for this classic recipe.

For more delicious weeknight inspiration, be sure to give our Meatball Sliders a try. Or bake up a Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole for the whole family to enjoy.

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe on a plate with bread.

Why You’ll Love Spaghetti in the Instant Pot

We all know and love spaghetti and meatballs, but today’s recipe in the Instant Pot is truly better than all the rest!

Here’s why this Instant Pot Spaghetti recipe is a standout:

  • The ingredients are simple. Most likely you’ll have them on hand in your pantry or freezer already. And if you don’t, stock up for busy weeknights!
  • It’s a one-pot meal. No colander either! You’ll love the simplicity of this easy meal, especially when it’s time to do the dishes!
  • The classic flavors make it a crowd-pleaser. The added garlic and seasonings give store-bought ingredients an instant upgrade!

Seriously though, if your family loves pasta, this is the Instant Pot recipe you need to try next! For more delicious pasta dishes, be sure to add our chicken tetrazzini recipe to your menu soon.

Important Ingredient Notes

  • Garlic – Adding extra garlic to jarred sauce really takes it to the next level. And it’s such a simple step!
  • Frozen meatballs – Use your favorite kind, whether they’re beef or turkey.
  • Thin spaghetti noodles – I don’t recommend alternative types of pasta, like gluten-free or bean flour pasta, because they cook differently than traditional.
  • Marinara sauce – Choosing a flavorful marinara sauce is a must. We love Rao’s Marinara as it’s sugar-free yet packed with flavor!
  • Italian seasoning – This gives the flavor in your sauce a big boost.
  • Red pepper flakes – Add more or less, according to your family’s tastes.
  • Fresh parsley and shredded Parmesan cheese – The perfect finishing touches. If you don’t have fresh parsley on hand and don’t want to buy it, I recommend skipping it instead of using dried.
Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meatballs. Served with bread.

How to Make Instant Pot Spaghetti

Cook the Garlic: Turn on the Instant Pot and select “SAUTE.” Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic to the Instant Pot and cook for about 2 minutes.

Layer the Ingredients:

  • Select “CANCEL.” Add the frozen meatballs in a single layer to the bottom of the Instant Pot. 
  • Add the spaghetti noodles on top of the meatballs. Drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  • Pour the jar of marinara sauce over the spaghetti, then add water. Finally, sprinkle in the salt, Italian Seasoning, and red pepper flakes.

Cook and Serve:

  • Lock the lid in place, turn the knob to “SEALING“, select HIGH PRESSURE and cook time of 9 minutes. When cook time ends, do a quick pressure release.
  • Stir gently to combine the sauce with the noodles and meatballs. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley before serving.

Tips and Tricks

  • Homemade Turkey Meatballs or store-bought frozen meatballs both work great! I prefer having them frozen so they don’t fall apart.
  • I’ve used several kinds of pasta in this recipe, and they all turn out wonderful. Don’t skip the extra olive oil.
  • Fill your empty jar of marinara sauce (24oz size) with water. This equals the 3 cups water you’ll need, and it will help you get every last drop of sauce out of the jar!
  • DO NOT STIR before pressure cooking. Add the ingredients in the order above, but do NOT stir.
  • I use Quick Release for this recipe so that my noodles don’t overcook.
  • When you open the lid after pressure cooking, it may appear watery. NOW you stir and let it sit for a minute; it will come together nicely.
  • To make meat sauce instead of meatballs, in Step 1, add ground beef or turkey to Instant Pot with the garlic and olive oil. Cook until browned and drain out any excess grease. Scrape the excess bits off the bottom of the Instant Pot so you don’t get the dreaded “burn” notice! Return the meat to the bottom of the Instant Pot and continue with Step 3. 
Plate with spaghetti, meatballs, and french bread.

What to Serve With Instant Pot Spaghetti

Recipe FAQs

How do you keep spaghetti sauce from burning in an Instant Pot?

Water! The secret is to add water with the sauce. This will keep the sauce from scorching.

Can you overcook pasta in an Instant Pot?

Yes, you can overcook pasta in an Instant Pot. Until you get a good feel for how to use your Instant Pot, I recommend following recipes and using the exact pasta shape they specify. 

Can you pressure cook with a thick sauce?

As long as you add the water, it doesn’t matter if the marinara sauce is thick or thin. 

More Instant Pot Recipes

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Instant Pot Spaghetti

4.54 from 26 votes
By: Aimee
Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs is one of the easiest weeknight meals! You'll love the flavor and the easy cleanup with this classic recipe!!
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 4 cloves garlic pressed
  • 1 ½ lb approximately 24 frozen meatballs
  • 8 oz thin spaghetti noodles broken in half
  • 24 oz jar marinara sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Fresh parsley and shredded parmesan cheese for garnish
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Instructions 

  • Turn on Instant Pot and select "SAUTE." Add 1 tbsp olive oil and garlic to Instant Pot and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Select "CANCEL." Add frozen meatballs in a single layer to the bottom of the Instant Pot. I actually added a couple extra on top of the single layer and it turned out great.
  • Add thin spaghetti noodles (that are broken in half so they fit) on top of the meatballs. Drizzle with extra olive oil (about 2 Tbsp) to prevent sticking.
  • Pour one jar of marinara sauce over the top of the noodles, then add water. Finally, sprinkle in extra seasoning…salt, Italian Seasoning, and red pepper flakes.
  • Lock lid in place, turn knob to "SEALING", select HIGH PRESSURE and cook time of 9 minutes. When cook time ends, do a quick pressure release.
  • Stir gently to combine sauce with noodles and meatballs. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. ENJOY

Notes

  • Homemade Meatballs or store bought frozen meatballs both work great! I prefer having them frozen so they don’t fall apart.
  • I’ve used several kinds of pasta in this recipe, and they all turn out wonderful. Don’t skip the extra olive oil.
  • Choosing a flavorful marinara sauce is a must. We love Rao’s Marinara as it’s sugar free yet packed with flavor!
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce (24oz) is also 3 cups of water…just fill your empty jar with water and dump it in!
  • When you open the lid after pressure cooking, it may appear watery. NOW you stir and let it sit for a minute, it will come together nicely.
  • Time does not include the amount of time it takes to come to pressure. This recipe was tested in a 6qt Instant Pot.

Nutrition

Calories: 210kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 839mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g
Course: Instant Pot
Cuisine: Italian
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs is one of the easiest weeknight meals! You’ll love the flavor and the easy cleanup with this classic recipe!!

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on October 24, 2019

Comments & Reviews

  1. If I am using 1 pound of spaghetti, should I double the sauce and the water to 6 cups of each? I have an 8 quart pot.

  2. Ok I have a HUGE complaint about this recipe! I’ve made this several times, with different sauces, and I’ve even jumped the sauce up to 32oz and the water, with more noodles and it is all so flipping good (excuse my French) – my complaint is that you’ve pretty much ruined most “ordinary “ spaghetti for me – even the slow cooked sauce type. How dare you! And thank you! 😉

  3. I made it in my Ninja Foodi. (Is that legal? ) It came out great! I halved the meatballs since I only used half of a package of spaghetti so I could make it again. I used thick spaghetti so I let it natural release for 5 min. Perfecto!

  4. I’m excited to try this. Somebody had asked if it is okay to double this recipe and I didn’t see a response. I would like to do the same. Let me know…Two jars of sauce and two jars of water? Pound of pasta?
    Also, Instant pot is for quick meals. Not simmering sauce all day which I have done and will do again from scratch but not on a Tuesday night after work! LOL

  5. Hi. I tried this recipe and had an issue. My noodles were undercooked and stuck together. I followed the recipe. Any ideas what I did wrong? Thanks!

  6. I love this recipe. Instapots were made for us to save time. Who wants to make meatballs or simmer sauce all day? Not me..

  7. Aimee, you call can me the only onion in the turnip patch, but I fail to see that you have provided an original recipe here at all. You only provide a list to put in the IP, which any 12 year old could put together by reading the jar. Your Marinara sauce & meatballs are pure store bought, over processed, additives added, high in sodium, not the best for you ingredients. The only advantage the other women will get is the speed of opening and dumping of the pre-made ingredients. I hope you will take the time to step back to think about the difference between good and what tastes good & actually good for you. In my Italian neighborhood growing up, Mama Marie simmered the spaghetti sauce all day and Grandma Christine brought her homemade noodles. I was always excited when one of the boys would yell “mama’s made spaghetti, come on over.” I do the majority of my cooking from things I have made or canned myself. It’s a little of this, a little of that, and a pinch of love. The new popular use of the IP has helped in a lot of ways to speed up our meals, but I would never neglect using the best of ingredients.

    1. I’m not sure why you even took the time to leave this comment? If you don’t like something, move along. Not everyone has your life and can simmer spaghetti sauce all day or make homemade noodles.

      1. You were much kinder than most. Sheesh! There’s always some one hating, right?
        I just got an IP yesterday and am excited to try your recipe… my first!

  8. During Step 1 – do you close the lid or does it stay open? Thanks! (I haven’t gotten up the nerve to use my Instant Pot yet – lol don’t judge me! Change is hard!)

    1. Hi- new IP user here too. Instructions say not to put lid on while in saute mode, ( though I’ve also seen other recipes resting a non IP glass lid loosely on top).

  9. Angie I have never heard of any spaghetti brand or any pasta for that matter that takes 3 minutes to cook. Usually it’s anywhere from 7-11 minutes. Where have you seen pasta that takes 3 minutes to cook?

    1. I have this in my IP now and it smells great. Don’t know why people have to be rude. If you don’t like it move on, no comment is necessary.

  10. I made this for supper tonight!! My hubby is super picky.. But he went for seconds! I did add a jar of drained mushrooms! Yummy yummy!!

  11. I will try this, but 9 minutes is like triple the time it takes to cook spaghetti, unless you like it to be very overcooked.

      1. Yeah mine even took longer because it was thick spaghetti. I cooked it for 9 min, then let it natural release for 5 min. Might let it go 10 next time while I get caught up on night chores, or make salad. This recipe was spot on for me.

  12. This is perfect! My kids requested spaghetti and meatballs for dinner this weekend, I’m so glad I stumbled across this recipe!

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