With just 8 minutes of cook time, this Instant Pot Spaghetti makes a flavorful and easy Instant pot recipe! It’s perfect for busy weeknights, as the meat sauce and pasta cook all together in the pressure cooker. There’s hardly any clean-up at all!
Looking for more Instant Pot Recipes? Don’t miss our Instant Pot Chicken Thighs or Instant Pot Mexican Rice.
Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
Instant Pot spaghetti is a simple weeknight meal, and it’s sooo tasty! Everything gets cooked together in the pressure cooker, so there’s hardly any clean-up and it all comes together in under 30 minutes!
Pressure cooking the pasta right in the sauce flavors the pasta all the way through, and the starch from the pasta thickens this garlicky tomato sauce. The lean ground beef comes out extra tender thanks to the pressure. The flavorful pasta, garlicky tomato sauce, and tender beef make this spaghetti recipe a definite keeper!
This easy Instant Pot meal requires just a handful of ingredients to make.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Ground beef – Use lean beef to avoid making the dish too greasy.
- Onion & garlic – For flavor and wonderful aromatics.
- Olive oil – For sautéing the onion and garlic.
- Tomato paste – Lends rich, slightly sweet flavor.
- Seasonings – Italian seasoning, onion powder, and garlic powder to season the meat sauce, plus salt and pepper to taste.
- Granulated sugar – Helps to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.
- Canned whole tomatoes – Helps create a thicker, chunkier meat sauce.
- Tomato sauce – I used a canned sauce but homemade works too.
- Thick spaghetti – See notes below on regular spaghetti.
- Chicken broth – Water can be used instead to cut back on calories, but it won’t be as flavorful.
- Parmesan – Helps to thicken the sauce and gives a nice flavor and cheesy texture as well.
- Fresh basil
Can I Use Regular Spaghetti Noodles?
Thick spaghetti by Barilla holds up really well to pressure cooking. Regular spaghetti will do fine if you can’t find it, and will cook in about the same amount of time, but it may be just a bit softer after the 8 minutes.
Just like traditional spaghetti, there are many ways to customize this Instant Pot pasta recipe!
- Switch up the beef. Try using half ground beef and half Italian sausage for a change in flavor.
- Use both fresh and dried herbs. Adding fresh and dried garlic and herbs gives the sauce much more depth.
- Add even more veggies in. For more veggies, add half of a diced bell pepper when you brown the meat. You could also add chopped mushrooms, spinach, or any veggie you like.
- Make a creamy tomato sauce. You can also add in a drizzle of heavy cream for a luscious creamy tomato sauce.
How to Make Instant Pot Spaghetti
Here’s how to make this spaghetti in the Instant Pot. Here’s a summary:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Sauté the meat. Cook the onion and ground beef, chopping with a wooden spoon until about 90% cooked.
- Make the sauce. Add the garlic, tomato paste, dried seasonings, salt and pepper, and sugar. Cook for 1 minute. Press ‘cancel’ on the pot and add in the canned tomatoes and sauce. Crush the tomatoes with a potato masher.
- Add the spaghetti. Break the spaghetti in half and layer crosswise. Add the chicken broth and stir, being sure to pull the meat up from the bottom. Push the noodles into the liquid.
- Cook. Lock the lid in place, turn the valve to the ‘sealing’ position and cook on high for 8 minutes. Manually release the pressure.
- Add the cheese. Break up any clumps of pasta. Stir in the parmesan and fresh basil. Add more salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve. Serve immediately with crusty bread or garlic bread.
How Long To Cook Spaghetti in The Instant Pot?
It takes 8 minutes to perfectly cook this spaghetti in the Instant Pot. Note that I did use Barilla thick spaghetti, which ends up cooking perfectly al dente. Regular pasta may be a bit softer but you don’t want to reduce the cooking time or the rest of the dish won’t be ready.
Tips for Success
For the best Instant Pot spaghetti, here are a few helpful hints.
- Don’t worry if the sauce seems thin. The sauce will be a bit liquidy when you first take the lid off. Adding grated parmesan right into the sauce helps to thicken it as it stands.
- Adjust the acidity level. All canned tomatoes vary in sweetness and acidity. If your tomato sauce is too acidic, add another teaspoon of sugar. If it’s still too acidic, stir in 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to neutralize the acid.
- Scrape the bottom after browning the beef. Before you add the water, be sure to give the bottom of the pressure cooker a good scrape to deglaze it and prevent burning.
- Make sure the noodles are covered. The water should come up over the noodles. If they come above the water when you stir everything together, be sure to push them back down.
- If using fresh herbs only, add some basil stems. Always add fresh basil to sauces just before serving for the best flavor. If you’d like to cook with fresh herbs only, try adding the basil stems during the cooking process and remove them just before serving.
Serve topped with extra parmesan cheese and basil if desired. Like any spaghetti dish, this goes well with some crusty dutch oven bread or, even better, garlic bread. I also like to serve my spaghetti with a salad, whether it’s a simple side salad or a caesar salad.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Leftover Instant Pot spaghetti will last in the fridge for up to 3 days, in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. The sauce shouldn’t dry out but add a splash of water or chicken broth when reheating if necessary.
More Pasta Recipes:
I hope you love this delicious and easy recipe – be sure to give it a review below! Also don’t forget to follow Belly Full on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube!
Instant Pot Spaghetti
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion , diced
- drizzle of olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 pound thick spaghetti (such as Barilla – see note)
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth (or water)
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese , plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
- crusty bread or garlic bread , for serving
- Press the ‘saute’ button on the Instant Pot and allow it to preheat for about 2 minutes. Add a drizzle of oil to the insert, followed by the ground beef and onion. Chop meat with a wooden spoon as it browns, until about 90% cooked.
- Add fresh garlic, tomato paste, dried seasonings, a teaspoon salt and pepper, and the sugar. Cook for 1 minute, stirring every few seconds. Press ‘cancel’ on the pot. Add canned tomatoes and sauce, crush tomatoes with a potato masher.
- Break spaghetti in half and layer in the pot crosswise. Add in the chicken broth and give everything a good stir, pulling the meat up from the bottom of the pot (this will prevent the pot from scorching on the bottom as it pressurizes.) Push the noodles down into the liquid.
- Place lid on the pot and lock into place. Turn the valve to the ‘sealing’ position. Pressure cook on high for 8 minutes, then manually release the pressure.
- Use a large pasta fork to break up any clumps of pasta. Stir in 1/2 cup of parmesan and the fresh basil. Taste for salt and pepper, adjust as needed. Serve right away. The sauce will thicken as it stands.
- Enjoy with some crusty bread or garlic bread!