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Instant Pot Spaghetti

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Instant Pot Spaghetti is fast and delicious, making it the perfect meal on busy nights that the whole family will love! It is also a great meal when you have major dental work done and cannot eat solid food. Or when the swelling from said dental work turns into a sinus infection and you need something for dinner that doesn’t require too much brain power.

For even more delicious pressure cooker recipes, check out the Instant Pot Recipes page.

Spaghetti with meat sauce on a white plate with garlic bread on the side.

I had a brainstorm last week before all of the pain and suffering started, and it actually turned into a better idea than I originally thought. Don’t you just love it when that happens? In the past few months Amazon and Kohl’s have had killer sales on Instant Pots, which means there are A LOT of people buying them and then starring at them not knowing where to start. Summer is also the time everyone gets married and the kids head off to college, two more groups of people that need fast, easy, and inexpensive meals even if they have no clue how to cook!!

Instant Pot Spaghetti is a family favorite made in half the time | cookingwithcurls.com

What does that have to do with Instant Pot Spaghetti? It means you are going to be seeing more recipes in the next few weeks for newbies, newlyweds, busy parents, and college students, maybe even an Instant Pot 101 post with tips and tricks for success. But for now, let’s make dinner!!

How to make Instant Pot Spaghetti:

Press the Sauté button and wait for it to get HOT. Add the oil, swirl it around, then add the onions…..

Instant Pot Spaghetti onions cookingwithcurls.com

Cook until the onions start to soften. Add the garlic and stir to combine.

Add the ground beef/turkey and cook until most of the pink is gone…..

Instant Pot Spaghetti beef cookingwithcurls.com

Press the Cancel button, then the Manual button. Add the water and scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure there are no stuck on bits that can burn.

Break the spaghetti noodles in half and lay them on top of the meat…..

Instant Pot Spaghetti noodles cookingwithcurls.com

Pour the sauce on top of the spaghetti noodles…..

Instant Pot Spaghetti sauce cookingwithcurls.com

Grab a pair of tongs and carefully fold the ingredients together…..

Instant Pot Spaghetti stir cookingwithcurls.com

Make sure all of the noodles are covered with liquid. {It’s really easy to do and none of my noodles broke}

Secure the lid and make sure the knob is in the Sealing position. Press the – or + buttons and set the time for 5 minutes…..

Instant Pot Spaghetti 5 minutes cookingwithcurls.com

When the pot beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, then carefully release the remaining pressure. Stir everything together…..

Instant Pot Spaghetti toss cookingwithcurls.com

and serve with grated Parmesan cheese and Garlic Bread.

Recipe Notes:

  • Adding the cold oil to a very hot pot helps keep the foods from sticking.
  • For a vegan meal, omit the ground beef and continue on with the recipe.
  • I used Prego Traditional Pasta Sauce to keep things nice and simple. It is thinner than a Homemade Marinara Sauce so you may need to add additional water if your sauce is very thick. The noodles need the water to cook properly, so compare to the image above when in doubt.
  • I used 97% lean, grass-fed ground beef so I would not have to drain off the fat.
  • I used Barilla Spaghetti, the regular one not the thin or thick version.
  • I chose 5 minutes because the cooking instructions on the box state “Al dente perfection in 9 – 10 minutes”. I must not like al dente because I always add an additional minute or two. The basic formula for cooking noodles in an Instant Pot is to cook for half of the lowest time stated on the box, so 5 minutes was the winner.

The noodles were cooked perfectly, the ground beef was thoroughly cooked, and the whole meal was a success…YAY!!!

More easy and delicious Instant Pot recipes:

Enjoy!!

This Instant Pot Spaghetti is perfect for those nights when you need dinner fast! cookingwithcurls.com

Instant Pot Spaghetti

Instant Pot Spaghetti is fast and delicious, making it the perfect meal on busy nights that the whole family will love!
4.70 from 10 votes
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 516kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey, optional
  • 2 cups water
  • 8 ounces dry spaghetti noodles
  • 24 ounces pasta sauce

Instructions

  • Pres the Saute button and wait for it to get HOT. Add the oil, swirl it around, then add the onions. Cook until the onions start to soften. Add the garlic and stir to combine.
  • Add the ground beef/turkey and cook until most of the pink is gone. 
  • Press the Cancel button, then the Manual button. Add the water and scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure there are no stuck on bits that can burn.
  • Break the spaghetti noodles in half and lay them on top of the meat. 
  • Pour the sauce on top of the spaghetti noodles. Grab a pair of tongs and carefully fold the ingredients together. Make sure all of the noodles are covered with liquid. {It’s really easy to do and none of my noodles broke}
  • Secure the lid and make sure the knob is in the Sealing position. Press the – or + buttons and set the time for 5 minutes.
  • When the pot beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, then carefully release the remaining pressure. Stir everything together and serve with grated Parmesan cheese and Garlic Bread {if desired}

Notes

  • Adding the cold oil to a very hot pot helps keep the foods from sticking.
  • For a vegan meal, omit the ground beef and continue on with the recipe.
  • I used Prego Traditional Pasta Sauce to keep things nice and simple. It is thinner than a Homemade Marinara Sauce so you may need to add additional water if your sauce is very thick. The noodles need the water to cook properly, so compare to the image above when in doubt.
  • I used 97% lean, grass-fed ground beef so I would not have to drain off the fat.
  • I used Barilla Spaghetti, the regular one not the thin or thick version.
  • I chose 5 minutes because the cooking instructions on the box state “Al dente perfection in 9 – 10 minutes”. I must not like al dente because I always add an additional  minute or two. The basic formula for cooking noodles in an Instant Pot is to cook for half of the lowest time stated on the box, so 5 minutes was the winner.

Nutrition

Calories: 516kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 976mg | Potassium: 1065mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 735IU | Vitamin C: 12.4mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 5mg

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15 Comments

  1. Gave my daughter an instant pot for her birthday so will forward this to her. She avoids red meat for medical reasons, so I am always hunting recipes that can use turkey or chicken!

  2. I made this last night and it was great. I did add chopped olives. Fast, easy, delicious after working all day. The Instant Pot is my roommate’s and I don’t think she’s used it more than once. I on the other hand, am using it constantly – she’s free to move out but the pot stays!

  3. In the final step, are you supposed to set it to ‘manual’ and then for 5 minutes or by set it at all and set for 5 min? It didn’t say and I don’t want to do it wrong. Thanks!

  4. 5 stars
    OMG…this came out fantastic. I have a Nuwave Nutripot Pressure cooker. 8qt. I didn’t use any meat. I used onion,green and red peppers, mushrooms (lg size) and sautéed them in olive oil red pepper flakes basil and a touch of Italian seasoning.I also used chicken stock and red wine. This was the first time I tried cooking pasta at the same time as a sauce. I didn’t have any tomato paste so I used 1 large 28ox chunky style Pastene and one 14 oz diced tomatoes with no salt. Thank you so much. It came out perfect. I used Braille pasta and broke the spaghetti in half. Make sure to cover the pasta with the liquid. I did add Romano cheese in it too. Cooked it about 6 mins. Let it sit 5 then quick release. Thank you ..thank you. I was so afraid it would be mush. So good.

  5. Hi Lisa,

    Thank you! Yours is the first pasta recipe I’ve found that shows us how thin the sauce should be before cooking. This is so helpful, because I make my own meat sauce and tomato sauce. Now I can see what it’s supposed to look like before cooking the pasta.

    If using my meat sauce recipe, should I mix in some of the water ot thin the sauce, then add pasta and additional water, if needed? Or just dump meat sauce in the pot, add the pasta, then water?

  6. 5 stars
    I made a half-recipe of this tonight in Thing 2 (IP Mini). I haven’t used jarred sauce in over 10 years, but Winn-Dixie recently released their own brand of sauce for $1.59/jar. Their products are usually very good, so how could I resist that price? I knew I’d test it in your recipe. It was a little sweet, but a big squirt of lemon juice, some black pepper and your beef & onion additions made it taste like homemade. My thin spaghetti only needed 4 minutes to cook, and I probably could have shortened the release time to 4 minutes.

    The finished pasta was delicious, and most importantly, your technique worked! I credit your photo showing us what the sauce should look like before cooking. I added a little extra water and it was perfect. Thank you for the photo, it was so helpful! Yeah, this just went into my Favorites file.

  7. 4 stars
    Another amazing dish from cookingwith curls. From fridge to table in 20 minutes. What a bonus for working parents! Next time I’ll add some veggies to it (muchrooms, peppers, celery.

    1. No it wouldn’t Karen. Just cook for half the amount of time listed on the pasta box and you should be good. The meat was already cooked before starting the pressure cooking portion. 🙂

  8. I’m making this now. I have a duo 6at IP. Mine doesn’t have a “manual” button, so I pressed “pressure cook” but it will only let me see to 4 minutes. Help!

  9. 5 stars
    Excellent! I substituted Italian sausage for the ground beef, otherwise did everything the same. My first instant pot meal! No problems once I called the instant pot helpline and found out I was setting the cooker for 4 hours instead of minutes. I couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t let me set for 5 minutes/hours. Lol! Never a dull moment around me!

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