This Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs is an easy, one-pot meal that is ready in 30 minutes! It is crazy delicious and there is no need to boil the pasta separately.
Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
Craving spaghetti for dinner and don’t want to dirty up multiple pots and colanders? This Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs is exactly the recipe you need, just set it and walk away! You can also use ground beef instead for a more traditional American version of Spaghetti!
We use onion, garlic and a good quality spaghetti sauce (I like to use Rao’s Marinara sauce) to give our Spaghetti and Meatballs the best flavor. Top it with some grated Parmesan cheese and a side of good garlic bread and watch it disappear.
This is one of those meals that is so good the entire table is quiet…because they are too busy diving in to chit chat! Bonus: You only need one pot so dishes are a breeze!
Why make spaghetti in an instant pot?
A lot of people like to claim they use the instant pot because it is quicker, but honestly, it’s takes about the same amount of time as cooking spaghetti on the stove top.
However there are many bonuses to cooking spaghetti in the instant pot! First, you do NOT have to stand over the stove watching the pots and waiting for things to cook. Instead, you add everything to the instant pot, seal it up and let it do it’s thing, while you grab a glass of wine or go yell at your kids for fighting again (lovingly of course).
And for me, an even bigger bonus, you only need one single pot – the instant pot. Everything cooks together all in the one pot, even the pasta! You don’t need a colander or anything like that.
You only need a handful of ingredients for this Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs and you probably already have most of them on hand:
- Marinara Sauce: we highly recommend Rao’s sauce. Delicious flavor and no added sugar.
- Spaghetti: buy the pot-sized to save having to break it to fit yourself!
- Frozen Meatballs: beef, pork, turkey or a mixture. Whatever you like!
- Olive Oil
- Italian Seasoning
Do I have to use frozen meatballs?
I tested this recipe with fresh meatballs and frozen cooked meatballs. The fresh meatballs fall apart in the pressure cooker and do not hold up. You can use them, but they will be in much smaller chunks by the time everything is done. I highly recommend grabbing a bag of already cooked frozen meatballs instead!
Can I use ground beef instead?
Yes, absolutely! Sauté the ground beef and onion in the instant pot until it is no longer pink. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds more. Then continue on with the rest of the steps for the recipe!
How to make Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
Sauté: Set your instant pot to the sauté setting. Sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 30 more seconds. Add seasonings: salt, pepper and Italian seasonings. Turn off the sauté setting.
Layer: Add frozen meatballs to bottom of instant pot and arrange them in as flat a layer as you can. Place pasta on top of meatballs and gently spread it into a flat layer. Drizzle pasta with olive oil — this will help prevent the pasta from sticking.
Pour: Pour the marinara sauce on top of the pasta. Then refill the pasta jar with water (3 cups of water) and pour the water on top of the marinara sauce.
Pressure: Seal the Instant Pot and turn up the pressure! Cook on manual pressure – on high – for 9 minutes. Then do a manual quick pressure release. Toss spaghetti and meatballs together with sauce, using tongs. Serve!
Instant Pot Tips: If you aren’t familiar with your instant pot, just watch the video in this post or in the recipe card below. I show you in the video what settings I used for cooking this Instant Pot Spaghetti. Make sure to do a quick pressure release (once the instant pot is done cooking, manually release the pressure by pushing the knob on top of your instant pot) or the pasta will become very overcooked.
Tips for the best results:
- Too much water? When you open the instant pot, your spaghetti may look a little soupy, but once you start tossing it all together with the tongs, it will absorb the extra water and be perfect! Just be patient and stir it and give it a minute or two if needed.
- Use a good quality spaghetti sauce for optimal flavor. We personally like Rao’s spaghetti sauces because they are low in sugar and high in flavor! Use whatever your family likes, just make sure it’s 24 ounces!
- Do not add more pasta. This recipe uses 12 ounces of pasta. I know it is tempting to add the entire 16 oz package of pasta, but everything in this recipe is done in perfect ratios for the right liquid to pasta. If you use more pasta, you will have spots where the noodles will be dry and not cooked.
Can I make or prep this ahead?
No, not really. This recipe is best served fresh, so I would not recommend making it ahead. Like any spaghetti dish, the pasta will be a little gummy the next day when reheated. It’s still enjoyable — my kids love the leftovers! — but it’s just not as good as it is fresh.
As for prepping it ahead, you can go ahead and sauté the onion, garlic and add the seasonings ahead of time if you would like. However, this part of the process takes about 5 minutes, so it’s really not saving you much time.
Thankfully, this Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe only takes about 30 minutes total to make and only 10 minutes of that time is active cooking time. So don’t worry, it’s easy enough to make just about any busy weeknight!
This easy Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs is a family favorite of ours and we enjoy it almost weekly! My kids gobble it up and even enjoy any leftovers the next day.
Serve it with a side salad, garlic bread and a healthy sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese on top for a wonderful easy dinner.
Looking for more easy Instant Pot recipes? Try out these reader favorites:
- Best Pulled Pork
- Instant Pot Taco Soup
- Salsa Verde Chicken Soup (0 points WW+ Recipe!)
- Instant Pot Beef Tips
- 5 ingredient Mexican Chicken
Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 lb frozen Italian meatballs
- 12 oz pot-sized spaghetti
- 24 oz spaghetti sauce
- 3 cups 24 oz water
- Set your instant pot to the sauté setting. Sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 30 more seconds. Add salt, pepper and Italian seasonings, stirring to combine. Turn off the sauté setting.
- Add frozen meatballs to bottom of instant pot and arrange them in as flat a layer as you can, on top of the onion mixture.
- Place pasta on top of meatballs and gently spread it into a flat layer. Drizzle pasta with 2 tablespoons olive oil — this will help prevent the pasta from sticking.
- Pour the marinara sauce on top of the pasta. Then pour the water on top of the marinara sauce.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the steam release knob to the sealing position on top.
- Press the Pressure Cook (Manual) button or dial and then select 9 minutes of cook time. Press start if your pot requires you to press start (some start automatically and some will require you to press start).
- The pot will take several minutes to come to pressure, mine took about 12 minutes to come to pressure. Once the Instant Pot reaches pressure, the cook time (9 minutes) begins.
- After cook time has finished, turn off the Instant Pot and do a quick release of pressure. To do a quick release: turn the steam release knob on top of the Instant Pot to the venting position.
- After the pin in the lid drops down, open the lid. Stir and toss the spaghetti and meatballs together with tongs. If any noodles stuck together, use your tongs or a fork to separate them.
- The Spaghetti and Meatballs will appear to be too soupy at first, but the noodles will continue to absorb any extra liquid as you toss them in the broth-y mixture for about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately!