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Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

Instant pot spaghetti and meatballs is a simple, one-pot meal that’s ready in just 30 minutes. It has all the traditional flavors you love from the classic dish without all the mess and dishes! Delicious, so easy, and there’s no need to boil the pasta separately.

Why You’ll Love This Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

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! Here are some more reasons to love it.

  • Easy Clean Up: There really isn’t anything easier than a one-pot meal of any kind. In this case, all you need to do is clean the instant pot, so post dinner dishes is a breeze!
  • Hands Free: This may be our favorite benefit of this recipe… You don’t need to stand over the stove watching pots and waiting for things to cook! Instead, just add everything to the instant pot, seal it up, and let it do its thing.
  • Budget Friendly: Meals that taste great don’t have to break the bank. Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic recipe that keeps your cost per dish nice and low while still tasting amazing.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Here’s What You’ll Need

You only need a handful of ingredients for instant pot spaghetti and meatballs, and you probably already have most of them on hand. Scroll down to the recipe card for exact amounts of each ingredient.

  • Marinara Sauce: We highly recommend Rao’s sauce for its delicious flavor and no added sugar.
  • Spaghetti: Buy the pot-sized version to save having to break it to fit yourself!
  • Frozen Meatballs: Beef, pork, turkey or a mixture. Whatever you like!
  • Olive Oil
  • Water
  • Onion: We love the flavor and aroma of sweet onions, but white onions or shallots will also work.
  • Garlic: Fresh minced garlic will give the best flavor.
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
Overhead image of spaghetti and meatballs with a fork and garlic bread.

How to Make Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

When it comes to easy instant pot recipes, nothing beats the simplicity of spaghetti and meatballs. Here’s how to pull it together. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for detailed instructions.

  • Sauté: Set your instant pot to the sauté setting and cook the onion in olive oil for a few minutes. Add garlic and all the seasonings, give it a good stir, and turn off the sauté setting.
  • Layer: Add frozen meatballs to the instant pot and arrange them in as flat a layer as you can. Place pasta on top of meatballs in a flat layer. Drizzle pasta with a little olive oil to help prevent it from sticking. Pour marinara sauce on top of the pasta and then pour water on top of that.
  • Pressure Cook: 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!

Helpful Tips and Variations

Every family has a version of spaghetti and meatballs they love. This instant pot version is just a new twist on a classic. Pay attention to these tips especially if you’re not super familiar with cooking in an instant pot.

  • 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.
  • Sauce Matters: 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 taste! Use whatever your family likes, just make sure it’s 24 ounces.
  • Pasta Amount: This recipe uses 12 ounces of pasta. We know it’s 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.
  • Frozen Meatballs: We 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.
  • Ground Beef: If you want a more traditional spaghetti with meat sauce, use ground beef instead of the frozen meatballs! Just add the ground beef to the sauté step and cook until it’s no longer pink.
  • Instant Pot Tips: If you aren’t familiar with your instant pot, just watch the video below. We’ll show you what settings we used and how to do a quick pressure release. Don’t skip this step or the pasta will become very overcooked and mushy.

How to Serve Spaghetti and Meatballs

In all honesty, sometimes all I want is a huge bowl of spaghetti and meatballs loaded with fresh parmesan. No veggies, no salad, just pasta goodness. Well, sometimes a slice or two of our delicious garlic bread makes it even more perfect. But if you’re looking to round out this meal a bit, we recommend pairing it with an easy strawberry and spinach salad or simple parmesan roasted broccoli.

Up close image of spaghetti being twirled on a fork.

Can I Store and Reheat Leftovers?

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. The good news is that it only takes about 30 minutes total to make. So don’t worry, too much about putting this into your meal prep rotation – it’s easy enough to make just about any busy weeknight!

  • Refrigerate: Place any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat: Reheat leftovers in the microwave, giving it a good stir half way through to ensure even heating.
  • Freeze: We do not recommend freezing this dish!
Overhead image of spaghetti and meatballs on a plate with a side plate of garlic bread and a bowl of parmesan cheese.

More Easy Pasta Recipes

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs on a white plate with cheese and parsley on top.
4.4 from 52 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 4 servings

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

Instant pot spaghetti and meatballs is a simple, one-pot meal that's ready in just 30 minutes. It has all the traditional flavors you love from the classic dish without all the mess and dishes! Delicious, so easy, and there's no need to boil the pasta separately.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time9 minutes
Additional Time15 minutes
Total Time29 minutes


  • 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.
    Chopped onion is being added to an instant pot.
  • 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.
    Frozen meatballs are laid in the bottom of the instant pot insert.
  • 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.
    Pouring sauce on noodles in the instant pot
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the steam release knob to the sealing position on top.
    Closing the lid on an instant pot
  • 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).
    Instant Pot showing 9 minutes of cook time
  • 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.
    Spaghetti and noodles in water in instant pot.
  • 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!



I used an 8 Qt Instant Pot in this video. I also tested this recipe with a 6 Qt and it worked as well, but I would not recommend using anything smaller.


Serving: 1, Calories: 591kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 40g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g, Cholesterol: 105mg, Sodium: 969mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 12g

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Recipe Rating

34 comments on “Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs”

  1. Can you substitute Banza or similar type gluten free spaghetti noodles? This is one of our recipes on rotation. We LOVE it!

    1. Yes, it should work just fine! You may need to add an extra minute or two of cook time as the gluten free noodles tend to take a little longer to soften.

    2. I routinely substitute with GF pastas (Banza, which I think is legume-based, or Explore, which is edamame-based) with great success.

  2. I made this for my parents last night. So easy, I wanted to show them something they could make easily, they don’t want to cook anymore.

  3. Instant pot newbie.
    Perfect recipe.
    Instructions are crystal clear!
    The meal is yummy and so easy
    I suggest you use this recipe for a first time instant pot user

    1. When we tested this recipe with fresh meatballs, they fall apart. Frozen meatballs really stay together best in the instant pot.

  4. The BEST spaghetti & meatballs recipe ever! This is a game changer for spaghetti night. Super easy and only one dish to clean! It’s like the sauce gets infused into the noodles somehow. Absolutely delicious and Rao’s marinara is all we use too. 🙂

    1. Hi Ashley! Yes! You can use different style noodles, but we really recommend a spaghetti or thin spaghetti noodle so they cook properly with the amount of water and time. Hope you enjoy it!

  5. If you are using a 6 qt and will use the 16oz of spaghetti go ahead and use 4cups of water and a 48oz jar spaghetti sauce. Up time to 10min and maybe wait about 2min then QR. I only used 3 cups of water and it was almost a little dry and pasta wasn’t quite done.

  6. I needed this to feed 3 teens and 2 adults, so I adjusted the amounts to use 1 lb spaghetti, 32 oz spaghetti sauce and 32 oz water, and everything else pretty much the same, just a little heavier on the spices and garlic. I cooked it in my 6qt instant pot for 10mins, with 4 mins NPR (only because it took me that long to get to it), then quick release. It turned out great! Probably could cook a little less time, but it was fine, and we had leftovers too. Thanks for the easy, delicious recipe!

    1. I am sorry Joe. Have you tried adding more liquid? Instant Pots are wonderful……until we get the dreadful burn notice.

  7. Can you use other noodles (other than spagetti), in this dish? Would it be the same amount of time?

    1. Hi Luna, Yes! You can use other pasta in this recipe. You will need to adjust the cooking time. Typically to cook pasta in a instant pot, cut the pasta time in half. So if the directions call for 10 minutes you will cook it for 5 minutes. Hope this helps! Would love to hear if you try with a different pasta.

  8. Nicole Tierheimer

    If you live in high altitude ( I am in Colorado) cook this for more like 2 or 3 minutes longer. It was delicious but had to put back in for 2 minutes as noodles were still kind of tough. Used the half noddles of pot noddles from Walmart. Fantastic!

  9. I read comments before hand about the pasta not being quite done. I wanted to give it a chance and make the recipe as is thinking that pasta usually takes about 10 minutes to cook and i couldn’t see it wouldn’t be done in 9 minutes in a pressure cooker. The only small changes i made was to used jarred garlic and they didn’t have “Pot sizes” spaghetti so i just used regular spaghetti and broke it in half. So, in fact. the pasta was not done at the end of the cook. It was a little crunchy. What i did to fix it was to put the lid of the instant pot back on (but don’t seal) and hit the saute button and cooked it for ~4 minutes longer. What you could do so you don’t have to mess with this is either pressure cook it for 1 minute longer or when its done pressure cooking wait 3-4 minutes before you release the pressure (this is probably what i will try next time). It was generally good and EXTREMELY easy. I might try next time to throw some mushrooms in or maybe some Italian sausage (i like Italian sausage in my spaghetti).

  10. Super easy and turned out great! Had no issues with my noodles as others mentioned. Mine were cooked perfectly. Delish!

  11. This was the best instant pot spaghetti and meatballs recipe I have made – and I’ve tried quite a few. Thanks for the yum!!!!

  12. My noodles weren’t quite done either, next time I’m gonna do 10 minutes and only use half of the Italian seasoning. This dish turned out delicious thou. Such a easy and hearty meal.

  13. Love how crazy easy this recipe is. I work long hours and this makes my life easier when I come home to hungry teens. Thank you!

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