For a quick pressure cooker meat sauce and easy pasta dinner meal made with beef and marinara sauce, try my easy homemade Instant Pot Spaghetti from scratch recipe. I’ve included tips and tricks to creating the perfect Instant Pot 7-minute Spaghetti in just a fraction of the time it normally takes on the stove top.
PRESSURE COOKER DIRECTIONS IN DEPTH
COOKING THE BEEF
If you’re just getting started with the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, be sure to follow my directions. Plug in the Instant Pot and turn it on “SAUTEE MODE”. You’ll want to insert the stainless steel insert into the pressure cooker. In the insert, cook the ground beef, onions, and garlic. Break the beef up as you cook it with a spoon. Once the beef is no longer pink, drain it then return it to the pressure cooker. Turn the pressure cooker “OFF”.
LAYERING THE SPAGHETTI PASTA NOODLES
In the insert, add in 1 cup water to the cooked beef. Next, mix 2 cups water with 2 teaspoons olive oil. The olive oil helps the noodles to not stick together while cooking; set aside. Toss in the spaghetti noodles. I break them in half so that the lid makes a tight seal. I toss them in 4-6 layers, much like pick-up-sticks. Scroll up to see my first photo of this step.
Next, pour the water and olive oil mixture over the noodles. The olive will slightly stick to the noodles to prevent them from sticking. Don’t worry, the sauce will still stick to the noodles.
ADDING THE MARINARA SAUCE
Finally, pour the tomato or marinara sauce into the center of the noodles. Try not to get the sauce around the edges. DO NOT STIR in the sauce. It must be placed near the top. The pressure cooker will result in a burn notice if the sauce ends up anywhere near the base of the insert because the sauce is too heavy to count as “steam” to be converted for this process.
HOW TO SET THE PRESSURE COOKER
Secure the lid on top and set the Steam Release Handle to the SEALED position. This is the knob on top of the pressure cooker by the handle. Select the “MANUAL” or “PRESSURE COOK” button on the panel. Use the ( + ) and set it to 7 minutes. The pressure cooker should then beep and say “ON” which means it is working to come to pressure. It will take 10-15 minutes to come to pressure. Once it comes to pressure, it will beep and count down from 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, the Instant Pot will beep to indicate it’s done. Do a “QUICK RELEASE” by turning the “STEAM RELEASE KNOB” to “VENTING”. Once the “PIN” drops, it’s safe to open.
STIR IN THE SEASONING AFTER COOKING
Because the Instant Pot masks any seasoning taste, I like to stir mine in at the end. Add all the seasoning AFTER the spaghetti has cooked then stir it well to combine.
EXTRA INSTANT POT SPAGHETTI TIPS AND TRICKS
BURN NOTICE/NOT COMING TO PRESSURE
If you notice a lot of steam pouring out from the pressure cooker while it is “ON” and it hasn’t come to pressure in 15 minutes, release the steam knob and push down the noodles, then return to cook for 1-2 more minutes. It’s important that you DO NOT STIR the pasta sauce or any tomato sauce into the mixture. It MUST be added to the top of the noodles. This is because pasta sauce is too heavy to count as a real liquid like broth or water and the pressure cooker will result in a burn notice because it won’t be able to convert the heavy sauce to steam even though water is added.
SPAGHETTI PORTION SIZE RULE
A general rule for spaghetti in the Instant Pot is 1 cup water and 24 ounces of tomato sauce for every 1/2 pound of pasta. If you’d like to make more or less spaghetti, follow this rule.
INSTANT POT FROZEN MEATBALLS
Can I use frozen meatballs in the Instant Pot for spaghetti from scratch? Yes, you can! Follow the same instructions, however, replace the frozen meatballs with the ground beef on the bottom. They do not need to be defrosted, so you can cook them with everything else at the same time. Just be sure that the frozen meatballs are already cooked when you buy them. Set the timer for 7 minutes, then instead of a quick release at the end of cooking, do a natural release for 2 minutes. That means you need to only move the steam knob to “VENTING” after 2 minutes once the 7 minute cook time is done.
INSTANT POT SPAGHETTI WITH FROZEN GROUND BEEF
Place the steam rack into the insert. Place the frozen ground beef on top of the rack then pour in 1 cup water. Pressure Cook on high for 25 minutes. Allow the pressure cooker to “NATURALLY RELEASE” at least 10 minutes, then turn the steam knob to “VENTING”. Carefully remove the steam rack with two pairs of kitchen tongs then drain the meat in a strainer as well as drain the fat/water from the pot. Return ground beef to pot and break it up with a spatula. If it’s still pink, you can saute it until it’s cooked otherwise, follow the directions for the rest of the recipe I’ve listed.
Simply skip the ground beef step. Still add in garlic, and onion, then follow the remainder of the recipe.
The key to creating awesome Instant Pot Spaghetti is to cook the beef first then layer the noodles on top. Water is added to the bottom of the pot after the beef to aid in providing enough steam for the pressure cooker to come to pressure and cook the pasta noodles. The tomato marinara sauce is added to the top of the noodles, which means that you won’t run into a burn notice. Finally, traditional spaghetti seasoning like onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, are stirred into the pot after cooking to achieve the BEST Italian flavor.
MORE INSTANT POT DINNER RECIPES
For more quick and easy INSTANT POT recipes, check out my Instant Pot Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta, Instant Pot Crack Chicken, Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes. Instant Pot beef recipes are my go to for a quick dinner and I love these Instant Pot Taco Bowls, and Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken.
Instant Pot Spaghetti
- 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 white onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups water, divided
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 12 ounces spaghetti pasta noodles
- 48 ounces marinara sauce, divided
- 15 ounces diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- grated parmesan cheese, to serve
- In an Instant Pot insert, cook ground beef, onions, and garlic. Turn the pressure cooker on and select SAUTEE. Break it up with a spoon and cook until no longer pink. Drain beef fat; return beef to Instant Pot. Evenly spread cooked beef/onion mixture across the bottom. Pour in 1 cup water. Break spaghetti pasta noodles in half. Layer the noodles like pick-up-sticks. Alternate layers and directions so that the noodles are not sticking together – See post for a photo of this step.Add 2 teaspoons olive oil to 2 cups water. Pour mixture evenly over the noodles.In the CENTER of the noodles, pour in canned diced tomatoes. Pour 24 oz. marinara sauce on top in the CENTER. Do NOT STIR (if you stir, you’ll get a burn notice) Do not get any tomato ingredients on the sides of the pot either. Secure lid. Set the pressure valve to SEALING. Select MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK; cook on high-pressure 7 minutes. The pressure cooker will beep and indicate “ON” while it comes to pressure. It took mine about 15 minutes to come to pressure then it started to count down from 7 minutes.Once done, select CANCEL. Do a QR or QUICK-RELEASE by turning steam release handle to release steam immediately. Once pressure pin drops, open lid and turn off the device.Stir in 1 teaspoon salt, 1.5 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.Serve with parmesan cheese. I like to use the extra 24 ounces marinara sauce to add to each bowl. If you stir the sauce in, the noodles will absorb it so I like to stir in when serving.
Nutritional information is only an estimate and it’s accuracy is not guaranteed to be exact.
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My wife and I loved it. We added red bell pepper with the Sautee stage and cut olives in the second.
Delicious and very easy to make! The kids loved it. I used whole wheat spaghetti so 8 minutes would have been good. 7 mins was too aldente for the kids. Instead I just put it all on Sauté for another minute or two, stirring to avoid burning. I will be making it again! Thank you.
It really is delicious. Glad you enjoyed it!