Instant Pot Spaghetti is a classic one-pot pasta dinner for busy families. This mostly hands-off pressure cooker spaghetti uses jar sauce and is ready in 30 minutes.
Here's an easy pressure cooker spaghetti and meat sauce recipe with ground beef, jar pasta sauce, spaghetti noodles, and classic seasonings. It's simple, delicious, and satisfies all the cravings for Italian food. It's 30 minutes from dry-to-done, but only the first 10 and the last 2 minutes are hands on with the Instant Pot method. Use the free time to make your sides. This recipe is a must for your pressure cooker collection, just like this Beef and Cabbage Soup, Chicken Alfredo, and Lasagna Soup.
Why we love Instant Pot pasta with jar sauce
- one pot to wash - You won't have to clean multiple dishes after making this one pot spaghetti. Heck, you don't even need to boil water.
- budget-friendly - Simple pantry ingredients are used to make this an affordable option to feel your small army.
- versatility - Don't like onions? Leave them out. Want a vegetarian pasta dish? Skip the meat. Want spicy spaghetti sauce? Add some crushed red pepper.
- so much flavor - Instant pot spaghetti tastes like you cooked the sauce all day because the pressure cooker helps build flavor faster than stove cooking.
- easy for any cooking level - Even pressure cooker beginners can find success with this recipe because there is very little hands-on cooking. In fact, you don't really even need to know how to cook pasta in a pressure cooker. It does it all for you! Just follow the recipe directions and find yourself with a delicious pot of spaghetti.
Get the ingredient amounts in the printable recipe card below.
- olive oil - or any kind of oil can be use to saute the ingredients.
- onion - aromatic vegetable that adds a sweet and savory flavor to the sauce. Use any onion
- garlic - fresh garlic (recommended) adds a traditional Italian flavor to any spaghetti and meat sauce recipe.
- pasta sauce - use your favorite jar sauce for this recipe.
- seasonings - we're adding oregano and Italian seasoning, but you know that sky is the limit here.
- water - 4 cups water might seem like a lot for this recipe, but trust me, the end result is the perfect consistency. Feel free to use broth instead of water, if you prefer.
- spaghetti- I use classic spaghetti noodles for this recipe.
How to make spaghetti in the Instant Pot
Get the full, printable recipe card below.
Use the Instant Pot "Saute" function to saute onions, garlic, ground beef, and seasonings until beef is cooked through. Deglaze the pot by adding a splash of broth and scraping the bottom to release any browned bits.
Press "Cancel" on the Instant Pot. Break pasta noodles in half and criss-cross in stacks over the beef. Add the water or broth, followed by the pasta sauce. Press the noodles under the liquid to submerge.
There's no need to stir anything. In fact, don't stir because you want to keep the thick pasta sauce away from the bottom (heat source) to prevent the cooker overheating early in the pressure cooking process (see section below).
Pressure cook by selecting the "Manual" or "Pressure Cook" button set on HIGH for 2 minutes (for al dente spaghetti) or 3 minutes (for soft spaghetti noodles) followed by 10 minute (NPR) natural pressure release.
Yes friends, you heard that right! 2 or 3 minutes pressure cook time with 10 minute NPR for perfect spaghetti every time!
Press "Cancel" and open the lid. It will look weird at first, but trust me, it's all going to work out. Toss everything together to combine. Serve warm.
Note: If you want your spaghetti more saucy, I won't be offended. Just add desired amount of sauce, press the "Saute" button, heat, and stir as needed until warmed through. Don't forget to press "Cancel" immediately when finished to prevent overcooking.
Serve warm with a little Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.
ground beef - You can use ground turkey or Italian sausage in place of ground beef for the meat sauce.
pasta type - This recipe is made with classic spaghetti noodles. If you substitute other pasta types, you may get varied results, but don't be afraid to experiment.
Jar sauce - Instant Pot pasta with jar sauce is a great way to use packaged, pre-made spaghetti sauce. If you're using a pre-seasoned sauce, you might be able to omit the seasonings listed in this recipe. It's customizable.
Want saucy sauce? - I love the consistency with this recipe. But, if you want saucier spaghetti than what you see in my photos, decrease the pasta amount from 16 oz to 12 oz. Or, you can always add sauce after it pressure cooks.
Go meatless - Don't want meat sauce? Make it vegetarian spaghetti by simply omitting the beef and following the recipe as it is.
Can I use the 8 or 10 quart Instant Pot for this recipe?
Yes! I use the 6 quart Duo for this recipe, so if you use an 8 or 10 quart pot, just know there are no time adjustments needed because this recipe calls for 4 cups cooking liquid, which is well above the 2-cup minimum needed to pressurize larger pots (see reference here).
How to avoid pasta clumping
There should be minimal pasta clumping, if any, that will easily separate when you go to stir the pasta with tongs. Hopefully, you're an Instant Pot recipe follower and you will stack the dry spaghetti noodles in a criss-cross pattern on top of the cooked meat. This is what really prevents pasta clumping. Well, that and a properly sealed pot using a properly tested recipe. See? So many variables with Instant Pot cooking.
Instant Pot spaghetti, particularly the kind made with jarred pasta sauce, has an undisputed reputation for triggering the overheat protection notice – aka burn warning. This happens when the liquid-to-solid balance is out of whack due to a permanent defect (unlikely), improper pressure cooker usage (more likely), or you got a hold of an untested recipe (yep, this happens too).
I give you my word, this pressure cooker spaghetti is well-tested and includes steps to spare you that excitement – as are all of my Instant Pot recipes. But, the burn notice is still a pressure cooking reality and safety feature that happens, so you'll want to understand it better. You can visit the official Instant Pot resources page; look for the section titled 'Safety Mechanisms'.
More Instant Pot pasta recipes
I have tested and perfected these recipes so you can get reliable dinners on the table.
Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- ½ Onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 pound Lean Ground Beef (uncooked), or ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon Dried Oregano, optional
- ½ teaspoon Italian Seasoning, optional
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt, optional
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper, optional
- 1 pound Spaghetti Noodles (uncooked), use ¾ pound for saucier pasta
- 1 (24-oz jar) Pasta Sauce, same as 2 ¾ cups
- 4 cups Water, or broth
- measuring cups
- 6 quart Instant Pot or other size
- stirring utensil or slotted spoon
Recipe yields 8 cups. If you scale the recipe up or down, the instructions stay the same.
- Select "Saute" and heat OLIVE OIL until Instant Pot display reads "Hot".
- Add ONIONS, GARLIC, GROUND BEEF, OREGANO, ITALIAN SEASONING, SALT, and PEPPER. Saute until beef is cooked through, stirring as needed. Drain any excess fat, if needed.
- Deglaze the pot by adding a few splashes of WATER (or broth). Use a flat-end utensil to scrape and loosen any browned bits stuck to the bottom (these are flavor gold). Select “Cancel” to stop the saute cycle.
- Break and scatter the SPAGHETTI NOODLES over the cooked beef in a criss-cross pattern.
- Add WATER to the pot. Pour PASTA SAUCE directly on the spaghetti noodles and spread in an even layer. Press the spaghetti under the liquid to submerge.
- Close and lock the lid and set the pressure release valve to “Sealing”. Select “Manual” or “Pressure cook” on HIGH 2 minutes (for al dente spaghetti) or 3 minutes (for softer). YES, YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT ... 2 or 3 minutes ... the spaghetti continues cooking in the next step (and we also don't like mushy noodles).
- At the end of the cook cycle, allow the pot to sit undisturbed for a 10-minute natural pressure release (NPR). DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP...the spaghetti is still cooking.
- Release any remaining steam, open lid, stir ingredients until well combined. Serve warm.Note: When you first open the lid after noodles cook, there will likely be a small amount of excess liquid. Just stir it into the pasta and it will get absorbed in minutes.
- To store, allow spaghetti to cool completely and refrigerate in airtight containers up to 5 days.
Traci's Recipe Tips
Nutrition data provided as courtesy estimates using unbranded ingredients from a nutrition database. Please consult preferred resource for precise data.