Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

This Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe is everyone’s favorite comfort food with a quick and easy makeover!

This Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe is everyone's favorite comfort food with a quick and easy makeover!pinterestRaise your hand if spaghetti and meatballs are your favorite comfort food.

Hands down, it’s my favorite comfort food of all time! I’ve made this recipe in just one skillet, but of course, I had to make it in my Instant Pot too.

Instant Pot Spaghetti Ingredients:

  • Meatballs – fresh or frozen. This is my favorite Homemade Meatball Recipe.
  • Pasta Sauce – You can use any kind of pasta sauce you enjoy. I like mushroom and basil pasta sauce, more flavor with less effort.
  • Spaghetti Noodles – Any kind you like, whole wheat, regular, anything. I even use penne pasta sometimes, and it works just fine.

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs - everyone's favorite comfort food gets a quick and easy makeover with just 3 main ingredients and less than 30 minutes!

How To Make Pressure Cooker Spaghetti

Now that you’ve gathered all the ingredients, you just layer everything in your Instant Pot, and set it to cook on high for 10 minutes.

PRO TIP: This doesn’t mean you’ll be serving dinner in 10 minutes. The Instant Pot takes some time to build pressure inside. Once the pressure has built up, it will start counting down the cook time. Not to worry though, your delicious dinner will be on the table in no time!

  • Start by placing your meatballs in an even layer on the bottom of the pressure cooker.
  • Top with the spaghetti noodles and then drizzle with a little olive oil, to help prevent your noodles from sticking.
  • Pour your favorite jar of pasta sauce over the top and then add in 3 cups of water.

Do I Stir Before Turning On Instant Pot?

NO! You’ll want to make sure you layer your ingredients exactly as described in the recipe below. If you try to stir the ingredients together you’ll end up with pasta noodles on the bottom, giving you a higher chance of having them stick and getting a burn notice.

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs - everyone's favorite comfort food gets a quick and easy makeover with just 3 main ingredients and less than 30 minutes!

Quick Release Or Natural Release of Pressure?

For this Instant Pot Spaghetti recipe, you’ll want to do a quick release of pressure. This will prevent your noodles from getting overcooked. Once cooking time is finished, just flip open the steam valve and wait until all the pressure is released before opening.

Give the ingredients inside a good stir and top with any parmesan cheese or fresh basil if desired!

Can I Double Instant Pot Spaghetti Recipe?

Yes, you can definitely double the recipe! Just make sure you layer the ingredients properly, and you’ll probably want to make sure you’re using at least an 8 quart size pressure cooker to avoid over-filling. The pot may take a little longer to reach pressure, but still go with the 10 minute HIGH pressure and you should be golden!

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs - everyone's favorite comfort food gets a quick and easy makeover with just 3 main ingredients and less than 30 minutes!

Tips for Instant Pot Spaghetti Success:

  • Resist the urge to stir the ingredients together after adding them to the instant pot.
  • Add more flavor to the dish by using a more flavorful pasta sauce, extra Italian seasoning, or freshly minced garlic.
  • Don’t stress if your pasta looks “watery” after you’ve opened it up. Give it a stir and let it sit for a minute and the liquid should absorb into a delicious sauce.

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs - everyone's favorite comfort food gets a quick and easy makeover with just 3 main ingredients and less than 30 minutes!

I’m sure you’re going to LOVE this quick and easy Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meatballs!

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Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs - everyone's favorite comfort food gets a quick and easy makeover with just 3 main ingredients and less than 30 minutes!
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4.52 from 29 votes

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

This Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe is everyone's favorite comfort food with a quick and easy makeover!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6
Calories: 387 kcal
Author: Shawn

Ingredients

  • 1 lb frozen meatballs, I use homemade frozen meatballs, but frozen cooked meatballs will work too.
  • 8 oz uncooked spaghetti
  • 24 oz pasta sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese, fresh basil for serving, optional

Instructions

  • Arrange the meatballs in Instant Pot in one layer. Break the spaghetti in half and arrange them over the meatballs.
  • Drizzle the olive oil over spaghetti. Pour in the pasta sauce and water, making sure spaghetti is completely covered.
  • Cover and set the Instant Pot to manual. Set the timer to 10 minutes. Quick release the pressure and carefully open the lid. Stir in cheese and basil, if using. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Notes
Total time includes the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.

Nutrition

Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 645mg | Potassium: 677mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 491IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg
Keywords: Instant Pot, meatballs, Quick, spaghetti, tomato
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?don't forget to share a picture and mention @iwashyoudry on Instagram or tag #iwashyoudry!
About the author

Born and raised in Mongolia, Shinee (Shin-eh) now lives in rural North Dakota with her rancher husband and a very active toddler son. She believes delicious homemade meals don't have to take hours to cook. Her mission is to inspire busy cooks with simple, quick and tested recipes and avoid a dinner rut at all costs.
134 Responses
  1. Don Corleone

    Wow–you got a mention of your travel to Italy and your boat in one comment while also insulting anyone reading the recipe. You seem great.

  2. Sam

    Question…I have made this recipie at least a dozen times and all but one time the noodles get stuck together in chunks and don’t cook all the way. I’ve tried increasing the time, a tad more water, chicken broth, less noodles and i still get chunks of not all the way cooked noodles. Any thoughts?

    1. Shawn

      Do you space the noodles out when you add them into the pot? Maybe try adding in a tablespoon of oil to the mixture would fix that? Sorry you’re having issues with it! Hope that helps!

  3. maria

    2 stars
    It looks delicious but tastes bland, which is a common complaint I have about many of these cult-like IP recipes that are, quite frankly, intended for people that can barely cook and don’t know what good food tastes like. If you’ve travelled Italy, you’d never like this recipe in a million years.

    I used a sauce that I KNOW tastes delicious when used in the conventional manner. The flavour was totally destroyed in the instant pot and made the sauce taste really bland. I had to add a lot of extra seasoning (pesto, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder) and even then, the depth of flavour wasn’t there. What’s more, I added fresh shaved parmesan and the cheese scalded so badly that it stuck to the sides of the pot and and required extra clean up / scrubbing when I was doing the dishes.

    I made this recipe at home to see if it’s something I could make on our boat as a quick one-pot meal that is easy to clean up in the summer months when we are cruising. There is no way I’d make this again unless I can figure out a way to keep the flavour.

    1. Shawn

      I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the flavor Maria. I think that you can obtain a better flavor if instead of using water, you used chicken broth. I would not add cheese to the dish prior to cooking, wait until after it’s cooked to add it. Hope that helps!

  4. Lisa

    5 stars
    Wow! I used Penne instead of spaghetti because I only had Angel Hair. Absolutely amazing and so easy! I will never go back to the old way! Thank you!

  5. Lara Lyon

    I’m not sure if this was asked in earlier posts, but what size IP is used for this recipe? I have a smaller one since I cook for two, and experienced spurting when I vented it. I am positive it is because I filled it too much, but I think it turned out ok. Even the “soupiness” some experience as they open it seems to go away.

    1. Shawn

      Hey Lara, this recipe is best in a 6 or 8 quart pot. If you want to cook it in a 3 quart, you’ll probably need to halve the recipe.

  6. Julie

    5 stars
    Great recipe! I made this on the fly after moving all day long. Lots of boxes, driving, and unpacking with it ending at 945pm. I had 6 to feed. I doubled the pasta and sauce, but couldn’t find a measuring cup for the water so I winged it according to the measurements on my pot. It came out perfecto! Thank you for a great on the fly recipe.

    1. Shawn

      I wouldn’t double the water, I think 4 to 5 cups should be plenty, but I haven’t tested this so I can’t be certain. If you do give it a try, let us know how it turns out!

  7. Douglas

    I just made this as a half batch. The bag of frozen meatballs had 6 meatballs per serving. So I did 12 meatballs, half the sauce, half the spaghetti noodles, and half the water. It came out just a little soupy so I switched on the sauté and cooked it, while stirring, to a better consistency. This will be my go to recipe for spaghetti and meatballs! Thanks!

  8. Kim

    Hello! What if you just want to use ground beef vs meat balls? I imagine that I would season it first and place it on the bottom like you’ve done with the meat balls? Thanks!

  9. Cristin

    I made this last night and though I had a hiccup, ultimately it turned out great! I doubled the recipe (well, everything but the meatballs), and when I opened the lid, it was pretty soupy. I added some cornstarch to thicken it up a bit, but it still wasn’t quite right. Next, I added some cream, and presto… perfection! I also added a bunch of random spices like oregano, parsley, etc., to liven it up because store bought sauce can be pretty bland. Overall it was delicious and super easy!

  10. Cheryl Holtom

    If making homemade meatballs that would be raw, do you have to cook them first before putting them in with the other ingredients? This will be my first time cooking in the instant pot.

    1. Shawn

      You could put them in raw, but I would turn the IP to saute setting and sear them on all sides first so they hold their shape better when pressure cooked. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  11. Moriaelini

    This has become one of my go to meals for when I do not feel like making a more involved dinner. My husband and kids love it. I use a whole box of Ronzoni smart taste pasta (12 oz) and just add a touch more broth than three cups. I also use meatballs made from pork and poultry since we no longer eat beef. Every time it comes out brilliantly. I usually add extra Italian seasonings and use unsalted broth instead of water for extra flavor.

    1. Shawn

      I don’t think that would be an effective way to cook this recipe. But you can try my One Pan Spaghetti and Meatballs for a quick alternative!

  12. Mike

    Shawn-I halved the recipe since I’m cooking for two. In order to keep the spaghetti covered with water/sauce, I had to add the full 3 cups of water even though everything else was half. The result was a soupy watery mess…I had to strain the spaghetti and heated up more sauce in the microwave to make it palatable.

    So, if I halve the water my spaghetti isn’t covered…any advice? Should I place the spaghetti underneath the meatballs instead of on top?

    Thanks.

    1. Shawn

      Oh bummer! I’m sorry halving the recipe didn’t work out. I would refrain from putting the noodles underneath the meatballs because they would most likely stick to the bottom and cause a burn notice. I’m thinking if you did try and half the liquid it MIGHT still work… reason being is that the water and pressure would boil up a bit and possibly still cook the noodles. It would take some testing to be sure… next time I make this I’ll try that and see what happens. Or if you get around to it before me, let us know how it goes!

    1. Shawn

      Hi Kirk, I have not tested doubling this recipe. This is a good question because doubling a recipe in an Instant Pot does not mean increasing the cooking time like you would think. More items in a pressure cooker will make it fuller which means it will take longer for the cooker to reach pressure. For time-sensitive recipes that are undesirable when over-cooked (like veggies, risotto or pasta) you might actually need to decrease pressure cooking time. That’s because even while the cooker is reaching pressure the food is already cooking. I would probably keep the cooking time the same as a single batch. Just be aware that the pasta might be more cooked than in a single batch. Hope this helps!

      1. Cristin

        5 stars
        Kirk, just wanted to let you know I successfully doubled the recipe (sans doubling the meatballs) and it was great, thought a bit soupy. I thickened it up with cornstarch and some cream. I cooked for it for 10 minutes, as stated in the recipe.

  13. Pat

    If i were making this meal for a non vegetarian and a vegetarian, would the vegetarian get a bad effect or meat taste from being in the same pot? What do you think?

    1. Shawn

      My guess is that it would depend on how stringent the vegetarian’s standards are. Some can tolerate a meat flavor, while others can not. If you cook the meatballs in the sauce there will be some juices and flavor transfer in to the sauce. Hope this helps!

  14. Kayla

    5 stars
    Love this with spaghetti! Interested in your thoughts/adjustments of using angel hair?! My husband wants angel hair… I’m nervous to try it and would think I wouldn’t cook as long?! But will my meatballs still cook?

    1. Shawn

      I’m happy to hear your family enjoyed this recipe! I have not tested this recipe with the angel hair pasta. The shortened cooking time needed for the pasta would not be enough to cook the meatballs.

  15. Debbie

    2 stars
    The flavor was good. I added exta garlic, onion, and mushrooms and cooked x 15 minutes. But when all was said and done, it was more like soup. We had to cook more pasta to give it some density. Would cut way back on water in future.

  16. Angela

    If I wanted to double the pasta, would the cook time stay the same? Also, would you recommend doubling water or sauce too? Thanks!

  17. Lisa

    I can’t eat spaghetti (allergic to gluten and nightshades), but my family loves it. I normally microwave store-bought frozen meatballs and then simmer them in a jar of sauce while I boil noodles in yet another pot, plus lids for everything. This saved me so much time and now there is only one pot to wash instead of a whole stack, and I can just run it through the dishwasher instead of hand-washing to save the rivets and non-stick coating on my pots. I will definitely make it this way from now on!

  18. Laura

    I love the instant pot and all of the recipes I’ve used so far whether they need a bit of tweaking or not. This one is for sure NOT the same. The sauce turned out very watery and bland. The noodles ended up in huge clumps. Also, it definitely took longer than 30 minutes to pressurize. I was skeptical of the bad reviews on this, but, after a ruined dinner I will be much more in tune to negative reviews.

    1. Shawn

      Sorry Laura, to me it sounds like the seal on your instant pot wasn’t on quite right or maybe your vent wasn’t closed all the way? It shouldn’t take that long to pressurize. That could be where the problem is. Hope you give it another try!

  19. Penny

    5 stars
    I think I’ve made this a dozen times by now. Exactly as the recipe. It comes out a bit watery, but thickens after a few minutes. The best part though is the second night. In fact, the second night is so good that I’ve made batches just for meal prep. Easy peasy.

  20. Jackie

    5 stars
    I’m an Instant Pot newbie and this recipe was LEGIT. Haha. If I wanted to double the recipe except the meatballs, would the cook time stay the same? Also, would you recommend doubling water too? Thanks!

  21. Simone

    Can u use. Angel hair pasta with this recipe. I have had gastric bypass and can’t tolerate large or thin spaghetti.
    By using the the angel hair I don’t fill up as fast.
    Also do I adjust the cooking time when using the angel hair pasta.

  22. Ann

    5 stars
    Hello! So glad I found this, thanks for sharing 🙂 I’ve made it with gluten free noodles (added 5 minutes) and very yummy, convenient, and worth a repeat, which I’m doing tonight!

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Shawn Syphus

Hi, I’m Shawn and I’m a busy mom of five; pretending to live on a budget. I love to cook, and explore new recipes, but they have to be quick and easy with as few dishes as possible.

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