Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs – everyone’s favorite comfort food gets a quick and easy makeover!

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!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.

Today, I’ll be sharing with you my lazy-day spaghetti and meatballs that you can whip up without any planning. You know, those nights when you don’t know what to make, but you have hungry people asking what’s for dinner.

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs – only 3 main ingredients!

  • Meatballs – fresh or frozen. This’s my go-to meatballs recipe. I make a whole bunch at a time and freeze them uncooked for lazy days. But you can use store-bought cooked frozen meatballs too.
  • Your favorite pasta sauce. You can use any kind of pasta sauce here. I like mushroom and basil pasta sauce, more flavor with less effort.
  • And finally, spaghetti. 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!

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.

Fair warning here! This doesn’t mean you’ll be serving dinner in 10 minutes. Instant Pot takes some time to build pressure inside, and only then it starts counting the cook time. It could take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. Not to worry though, delicious dinner will be on the table in no time. Just kick back and relax with a good magazine.

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!

When that timer goes off, do a quick release, so that the pasta won’t overcook. And using a pair of tong, toss everything together and serve!

Yep, it’s that easy. And delicious!!

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!

Sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese and/or fresh basil would be a nice touch too.

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!


Make sure you don’t miss a thing! Follow I Wash You Dry here:


Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

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!
  • Author: Shawn Syphus | I Wash You Dry
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes


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


  1. Arrange the meatballs in Instant Pot in one layer. Break the spaghetti in half and arrange them over the meatballs.
  2. Drizzle the olive oil over spaghetti. Pour the pasta sauce and water, making sure spaghetti is completely covered.
  3. 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!


Total time includes the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.


  • Serving Size: 4
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.
47 Responses
  1. Lara

    A couple questions:
    If using fresh meatballs instead of frozen is the cooking time the same?
    Do you mean 3 cups of water using a regular measuring cup or do you mean 3 of the Instant Pot plastic cups?

  2. Haslin T

    I was so excited to try this recipe as i started to realize how awesome it is to cook with an electric pressure cooker. I used homemade frozen cooked meatballs and a combination of canned diced tomatoes and tomato paste that adds up to be 28oz. I added a half of 1 Campbell Cream of Mushroom can to add creaminess. I also added some onions and garlic. I didnt read other ppls reviews prior to cooking, so I used 3 cups of water, and the pasta turned out to be really watery/soupy. And some of the spaghetti noodles were all stuck together and cooked in clumps. My pressure cooker is not IP and eventho i cooked longer than 10mins some noodles didnt look cooked 100% so i cooked again for 15min extra (becuz i dont mind overlooked pasta anyway haha). After 2nd round of cooking, the sauce looked less watery but quite saucy still (which is how i like it). So i recommend to use less water like other reviewers if you dont like runny pasta sauce. And i would love to know how i could prevent my noodles from clumping? I loved my pasta after all tho, my cooked meatballs were dry/tough side but after cooking in sauce in a pressure cooker, Voila! So tender and juicy! I love pressure cooker recipes. I will def try again to make this dish with some tweaks.

    Thank you.

  3. Donna

    After reading the comments, I used 32 oz of sauce, one cup of water and frozen meatballs and it was perfect. Not soupy at all!

  4. Shelia

    I make my own spaghetti sauce and freeze. Is the cook time the same, or should I just take out and thaw during the day. P.S. The spaghetti looks amazing and I think I’m going to start using your meatball recipe!

  5. John

    I used two cups of water and it turned out perfect. Thanks for this recipe. I will now be able to enjoy homemade spaghetti and never have to go through the pain of boiling water for pasta.

  6. Amy

    I just made this and wish I’d read these comments beforehand because 3 cups is definitely too much water, especially when using frozen meatballs. It was good, but too much liquid, therefore not as flavourful as I would like. 1 3/4 – 2 cups of water would have been enough.

  7. Bri

    I was super excited to try this recipe! But as others had stated, mine turned out thinner then expected. Not at all how it is in the picture. I also used frozen meatballs which I believe relase fat/liquid as well. That being said I added another 1/2 jar of sauce and it’s perfect. Next time may try only 1/2 cup – 2 cups water though! Great recipe, just may need to be tweaked for those using frozen meatballs!!

  8. Angie

    Made this tonight. Definitely thinner than expected but still really good. Simmering the sauce down now hopefully it’ll thicken up!

  9. Mike Frisco

    Could you experiment a bit more with this and post a version that takes into account that the standard size of a box of pasta is 16oz? I have a family of four and 8oz doesn’t cut it. I’m seeing conflicting reports here in the comments about how to double it.

    I double pasta, water, and sauce? Or just double water? What about cooking time?

    1. Twyla

      I made this with gluten free pasta and gluten free homemade raw frozen meatballs. I cut the water to 2 1/2 cups and it was perfect. My daughter and I loved it. It is quick and easy.

    2. Sue

      Yes, and it did not turn out good!! The spaghetti clumped together and while some seemed over cooked, parts were undercooked-the sauce came out extremely watery I ended up using two jars of sauce. The Grandkids liked it and didn’t mind the clumped pasta but hubby didn’t!! I was really disappointed!! The flavor was good and the meatballs were great!! From now on I will cook the pasta separately

  10. Susan

    I made this last night and it was delicious. The Instant Pot is making it possible for me to decide late in the day what we’re eating that evening. It is truly changing my life.

  11. Christi

    I got my Instant Pot this week and have been trying all sort of things. I measured everything out exactly as you directed. My spaghetti was really watery. (I used frozen meatballs). It was too soupy for us. I wonder if I could use Alfredo sauce instead of marinara sauce? Thoughts?

    1. Maybe you didn’t have enough pasta in there? The finished product is definitely a little more saucy, so it can cook the pasta, but it shouldn’t be soupy. Because Alfredo sauce is creamy, it most likely wouldn’t work in the Instant Pot. Sauces that are too creamy could cause a burn notice on your instant pot.

    2. Susan

      I’ve had that happen with other dishes, and I just let the pot of food saute’ for a few minutes. After you quick release, turn the pot on to Saute, and keep a close eye on it and stir (I would try the lowest saute setting). It should cook off some liquid. Also, what Shawn said below might be correct – maybe you need more pasta. I made this recipe with frozen meatballs and mine didn’t come out watery. Good luck!

  12. Walt

    I love my Instant Pot, but this might be an example of something where it doesn’t save much time and the end result is just plain inferior. The three cups of water was way too much liquid — and I even added more than 8 oz. of noodles. It was a good lesson, though. We won’t be trying it again.

  13. Carol ONeil

    Delicious! I took some out for another meal so I would not need to add any more liquid. I let it sit on low for 10 more minutes without lid and it was perfect!

    1. Hi, Cindy! Yep, raw meatballs are the same, I usually use raw meatballs myself. If I have time, I brown them first right in the IP, but sometimes I skip that step, and it works just fine. Hope you’ll enjoy!

  14. Lucy

    Is it supposed to be 8 oz (1/2 box) of spaghetti or a whole box (16 oz)? I tried making this and there was so much liquid that it looked like soup. Maybe it was because there was so much sauce, but it seemed like there were hardly any noodles.

  15. Debbie Briscoe

    Hi… I want to double the recipe and use 1lb of noodles. The other post stated to double the water. That seems like allot of water. Would I use 2 jars of sauce and 3 cups of water? Thx

    1. I would suggest doubling the water and sauce as well. The pasta will absorb more water, so if you don’t have enough liquid it will not cook properly. Hope you enjoy it!

      1. Katherine

        I tried this recipe and the pasta turned out gummy and stuck together in clumps. Do you know what I may have done wrong?

        1. Andrea

          Thinner pasta, like angel hair, doesn’t turn out. It becomes gummy. Thicker noodles are better for this and turns out yummy!

  16. mark

    great recipe , i added a cup of diced tomatoes, other than that i follow it to the letter, family loved it, will defiantly make this again,


Leave a Reply

Shawn Syphus Hi, I'm Shawn and I'm a busy mom of four; 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.

I Wash You Dry Newsletter

Popular Categories