This easy Instant Pot Spaghetti Recipe is a fool-proof way to cook perfect pasta every time in about 20 minutes. Simmered with a flavorful homemade meat sauce, the whole family will love this classic spaghetti dinner! Includes grain-free, dairy-free, low carb, keto, vegan and paleo-friendly options.
Updated March 2021
Easy Instant Pot Spaghetti
If pasta is a go-to weeknight menu item for you, just wait until you try this mouthwatering Instant Pot recipe! It makes cooking spaghetti as easy as the touch of a button. There’s no babysitting the stove and there are fewer dishes in the sink come clean-up time.
Both the pasta and the meat sauce cook right in your Instant Pot! You can make your sauce with ground turkey, lean ground beef or even chicken, according to your preferences. The savory flavors in the sauce taste amazing with all of the above! Plus, this recipe includes options to make this gluten free recipe paleo, grain-free, keto, dairy-free, and low carb.
Why Make Pasta in an Instant Pot?
Pressure cookers find a way to make everything easier! Even cooking pasta. This pressure cooker spaghetti recipe cooks directly in the meat sauce. The sauce isn’t completely homemade, but rather a meaty, spruced up version of your favorite marinara. Since the noodles cook up inside all that saucy goodness, the flavor of Instant Pot spaghetti can’t be beat!
If you’re new to the pressure cooker, be sure to check out my Instant Pot Tutorial to familiarize yourself with the appliance
Once you’ve tried making spaghetti in the Instant Pot and are feeling more confident to branch out, you can branch out and try to make this Instant Pot Baked Ziti and Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese next!
You don’t need much besides the pasta, some meat and a jar of marinara sauce to make this pasta dinner. Here’s the ingredient lineup:
- Olive Oil: Or avocado oil.
- Ground Turkey: Or lean ground beef. Omit or sauté plantbased crumble OR 1/2 cup chopped cremini mushrooms and walnuts for vegan spaghetti.
- Shallot: Or small onion, diced.
- Garlic Cloves: Minced.
- Salt & Pepper: To taste.
- Fresh Oregano: Minced, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano.
- Fresh Basil: Chopped, or dried basil.
- Tomato Paste: For depth of flavor.
- Dried Spaghetti Noodles: We use gluten-free. For grain-free and paleo-friendly spaghetti, use Jovial Grain-Free Cassava Spaghetti Pasta or Cappello’s Grain Free Spaghetti Almond Flour Pasta. For low carb spaghetti, you can use Explore Cuisine Edamame Pasta, Hearts of Palm Angel Hair Ready Pasta for keto or low carb pasta brand of choice.
- Pasta or Marinara Sauce: I use Rao’s.
- Canned Tomatoes: Crushed or diced; undrained (I love San Marzano).
- Water: As needed to cover the pasta.
- Parmesan Cheese: Plus more for serving. You can sub with nutritional yeast or leave out for dairy-free / vegan / paleo.
- Chopped Parsley: Or basil, for serving.
How to Make Instant Pot Spaghetti
This classic family favorite is always a crowd-pleaser at our house, which is great for me, because it’s so quick and easy!
- Cook Meat: Press the SAUTE button on the Instant Pot. Once it’s hot, add the olive oil, then add the ground meat. Cook and crumble the meat until it is browned and cooked through (about 3-4 minutes). Drain any excess grease.
- Add Flavorings: Stir in the shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and tomato paste. Cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add Spaghetti: Break up the noodles, then place them in the pot over the meat in 2-4 layers, criss-crossed (to prevent sticking).
- Add Sauce, Tomatoes & Water: Pour in the sauce and diced tomatoes, then add water until the noodles are covered. Do not stir and push the noodles down to ensure they are completely submerged in the liquid.
- Cook: Cover with the lid and set the valve to sealing. Press MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK and set to HIGH pressure for 7 minutes. Allow the Instant Pot to come to pressure and do its thing.
- Release Pressure: After the cooking time is up and you hear a BEEP, do a quick release by pushing the valve to RELEASE using a towel (to avoid mess) or a long wooden spoon with a towel covering the vent.
- Add Parm & Let Sit: Carefully open the lid and sprinkle in some Parmesan. Do not stir. Let the pasta sit for 1-2 minutes so the cheese melts and the sauce thickens.
- Garnish & Serve: Serve with more Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley and/or basil, if desired.
Tips for Success
Before you get started on your Instant Pot pasta, be sure to check out these helpful tips!
- Use Thin Spaghetti: Since the dried pasta cooks in the sauce, look for thin pasta noodles with an al dente cooking time of 9-11 minutes. We make this with gluten-free pasta and it came out perfect – just be sure to check the cooking time.
- Break Noodles in Half: I recommend breaking the noodles in half before adding them to the Instant Pot. Place them down in two to four layers, criss-crossed over the browned meat and flavorings. This will prevent any sticking or clumping of the noodles.
- Use High Quality Pasta Sauce: Go for a thicker, high-quality marinara sauce for the best results. We like using Rao’s.
- Let Sit Before Stirring: Don’t stir your pasta right away. First, sprinkle it with some parmesan, then let it sit for at least a minute so the sauce gets a chance to thicken.
An entree this easy is begging for a tasty side dish to go with it, don’t you think? These recipes are all worthy of a spot on the plate next to pressure cooker pasta.
- Pair with Bread: I’m going to let you in on a little secret: homemade bread can be the quickest, easiest side dish ever. Don’t believe me? Check out my 15-Minute Keto Bread! It’s so soft and fluffy, and it goes great with this spaghetti.
- Serve with Salad: Serve up a true Italian meal by making this healthy Caesar Salad as an appetizer for your meat sauce pasta.
- Serve with Roasted Veggies: These Rainbow Roasted Vegetables don’t just look beautiful – they’re also super flavorful, nutritious and easy to make!
Can I Make This Ahead of Time?
You can definitely make Instant Pot spaghetti in advance, if you’d like! It’s great for meal prep. Just be sure you don’t overcook the noodles, as they will be softer when they’re reheated. They should be cooked until just al dente. Refer to the storage, freezing and reheating steps below.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Pasta with meat sauce should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container and enjoyed within 4 days. If you want to freeze it for long-term storage, make sure it’s in a freezer-safe container or bag. If you’re using a bag, seal it well and lay it down flat in the freezer. Enjoy frozen pasta within 2-3 months.
I like reheating this pasta in the microwave, as it yields the best results with minimal effort. Microwave individual servings of leftover pasta in 45-second intervals, stirring between each, until warm. Thaw frozen pasta overnight in the fridge before reheating it.
More Instant Pot Recipes to Try
Itching to make more delicious meals in your pressure cooker? You have to try these ones next!
- Instant Pot Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
- Instant Pot Ham
- Pressure Cooker Beef Stew
- Easy Instant Pot Minestrone Soup
This 20-minute Instant Pot Spaghetti Recipe is a fool-proof way to cook perfect pasta every time. Simmered with a flavorful homemade meat sauce, the whole family will love this classic spaghetti dinner!
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 pound ground turkey or lean ground beef (Omit or saute plantbased crumble OR 1/2 cup chopped cremini mushrooms and walnuts for vegan)
- 1 shallot or small onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano OR 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil OR 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 8 ounces dried gluten-free spaghetti noodles For grain-free and paleo-friendly spaghetti, use Jovial Grain-Free Cassava Spaghetti Pasta or Cappello's Grain Free Spaghetti Almond Flour Pasta. For low carb spaghetti, you can use Explore Cuisine Edamame Pasta or low carb pasta brand of choice.
- 1 24 oz HIGH-QUALITY pasta or marinara sauce , we like Rao's
- 1 14.5 oz can of undrained crushed or diced San Marzano tomatoes
- 2 - 2 1/4 cups water (or more as needed to just cover the pasta)
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese plus more for serving - You can sub with nutritional yeast or leave out for dairy-free / paleo.
- Fresh chopped parsley and/or basil
- Press the SAUTE button on the Instant Pot. Once it's hot, add the olive oil then add the ground meat. Cook and crumble the meat until it is browned and cooked through (about 3-4 minutes). Drain any excess grease.
- Stir in the shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Break up the spaghetti noodles, then place in the pot over the meat in 2-4 layers criss-crossed (to prevent sticking).
- Pour the sauce and diced tomatoes and water covering the noodles. Do not stir and push the noodles down to ensure they are completely submerged in the liquid.
- Cover with lid and set the valve to sealing. Press MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK and set to HIGH pressure for 7 minutes.
- Allow the Instant Pot to come to pressure and do it's thing.
- After the cooking time is up and you hear a BEEP, do a quick release by pushing the valve to RELEASE using a towel (to avoid mess) or a long wooden spoon with a towel covering the vent.
- Carefully open the lid then sprinkle in some Parmesan. Do not stir and allow to sit for 1-2 minutes for the cheese to melt and the pasta sauce to thicken up.
- Serve with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley and/ or basil, if desired.