Instant Pot Spaghetti is an easy and delicious weeknight meal the whole family will love! Just as good as the classic recipe, this spaghetti cooks in under 20 minutes and makes great leftovers.
Spaghetti is always a winner at dinnertime, and it can be dressed up or down with a salad, bread, or garlic bread. It’s such an easy, satisfying dish, and when you use the Instant Pot it makes cook time even quicker, meaning you can get dinner on the table fast.
Instant Pot Spaghetti
Spaghetti is a nostalgic comfort food that is always there when you need it. After a hectic day at work, in between wrangling a bunch of kiddos, or even just because it’s simple and delicious, spaghetti is your answer to “What’s for dinner tonight?”
I also love that spaghetti lives on a spectrum ranging from authentic to store-bought. Depending on how much time you have you can make your own homemade spaghetti sauce (and noodles, too). Or, if you’re like me, you can always have a jar of your favorite store-bought sauce and a package of noodles waiting in the pantry!
To make things even easier, I decided to make spaghetti in the Instant Pot spaghetti! It uses all the same ingredients and flavors of the traditional recipe you love, but takes just a little less time in the kitchen. You can add meatballs if you like, or just keep it simple.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Spaghetti
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Ground beef – I used a pound of ground beef and actually cook it in the Instant Pot. You can substitute ground turkey or a vegetarian substitute, like tempeh or tofu.
- Seasonings – Most of the seasonings for this Instant Pot spaghetti recipe are likely already in your pantry! You will need salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning.
- Noodles – Choose your preferred brand of spaghetti noodles.
- Tomato sauce – You can use your favorite brand and flavor of store-bought sauce.
The tomato sauce does not count as a cooking liquid, so you will also need to add water to make sure the spaghetti cooks enough. Whenever you’re cooking anything in the Instant Pot, liquid like water or broth is key.
How to Make Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Set the Instant Pot and cook the ground beef in the seasonings: First, set the Instant Pot to sauté and add the ground beef and the seasonings – salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning.
- Cook the meat thoroughly and drain: Allow the meat to cook until it’s completely browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon for about 5-7 minutes. When the beef is cooked, turn the Instant Pot off and drain any excess grease from the meat.
- Add the spaghetti: Break the spaghetti in half and place it on top of the meat in the Instant Pot.
- Add the sauce and water: Pour over the spaghetti sauce and water.
- Cover the spaghetti completely with liquid: Push the spaghetti down with a spoon to make sure it is completely covered in liquid.
- Seal the Instant Pot and cook: Seal the Instant Pot and set it to manual mode, high pressure, for 8 minutes.
- Open the pot and serve: When the time is up, use the manual quick release to open the Instant Pot. Stir the spaghetti well and serve immediately.
You do not have to pre-soak or boil your spaghetti before cooking. Just be sure to stir it into the liquid mixture well so it’s not sticking out while cooking. If your spaghetti is burning, that means that you did not add enough water before cooking.
How to Store Instant Pot Spaghetti
Store leftover spaghetti in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the spaghetti in microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave until heated through. Or you can heat the spaghetti in a pot on the stove over medium heat until warm.
Instant Pot spaghetti goes with so many other dishes! Here are a few of my favorite way to serve it:
- With bread. Pasta needs bread to soak up the sauce! Try a loaf of my Easy Homemade French Bread with a plate of Instant Pot spaghetti.
- With a fresh salad. My Broccoli Salad or Cucumber Tomato Salad recipes are perfect with spaghetti!
- With a vegetable. Make a quick, easy vegetable to go along with Instant Pot spaghetti. Try my recipes for steamed or roasted broccoli or roasted asparagus for a nice vegetable component.
You can add olive oil along with the pasta to prevent sticking. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil per 8 ounces of pasta.
Most dried ribbons of pasta such as linguine, spaghetti and tagliatelle take between 8-10 minutes to cook completely. Shorter, thicker pasta shapes like bows or penne take 10-12 minutes while fresh pasta takes less time, about 3-4 minutes.
The best ratio of pasta to water is 1:2. This means that for every 4 ounces of pasta you want 8 ounces of liquid.
Instant Pot Spaghetti
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 24 ounces spaghetti sauce, or 1 jar
- 36 ounces water, equaling 1½ jars
- Cook the meat until it's completely browned, breaking up with a wooden spoon for about 5-7 minutes. When the beef is cooked, turn the Instant Pot off and drain any excess grease from the meat.
- Break the spaghetti in half and place on top of meat in the Instant Pot.
- Pour over the spaghetti sauce and water.
- Push the spaghetti down with a spoon to make sure it is completely covered in liquid.
- Seal the Instant Pot and set it to manual mode, high pressure, for 8 mintures.
- When the time is up, use the manual quick release to open the Instant Pot. Stir the spaghetti well and serve immediately.
- Sauce does not count as a liquid – Contrary to (somewhat) popular belief, the spaghetti sauce in this recipe does not “count” as your “liquid” ingredient. Whenever you’re cooking anything in the Instant Pot, liquid — like water or broth — is key.
- Use dry pasta – You do not have to pre-soak or boil your spaghetti noodles before cooking. Just be sure to stir it into the liquid mixture well so it’s not sticking out while cooking.
- Avoid burned spaghetti – If your spaghetti is burning, that means that you did not include enough liquid (remember, water or broth — not sauce) before cooking.