Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Spaghetti in one pot, made in about 30 minutes sort of seems like a dream come true, doesn’t it? Once you try Instant Pot Spaghetti, you might never go back to the traditional stovetop method! 

image of spaghetti and tomato sauce in a white bowl with parsley sprinkled on top

Spaghetti is one of those meals that’s kind of a catch 22. It’s an easy go-to meal. It’s something that you probably have all the ingredients for without hitting the store. But it makes SO MANY DISHES dirty! A pan for the sauce, a pan for the pasta, a colander. It’s a bit of a pain.

Well, this Instant Pot Spaghetti is the answer to that problem. One pan – the insert of the Instant Pot. No need to drain pasta. No need to wash three dishes for one recipe. I might never go back to making spaghetti the “regular” way again. If you guys haven’t gotten on the Instant Pot train yet, I think it’s time. I use mine at least once a week and I’m constantly getting Instant Pot recipe requests.

Spaghetti in one pot, made in about 30 minutes sort of seems like a dream come true, doesn't it? Once you try Instant Pot Spaghetti, you might never go back to the traditional stovetop method! 

With my Instant Pot pasta with Italian sausage and spinach being such a popular recipe on my site, I knew I had to give you guys some more easy pasta recipes to make in your pressure cooker.

Spaghetti in one pot, made in about 30 minutes sort of seems like a dream come true, doesn't it? Once you try Instant Pot Spaghetti, you might never go back to the traditional stovetop method! 

I’ve made this a few different times, a few different ways, but I wanted to give you the most classic, recognizable version. It’s an easy recipe to make your own though, and I always love to use up a ton of vegetables in spaghetti sauce. This recipe allows you to do that just as well as stovetop spaghetti would. As I often do, we’ll chat about some ways you could mix this up and make it your own.

Spaghetti in one pot, made in about 30 minutes sort of seems like a dream come true, doesn't it? Once you try Instant Pot Spaghetti, you might never go back to the traditional stovetop method! 

About this Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Made all in one pot. you’ll start by using the “sauté” mode on the Instant Pot to brown your meat. I typically use ground turkey, but you could also use ground beef or ground Italian sausage — all three taste great with a tomato spaghetti sauce. You’ll also add vegetables during this step; I like use onions, peppers, carrots, and/or mushrooms. In this recipe I just used onions but feel free to load it up with some other ones!

After you saute your meat, you’re going to add the pasta and all the sauce, water, and tomatoes. The pasta cooks right in the sauce and the consistency is perfect once it’s all done cooking.

If you wanted to add broccoli, I’d add it right on top of the sauce so that it can steam while the pasta cooks. (Am I the only person that adds a ridiculous amount of vegetables to my spaghetti?)

After the pasta is done cooking, I wilted some spinach in. Again, you could do that at the same time the pasta cooks, but I prefer not to overcook it and keep it a little more green. But if you’re in a rush, it would definitely work to add it at the same time as the sauce.

That’s really all there is to it! It’s such a great meal for busy nights, I can’t wait for you guys to try this one.

Spaghetti in one pot, made in about 30 minutes sort of seems like a dream come true, doesn't it? Once you try Instant Pot Spaghetti, you might never go back to the traditional stovetop method! 

Make it vegetarian:

This is easy! Leave out the meat and load it with vegetables. You could also do something similar to my vegan bolognese with a combination of lentils and quinoa for a meat-like alternative.

Make it gluten-free:

I haven’t tested it with gluten-free noodles yet, but I do love chickpea pasta and lentil pasta and I’m excited to try it that way. I think it would work, but keep in mind that you may need to adjust the cooking time according to the pasta package.

PS: Are you as obsessed with pressure cooking as I am? Try Instant Pot Chicken Piccata, Instant Pot Chicken Marsala, Instant Pot Chili, or Southwestern Instant Pot Chicken and Quinoa.

If you’re more of a spaghetti squash person, you can also make that in your pressure cooker! Read about that method and five other in my guide on how to cook spaghetti squash.

Serving suggestions:

Nothing better than garlic bread with spaghetti, am I right? This garlic bread from Grandbaby Cakes looks beyond perfect to soak up any extra sauce on your plate. If you’re more of a breadstick person, these copycat Pizza Hut breadsticks (!!!!) look just as good, if not better, than the originals. I’m definitely making them next time we have spaghetti. Or sooner!

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Spaghetti in one pot, made in about 30 minutes sort of seems like a dream come true, doesn't it? Once you try Instant Pot Spaghetti, you might never go back to the traditional stovetop method!

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 pound (16 oz) whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 jar (24 oz) spaghetti sauce of your choice
  • 36 oz water (1 1/2 jars)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • A few handfuls of Spinach, optional

Instructions

  1. Heat Instant Pot to Saute. Add olive oil and when it’s shimmering and hot, add turkey and onion. Cook, breaking up turkey with spatula, until browned and cooked through.
  2. Bread pieces of spaghetti in half and add on top of cooked meat. Pour spaghetti sauce, water, and tomatoes over the pasta. Move pasta around a little with a spoon or spatula to separate the pieces of pasta to prevent them from clumping. Make sure they’re all submerged in the sauce.
  3. Secure lid of Instant Pot and turn valve to “seal.” Set on Manual for 8 minutes on high.
  4. After cooking time elapses, quick release pressure. Remove lid and pile on spinach. Set lid back on (you don’t have to lock it on) and let spinach steam for 2-3 minutes or until wilted. Stir as needed to speed up this process.
  5. Serve immediately, or let set 5-10 minutes in Instant Pot for sauce to thicken slightly before serving.

Notes

  • You may use ground beef or Italian sausage in place of ground turkey. You may wish to drain fat off after browning the meat if needed.
  • If you wish to add more vegetables (bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms), you’ll want to saute them with the meat. Broccoli would be good if you added it at the same time as the pasta. Put it on top of the sauce/pasta so that the pasta is all still submerged in the sauce.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257 Total Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 47mg Sodium: 0mg Carbohydrates: 41g Fiber: 9g Sugar: 4g Protein: 20g
Verdict: I LOVE how I only have to wash one pot after I made this Instant Pot spaghetti. It’s a game changer and I’m probably never going back.
Husband’s take: Ben loves this spaghetti! No complaints from the peanut gallery. I sometimes add cheese to the leftovers and bake it, and he likes it like that even better.
Changes I would make: None are necessary, but I’m constantly adding ALL THE VEGGIES to my spaghetti. So yeah, I’ll be doing that.
Difficulty: So very easy!

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4 comments

  1. I’ve done this in a skillet before, and I’ve been doing it in my instant pot. I’ve even made meatballs this was using quality frozen meatballs–frozen meatballs are not all the same.

    I’m almost an instant pot pro–except I messed up the hard boiled eggs. Not sure what I did wrong.

  2. My family loved this – and loved it even more as leftovers! Getting a breather from having to clean a bunch of pots afterwards was a bonus too!!

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