Spaghetti and meatballs made in one pan, in less than an hour? This dream comes deliciously true with Instant Pot spaghetti and meatballs!

Large white bow of spaghetti and meatballs, garnished with cheese and fresh basil.

Flavorful tender turkey meatballs from scratch, healthy whole wheat spaghetti, and easy pasta sauce prepared in your pressure cooker for a classic Italian dinner ready in under an hour. Really does sound like a dream, doesn’t it? 

And you won’t wake up to the reality of a sinkful of pots and pans! Not even a colander to wash! Don’t pinch me and wake me up, I want to continue dreaming. While I’m at it, maybe I’ll dream of a peaceful world without hunger and disease, where everyone loves and respects each other…. and my kids don’t argue or whine….

Seriously, Instant Pot spaghetti and meatballs is the way to go. One pot pasta dishes are kind of amazing. If you love my Instant Pot Pasta with Sausage, Spinach, and Tomatoes, you’re going to love this recipe so much. If you haven’t tried one yet (and there are fifteen easy recipes to try), don’t delay. Begin with spaghetti and meatballs. It’s a real crowd-pleaser!

About this recipe

I love homemade meatballs. I’ll admit that pre-made frozen meatballs are tempting but after tasting homemade, it’s kinda hard to go back to store-bought — they have a strange texture that makes you wonder what’s really in them.

Make your own turkey meatballs, chicken meatballs, or beef meatballs. You can bake them or fry them.

Make ahead tip: Whip up a double batch and freeze half for later. I like to use a small scoop for uniformly sized meatballs.

However, for this recipe, the meatballs are browned right in your Instant Pot using the sauté function. One pot, right? If you have frozen meatballs, you can skip this step and just add the meatballs with the pasta. 

After the meatballs are browned, remove them from the pot and turn it off. Add a can of diced tomatoes to your Instant Pot and deglaze the bottom. Just use your spatula and scrape all the browned bits loose. This step is important because it will prevent you from getting the dreaded burn notice.

Spaghetti with meatballs, piled high in a white bowl.

Put the meatballs back in, add the dry spaghetti (break it in half so it fits), pour a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce and one and a half jars of water over the whole business. Cover and set the cook timer for 8 minutes. Remember that it will take an additional ten (or slightly more) minutes for your Instant Pot to come to full pressure. When the timer goes off, turn the valve to vent to quick release the pressure.

Overhead view of a white bowl with spaghetti, meatballs, and a tomato sauce.

It’s so stinkin’ easy! I like to let the pasta set for five to ten minutes to thicken and cool slightly. Serve your spaghetti topped with Parmesan cheese and a fresh green salad dressed with homemade Italian dressing or healthy homemade ranch dressing. Top your salad with easy to make homemade croutons!

Why not add homemade cheesy bread, too? Or some warm bread with olive oil bread dipping sauce.

Spaghetti and meatballs with two glasses of wine in the backgorund.

How to make this Instant Pot recipe your own

  • Not crazy about making meatballs, or looking for an even easier recipe? Try Instant Pot spaghetti with meat sauce
  • If you prefer, use ground beef instead of turkey for the meatballs.
  • For a richer spaghetti sauce, use two jars of pasta sauce along with 1/2 jar of water. Or use your own homemade spaghetti sauce
  • Use a different type of pasta. I like whole wheat spaghetti, but penne would be my second choice.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Leftovers? My favorite word! Store any leftovers in a covered container in the fridge, for up to three days.

Reheat one to two minutes in the microwave for an easy lunch or dinner tomorrow.

Spaghetti and meatballs can be frozen, too, for up to four months. Thaw in the fridge overnight for best results.

Close up overhead view of spaghetti and meatballs in a while bowl with fresh basil.

More Instant Pot pasta!

Use your Instant Pot to cook up easy pasta dishes with only one pan. Try:

Overhead view of large white bowl full of spaghetti and meatballs, garnished with fresh basil.

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs (turkey meatballs)

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Spaghetti and meatballs made in one pan, in less than an hour? This dream comes deliciously true with Instant Pot spaghetti and meatballs!

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs or panko
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Spaghetti

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound (16 oz) whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 jar (24 oz) spaghetti sauce of your choice (see note)
  • 36 oz water (1 1/2 jars)
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, lightly beat egg. Add ground turkey, breadcrumbs or panko, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Mix lightly with fork or use hands. Scoop rounded tablespoons of mixture and form into meatballs. Place on plate in single layer. Spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.  
  2. Heat Instant Pot to Sauté. Heat oil, then add meatballs. You may want to do this in batches. Cook for 2-3 minutes and, using a small spatula, flip them to brown the other side. If meatballs are sticking or falling apart, wait longer before you flip them. Remove them from the Instant Pot as they brown. 
  3. When all the meatballs are browned, add the can of tomatoes to the Instant Pot. Using a flat sided spatula, scrape all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Turn off the Instant Pot. 
  4. Add meatballs back to the pot. Break spaghetti in half and place in Instant Pot, on top of meatballs. Pour spaghetti sauce and water 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.
  5. Secure Instant Pot lid and turn valve to “seal.” Set on Manual for 8 minutes on high.
  6. After cooking time elapses, quick release pressure. 
  7. Serve immediately, or let set 5-10 minutes in Instant Pot for sauce to thicken slightly before serving.
  8. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, and fresh basil, if desired.

Notes

  • For a richer spaghetti sauce, use two jars of pasta sauce along with 1/2 jar of water.
  • Use a different type of pasta, such as penne.
  • If you prefer, use ground beef instead of turkey for the meatballs.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 of 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 380Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 717mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 25g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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