Instant Pot Spaghetti

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If you’ve never made Instant Pot Spaghetti, you absolutely should start using this method to make perfect spaghetti. It uses the same ingredients, but is cooked all in one pot and in about half the time it usually takes to make.

» You might also like Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken or Instant Pot Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo.

Instant Pot Spaghetti

Before I tried it, I was always worried the pasta would stick to the bottom of the pot or that it would burn. But that’s not something to worry about at all. You do add the correct amount of water to make sure you don’t get the burn notice.

The other worry I had was that the pasta would get overcooked under pressure. However, cooking the pasta with the sauce takes just 8 minutes, and it reaches just over al dente, as long as you don’t allow it to naturally release pressure.

» Love pasta? Try this Instant Pot Olive Garden Chicken Pasta.

instant pot spaghetti

Ingredients You Need

  • Cooking oil – I always use olive oil, but you can use any cooking oil you like, such as canola, sunflower, avocado.
  • Lean ground beef It’s best to use a 5% or less fat content, because then you won’t have to drain the excess grease out of the Instant Pot before you move on to the next step.
  • Onion – I use a small white or yellow onion, chopped
  • Water – The recipe does need a little bit of water to make sure the spaghetti doesn’t burn on the bottom, but it doesn’t need much.
  • Spaghetti – An Italian would cringe at the thought of breaking the pasta noodles in half, but to fit the spaghetti in the inner pot, you need to break them in half. You can use regular or whole wheat pasta.
  • Spaghetti sauce – I use a homemade tomato sauce for this recipe. It’s easy to make in the Instant Pot and you can move directly from the making of the tomato sauce to the making of the spaghetti to keep it easy. If you don’t want to make your own, you can use any store bought sauce that you like.
  • Seasonings – Salt, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning

How to Make Spaghetti in the Instant Pot

Turn on saute mode (on low, if available). Add the olive oil. When hot, add the ground beef, onions, and seasonings. Saute, breaking up the meat, until browned. Turn off saute mode.

Browning ground beef in the Instant Pot

Add the water and scrap all the browned bits off the bottom of the pot before proceeding. 

Break the spaghetti in half and lay it on top of the ground beef. Do not stir them.

Ground beef with uncooked spaghetti noodles on top

Pour the spaghetti sauce over the top of the pasta. Make sure the pasta is fully submerged in the sauce. If it’s not, just punch it down lightly with a spatula. Don’t stir.

Spaghetti sauce

Lock the lid on and set the vent to sealing. Press the pressure cook button and set the time to 8 minutes. When the time is up, manually release the pressure. Stir the spaghetti well. Let it stand for 5 minutes on Keep Warm to thicken.

Instant Pot Spaghetti in the Instant Pot

Tips & Suggestions For the Best Outcome

Don’t Worry, it Won’t Be Watery

It might seem like a lot of water to put into the mix, but don’t worry, the spaghetti will soak it all up. At first, when you take the lid off the pot, it will look a little liquidy. You’ll want to stir it well to incorporate all of the liquid into the noodles, and break up any clumps of noodles. Then let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving on Keep Warm, to really set up.

By the time you serve the spaghetti, after a 5 minute rest, the wateriness will be gone and you’ll have perfectly coated spaghetti noodles in a thick sauce.

Instant Pot Spaghetti

Avoiding Clumped Noodles

It’s possible to have an issue of “clumping” noodles. They sometimes stick together when they cook. It’s not a problem, because you can break them up after cooking. They won’t stick together so badly they can’t be disconnected.

However, to avoid this problem in the first place, you can spread out the noodles well, and even layer the sauce and the noodles to there isn’t a huge clump packed together next to each other. This is most important when you double the recipe to make 8 servings, because you’ll have twice as many noodles.

Try crisscrossing the noodles when you add them to the instant pot, instead of adding them in one big chunk. Some clumping is normal, simply use a fork to pull any noodles apart that have stuck together.

Homemade Tomato Sauce 

I think one of the keys to great spaghetti is great tomato sauce. If you start with a bland or low quality tomato sauce, you can’t really expect it to become amazing. I always make my own tomato sauce, which is very easy to do in the Instant Pot. You can find our recipe here.

If you love meatballs in your spaghetti try this recipe for frozen meatballs in the Instant Pot.

Why Use An Instant Pot?

The Instant Pot is one of the most useful kitchen appliances you can buy, because it drastically cuts down on the cooking time for developing flavors in soups and stews, getting tough cuts of meat tender, and even baking a cheesecake. And there are many accessories that will help you get more out of your Instant Pot.

If you don’t have one yet, check out our guide on which one to buy. Also see our guide to How to Use an Instant Pot for more information.

instant pot spaghetti

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put uncooked pasta in the Instant Pot?

Yes, you can make all kinds of pasta from dried in the Instant Pot. All you need is enough water to make sure the pasta becomes cooked through. It’s best to add 2-3x as much water as pasta. For instance, for 2 cups of ziti, add 4 cups of water. You can always drain the excess water from the pot.

For spaghetti, you’re trying to reach the perfect ratio of water to noodles so the noodles get cooked, but the pasta isn’t too watery.

How long does it take to cook spaghetti noodles in an Instant Pot?

It takes 8 minutes to cook spaghetti noodles in the Instant Pot. That is with about a 5 minute pressurizing time to start and a quick release at the end. You can make any kind of pasta you like in the Instant Pot with these instructions. They’ll come out just over al dente, which I think is perfect.

Can I store or freeze leftover spaghetti?

Any left overs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can even reheat it in the Instant Pot if you want. Just turn saute mode on low, add the spaghetti and about 1-2 tablespoons of water and stir until warmed through.

You can also freeze left over spaghetti. Just put it into an air tight container or baggie and freeze it. When you take it out, reheat it in the microwave on high for 3-4 minutes.

Instant Pot Pro Plus

Now you can control your pot wirelessly through an app. Cool-touch handles on the pot itself, and an automatic locking pressure release valve for greater safety. This one does it all.

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A bowl of spaghetti

Instant Pot Spaghetti

If you've never made Instant Pot Spaghetti, you absolutely should start using this method to make perfect spaghetti.

Note: Made in a 6-qt Instant Pot

4.92 from 12 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Pressurize Time 5 mins
Total Time 18 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 378 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 12 ounces water
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti
  • 24 ounces spaghetti sauce (or use this recipe)

Instructions
 

  • Turn on saute mode (on low, if available). Add the olive oil. When hot, add the ground beef, onions, and seasonings. Saute, breaking up the meat, until browned. Turn off saute mode.
  • Add the water and scrap all the browned bits off the bottom of the pot before proceeding.
  • Break the spaghetti in half and lay it on top of the ground beef.
  • Pour the spaghetti sauce over the top of the pasta. Make sure the pasta is fully submerged in the sauce.
  • Lock the lid on and set the vent to sealing. Press the pressure cook button and set the time to 8 minutes. When the time is up, manually release the pressure. Stir the spaghetti well. Let it stand for 5 minutes on Keep Warm to thicken.

Notes

You can make your own homemade spaghetti sauce in the Instant Pot. Follow this recipe. Or use your favorite store bought spaghetti sauce.
You can double the recipe, if you need to. The ratios stay the same. To avoid clumps of pasta, layer half the pasta, and half the sauce to make 2 layers.

Nutrition

Calories: 378kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 22gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 2101mgPotassium: 953mgFiber: 5gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 754IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 67mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Beef, Pasta
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Instant Pot Spaghetti

7 thoughts on “Instant Pot Spaghetti

    • Laura says:

      Sorry for that. The chopped tomatoes are not necessary if using store-bought tomato sauce. Only if you are making your own sauce.

      • Sara Lynn says:

        Lol! Ok. I didn’t quite have a full jar of sauce. Thought I was supposed to add the chopped tomatoes so added a can anyway. It turned out perfect!

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