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Instant Pot Spaghetti

Instant Pot Spaghetti

This Instant Pot spaghetti recipe is so easy to make and results in perfectly cooked spaghetti in a tasty meat sauce – all cooked together in the Instant Pot!

Is spaghetti a popular meal at your house? It definitely is here. I could make it almost every night for supper and I’m pretty certain there wouldn’t be any complaints.

two bowls of spaghetti and meat sauce cooked in the Instant Pot.

Except maybe from me.

So if you’re looking for a delicious spaghetti recipe, look no further. I have several tried and true favourites.

Because I make spaghetti incessantly. One recipe is not enough when your family loves this meal as much as mine does.

This homemade spaghetti sauce is amazing, but takes a little longer for both the prep work and the cook time.

Spaghetti and meat sauce in the Instant Pot with a scoop of spaghetti.

This easy spaghetti sauce is exactly that, and can be ready to eat before your noodles have even finished boiling.

And now I have this Instant Pot spaghetti recipe – which is similar in taste and time to my easy spaghetti sauce, but has the added benefit of less dishes to wash up afterwards.

The only down side to pressure cooked spaghetti is that the leftovers tend to get a bit mushy as the pasta continues to absorb the sauce after it’s finished cooking.

That isn’t a problem with any of my kids, but keep it in mind if you are expecting to have leftovers!

bowl of spaghetti and meat sauce made in the Instant Pot

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

Cooking spaghetti and meat sauce in the Instant Pot takes about the same amount of time as it does on the stovetop (for a quick version of spaghetti, like this Easy Spaghetti Sauce).

The actual pressure cooking time is only 7 minutes, but it takes the Instant Pot about 10 minutes to come to pressure, the spaghetti and sauce need to sit for about 5 minutes after cooking to thicken a bit, and you still need to brown your ground beef as you normally would.

Instant Pot spaghetti in two bowls

So all told, spaghetti in the Instant Pot takes 25-30 minutes to get on the table. But most of that is not active cooking time, just waiting while the Instant Pot runs the pressure cooking cycle.

The nice thing about pressure cooked spaghetti, as opposed to stovetop spaghetti, is that you have less dishes, as everything is cooked together in the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot spaghetti and meat sauce in a bowl.

Why does spaghetti sauce burn in the Instant Pot?

Spaghetti sauce will burn in the Instant Pot if you don’t have enough thin cooking liquid for it to come to pressure.

Enough steam needs to be generated for the Instant Pot to come to pressure, or the bottom of the pot will get too hot and the food will burn – giving you the dreaded “burn” warning.

two bowls of spaghetti and meat sauce cooked in the Instant Pot.

To avoid this, you need to layer your ingredients in the Instant Pot so that the tomato sauce that will burn easily is not on the bottom of the Instant Pot.

Instead, the water that will cook the pasta is placed on the bottom of the pot, and the noodles and tomato sauce are layered on top before starting the pressure cooking cycle.

A bowl of spaghetti and meat sauce cooked in the Instant pot

How do you take the bitterness out of spaghetti sauce?

The acidity of the tomatoes can make spaghetti sauce taste bitter.

Adding a little bit of sugar to the sauce counteracts this acidity and gets rid of the bitter taste.

I don’t recommend omitting the sugar in this Instant Pot Spaghetti recipe.

Instant Pot spaghetti and meat sauce.

There’s only a teaspoon of sugar in this homemade spaghetti sauce, which is much less than you will find in most bottled sauces.

This small amount of sugar does make a difference in the taste of the sauce, eliminating the slightly bitter taste that spaghetti sauce can often have.

Instant Pot spaghetti and meat sauce

How to make Instant Pot Spaghetti:

  • The spaghetti noodles are layered in a criss-cross pattern on top of the cooked meat in the Instant Pot. Doing this helps to prevent them from clumping together so don’t skip this step.
  • When you add the water and tomato sauce, try to pour the water around the edges of the Instant Pot, and the tomato sauce on top of the spaghetti noodles. This helps with not getting a “burn” warning by keeping the tomatoes off the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  • Once all the ingredients are in the Instant Pot – don’t stir it! Everything is layered for the pressure cooking cycle and stirred after it is finished.
  • When you open the Instant Pot after it’s finished, it will look a bit watery. Don’t worry, this is normal. Give it all a stir and let it sit for 5 minutes, and it will thicken up.

Here are some more great pasta recipes for you:

Spaghetti and meat sauce in the Instant Pot with a scoop of spaghetti.
Yield: serves 6

Instant Pot Spaghetti

Instant Pot spaghetti and meat sauce in a bowl.

This Instant Pot spaghetti recipe is so easy to make and results in perfectly cooked spaghetti in a tasty meat sauce - all cooked together in the Instant Pot!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (454g) lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 28 ounce (796mL) can crushed tomatoes
  • 14 ounce (398mL) can tomato sauce
  • 1 pound (454g) spaghetti noodles

Instructions

  1. Push the saute button on the Instant Pot, and add the ground beef to the pot.
  2. Cook, stirring to break up the meat, until no pink remains. Press “cancel” to turn off the heat.
  3. Drain any excess grease from the Instant Pot.
  4. Stir in the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, rosemary, oregano, sugar, and 1/2 cup of the water, scraping the bottom of the Instant Pot well to make sure no brown bits are stuck.
  5. Break the spaghetti noodles in half, and layer them on top of the meat, alternating the direction they are laying as you go. I usually do 6-8 layers as thinner layers of noodles helps to prevent them from sticking together (see note).
  6. Pour the rest of the water around the edges of the pot (rather than right on top of the noodles).
  7. Pour the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce on top of the noodles, avoiding the edges of the pot as much as possible. Don’t stir!
  8. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and turn it to the locking position. Turn the vent to the sealing position.
  9. Cook on high pressure for 7 minutes (see note). The Instant Pot will take 5-10 minutes to come to pressure and then start counting down the time.
  10. When the cook time is complete, quick release the pressure and then remove the lid.
  11. Give everything a stir (it will look like there is too much liquid, that’s normal) and let it sit for 3-4 minutes to thicken a bit.
  12. Serve immediately. Don’t let it sit with the “warm” setting for any longer as the pasta tends to keep cooking and become a bit mushy if left on "warm" for a long time.

Notes

Source: Adapted from my Easy Spaghetti Sauce.

Alternating the direction of the noodles and adding them in multiple layers is important as this keeps them from sticking together. You can do just a few layers, but I find less of the noodles stick together if I do more (usually about 8), with each layer going in the opposite direction to the one beneath it.

The cook time may vary a bit depending on what type of pasta you are using, as different brands will have different cook times. The box for the pasta I use says 8-9 minutes to al dente, and 7 minutes pressure cooking time is perfect for us, but we do like the noodles fully cooked (not al dente). If you prefer your pasta cooked al dente, I would decrease the cook time to 6 minutes. If your pasta box has a longer cook time on it, you may need a slightly longer Instant Pot cook time too.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1/6

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 304Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 2945mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 16gSugar: 36gProtein: 15g

Nutrition Information is estimated based on ingredients used and may not be exact.

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