Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
This Instant Pot Spaghetti has perfectly cooked spaghetti and a creamy award-winning meat sauce. An easy family dinner that’s ready in less than 30 minutes with only one pot to clean!
I am really starting to wonder how I ever functioned without an Instant Pot. Not only is this the only way that I will ever make spaghetti now because it’s so darn tasty, but being left with one pot to clean at the end of the night is like this fascinating phenomenon that I can’t seem to get over.
This meat sauce is TO die for. And I strongly urge to to try this secret: add a dab or two of cream cheese to the pot once it’s all done. It mixes right in and makes the sauce so thick and creamy. You’ll seriously want to have spaghetti every night.
What Size Instant Pot did I use?
-I used my trusty 6-quart Instant Pot for this recipe, which is what I recommend for most families, and is what most Instant Pot recipes are based on. It can cook enough food for a family of four and won’t take as long to come to pressure as an 8 quart will.
How Long do you Cook Pasta in the Instant Pot?
Different types of pasta require slightly different amounts of cooking time. These regular spaghetti noodles take 8 minutes of pressure cooking time before the quick release valve is triggered and the noodles are cooked.
⭐Tip: Be sure to properly stagger your noodles to prevent them from sticking together. (See image above!)
What if the Burn Indicator Turns on During Pressure Cooking?
-If you’re waiting for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure and notice a burn indicator, this is something that rectifies itself whenever I make this recipe and see that warning. It just takes a little bit of waiting before the pressure cooker will do it’s thing.
-The more I use the Instant Pot, the more I see this message. I’ve learned to basically ignore it as long as I know that I’ve done my due diligence in making sure I’ve removed any specs of meat on the bottom of the pan that may have gotten stuck during while sauteing. I do this before I add any other ingredients.
–Adding vegetable oil on the bottom of the pan prior to browning the meat helps with this.
Can you Freeze Spaghetti?
Spaghetti is a great food to freezer for future meals. Here are some tips for success:
-Cook the pasta to the Al Dente Point, but no more. That way the pasta won’t be overcooked when you reheat it. For this recipe, the quick release of the pressure valve helps to halt the cooking process. It’s also best to avoid reheating the pasta again before you freeze it.
-I love to make easy foil packets for freezing these. I lay out strips of foil on the counter and use a big spoon to create portions of desired size on each one, then I wrap it into a neat packet, add the packets to a freezer bag, label it, and freeze! When you’re ready to eat, just pop the entire frozen foil packet in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or so.
-Ziploc bags are also convenient freezing vessels, just let out any extra air in the bag. Laying it flat and freezing it in a uniform rectangle shape will take up less freezer space but will also allow the pasta to thaw out at the same rate when you remove it from the freezer.
-Let the pasta thaw in the fridge before you reheat it. This is an easy lunch to take from the freezer because it’s usually pretty thawed out by the time lunch rolls around.
Best Marinara Sauce for Pasta
Rao’s marinara sauce is my sauce of choice for this, (nope, this is not a sponsored post). I’ll actually say that it’s a wee-bit pricey but the rest of this meal is so simple and economical that you can totally justify it. I buy it in bulk at the Christmas Tree Shop, it’s the lowest price there. Do you have one of those near you?
More of my favorite Instant Pot meals:
- IP Chicken and Stuffing
- IP Hamburger Helper
- IP Roasted Potatoes
- IP Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- IP Split Pea Soup
- IP French Onion Soup
Now. If you like this recipe, you should probably join my free recipe email list! You’ll get a weekly email with my brand new recipes. And follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. (Don’t make this be our last goodbye!)
Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable oil
- 1 pound ground beef, I use 85% lean
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon Italian Seasonings
- Salt/pepper, to taste
- ½ pound spaghetti
- 32 oz. high-quality spaghetti sauce
- 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cups water
- 2 Tablespoons cream cheese, softened (optional, but recommended!)
- Set the instant pot to Sautee. Add the vegetable oil and ground beef and seasonings. Cook and crumble the ground beef until it is browned and cooked through. Drain any excess grease if needed, and ensure there are barely any brown remnants left at the bottom of the pan to prevent the burning warning to appear when we pressure cook. The vegetable oil helps with this.
- Break the spaghetti noodles in half. Crisscross them over the meat (this is done to prevent the noodles from sticking together).
- Pour the spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes, and water over the noodles. Push the noodles down so that they are completely submerged in the liquid. It’s okay if they break a little bit as you do this.
- Cover/Seal the instant pot and set it to pressure cook for 8 minutes (Or, select the manual button and hit high pressure for 8 minutes). Note: It might sound like nothing is happening but if you put your ear up to the instant pot after a few minutes, you can hear it working.
- Turn the quick release valve to let all of the steam escape, and open the pot. (Do not let the pressure release naturally as this will overcook the pasta.)
- For thicker, creamier sauce, stir in the cream cheese. The spaghetti and sauce will continue to thicken upon standing. Serve, and enjoy!