Delicious Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe is a one-pot meal that’s ready in no time. It’s a crowd-pleaser and so easy to whip up! Perfect for busy weeknight dinners.
My kids LOVE spaghetti! They request spaghetti (even if plain) every day and never get bored! So to make the meals more nutritious and appealing for all of us, I tried to cook spaghetti in different ways. I cooked them following various traditional and untraditional spaghetti recipes with different ingredients, but the winner is always this Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe!
This recipe is not only delicious but also filling. The meatballs turn out so juicy, and it takes minimal effort to whip up. This makes it the best option, especially when we have unexpected company joining us for dinner – and that happens quite often in our house!
Now don’t get me wrong, I love homemade making meatballs and marinara from scratch and I make my own homemade quite often. But let’s get real, life gets busy, and sometimes buying frozen or fresh meatballs or a jar of marinara from the store is easy and convenient. So my advice is, always get the best quality that you can afford.
Why Make Spaghetti and Meatballs in an Instant Pot?
The short answer is because it is quicker and easier to make spaghetti and meatballs in an Instant Pot. All you need is one pot that you don’t need to babysit!
Other cooking methods might result in too soft and mushy spaghetti and undercooked meatballs from the inside. Making this recipe in the Instant Pot gives you consistent perfect results in no time, plus its just one pot that you’re using! You get seared meatballs and perfectly cooked spaghetti in a delicious tomato sauce.
Recommended Ingredients and Tools
This is what you need to make this recipe:
- Fresh, thawed, or cooked frozen meatballs.
- Pasta sauce, or marinara sauce.
- Pasta – you can use any type or shape of pasta that you like. Of course, spaghetti works best here. If you use another type of pasta the cooking time might change.
- Instant Pot – this is the one that I own, love, and use all the time!
- Kitchen tongs – a kitchen essential!
How to Make Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
This recipe will be ready to eat in less than 30 minutes. The cooking time that you set your Instant Pot for is 8 minutes. However, if you count the time needed to gather the ingredients, put in the pot, build up pressure, cook, etc. It will be around 30 minutes in total. Here’s what you need to do:
- Optional: Start by adding olive oil into the Instant Pot to brown the meatballs from all sides. This gives the meatballs a lovely sear and crust!
- Switch off the SAUTE setting, and break the spaghetti (I usually break them in half), then pile them up but use alternating directions to avoid them from sticking to each other (see image below).
- Add pasta sauce/marinara, stock or water, minced garlic if using, salt, and pepper.
- Pressure cook for 8 minutes at high pressure. Then quickly release the steam.
- Carefully remove the lid, add parmesan cheese while the spaghetti is still hot, and gently stir until the cheese is all melted and spaghetti is completely separated.
- Cover with the lid and leave it on for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, and serve!
If you end up having any leftovers (I doubt it unless you double the recipe!), then you can store them in an airtight food container and reheat when you are ready to enjoy this deliciousness!
- Fridge: You can store cooked spaghetti and meatballs in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
- Freezer: You can freeze Instant Pot spaghetti and meatballs after being completely cooled in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 6 months. However, it is better to freeze each portion in an individual container, which makes it easier to grab with you for lunch after allowing it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- To reheat spaghetti and meatballs, simply add a bit of water when reheating. Stir for a few minutes until it warms up.
If you try this recipe, please don’t forget to rate it and share a picture on social media, tagging #NourishPlate in your posts. I would really love to see your creations. Bon appetit!
Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 2 teaspoons olive oil if you choose to sear the meatballs
- 1 pound homemade meatballs fresh or thawed
- 8 ounces spaghetti broken in half
- 3 cups stock or water
- 24 ounces pasta sauce/marinara
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup parmesan freshly grated
- ¼ cup basil leaves fresh, to garnish
- Optional: Add olive oil into the Instant Pot and press SAUTE so the oil gets hot. Place meatballs into the Instant Pot and cook until all sides are brown, flipping with kitchen tongs for about 5 minutes. Work in batches if needed. Pour in a little bit of water and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, to avoid getting a BURN message.
- Switch off the SAUTE setting, and break the spaghetti if needed (I usually break them in half), then pile them up but use alternating directions to avoid them from sticking to each other.
- Add pasta sauce or marinara, water or stock, minced garlic, and season with salt and pepper.
- Secure the lid and set the vent to SEALING. Select the PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL setting and set the cooking time for 8 minutes at high pressure. The Instant Pot will take around 6-7 minutes to come to pressure and start cooking. When the cooking program ends, quickly release the steam.
- Add Parmesan while the spaghetti is still hot and gently stir until the cheese is all melted and spaghetti is completely separated.
- Cover with the lid and leave it on for 5 minutes to allow the spaghetti to soak up the flavors of the sauce. Then, garnish with fresh basil leaves, and serve!
- It’s important to let the spaghetti sit on top of the meatballs when pressure cooked, as it tends to stick to the bottom of the pot when placed directly in the pot.
- Do not stir the ingredients before pressure cooking, and you need to make sure that you are layering the ingredients correctly for the recipe to work.
- Frozen cooked meatballs work here too.
- Water can be used instead of stock.
- You can use any kind of pasta sauce that you enjoy. I like marinara and mushroom pasta sauce.
- You can replace spaghetti with any shape/type of pasta you want; such as penne, macaroni, shells, whole wheat, regular. But you might need to adjust the cooking time according to the type of pasta you use.
- You can add more parmesan cheese for extra flavor. or substitute it with your favorite shredded cheese.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.