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4.54 from 13 votes

Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

This is the best thing to come out of my kitchen in a long time. I'll never make spaghetti and meat sauce any other way. And once you try it, I'm predicting that you won't either.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Instant Pot coming to pressure10 mins
Total Time28 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Calories: 581kcal
Cost: About $6


  • Instant Pot


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped fine (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 24 ounces marinara, spaghetti or tomato-based sauce
  • 8 ounces dry spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese, grated for serving


  • Set Instant Pot to "saute." Add olive oil, optional chopped onions and optional minced garlic. Allow to cook until tender and slightly translucent.
  • Add ground beef, salt, onion powder and garlic powder, breaking up the beef and stirring until it is no longer pink.
  • Turn Instant Pot Off.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of water and all of the pasta/marinara sauce into the pot. Stir to combine well, making sure to scrape any stuck-on bits from the bottom. 
  • Place broken spaghetti on top, half going north and south, half east and west in a criss-cross pattern.
    A close up of a bowl of soup, with Spaghetti and Sauce
  • Pour remaining 1 ½ cups water over the top of the spaghetti. Do. Not. Stir!
  • Apply Instant Pot lid, setting the pressure valve to "Seal."
  • Set Instant Pot to High Pressure for 8 minutes. It will take 10 to 12 minutes to come to pressure.
  • Open the pressure lease valve (quick release) as soon as the 8 minutes cook time is complete.
  • Open the pressure cooker and gently stir the spaghetti into the sauce. Look at that!
  • Serve immediately with grated Parmesan cheese, as desired.


  1. Chopped onion and minced garlic are optional. However one or both will add fresh, additional flavor.
  2. I have made this with regular spaghetti, thin spaghetti, and angel hair. All come out just great! 
  3. Use your favorite jarred marinara or other tomato-based pasta sauce. My favorite is Prego brand, however I have tested this recipe with a number of sauces (whichever one is on sale!) and find that the sauce does make a big difference in both color and taste. Some sauces are thicker than others, some more poignant in flavor. This is totally up to you. 
  4. The DO NOT STIR! instructions will keep the meat at the bottom and the pasta at the top of the pot for the entire 8 minutes of cook time. This is key! In a way the meat and pasta cook separately without you having to do any kind of separation technique. Just set the spaghetti on top. 
  5. Because I live at 5,280 ft. altitude, I adjust cooking time by one minute to 9 minutes. 
  6. Suggestion: Serve with a green salad and garlic bread. Enjoy!


Calories: 581kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 1559mg | Potassium: 1016mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 737IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 5mg