Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

by | Jan 31, 2021

Spaghetti and meat sauce is a classic for a reason. This is another filling and easy recipe you can make for yourself or your family in a pinch.

Instant pot spaghetti is the best way to make this classic simply and in a hurry. There is nothing more satisfying than a robust meat sauce with tons of flavor. This recipe is easily customizable and a great option to put into your weekly meal rotation.

What Is Meat Sauce Made Of?

Spaghetti meat sauce is typically made from some form of ground meat. This can be ground beef, veal, or pork, it’s really up to you. In this recipe I used beef, however if you prefer another meat, you can substitute that in.

I recommend organic and/or grass-fed ground beef when choosing out of the options at the store. I find that it has better flavor and cooks up better than the generic kind. You can use lean ground beef or a fattier version, since the beef is going to be simmered in a tomato sauce it’s unlikely to become very dry.

The tomato sauce in meat sauce is usually made from crushed tomatoes and marinara sauce with a combination of spices. In this recipe I used diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, fresh garlic, Italian herbs and onions.

Choose a marinara sauce that highlights flavors you enjoy. For example, I like marinara or tomato sauces that are heavy in the garlic and basil flavors. You may also choose to add extra herbs to a plain marinara sauce!

How to Make Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

This recipe for instant pot spaghetti and meat sauce begins with dicing onions and into small piece and mincing a few cloves of garlic. Then, pull out your Instant Pot and set it to sauté. If you prefer to brown your beef in a pan, you can do that as well. However, you’ll get more flavor if you cook everything in the same pot. Plus, it’s less mess!

Add a bit of oil to the bottom of the pot and add your garlic, onions and ground beef. You may want to brown the garlic and onions a bit before adding the beef, I just did it all at once. Cook the ingredients until the beef is browned and broken apart. When the meat is done cooking , you can turn off your instant pot.

raw beef and onions in an instant pot to make spaghetti meat sauce

How To Make Meat Sauce From Scratch

This spaghetti sauce recipe is simple with just a few ingredients. First, you’ll need a can of diced or crushed tomatoes. If you only have whole tomatoes you can dice or crush them yourself and add it into the meat sauce mixture.

ground beef and onions with diced tomatoes on top in the instant pot

Next, grab your can of marinara sauce and add that in as well. If you crave a more intense tomato flavor in your spaghetti meat sauce, you can add in a tablespoon of tomato paste. I then added about a cup of water to sauce ingredients and stirred the mixture well to combine.

meat sauce in an instant pot

Then, break your uncooked spaghetti noodles in half and slowly add them to the Instant Pot. If you don’t like spaghetti, angel hair would also work well in this recipe. When you add the noodles, be sure to spread them apart. You can crisscross them to prevent them from clumping as they cook.

uncooked spaghetti in a meat sauce in the instant pot

Press the noodles into the spaghetti sauce until they are covered. If the liquid does not completely cover the pasta, add more water. Finally, secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 8 minutes. When the instant pot spaghetti is done cooking, do a quick release.

Make sure you stir the pasta before serving. Top it off with some fresh parsley and enjoy!

spaghetti and meat sauce on a white plate garnished with parsley

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Tools You Need To Make Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

  • Instant Pot. You can’t make Instant Pot Spaghetti without the Instant Pot! This Instant pot is a great one- It includes a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, food warmer, and yogurt maker.

  • Cutting Board. You’ll need a cutting board to mince up your onions and garlic! This one is a good quality board.

  • Spatula. I like silicone spatulas for easy use and cleaning. You can use this when you are sautéing your ground beef stirring the sauce.

  • Sharp Knife. A good, sharp knife always comes in handy! You can use this to chop up your onions and garlic for the spaghetti sauce.

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes

This Instant Pot Spaghetti recipe is quick, filling and delicious. Perfect for weeknight meals in a pinch.


  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 1 small onion, chopped 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • 1 tblsp tomato paste (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups water 
  • 1 box spaghetti
  • parsley (for garnish)


    1. Set the Instant Pot to sauté and add ground beef, onion, and garlic to the pot.
    2. Cook the until the ground beef is browned. 
    3. Turn off Instant Pot and add diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, and water. Stir to combine. 
    4. Break uncooked spaghetti noodles in half and slowly add them to the Instant Pot. Be sure to spread the noodles apart as they are added, crisscrossing the noodles to prevent them from clumping as they cook.
    5. Press the noodles into the sauce mixture until they are covered. If the liquid does not completely cover the noodles, add more water. 
    6. Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 8 minutes.
    7. Do a quick release.
    8. Remove the lid and stir before serving. 
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 267Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 68mgSodium 207mgCarbohydrates 12gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 23g

The Best Week Night Meal

Instant Pot spaghetti may seem like a boring weeknight meal, but done right, it can be so delicious. I like to experiment with different types of ground meat, tomatoes, and herbs to switch up this recipe from time to time. Try adding some freshly grated parmesan cheese to the top or mushrooms to meat sauce for extra texture and flavor.


How do you make your spaghetti and meat sauce? We’d love to hear form you in the comments below!


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