Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

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Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs is a convenient and delicious one-pot meal that brings together classic Italian flavors in a fraction of the time. With tender meatballs, perfectly cooked pasta, and a rich tomato sauce, this dish is sure to become a family favorite. Plus, the Instant Pot makes it quick and easy to prepare, making it ideal for busy weeknights or anytime you’re craving a comforting meal.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 pound spaghetti pasta
  • 1 can diced tomatoes


Cooking the Meatballs:

  1. Sauté Onions: Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté” mode and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the chopped onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened.
  2. Prepare Ground Beef: Add the ground beef to the pot, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally.
  3. Season Meat: Season the ground beef with garlic powder, salt, pepper, minced garlic, and Italian seasoning. Stir well to combine.
  4. Add Sauce and Water: Pour the pasta sauce and water into the pot, stirring to combine with the meat mixture.

Cooking the Pasta:

  1. Break Spaghetti: Break the spaghetti pasta in half and layer it over the meat mixture in the Instant Pot, ensuring that it is evenly distributed.
  2. Add Tomatoes: Pour the can of diced tomatoes (with juice) over the pasta.
  3. Pressure Cook: Close the Instant Pot lid and set the valve to the sealing position. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
  4. Natural Release: Allow the pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes, then carefully do a quick release to release any remaining pressure.
  5. Serve: Once the pressure has fully released, carefully open the lid of the Instant Pot. Stir the spaghetti and meatballs gently to combine.


  1. Plate and Garnish: Serve the Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs hot, garnished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil or parsley, if desired.

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Cheese: Feel free to add grated Parmesan or shredded mozzarella cheese on top of each serving for extra flavor.
  • Vegetables: Enhance the nutritional value of the dish by adding diced vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, or mushrooms to the sauce.
  • Spice: Adjust the level of heat by adding crushed red pepper flakes or chili powder to the sauce for a spicier version.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use frozen meatballs instead of making them from scratch? A: Yes, you can use frozen meatballs in this recipe. Simply add them to the Instant Pot along with the pasta sauce and water.

Q: Can I use a different type of pasta instead of spaghetti? A: Yes, you can use any type of pasta you prefer in this recipe. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the pasta shape and size.

Q: Can I make this recipe vegetarian? A: Yes, you can make a vegetarian version of this dish by omitting the ground beef and using plant-based meat substitutes or additional vegetables instead.

Additional Cook’s Notes and Variations (continued):

  • Herb Infusion: Enhance the flavor profile of the dish by adding fresh herbs such as basil, oregano, or parsley to the sauce before cooking. This will impart a delightful aroma and freshness to the final dish.
  • Customized Meatballs: Get creative with your meatball mixture by adding additional ingredients such as grated Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, finely chopped onions, or minced garlic for added flavor and texture.
  • Customized Sauce: Customize the pasta sauce to suit your taste preferences by choosing a variety that includes additional herbs, spices, or vegetables. You can also opt for a spicy marinara sauce or a creamy Alfredo sauce for a different flavor profile.
  • Vegetarian Option: For a vegetarian version of this dish, omit the ground beef and replace it with plant-based meat alternatives, such as vegetarian meatballs or crumbled tofu. You can also add extra vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, or spinach for added nutrition and flavor.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (continued):

Q: Can I make this recipe in advance and reheat it later? A: Yes, you can make the Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Simply reheat individual servings in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers of this dish? A: Yes, you can freeze any leftover Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs for future meals. Allow the dish to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers or resealable freezer bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Q: Can I add additional vegetables to the dish? A: Absolutely! Feel free to add your favorite vegetables to the Instant Pot along with the other ingredients. Bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, and mushrooms are all great options that can add flavor and nutrition to the dish.

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs is a versatile and customizable dish that can be tailored to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or enjoying a cozy meal at home, this flavorful and comforting recipe is sure to satisfy. With its simple preparation and delicious results, it’s no wonder why this dish is a favorite among home cooks everywhere!

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