Mouth-Watering Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs Recipe

Tired of the same old spaghetti and meatballs recipe? Look no further! This Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs recipe is perfect for those busy weeknights when you need a quick and easy meal without sacrificing taste. With the help of the instant pot, this recipe comes together in no time.

Not only is this recipe quick and easy, but it is also bursting with flavor. The combination of hearty spaghetti noodles and savory meatballs cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce will fill your home with an irresistible aroma.

Whether you are cooking for your family, friends or just for yourself, this recipe is sure to please any palate. Plus, with the help of the instant pot, you can have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes, leaving more time to sit down and savor every bite. Give it a try and see why this Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs recipe is a new family favorite.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs
Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs

Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs Recipe is here to change what you know about making spaghetti and meatballs. Forget the hassle of making spaghetti the traditional way by boiling water on the stove and stirring occasionally. This recipe puts an end to that.

You’ll love this recipe because it’s all done in one pot, which means less time washing dishes! With just a push of a button, your Instant Pot will take care of everything – from cooking the spaghetti noodles to making the meatballs.

Not only is this recipe convenient, but it’s also versatile. You can choose to use homemade meatballs or frozen ones, depending on what you have on hand. Additionally, you can switch things up by adding turkey meatballs instead of beef or making it gluten-free by using whole wheat pasta noodles.

The sauce is savory and flavorful, made with a combination of tomato sauce and pesto sauce. It’s the perfect balance between tangy and sweet flavors.

Lastly, this recipe is perfect for busy weeknights when you’re short on time but still want a delicious meal for your family or friends. It’s quick and easy to prepare yet still provides that comfort food feeling that only spaghetti and meatballs can offer.

Don’t let traditional spaghetti and meatball recipes hold you back from experiencing something new and convenient like this Instant Pot version. Give it a try today, and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make while still providing that deliciously satisfying taste.

Ingredient List

 Simplicity at its finest!
Simplicity at its finest!

To prepare this Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound (454g) frozen meatballs
  • 8 ounces (227g) spaghetti noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups (710ml) water
  • 1 set of spaghetti meatballs seasoning (included: parmesan cheese, fresh ground black pepper, kosher salt and egg)
  • 1 jar (24 oz or 690g) of marinara sauce or pasta sauce
  • Optional: homemade meatballs instead of frozen ones

This recipe is versatile and offers customization options to make it cater to your taste preferences. You can adjust this by switching up your protein source such as using turkey meatballs or even making homemade Italian-style meatballs for an elevated experience.

The cooking process of this recipe is effortless but provides a full flavor experience. The bond between the pasta with tomato sauce combined with the savory essence from beef meatballs creates an amazing masterpiece.

The Recipe How-To

 Can you smell the Italian goodness?
Can you smell the Italian goodness?

Now, let’s dive into the recipe itself. This Instant Pot spaghetti and meatballs recipe is straightforward to make and perfect for those busy weeknights where you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.


  • 1 pound (454g) of frozen meatballs
  • 8 ounces (226g) of spaghetti noodles
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) of olive oil
  • 1 can (24 ounces/680g) of tomato sauce or marinara sauce
  • 3 cups (710ml) of water

The Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Make the Meatballs

First, we need to make the meatballs. In a large bowl, mix together the frozen meatballs, one beaten egg, and breadcrumbs until well combined. Season with fresh ground black pepper and Kosher salt to taste. Shape the mixture into small balls, about one inch in diameter.

Step 2: Break the Spaghetti Noodles

Break the spaghetti noodles in half and add them on top of the meatballs. Pour the tomato or marinara sauce over it but don’t stir it yet.

Step 3: Use Sauté Setting

Turn on your Instant Pot and press “sauté” or “brown” setting. Add a little bit of olive oil to prevent the meatballs from sticking on the bottom of the pot. Once heated, place your meatballs at the bottom of the pot and cook for about 3 – 5 minutes until browned.

Step 4: Add Water & Sauce

Add three cups of water and gently pour sauce over everything but do not stir. The spaghetti will cook properly if above liquid without stirring.

Step 5: Cook on High Pressure

Close and lock your Instant Pot lid then set your valve to “sealing”. Press “manual” then adjust cook time to 8 minutes at High Pressure. The Instant Pot will take some time to come up to temperature and pressure before it begins cooking.

Step 6: Quick Release

Once the cook time has elapsed, use quick release to release the pressure. This will only take a few seconds.

Step 7: Stir & Serve

Open the lid and stir everything together well. The spaghetti should be cooked al dente, and the meatballs will be tender and juicy. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately. Enjoy your Instant Pot spaghetti meatballs!

That’s all there is to this recipe! It’s so easy it can even be a dinner you’ll put together on busy weeknights.

Note: If you prefer using homemade meatballs or turkey meatballs, these may be used instead of frozen meatballs.

Video Tutorial

For those who prefer seeing a video tutorial of this recipe, you may watch it in this link.

Substitutions and Variations

 One pot, endless possibilities.
One pot, endless possibilities.

This recipe for Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs offers a lot of room for substitutions and variations to suit your personal taste preferences. Here are some suggestions to make this dish your own:

– Replace the spaghetti noodles with whole wheat pasta or gluten-free pasta for a healthier or dietary option.

– Swap out the ground beef meatballs with turkey meatballs, homemade meatballs or Italian meatballs for a different flavor profile. You can even use frozen meatballs if you don’t have time to make them from scratch.

– Add some vegetables to the sauce such as onions, bell peppers, carrots, or zucchini. This will enhance the nutritional content while adding more colors and textures to your dish.

– Experiment with different pasta sauces such as marinara sauce, meat sauce or pesto sauce depending on your cravings.

– Top off your spaghetti and meatball dish with Parmesan cheese, fresh basil or parsley, and crushed red pepper flakes for an extra kick.

By using these easy substitutions and variations, you can create a unique and flavorful dish that is customized to fit your tastes. Whether you’re looking for a healthier option, want to add more vegetables, or swap out the type of pasta sauce you’re using, this recipe offers endless possibilities for customization.

Serving and Pairing

 A hearty meal that cooks itself.
A hearty meal that cooks itself.

This Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs Recipe is the epitome of comfort food, and nothing pairs better with comfort food than a cold drink. I would suggest serving this dish with your favorite beer or a homemade Arnold Palmer for a perfect balance of savory and tangy. Additionally, a Caesar salad or grilled vegetables would pair well with the spaghetti and meatballs, offering a crisp and refreshing counterpoint to the warm, saucy richness of the main course.

For those looking for a more sophisticated meal, consider pairing this Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs Recipe with a rich and full-bodied red wine. A Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir would offer a nice contrast to the acidity of the marinara sauce while complementing the tender meatballs perfectly.

No matter what you choose to serve alongside it, one thing is certain: this Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs Recipe will be sure to satisfy your hunger while delighting your taste buds. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this classic Italian-American dish made even easier with your trusty pressure cooker.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Perfect for busy weeknight dinners.
Perfect for busy weeknight dinners.

This Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs recipe can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer for later consumption. To make ahead, follow the recipe as instructed and let the dish cool to room temperature. Transfer the spaghetti and meatballs into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days or freeze for up to three months.

When reheating, transfer the spaghetti and meatballs into a microwave-safe dish. If reheating from frozen, let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating. Reheat the dish in the microwave at medium heat, stirring once or twice every 30 seconds. Alternatively, you can reheat it on the stovetop over low heat or in the Instant Pot using the sauté function.

It’s important to note that the longer spaghetti sits in sauce, the more liquid it will absorb resulting in a drier texture when reheated. Consider adding a splash of water or pasta sauce to restore moisture when reheating.

Furthermore, this recipe is incredibly versatile and can be customized with substitutions or variations to suit individual preferences. You may use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef for a leaner option, opt for gluten-free pasta options such as whole wheat noodles, or swap out tomato sauce with pesto sauce for a unique twist.

Overall, this Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs recipe is not only delicious but also incredibly convenient as a make-ahead meal that can be stored and reheated easily.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Spaghetti and meatballs made easy.
Spaghetti and meatballs made easy.

Cooking spaghetti and meatballs in the instant pot is an excellent way to create a delicious and hearty meal quickly. Here are some tips for ensuring that your instant pot spaghetti and meatballs are perfectly cooked every time:

1. Don’t Overcook the Spaghetti Noodles

Overcooked and mushy spaghetti noodles can ruin the perfect dish, particularly in a one-pot dish instant pot recipe. To prevent this from happening, break the noodles in half, mix them well so that they won’t stick together, and set the cooking time based on their density. You can set a timer and do a quick release once it’s done.

2. Add Enough Water

It is critical to add enough water or other liquids to your instant pot when preparing spaghetti pasta dishes to avoid sticking to the bottom or uneven cooking. Add at least three cups of water to your recipe to help cook the pasta evenly.

3. Use Fresh Herbs and Spices

Fresh herbs give an additional taste dimension to meatballs and sauce. Fresh basil or oregano added after cooking adds color, texture, aroma, and another layer of flavor to take your dish up a notch.

4. Properly Cook Frozen Meatballs

If you’re using frozen meatballs, you must ensure that they’re cooked thoroughly before serving. Adjust cooking times according to size guidelines if necessary and place them on top of the spaghetti noodles without stirring.

5. Give Your Meatballs Room

Never overcrowd your instant pot when adding meatballs, because doing so will affect temperature distribution, resulting in poor results like burning or uneven cooking. Leave ample room for meatballs along with sufficient sauce so they will cook evenly.

6. Use Quality Ingredients

The quality of your ingredients determine the quality of your dish whether you’re creating homemade meatballs or using pre-made choices. Choose high-quality pasta sauce, meats with leaner fat content, using turkey instead of beef or making gluten-free options will produce better results.

By following these tips, your instant pot spaghetti and meatballs recipe will be perfect, flavorful and will come out as intended every time – even better than you could get in any restaurant!


Now that you have learned how to make delicious Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs, you may still have a few questions about the recipe or possible substitutions. This next section will address some commonly asked questions to ensure your recipe turns out perfect every time.

Is it better to cook meatballs before adding to sauce?

For an optimal texture, I suggest searing your meatballs in a pan with some olive oil prior to combining them with your tomato sauce. While it’s possible to skip this step, browning the meatballs first will provide a crispy outer layer, while still retaining moisture in the center as they finish cooking in the sauce.

How long to put spaghetti sauce in Instant Pot?

Get ready to add some serious flavor to your dish by tossing in the San Marzano tomatoes, tomato paste, a blend of aromatic spices, and a pinch of salt. Once you’ve added all the ingredients, cover the pot and let the high pressure works its magic for 7 minutes. Don’t worry about it and just walk away, giving yourself time to prep and enjoy other things while the dish cooks. Once the time is up, release the pressure quickly and make sure to remove all steam before opening the lid to reveal the mouth-watering result.

Do Italians cook spaghetti with meatballs?

It is unlikely for one to come across a traditional Italian cuisine called “spaghetti and meatballs” during their stay in Italy as the dish is primarily a creation to cater to the American taste buds.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves delicious and easy-to-make meals. With its rich combination of spaghetti noodles and juicy meatballs smothered in a flavorful tomato sauce, you’ll have a meal that’s perfect for any occasion. It’s versatile enough to pair with any side dish or salad, and you can even make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer for future use.

Whether you’re pressed for time or just looking for a quick and delicious meal that the whole family will enjoy, this recipe is an excellent choice. From the ease of making it to the satisfaction of taking your first bite, you won’t be able to resist the savory flavors of this spaghetti & meatballs dish. With its perfect blend of spices, fresh ingredients, and tender meatballs, this recipe will leave you coming back for seconds or even thirds!

So what are you waiting for? Grab your Instant Pot and get ready to cook up some spaghetti & meatballs like never before. With its tantalizing aroma and heavenly taste, you won’t regret trying out this amazing recipe. So go ahead, indulge yourself – after all, life’s too short not to savor every bite!

Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs

Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs Recipe

A healthy, homemade Italian meal from scratch in minutes!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Calories 663.8 kcal


  • 1 lb 90% lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon prepared pesto sauce
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups marinara sauce
  • 12 ounces spaghetti, broken in half
  • grated parmesan cheese (optional)


  • In a medium bowl, combine ground beef, pesto, egg, breadcrumbs, 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Mix well with clean hands and form in to 8 meatballs.
  • Add olive oil and ¼ cup of marinara sauce to the bottom of the inner pot and set Instant Pot to Sauté function. Cook meatballs for 2 to 3 minutes. Shake the pot gently to make sure the meatballs aren’t sticking to the bottom.
  • Press Cancel. Scatter the pasta over the meatballs, layer in opposite directions to prevent the pasta from clumping together. Top pasta with remaining 1 cup of sauce, followed by 2 cups of water.
  • Cover and lock the lid in place, set to Pressure Cook on high pressure for 9 minutes. When the cook time is up, quick release the pressure. Remove the lid, pour pasta and meatballs out onto a large platter or serving dish. Serve with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
  • Nutrition Info Per Serving: Serves: 4 (does not include Parmesan cheese) ; Calories: 611 ; Total Fat: 20 grams; Saturated Fat: 6 gram; Total Carbohydrate:72 grams; Sugars: 8 grams; Protein: 37 grams; Sodium: 794 milligrams; Cholesterol: 121 milligrams; Fiber: 3 grams.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 306gCalories: 663.8kcalCarbohydrates: 80.3gProtein: 37.9gFat: 19.8gSaturated Fat: 6.4gCholesterol: 121.9mgSodium: 1285.8mgFiber: 5.3gSugar: 9.9g
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