Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

Step-by-Step Guide on how to make Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs. Quick and easy spaghetti and frozen meatballs recipe. Al dente spaghetti and juicy meatballs in flavorful tomato sauce with Parmesan cheese. All you need is minimal prep, pantry ingredients, and minimal cleanup. Tasty, simple, budget-friendly, and healthy one pot meal the whole family will enjoy!

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spaghetti and meatballs instant pot

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs is a popular classic Italian-American pasta dish. It’s made with spaghetti and meatballs in flavorful tomato sauce. A family-favorite comforting and satisfying meal.

If you need a super quick and easy dinner, you can make spaghetti and meatballs with frozen meatballs and jarred tomato sauce. But when you want to enjoy a gourmet meal, you can make the spaghetti, Italian meatballs, and tomato sauce from scratch.

Our goal with this lifesaver Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe is to keep it easy, foolproof, healthy, budget-friendly, and packed with tasty flavors.

instant pot spaghetti meatballs

How to Make Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

instant pot spaghetti and frozen meatballs

Here are the simple ingredients for cooking Spaghetti and Meatballs in Instant Pot.

spaghetti and meatballs ingredients

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Meatballs

For this spaghetti and meatballs recipe, you can use homemade meatballs or store-bought meatballs. 

We developed this recipe with store-bought frozen meatballs to foolproof this spaghetti and meatballs Instant Pot recipe. So yes! You can use your favorite frozen meatballs for convenience.

frozen meatballs

Amy + Jacky’s Tips! Plan ahead and make a big batch of our freezer-friendly, deliciously juicy Italian Umami Meatballs. If you want to use ground turkey, try our tasty Turkey Meatballs Recipe!

meatballs polenta

Spaghetti

For this Spaghetti and Meatballs Instant Pot recipe, unfortunately, we’ll have to break the first commandment of cooking spaghetti. Thou shall not break spaghetti in half.

break spaghetti in half

Step 1

Saute Onion & Herbs

First, press “Saute” button to “Sauté More” function to heat up your Instant Pot.

Note: It’ll switch to “ON” on the screen.

Instant Pot Saute More

Wait until it says “HOT” on the screen. This takes roughly 8 minutes.

Amy + Jacky’s Tip! Make sure your Instant Pot is as hot as it can be to induce a Maillard reaction.

Add 1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil in Instant Pot. Then, swirl your pot around to make sure the oil is coated over the whole bottom of the pot.

Add sliced onions in Instant Pot, then saute for three minutes.

saute onions

Add in minced garlic, 1½ tsp (1.8g) dried basil, 1½ tsp (1.2g) dried oregano, and 3 tbsp (45ml) regular soy sauce. Saute until the soy sauce is reduced and begins to stick to the pot (roughly 1.5 to 2 minutes).

saute spices

Step 2

Deglaze Instant Pot

Pour 1 cup (250ml) unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon (as shown below).

deglaze

Give it a quick mix.

Step 3

Pressure Cook Spaghetti and Meatballs in Instant Pot

Add 3 cups (750ml) unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot.

add unsalted chicken stock

Break the 1lb (454g) spaghetti in half, then add spaghetti in Instant Pot.

Amy + Jacky’s Tips! It’s critical to make sure you soak all the spaghetti in the chicken stock & try to spread the spaghetti out. This ensures the spaghetti won’t clump together and cook evenly.

Add 1lb (454g) your favorite frozen meatballs in Instant Pot.

add spaghetti and meatballs

Then, layer 2 tsp (10g) tomato paste and 1 large can (28oz) crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes on top. Do not mix.

Amy + Jacky’s Tips! Resist the urge to stir the spaghetti with the tomato sauce because this may trigger Instant Pot’s sensitive “BURN” notice.

layer tomatoes

With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position.

Pressure Cooking Method: Pressure cook at High Pressure for 3 minutes, then Natural Release for 5 minutes

After 5 minutes of natural release, release the remaining pressure by turning Venting Knob to Venting Position.

Instant Pot High Pressure for 3 minutes

When Floating Valve drops, open the lid carefully.

Step 4

Thicken & Season Spaghetti in Instant Pot

Amy + Jacky’s Notes:

1. Sauce Consistency: Don’t worry if your Instant Pot Spaghetti looks watery and thin when you open the lid. The sauce will thicken up.

2. Spaghetti Texture: We like al dente spaghetti, so the cooking time in this recipe is intended to cook the spaghetti to approximately 85% to 90% cooked. Keep in mind that the spaghetti will continue to cook as you thicken the sauce, and by the residual heat. To avoid overcooking your spaghetti, keep tasting and cooking (with the lid open) until the spaghetti reaches your desired texture.

Set aside the meatballs on a serving plate.

pressure cooked spaghetti and meatballs

Now, use the “Saute More” function (press “Cancel”, then “Saute”) to bring the spaghetti back to a simmer.

With a wooden spoon, break down the tomatoes, then stir to cook the spaghetti and thicken the spaghetti sauce. It’ll take a few minutes to thicken the sauce as the spaghetti release its starch.

thicken spaghetti in Instant Pot

Amy + Jacky’s Tips! If your meatballs released a lot of meat juice, it may cause the spaghetti to be a bit watery. Add in another 1 to 2 tsp (5g to 10g) tomato paste to help thicken the sauce some more.

Don’t forget to taste and season with more salt and ground black pepper. You’ll need roughly 2 to 3 large pinches of salt to bring out all the flavors.

Press “cancel” button to turn off the heat.

Step 5

Serve Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

Once the spaghetti sauce has thickened, add the previously set aside meatballs back in the spaghetti.

Finally, garnish the flavorful spaghetti with parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, then serve!

spaghetti meatballs instant pot

What to Serve with Spaghetti and Meatballs

You can enjoy this flavorful spaghetti and meatballs as a satisfying one pot meal. Or you can serve it with appetizers, side dishes, soups, or desserts!

Here are some tasty ideas on what goes well with spaghetti and meatballs:

Soups: Tomato Soup, HK Borscht Soup, Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Minestrone Soup, Mushroom Soup, Vegetable Soup

Side Dishes: Potato Salad, Corn on the Cob, Buttery Sweet Carrots, Refreshing Juicy Zucchini, Quick & Easy Broccoli

Dessert: Creme Brulee, Chocolate Lava Cake, Silky Smooth Flan, HK Egg Custard

Enjoy your Flavorful Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

5 from 2 votes

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

Author: Amy + Jacky
Step-by-Step Guide on how to make Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs! Quick and easy spaghetti and frozen meatballs recipe. Al dente spaghetti and juicy meatballs in flavorful tomato sauce. A deliciously simple, budget-friendly, kid-friendly, healthy one pot meal.
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Servings 4 - 6
Total Time 40 mins
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Ingredients

Optional Garnishes

  • Parsley, basil, freshly grated parmesan cheese

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Instructions 

  • Saute Onion & Herbs: Use “Sauté More” to heat up your Instant Pot. Wait until it says “HOT” on the screen. Add 1 tbsp olive oil in Instant Pot and make sure the oil is coated over the whole bottom of the pot.
    Add in sliced onions, then saute for three minutes. Add in minced garlic, 1½ tsp (1.8g) dried basil, 1½ tsp (1.2g) dried oregano, and 3 tbsp (45ml) regular soy sauce. Saute until the soy sauce is reduced and begins to stick to the pot (roughly 1.5 to 2 minutes).
  • Deglaze Instant Pot: Pour 1 cup (250ml) unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Give it a quick mix.
  • Pressure Cook Spaghetti and Meatballs: Add in 3 cups (750ml) unsalted chicken stock. Break the 1lb (454g) spaghetti in half, then add spaghetti in Instant Pot.
    Amy + Jacky's Tips! Make sure you soak all the spaghetti in chicken stock, and try to spread them out. So they won’t clump together & cook evenly.
    Add in 1lb (454g) frozen meatballs. Layer 2 tsp (10g) tomato paste and 1 large can (28oz) crushed tomatoes on top. Do not mix.
    Amy + Jacky's Tips! Don't stir the spaghetti with the tomato sauce because this may trigger the “BURN” notice.
    With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure cook at High Pressure for 3 minutes, then Natural Release for 5 minutes. Open the lid carefully.
  • Thicken and Season Spaghetti: Set aside the meatballs on a serving plate. Use "Saute More" to bring the spaghetti back to a simmer. With a wooden spoon, break down the tomatoes, then stir to cook the spaghetti and thicken the spaghetti sauce. It'll take a few minutes to thicken the sauce as the spaghetti releases its starch.
    Amy + Jacky's Tips! If your meatballs released a lot of meat juice, your spaghetti may be a bit watery. Add in another 1 to 2 tsp (5g to 10g) tomato paste to help thicken the sauce.
    Taste and season with more salt and ground black pepper. You'll need roughly 2 to 3 large pinches of salt to bring out all the flavors.
    Press "cancel" to turn off the heat.
  • Serve: Once the spaghetti sauce has thickened, add the previously set-aside meatballs in spaghetti. Garnish the flavorful spaghetti and meatballs with parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy~

Notes

1. Meatballs: You can use homemade meatballs or store-bought meatballs. Plan ahead and make a big batch of our tasty, freezer-friendly Italian Meatballs and Turkey Meatballs.
2. Sauce Consistency: It's normal for your spaghetti to look watery and thin when you open the lid.
3. Spaghetti Texture: The cooking time is intended to cook the spaghetti to approximately 85% to 90% cooked. Keep in mind that the spaghetti will continue to cook as you thicken the sauce, and by the residual heat. So, keep tasting and cooking (with the lid open) until the spaghetti reaches your desired texture.
Rate Amy + Jacky's Recipe: If you've tried our recipe, don't forget to rate the recipe in the Comments section. Thank you!
Calories: 583kcal
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American, Italian, Italian-American
Keyword: instant pot spaghetti and frozen meatballs, instant pot spaghetti and meatballs, instant pot spaghetti meatballs, pressure cooker spaghetti and meatballs, spaghetti and meatballs, spaghetti and meatballs instant pot

Nutrition

Calories: 583kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 777mg | Potassium: 969mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 331IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 4mg
instant pot spaghetti and meatballs | spaghetti and meatballs instant pot | pressure cooker spaghetti and meatballs | instant pot spaghetti meatballs | instant pot spaghetti and frozen meatballs
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