Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs brings you the taste and flavor of a homemade pasta dish all while being ready in under 10 minutes!
Instant Pot recipes like this Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs are perfect for busy weeknights when you need dinner in a hurry.
I have a confession to make: I am in love with my Instant Pot! If you don’t already have one, I totally suggest making the investment.
I was hesitant at first. I didn’t want another small appliance I used once and then collected dust and used storage space, but I have to say, I use it more than I expected.
Make sure to PIN Spaghetti and Meatballs!
Sometimes after a long day of work, you just want a quick and easy dinner. That is where the Instant Pot comes in.
An Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker. It speeds up your cooking time by 2-6 times and uses up to 70% less energy! It’s the perfect kitchen tool for a full-time working family that doesn’t have a lot of time for dinner in the evenings.
Bonus, it also steams, cooks rice, sautes and slow cooks. Check out my Instant Pot Basics to better understands how it works. Also the altitude calculator, should you need it!
Full disclosure, there are certainly some recipes that don’t make sense in the IP (Instant Pot), but for the those that are actually quicker on stovetop, there are at least 50% more than are faster.
For example, I tried an IP Chicken Marsala that actually took more time.
Ok, I have another confession: I am also in love with spaghetti! There is something so simple and comforting, yet delicious and flavorful about a big bowl of homemade spaghetti and meatballs.
My Italian ancestors are turning over in their grave knowing I made sauce in just 10 minutes.
My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Especially after my recent trip to Italy. But I don’t always have time to make my family recipe that needs to simmer for 8 hours. Great for a lazy Sunday, not so great for our lifestyle on a weekday.
Now onto how to make Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs….
The meatballs cook and the noodles boil all in less than ten minutes. It doesn’t get much quicker than that! Pressure cooker meatballs are moist and tender, which is a common complaint and issue with fried or even baked meatballs.
PRO TIP: You can use pre made fresh meatballs or frozen meatballs to make this recipe even faster!
The meatballs are made with ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, fine sea salt, white ground pepper, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and evaporated milk.
Homemade meatballs like these ones are full of flavor! When meatballs are made this fast, you really can’t make a case for using the frozen.
The spaghetti sauce uses onion, garlic, fennel seed and Italian seasoning, and mixes it with olive oil crushed tomatoes for a homemade sauce that it out of this world! Add your own blend of spices to make it your own. Other popular additions are bay leaves, fresh oregano or parsley and red wine.
PRO TIP: Use fresh garlic opposed to bottled garlic. Fresh garlic has garlicky flavor while bottled garlic is almost sweet.
Combine all of this with dry spaghetti noodles and water, and tada, you’ve got yourself a homemade spaghetti and meatballs dinner in no time!
About 50% of the individuals who have made this received a “burn notice” for too little liquid. Crushed tomatoes can vary greatly by brand as to how much liquid versus whole tomato is in the can.
The size of your IP also makes a difference, smaller IPs tend to give the burn notice more often because there is too much volume. Standard Instant Recipes are meant for the 6 quart cooker.
Lastly, different brands cook differently and may not yield the same results.
If yours is more of a puree, add 1 cup of water. If yours has large chunks of tomato and is less liquidy or really thick, add an additional 1/2 cup (1 1/2 cups total) water and you should be good.
PRO TIP: Freshly grate your cheeses, blocked cheese holds in the flavor and moisture, while pre grated cheese tends to be drier and less flavorsome.
Toss well when finished and allow to sit to let some of the water mix into the sauce. Some folks like to use tongs and transfer to a serving bowl or baking sheet to leave excess liquid in the IP.
Make sure to top with freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese and freshly minced parsley for the ultimate touch garnish.
More Instant Pot recipes:
Tools for making this Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs:
Instant Pot – If you don’t have one, you need to invest! This is my favorite new appliance that takes the place of 7!
Mixing Bowls– make sure to check out my article on Using the Right Mixing Bowl, you’d be surprised how many people aren’t!
Questions you might have about how to make spaghetti and meatballs:
Can I use a different type of pasta? You don’t have to use spaghetti, but this specific recipe does call for it. If you use a smaller size pasta like cappellini (angel hair) or thicker like fettuccine, the cooking times may vary and this might alter the ability for your meatballs to cook.
Can I use frozen cooked meatballs? Yes, if you used cooked frozen meatballs, the cook time should be exactly the same. However, if you use pre cooked thawed meatballs, the cooking time will be off. Use either raw meatballs or frozen cooked for best results.
Why did I get the burn notice? About 50% of the individuals who have made this received a “burn notice” for too little liquid. Crushed tomatoes can vary greatly by brand as to how much liquid versus whole tomato is in the can. I added extra liquid to the base recipe, it should be fixed now.
Can I just cook frozen meatballs in sauce? Yes! You can just add the sauce and meatballs and add the pasta separately or just keep it low carb.
Can I freeze spaghetti and meatballs? Cooked spaghetti and meatballs can be frozen. If packaged correctly, it will stay good for up to 4 months.
How long is spaghetti and meatballs good for? Like most foods, if kept in the refrigerator, it will stay good for about 5 days, but is best eaten fresh.
Can I use black pepper instead of white pepper? Sure! Be my guest!
The pasta doesn’t fit into my IP, what do I do? Make sure you break the spaghetti so it is all covered by tomato sauce and water.
I like mine a little spicy, what can I add? Add red pepper flakes for more heat.
Can I use ground beef instead of ground beef? You can substitute ground pork for ground beef or any mix of the two. If you use bulk Italian sausage, your meatballs might take more like sausage. Not a bad thing, just different.
Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 1 pound 90% lean ground beef , crumbled
- 1 egg , lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese , finely grated
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/2 cup onion , chopped
- 2 teaspoons fennel seed
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 10 ounces dry spaghetti , broken in half
- 1 cup water
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine crumbled ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, fine sea salt, white ground pepper, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and evaporated milk. Toss to combine, but do not over mix. This leads to tough meatballs.
- Form into 8 large meatballs. Set aside.
- Set Instant Pot to saute function, add onion and garlic, sauteing for 2 minutes.
- Add fennel seed, crushed tomato and Italians seasoning. Stir well.
- Add meatballs on top of sauce.
- Place dry spaghetti on top of meatballs.
- Pour 1/2 cup water over pasta.
- Lock lid in place. Set to manual high pressure and set for 5 minutes.
- Use quick release method.
- Pour spaghetti and meatballs onto a large serving platter, breaking apart any stuck pieces of pasta.
- Serve immediately.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!
Well so far I’ve had 3 burn notices! I. Added more water so we will see in a few!
I’m sorry Rita! In the post we talk about this being an issue depending on the pressure cooker and liquid volumes in the canned tomatoes Did you get it to work?
The flavor is amazing and it’s easy to put together which I love but I had lots of stuck noodles and blackened onions on the bottom. I’m going to try adding more water to the tomatoes and water on top of the noodles. This is a keeper when I get the noodle situation figured out!
Thanks for letting us know, Nancy! I think the liquid is so dependant on what brand of tomatoes you use and what type/brand of pasta. It can vary greatly. But after you find your perfect match, the recipe is great!
Meatballs were not cooked all the way through
HI Amanda, sorry to hear that! How large did you make your meatballs? Just so I can retest it. Thanks!
Jessica this is amazing, thank you! Love that I can make an easy peasy plate of spaghetti and meatballs using my Instant Pot! Consider my pasta night rocked!
We love this recipe, so easy and quick. We used frozen meatballs to save even more time and dinner was totally stress free. Thank you!
Unfortunately I got the burn message several times with this. I had to add about 2 extra cups of water and stir it and bring it up to pressure 3 times before it would actually cook for the 5 minutes. The flavor was good but it was very frustrating. Any tips I gladly welcome
Sorry to hear that! I will remake this and give it some refinement. We always love to get feedback!
We tried this recipe twice and both times got the “burn” message (causing the instant pot to not come to pressure and switch over to warm.) Sad, frustrating and hangry we kept resetting it to pressure cook and finally got the meatball temps up to 165. Tasty enough, but we will make the balls and pan cook them in the oven next time.
Oh, bummer! I am so sorry Valerie. We make this all the time with no issues. What type of pressure cooker are you using? Out of curiosity?
I love how easy and comforting these meatballs spaghetti are! Instant Pot is a life saver!! Love how you added the Parmesan cheese to meat. Yummy!
Your two “confessions” make me confident that we would be great friends 😉
I am obsessed with my Instant Pot, and I actually just bought my sister one because I’ve been visiting her a week without one and it was torture hahaha
When it gets here, we will definitely be testing this spaghetti!!
I love my Instant Pot, and I haven’t tried spaghetti and meatballs in it yet! This needs to go on my menu.
I am also in love with spaghetti! This dish is making me hungry!
I have made this 3 times. The 1st time was wonderful! But these last 2 times it burned on the bottom of my pot. And the pressure wouldn’t buildma
So weird! Did you use different brands of ingredients? Wondering if they had different water amounts in them? I’ve never had an issue and I’ve tested I don’t even know how many times now, but others clearly do.
These look amazing. I need to get an instant pot already!