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bowl of spaghetti and meatballs in red sauce

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

  • Author: Jenny Meier | Kitchen Skip blog
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 8
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x


This recipe for Instant Pot spaghetti and meatballs makes tender meatballs and perfectly cooked spaghetti, all in one pot!

You can use my meatballs recipe, or your own favorite recipe. You can also use store-bought frozen meatballs. 

Total Instant Pot Cooking Time: 15 minutes to reach pressure + 8 minutes on high pressure + Quick Release




  • 1 egg
  •  ¼ cup milk (optional, but makes meatballs more moist) 
  • ¼ cup panko or breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasoning (or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or parsley) 
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground beef

Spaghetti and Sauce 

  • 1 24-ounce jar marinara/pasta sauce
  • 2  1/4 cups water 
  • 12 ounces* spaghetti, broken in half 

*I don't weigh this amount exactly, I just use 3/4 of a box of spaghetti



  1. Whisk together the egg, milk, breadcrumbs, oregano, onion powder, garlic and salt in a large bowl until well blended. 
  2. Add the ground beef, using your hands or a fork to gently combine all the ingredients. 
  3. Roll into meatballs. Make the meatballs about golf ball sized; I usually get about 14 meatballs.
  4. Set the meatballs in the Instant Pot in one layer.

Spaghetti and Sauce

  1. Break spaghetti noodles in half and lay them in different directions over the meatballs. Criss-crossing the spaghetti, instead of laying it all in one direction, keeps it from sticking together too much. I usually get about 6 layers. 
  2. Pour in the marinara sauce, evenly covering the noodles. 
  3. Pour the water over the sauce, making sure that some drizzles down to the meatballs.
  4. Press down gently on the noodles if needed, so they are completely covered by the sauce. 
  5. Secure the lid, making sure the steam release valve is in the sealed position. 
  6. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes
  7. Quick release the steam valve as soon as the the cooking time is done, so the noodles don't overcook.   
  8. Gently stir the noodles with a fork to separate any that are stuck together. Don’t stir too deep or you will hit the meatballs and break them apart.
  9. Don’t worry! The pasta is supposed to look a little watery at this point and the noodles will be slightly undercooked. The pasta isn’t quite done cooking yet.   
  10. Let the pasta rest! Let the spaghetti sit in the pot, covered with the lid set loosely on top, for 5 to 10 minutes. This final step of letting the pasta rest is crucial for the sauce to thicken and the noodles to finish cooking while they absorb any remaining liquid in the pot and absorb the flavor of the sauce.  
  11. Check on the noodles every 3 minutes or so, giving them a quick stir, to see if they’re cooked to your liking yet. I like my noodles “al dente” so I usually let the pot sit for 5 minutes before moving the spaghetti and meatballs to a serving dish topped with parmesan. 


This recipes was tested in a 6-quart Instant Pot 

Before adding the water, I pour it into the empty sauce jar, shake the jar to release all the sauce, then pour it in the pot.

For jarred sauce, I often use Trader Joe's Marinara Sauce, 365/Whole Foods Marinara or Rao's when it's on sale. Cup of Jo did a round up of the best jarred pasta sauce

  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Italian American

Keywords: spaghetti and meatballs, meatballs, instant pot, instant potspaghetti and meatballs, pasta