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This 30-minute Instant Pot beefaroni is, hands down, one of the quickest comfort foods, and it’s going to be your family favorite in no time. Simple pantry ingredients transform into a delicious weeknight dinner with very little hands-on time.
Instant Pot Beefaroni
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb. lean ground beef, Note 1
- ½ cup diced onion, (1 medium sized)
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning powder
- 2 cups beef or chicken broth
- 16 oz elbow macaroni pasta
- 24 oz marinara sauce, or your favorite pasta sauce
- Turn the instant pot on the ‘Sauté’ mode on ‘High’. Add the olive oil and let the pot heat up for 2 minutes.
- Add the ground beef and onions and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the beef is brown and the onions are translucent. Keep stirring and breaking down the beef with the spatula.
- Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and cook for another minute till the raw flavor of the garlic is gone.
- Turn the ‘Sauté’ mode off. Add 1½ cup of the broth (save the remaining ½ cup for later) to deglaze. Make sure to scrape off every little bit of meat stuck to the bottom of the pot. This will make sure you don’t get a ‘Burn’ message.
- Add the macaroni pasta over the beef mixture and spread it evenly. Do not mix them together. They should be in layers.
- Add the jar of marinara sauce over the pasta and spread evenly. Again, do not mix.
- Add the remaining broth to the marinara jar and rinse it out and pour it over the sauce.
- Do not stir or mix the layers up. (TIP: Keep the meat, pasta and sauce layers separate and don’t mix them together. If the pasta touches the bottom of the pot, it’ll stick to it and give a ‘Burn’ message.)
- Put the lid on, making sure that the pressure valve is in the “Sealing” position.
- Select the Pressure Cook/Manual mode and set the time to 2 minutes. (Note: It took about 12 minutes for my IP to come to pressure.)
- When Instant Pot beeps, immediately turn the pressure valve to “Venting” position to do the quick release. (TIP: Make sure to do the quick release as soon as the timer goes off. If it stays too long, the pasta will overcook and become mushy.)
- Open the lid and mix everything together. Don’t worry if it looks too dry! Once you mix everything together, it will be just perfect.
- Serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
This beefaroni is a classic dish, which many will remember as a childhood favorite from a can. I’ve re-created it from scratch in my Instant Pot. It’s such a quick and easy 30-minute dish for those busy weeknights.
- Ground beef – I would suggest you use lean beef for this recipe, as you won’t be able to drain the extra fat. (90/10 is ideal!)
- Macaroni – Use elbow macaroni if you can. Here’s my Pasta 101 guide for other pasta options should you need to change it out.
- Pasta sauce – I would recommend marinara sauce or your favorite pasta sauce.
How to make beefaroni from scratch:
- Saute beef and onion on the high mode in your Instant Pot with olive oil for 3-4 minutes.
- Add garlic and seasoning and cook until raw garlic flavor is gone. Turn off saute mode and add 1½ cups of broth (reserve ½ a cup) and deglaze the pot.
- Add the macaroni pasta on top. Don’t mix it. Then add the marinara sauce over the pasta and spread evenly.
- Add the remaining ½ a cup of broth on top of the marinara sauce.
- Seal the pressure cooker and place it on manual mode for 2 minutes. Once done quick release, mix it all together and serve!
TIP: Use beef (or chicken) broth, along with a little onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning, this definitely amps up the flavors big time.
What is beefaroni made of?
Beefaroni is ground beef, pasta, preferably macaroni (that makes up the beef”aroni” part), and a pasta sauce of your choice.
What pasta sauce can I use?
Most beefaroni recipes are made with tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. But in my recipe, I suggest you use your favorite marinara sauce. It has so much more flavor than diced tomatoes or tomato sauce.
Can I add in other ingredients to this pasta dish?
The beauty of this dish is that you can change it up weekly.
Here are some suggestions:
- Add in some hidden veggies for those picky eaters!
- Change up the pasta so it looks different each week.
- Try different seasonings like parsley, oregano, chives, or rosemary.
How do I reheat it?
Beefaroni makes the best leftovers, perfect for lunch the next day. Simply microwave it, covered, for 1-2 minutes and enjoy!
Can you freeze homemade beefaroni?
I don’t suggest freezing it, as with any pasta dish, because pasta becomes mushy when thawed and reheated.