Busy Cooks

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs - instant comfort meal with only 3 main ingredients under 30 minutes! Your favorite jar of pasta sauce and frozen meatballs are our secret shortcut to this quick and easy one pot spaghetti meal. It's going to be your family favorite in no time. #spaghettiandmeatballs #meatballs #pasta #quickdinner #easydinner #instantpot #instantpotpasta #busycooks

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs – instant comfort meal with only 3 main ingredients under 30 minutes! Your favorite jar of pasta sauce and frozen meatballs are our secret shortcut to this quick and easy one pot spaghetti meal. It’s going to be your family favorite in no time.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb meatballs (Note 1)
  • 8oz spaghetti (Note 2)
  • 24oz pasta sauce of your choice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Optional toppings:

  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Arrange meatballs in Instant Pot in one layer.
  2. Break spaghetti in half and arrange them over the meatballs in criss cross layers. (See image below.)
  3. Drizzle olive oil over spaghetti.
  4. Pour pasta sauce and water, making sure spaghetti is completely covered.
  5. Cover and set the Instant Pot to manual for 10 minutes at high pressure.
  6. Quick release pressure and carefully open the lid.
  7. Serve with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Recipe Notes:

Note 1: You can use any kind of meatballs here. Beef, chicken or turkey meatballs are all great. Cooked or uncooked, fresh or frozen, it doesn’t matter. Frozen meatballs don’t need to be thawed, and uncooked meatballs don’t require more cooking time.

Note 2: You can any kind of pasta here, whole wheat, regular, gluten-free, anything. Also any shape and form works great. I mainly use spaghetti or penne for this recipe.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4 servings, Serving Size: 1 serving

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 676 Calories
  • Total Fat: 33.1g
  • Cholesterol: 79.2mg
  • Sodium: 1724mg
  • Carbohydrates: 68g
  • Sugar: 16.3g
  • Protein: 26.8g
Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimate only. Read full disclosure here.
All images and text © for Busy Cooks
Scroll down to read more tips and story behind the recipe

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs - instant comfort meal with only 3 main ingredients under 30 minutes! Your favorite jar of pasta sauce and frozen meatballs are our secret shortcut to this quick and easy one pot spaghetti meal. It's going to be your family favorite in no time. #spaghettiandmeatballs #meatballs #pasta #quickdinner #easydinner #instantpot #instantpotpasta #busycooks

Instant Pot spaghetti and meatballs are seriously a life-saver on those super busy weeknights, when you don’t know what to cook and hungry mouths are begging for food. It’s also perfect last-minute dinner recipe that doesn’t require any prep work in advance. Just have some meatballs on hand!

3 Instant Pot Pasta Tips:

  1. Layer the ingredients in proper order. And place the spaghetti in criss cross layers to avoid clumps.
  2. Make sure the pasta is fully covered in pasta sauce and water, so it cooks evenly.
  3. Do quick release pressure, so that pasta doesn’t get overcooked.
Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs - instant comfort meal with only 3 main ingredients under 30 minutes! Your favorite jar of pasta sauce and frozen meatballs are our secret shortcut to this quick and easy one pot spaghetti meal. It's going to be your family favorite in no time. #spaghettiandmeatballs #meatballs #pasta #quickdinner #easydinner #instantpot #instantpotpasta #busycooks

Putting spaghetti in criss cross layers helps to avoid clumps.

My family, including our toddler, loves this spaghetti and meatballs. And I love cooking it, because it's super quick and easy. Instant Pot spaghetti and meatballs is an ideal dinner for busy weeknights. #spaghettiandmeatballs #meatballs #pasta #quickdinner #easydinner #instantpot #instantpotpasta #busycooks

Once the pressure is fully released, toss everything together and serve.

Now let’s talk about the ingredients…

Only 3 main ingredients for this Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs!

  • Meatballs – fresh or frozen. This’s my go-to meatballs recipe. I make a big batch and freeze them for lazy days. But you can use store-bought cooked frozen meatballs too. When using frozen meatballs, you don’t need to thaw them!!!
  • Your favorite pasta sauce. You can use any kind of pasta sauce here. I like mushroom and basil pasta sauce, more flavor with less effort. Since it’s the one of 3 main ingredients, it’s important to use the sauce you truly love and enjoy.
  • And finally, spaghetti. Any kind you like, whole wheat, regular, gluten-free, anything. I even use penne pasta sometimes, and it works just fine, if not better!

My family, including our toddler, loves this spaghetti and meatballs. And I love cooking it, because it's super quick and easy. Instant Pot spaghetti and meatballs is an ideal dinner for busy weeknights. #spaghettiandmeatballs #meatballs #pasta #quickdinner #easydinner #instantpot #instantpotpasta #busycooks

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Hi, I’m Shinee

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19 comments on “Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs”

  1. Made this tonight and it came out ok. I would add more sauce next time.. Put in 24 oz of pasta sauce plus a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes. When it was finished, still seemed a bit too dry so I added another 1/2 of a 15 oz can of tomato sauce. Added the rest of the sauce from that can. later.. Definitely increase the liquids or decrease the pasta. I would make this again with some tweaks. Isn’t that what cooking is all about? Thank you for this go to recipe. Very kid friendly!

    Rating: 4
    • Hi, Polly. Thank you for your feedback and sharing your tweaks! Cooking (unlike baking) is definitely all about personal touches and tweaks! It’s interesting though, the most common complaint about Instant Pot spaghetti recipes is pasta being too watery. And I intentionally tested and retested different amount of liquid to settle on the least amount of water. Anyway, I appreciate your feedback!

      • Hi Shinee,
        One of the helpful tips I learned from your recipe was how to cook frozen meatballs, which is why I tried the recipe. 🙂 They got a little black on the bottom but not enough to spoil the recipe. Has that happened to you ? Next time I will spray a bit of oil on the bottom. I liked the directions to add bit of olive oil to the pasta. I used rotini.

        • Hmm, I have never had that happen to me, Polly. And I make this recipe quite often. I just want to make sure. You did add 2 cups of water, right?

  2. I’ve made this pasta and meatballs twice. The first was ok but a little bland for our taste. I think it was the sauce. The next pot I made I added one package of spaghetti sauce mix. Made a lot of difference to my gang.

    Rating: 4
  3. Can you use Uncooked frozen meatballs? Would the uncooked meatballs need to be thawed first?

    • Yes, you can use frozen uncooked meatballs. I’ve tested with raw frozen meatballs, works just as great. No need to thaw them and no need to adjust cooking time either. Hope you’ll enjoy, Christine.

  4. What about doubling the recipe?

    • *Specifically doubling the pasta and noodles? I made ground sausage meatballs that were very good, but I could have used more pasta!*

      • Hi, Amber. So sorry for delayed answer. You can definitely double the pasta. But you’ll need to add more water/sauce. I can’t say exactly how much, but you want the noodles fully submerged.

  5. What if I wanted to add fresh mushrooms, green peppers and onions? Same directions?

  6. Could you use Italian sausage in place of meatballs?

  7. Can you use any type of pasta, like penne pasta

  8. how do I change this to cook for 2 servings?

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