Instant Pot Recipes from a Chef's Wife and IP Enthusiast

Stupid Easy Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meat Sauce

Start to finish cook time: 36 minutes (2 prep + 7 saute + 13 pressurization + 8 high pressure + 6 pressure release)
Effort Level: Low
Servings: 5

This maybe one of the easiest and most rewarding recipes for the Instant Pot, all IP'ers will agree. I watched chef get three heaping bowls the first time I made this, which is his silent nod of approval. There are so many Spaghetti recipes out there though, what sets this recipe apart? My signature combination of seasoning, I've been making meat sauce since I was little and make it so good Chef always has me make the sauce. Also I went with the half box of pasta, I like there to be adequate sauce there is nothing worse than dry pasta without enough sauce. Most of the IP spaghetti recipes out there are under seasoned and under sauced in my opinion, I can promise this recipe is neither. If you are cooking for a larger group you can double the recipe and use the full box of pasta but be sure to double meat/sauce/seasoning too. The rule of thumb is 1/2 cup water for each 1/4 of the box, that is the most important step of this recipe. 

If you want to jump straight to the recipe, no need to keep scrolling it's right below. If you want step-by-step pictures though, I've included those below the recipe. And as my Chef husband says, "Food is love". Enjoy!

  • 1lb ground beef, 90% lean
  • 1/2 box spaghetti (8oz, which is half, since a full box is 16oz)
  • 24 oz jar pasta sauce (traditional or plain, nothing overly seasoned as this is just a sauce base and we are doctoring to be above and beyond any store bought sauce)
  • 14.5 oz petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried onions
  • 1/4 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red peppers


  1. Turn Instant Pot to high saute for 12 minutes (likely won't use all this time, but set to this so it doesn't turn off on you). Put in ground beef and using a wooden spatula or spoon break into plies. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Cook until beef is browned.
  2. Turn off saute. No need to drain fat if you got 90% lean, if you got a fattier meat though you will need to drain fat. Pour 2 cup water over beef, using wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the IP to get off any burnt remnants that could set off the burn notice. 
  3. Take half box of spaghetti and break in half. Layer over the ground beef and water, criss crossing to avoid pasta sticking together as it cooks.
  4. Drain diced tomatoes and add over the dry pasta.
  5. Add all seasoning to the jar of sauce, not the pot. Mix using a spoon in the jar, so that sauce is evenly seasoned. Poor over the pasta making sure all pasta is covered, but don't go mixing it with the layers below. 
  6. Seal and set to high pressure for 8 minutes, be sure steam vent is in the sealed position. Also hit "keep warm". Allow for 13 minutes to build pressure.
  7. Once Instant Pot beeps it's done cooking, let natural pressure release for 6 minutes before releasing remaining pressure. 
  8. Mix and enjoy!
On high saute, cook ground beef until brown. Turn off,
add 2 cups water and make sure to scrape bottom with
wooden spoon to free debris to avoid burn notice.
Add seasoning to the jar of sauce and mix with a spoon,
this way the seasoning is evenly dispersed in the sauce.

DONT ADD yet. 
Add pasta on top of water and beef, make sure to stack in
opposite directions as you stack to avoid sticking. 
Add drained tomatoes on top of pasta.
Add seasoned sauce on top of pasta, making sure all pasta is covered.
Do not stir though. Seal and set for 8 minutes on high pressure. Once it
beeps, allow for 8 minute to de-pressure before releasing remaining pressure.
Mix together. 
Time to eat and enjoy!