Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

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Last Updated on January 20, 2024 by Allison Lancaster

Now, more than ever, families seem to be on the go from sun up to sun down. Our over-packed and hectic schedules don’t leave much time to make a home-cooked dinner. On busy weeknights, I am grateful for how easy it is to pull a meal together with pressure cooking. This instant pot spaghetti and meatballs recipe is a family favorite of ours and I just know it’ll be one of yours too!

spaghetti and meatballs on white plate

Instant Pot Meals

The best part of using an electric pressure cooker on busy nights is that I can get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes and the whole family is fed and happy. Cooking times with pressure cookers are shorter and cooking is done in stages. The flavors blend and intensify over time, so the food is cooked perfectly when you eat it.

If you don’t have an instant pot yet, don’t be surprised if this post convinces you that you need one! Not only am I going to share how to make Italian food in the pressure cooker, but this easy dinner idea will quickly become your menu go-to when you need a delicious meal you know your family will eat.

spaghetti and meatballs on white plate

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

I am always on the lookout for new ideas and ingredients to make with our instant pot. So far everything I’ve tried has been quick, easy and so delicious. Recently I made my spaghetti sauce recipe and adapted it to cook in the IP for the first time. I was very pleased with the results of my creative pressure cooker spaghetti!

To save time, I meal prep homemade meatballs that can be made ahead of time in batches and frozen to use on a busy night. You can make these using ground turkey or an extra lean ground beef, but a little fat really helps the meatballs stay together and adds an amazing flavor to this great recipe. Try using your family’s preferred ingredients to make your favorite meal with Italian sausage, ground sirloin or your favorite protein.

The homemade pasta sauce is simmered to perfection, the pasta is al dente and the meatballs are perfectly cooked and so flavorful. Cooking the meatballs in an instant pot with spaghetti sauce is fast, easy and keeps your kitchen mess to a minimum.

making the meatballs for spaghetti and meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs Instant Pot Recipe

The easiest way to make this spaghetti night hero is not with a slow cooker that can dry out your meal and has a long cooking time, but with this easy pasta recipe.


  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Onion, chopped
  • Garlic, minced
  • Tomato sauce
  • Stewed tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Italian seasoning
  • Dried sweet basil
  • Ground oregano
  • Salt
  • Seasoned pepper
  • Brown sugar
  • Ground sirloin
  • Ground round
  • Ritz crackers, crushed
  • Egg
  • Ketchup
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Garlic salt
  • Chili powder
  • Flour
  • Dry spaghetti noodles

To get started, turn your Instant Pot to sauté. Allow it to heat up, which it does very quickly so keep an eye on it. Once it’s heated, add the butter and olive oil.

Sauté the onion and garlic in the mixture until nice and golden brown. Add the tomato ingredients, seasonings and brown sugar. Turn the valve and allow it to cook under pressure for 30 minutes.

After cooking, release the pressure and allow it to cool. Pour the instant pot spaghetti sauce into pint sized jars and store in the fridge for future meals. Save 2 cups of pasta sauce for your instant pot spaghetti and meatballs.

As the sauce is cooking, prepare the meatballs. Add all the meatball ingredients other than the crackers in a large bowl and mix well. Add the crackers last so they don’t get soggy. This will help them hold the meatballs together better.

Turn the Instant Pot back to sauté. Add remaining olive oil and butter, then brown the meatballs. Remove the meatballs and put them on a paper towel lined plate.

Add the water and 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce and stir well. Add your spaghetti noodles over the sauce, add a layer of meatballs and 1 1/2 cups of sauce. Turn the Instant Pot on for 6 minutes, and release pressure quickly when it is done cooking. Top with grated parmesan and enjoy immediately!

mixing ingredients for instant pot spaghetti and meatballs

Did you know that you can make Instant Pot spaghetti and meatballs? It’s so quick to pull together, you’ll be amazed! It’s a simple but of all the instant pot cooking I do, it’s one of our favorite things to eat on busy nights.

Spaghetti Variations

Use fewer dishes and knockout a fast family dinner with one of these time-saving options:

  • Substitute the homemade sauce with a jar of spaghetti sauce
  • Cut down on cooking time with frozen meatballs
  • Use your momma’s homemade meat sauce
  • Love a bolognese sauce? That works too!

What are your favorite instant pot recipes? Will you try this easy instant pot spaghetti recipe?



Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced and pressed
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste 6 ounce can
  • 2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon dried sweet basil
  • 1 Tablespoon ground oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 1 Tablespoon seasoned pepper
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/4 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 1/4 pound ground round
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers crushed
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 Tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teasoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti noodles


  1. Turn the Instant Pot to the Saute setting, and add the olive oil and butter.  When the butter melts, add the chopped onion, and cook until it caramelizes, or is golden brown (about 5 minutes). 

  2.  Add the minced garlic, and cook 1 – 2 minutes. Turn off the Instant Pot. Add the tomato sauce, the stewed tomatoes, the tomato paste, and 1 1/2 cups of bottled water. 

  3. Add all spices, and stir well, making sure to scrape the bottom of the stainless steel liner to the Instant Pot, to loosen any onion or garlic. Stir until all ingredients are well blended.  Add the lid to the Instant Pot, set to sealing. Press the manual button and set the timer to ’30’ minutes. Release pressure naturally.

  4. Allow to cool, and pour into a covered container, or into glass jars. If you’re using jars, you’ll need more than 1 or 2, depending on how large the jars are. If they’re 16 ounce jars, you may need 4 or more. Refrigerate the sauce up to 7 days. You can freeze the sauce for later use, up to 4 months. 

  5. MEATBALLS: You’ll need a large bowl, a large piece of waxed paper or foil to put the meatballs on, a Ziploc bag, and a large spoon. In a large bowl, combine the sirloin and ground round, and mix well.

  6.  Add all ingredients, except for the crushed Ritz crackers, adding those last. Blend altogether, using clean hands, and roll in balls, about 2 inch balls, and lay on waxed paper or foil. 

  7. Add the flour to the Ziploc bag and set aside. When you’re done rolling the meatballs into balls, and washed the tomato sauce from the Instant Pot liner, place about 10 of the meatballs in the Ziploc bag, and shake gently to coat the meatball in the flour. 

  8. Turn the Instant Pot to ‘SAUTE’, and add the olive oil and butter. Working in small batches, when the butter melts, add the meatballs from the Ziploc bag to the Pot, and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes (I used a curved fish spatula to turn the meatballs). When they’re browned, and done in the middle, remove them to a plate, and set aside, and continue to coat the meatballs in the flour and brown and cook until all meatballs are done. When the meatballs are all cooked. Turn the Instant pot off. 

  9. Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the Pot, stir and scrape the bits that may be stuck on the bottom of the pot, until they’re loosened. Add about 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce to the water, and stir well. 

  10. Open the package of Spaghetti, and break it in half, and add it to the Instant Pot, placing it in the water, and stir well to cover Spaghetti as much as possible. Place meatballs on top of Spaghetti, and cover meatballs in tomato sauce, about 1 1/2 cups. Place lid on Instant Pot until it beeps and locks, and make sure the Pressure Valve is set to SEALING. Press the manual button, and set the time to 6 minutes. 

  11. Allow the Instant Pot to build and release pressure automatically. When Instant Pot is done, make sure pressure button is down, and turn valve to ‘VENTING’ to make sure all pressure has been released. 

  12. Remove lid to Instant Pot, and with a large utensil, such as a large spoon, remove the meatballs to a platter. Remove the Spaghetti to the same platter. Stir the Sauce in the Pot, and add additional sauce to the Pot and Saute for 4 or 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens.

  13.  Ladle the Sauce over the Spaghetti and meatballs. Serve immediately. Enjoy!


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