The easiest spaghetti you’ll ever make. You don’t have to pre-cook the noodles!
There are two types of people when it comes to spaghetti. There are the people to whom “spaghetti” means simmering a sauce from scratch all day long on the stove and then there are the people to whom it means grabbing a jar of sauce out of the pantry. I would like to think that I am a little bit of both, but the truth is that I am generally the latter. Most of the time, spaghetti is a quick-fix meal for our family — something I make when I am out of ideas or out of time or maybe out of motivation. It’s also a dinner we all love that gets requested often, so I wouldn’t mind if I could make it even more convenient.
And that’s where the Instant Pot comes in! Turns out, you can make a mean pot of spaghetti in an electric pressure cooker, meat sauce, pasta, and all right in one pot. So for those of us who happen to be more of the “quick” spaghetti people, this is a way to make it even quicker. (And even make it ahead if you’re lucky enough to have a ‘delay start’ button.)
Your first step will be browning your meat right in the pressure cooker. Season it, and drain off any extra fat.
Then you’ll add your pasta. Break the spaghetti noodles in half (sacrilege, I know) and scatter them over the beef, but rotate the direction you’re scattering them so they don’t all clump together. Scatter a few to the right, scatter a handful to the left… just make sure they’re not all laying in one big group.
Then, add your jar of marinara sauce. We’ve also got a can of tomato sauce joining the party just to make things extra tomato-ey. Take the empty marinara jar and fill it with water and add it to the pot. You want about one and a half jars worth of extra water since the pasta is going to cook right in that sauce.
Press the spaghetti down so it’s submerged, then close your lid, and set the pot to cook for just eight minutes. It’ll take a little longer to come up to pressure, but it’s still a little quicker than doing this the “usual” way on the stovetop. It’s better to quick release the pressure so the pasta doesn’t venture too far out of al dente territory and then just stir everything together and serve!
Does this save you a ton of time? Honestly, no, not a ton. But here’s why I love it — When we’re headed to soccer practice or gymnastics or back to school night, I can brown the meat, scatter the noodles on top, add the sauce, and then tell my instant pot to start cooking in an hour so when we all come back in the door, dinner is done and I’ve got one dish to wash. And it’s a dinner that everyone is happy about!
Instant Pot Spaghetti
5m prep time
15m cook time
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 lb spaghetti, uncooked
- 1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
- 1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Set Instant Pot to "saute." Once hot, add the ground beef, and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning. Cook until no longer pink, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon as it browns. Press cancel and drain off any grease if needed.
- Break spaghetti in half and place on top of beef. Pour over marinara sauce, tomato sauce, and use the marinara sauce jar to add 1 1/2 jars worth of water.
- Press spaghetti down so it's submerged, then seal instant pot. Set to manual mode on high pressure for 8 minutes. When cooking time is up, turn the pressure release valve to "venting" to do a quick release of the pressure.
- Stir and serve! Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn.