ONE POT Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Spaghetti & Meatballs


I was already in love with my Instant Pot but after this dinner, I’ll never let it go until death do us part.  Above is my best attempt at an Instagram (I don’t even have an account yet) or Pinterest worthy foodie photograph, I know it leaves a lot to be desired.  Just imagine a piping hot delicious bowl of spaghetti and meatballs.

Ok so I don’t know the logistics behind how or why the Instant Pot pressure cooker works the way it does, I just know it does and the Instant Pot makes it super easy for ALL of us.  Spaghetti is one of the easier meals to cook, I’ll admit that but it can be quite messy and I end up using at least 2 pots and a strainer bare minimum.  I inevitably end up yelling for everyone to clear the kitchen while I dash through with a boiling pot full of spaghetti noodles and the sauce is always splattering on the stove or my shirt.  Maybe I’m just a messy cook?

So when I read rumors about this working I just had to try it.  I couldn’t find an exact recipe because everyone just said “throw it all in there, it’s that simple” but ummm I like a recipe, thank you very much. So I braved it, worst case we’d be eating whatever we could scrounge up from deep in the freezer or bowls of cereal all around it would be.  The kids actually love cereal for dinner, so either way it would have been just fine and I felt like taking a risk. It ended up paying off BIG time!


Into the Instant Pot you’ll added the following:

1 pound of spaghetti noodles (break them in half so they more easily).  Also side note here, we usually eat whole wheat noodles but many people said they don’t work as well in the Instant Pot so I went with regular noodles.  I will be trying whole wheat next time though.

2 jars of spaghetti sauce plus 1 jar of water – after the sauce was emptied I filled up each empty sauce jar 1/2 way with water – you’ll need the bonus liquid plus you’re rinsing out the extra sauce and not wasting this way.

 12-18 meatballs add on top of the mixture (we use the frozen Costco meatballs)

Next time I’ll try whole wheat noodles and likely add in a whole clove or 2 of garlic, just because we really like garlic.

That’s it.  Close the Instant Pot and set it to Manual Cook for 10 minutes (takes about 10 minutes or so to reach pressure, than 10 to cook).  When it beeps I released the pressure manually, no need to wait for a natural pressure release.

My favorite parts of this meal as follows: ONE POT. Ok there are a few other things worth noting – the noodles were infused with the sauce and had SO MUCH more flavor than we were used to.  It was more a stick to your ribs meal than we were used to – could be because you don’t strain out all of the water which would increase the amount of starch leftover?  Probably not a health benefit but we all ate half as much as we normally would have so the meal seriously stretched the budget – making for 6 individual lunch leftovers too! Lastly it was piping hot.  Typically by the time I serve the spaghetti either the noodles, the sauce, or the meatballs have cooled down making for a lukewarm dinner but not this dinner. We were all blowing each bite as we ate.

So all I had to do was dump the ingredients in the pot and press a couple of buttons.  The I was able to step out of the kitchen while my new kitchen helper did the rest!  If you don’t have an Instant Pot you really need one.  The amount of money we’ve already saved on eating out alone has paid for it a few times over I am sure.



Below are the 3 top Instant Pot Cookbooks that I recommend:

The Instant Pot® Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook: Easy Recipes for Fast & Healthy Meals – $9.21

Instant Pot Cookbook: The Quick And Easy Pressure Cooker Guide For Smart People – Healthy, Easy, And Delicious Instant Pot Recipes – $14.98

Great Food Fast – Bob Warden’s Ultimate Pressure Cooker Recipes – $13.30

Check the current Instant Pot Prices on Amazon…

Instant Pot 7-in-1 5qt
Instant Pot 7-in-1  6qt
Instant Pot 7-in-1 8qt
Instant Pot 6-in1 5 qt 
Instant Pot 6-in-1 6qt
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time published and are subject to change.

19 comments… add one
  • Amanda Jan 5, 2017 @ 23:06

    Were you able to leave the meatballs frozen, or did you have to thaw them first? Thanks in advance!

    • Mrs. Frugal Jan 5, 2017 @ 23:31

      I put them in frozen and the were cooked perfectly!

      • Amanda Jan 6, 2017 @ 0:06

        Awesome, thank you!! Might try this one tomorrow, for my first venture into Instant-Pot land! LOL

  • Jessica Jan 10, 2017 @ 15:01

    I use whole wheat spaghetti all the time! The key is to put in your meat, or meatballs, first. Then break the spaghetti in half and add that (I separate and fan it all out, alternating layers — it doesn’t clump together this way), as much of the sauce on top the noodles as possible, then pour the water against the side of the pot so it goes down to the bottom. (I use a 6 qt DUO, so it’s just one box of pasta and one jar of sauce, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work this way in an 8 qt.)

    • Mrs. Frugal Mar 13, 2017 @ 17:57

      good to know, thanks!

  • Elizabeth Jan 11, 2017 @ 4:37

    What size pasta sauce do you use?

    • Mrs. Frugal Mar 13, 2017 @ 17:57

      AWe use 16oz jars of pasta sauce.

  • Allison Jan 21, 2017 @ 2:02

    I tried this tonight, without the meatballs since we didn’t have any to hand… After the alotted cooking time though only had was cooked and some was stuck to the bottom of the pot. Did this happen to you? I have put it back to manual cook for 7 more minutes… hoping for the best!

    • Mrs. Frugal Mar 13, 2017 @ 17:56

      Did you mix in the sauce well?

  • Mikey Mastalski Feb 3, 2017 @ 4:56

    Hi or Lo pressure?

    • Mrs. Frugal Mar 13, 2017 @ 17:56

      High pressure

  • Terry Feb 24, 2017 @ 1:31

    I tried cooking it for 10 minutes…..not done. Added another 10 minutes still not done and everything was burning to the bottom of the pot. Noodles your heart meatballs are still Pursley cold. What did I do wrong?


    • Mrs. Frugal Mar 27, 2017 @ 9:01

      Hmm did you you the same amount of sauce I listed above? Cooked on manual?

  • Kristy Mar 14, 2017 @ 16:42

    Just put stuff in my magic pot and am using brown rice/quinoa spaghetti noodles. Fingers crossed.

  • Mary Mar 28, 2017 @ 15:48

    Do you need the water if you’re not cooking the pasta with the meatballs and sauce?

    • Mrs. Frugal Sep 5, 2017 @ 7:33

      Yes you would need water in that case – but I’ve never cooked pasta alone.

  • Kay Apr 19, 2017 @ 17:21

    Can you use the delayed cooking timer or no. I would like to make this for my dinner this Saturday. ☺ Thanks.

    • Mrs. Frugal Sep 5, 2017 @ 7:32

      I haven’t tried the delayed timer at all yet!

  • gigi Jan 3, 2018 @ 20:53

    for some reason this recipe just didn’t work for me. i’ve cooked pasta many times in my IP, last week rigatoni (much larger than spaghetti!) for 4 mins, without a problem. the only thing i can figure is the ratio of liquid to pasta was too low. i cooked 4 mins/high pressure, pasta stuck together and half raw – i added 2 more cups water. another 4 mins/high, same thing. cooked another 4 mins and it was done but burnt.

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