How to Make Instant Pot Spaghetti

This Instant Pot Spaghetti recipe is literally the best one out there and it's thanks to one ( or two!) secret ingredients!

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This Instant Pot Spaghetti recipe has saved my sanity! Spaghetti in a pressure cooker, what would my Grandma have thought about this newfangled invention? She probably would have loved it! My Instant Pot Spaghetti also has a secret ingredient, read on to see what it is!

 Instant Pot spaghetti in a white bowl

This Instant Pot Spaghetti is the Perfect Supper!

This Instant Pot spaghetti is so good with my favorite jarred sauce, I’ll admit it! I am going to be honest, there is nothing like homemade sauce like my slow cooker Bolognese sauce, and hey if you want to you can absolutely use my homemade bolognese sauce in this recipe! However, we don’t all have a) the time to make it or b) a stash of homemade bolognese in the freezer. I love to use a good store-bought 4 cheese jarred sauce, it’s always the best sauce to buy. The 4 cheese really punches home the flavor and you don’t have to add a bunch of Parmesan at the end. ( let’s face it I’ll put Parmesan cheese on anything no matter what).

ingredients in making Instant Pot spaghetti

Instant Pot Troubleshooting

This recipe is pretty easy but here are some ways to make sure that your supper is a complete hit with the family!

  1.  Your spaghetti noodles can clump together. Remember you are dumping them in there and hoping for the best basically, let’s not pretend here. If the noodles are clumped simply stir them into the mixture once you open your Instant Pot.
  2. You need to learn how to release your Instant Pot pressure manually AND safely. You can’t let this recipe naturally release or the spaghetti will overcook. Read about Manually and Naturally Releasing Your Instant Pot .
  3. You need to listen to your Instant Pot while it seals. I have had my Instant Pot go on and on forever without sealing and I ended up with burnt food on the bottom. The element will simply keep heating the bottom of the Instant Pot and the top won’t seal…and you end up with a terrible mess.  Listen and make sure that while it’s doing the pre-emptive releasing of steam that you hear that exact moment when it stops. It’s a very distinctive moment, you’ll hear it! The Instant Pot will be releasing steam and whistling and then BAM! Seals right up and is quiet.
  4. IF you don’t hear your Instant Pot seal within 5-6 minutes ( It should seal fast as all of your ingredients are pretty warm from cooking the beef etc.) then press the Cancel button. Open it carefully and wipe off the top tracks where it seals. Check your inner seal and see if it’s on correctly. When my Instant Pot fails to seal it’s always because there is something dirty on the track or the sealing ring isn’t on properly. Start the process all over again.
  5. READ this article on Adjusting Your Pressure Cooking for Your Altitude! This will help you learn how to adjust times! I am at 2100 feet above sea level for this recipe.
close up Instant Pot spaghetti in a white bowl

Tips and Tricks For Making the Best Instant Pot Spaghetti

  • Cook those white onions thoroughly! If you don’t cook the onions until they are soft at the very beginning, the acids in the tomato sauce and the diced tomatoes will seal them and stop the cooking process. Read all about Why Vegetables Won’t Soften and why it’s so important in recipes with tomato sauce to cook the onions! The article gets deeper into the science of it.
  • Sometimes a little beef grease is the best. Drain the beef but for extra flavor leave some in. It’s so good!
  • Make sure that you pour a little water into the ground beef mixture first. Your Instant Pot NEEDS to have liquid on the bottom in order to seal and come to pressure!
  • Read all about the Instant Pot Safety Mechanisms. It’s important!
  • Choose a sauce that is bursting at the seams with flavor! If you put a bland sauce that is all tomatoes then the diced tomatoes are going to dilute the flavor in the sauce.
  • SECRET INGREDIENT ALERT: it’s the beef broth! Yes, why use water when you can use a light beef broth instead? Using beef broth in your Instant Pot Spaghetti is going to make it ten times better than all the other recipes out there, I promise!
  • Second SECRET INGREDIENT: white sugar! Yes! Any and all award-winning tomato-based recipes use a smidge of white sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. Try it and be amazed at the difference!

Happy Cooking! Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below!



How to Make Instant Pot Spaghetti

This Instant Pot Spaghetti recipe is literally the best one out there and it’s thanks to one ( or two!) secret ingredients!
5 from 19 votes
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
7 minutes
Total Time
22 minutes
Instant Pot
Karlynn Johnston


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup white onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning mix
  • one 16 ounce package uncooked white flour spaghetti noodles cooking time for al dente needs to be 9-10 minutes!
  • one 750 millilitre jar of 4 cheese spaghetti sauce
  • one 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups weak beef broth divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt ( to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes


  • Press the “saute” button on your Instant Pot. Add in the olive oil and heat. Once it’s heated, add in the white onion. Saute until the onion is soft and translucent. Add in the garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in the ground beef and fry , stirring constantly, until it’s no longer pink. Press the Cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot heating element. Drain the fat (keeping some for flavour if wanted).
  • Add in 1 cup of the beef broth, mixing it in with the ground beef on the bottom.
  • Break the spaghetti noodles in half. Place in random, different criss-cross patterns on top of the beef/ beef broth mixture. You are trying to created space between the noodles to try and prevent sticking.
  • In a large bowl or large glass spouted measuring glass, combine the remaining beef broth, tomatoes, 4 cheese sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and dash of white sugar. 
  • Pout the liquid mixture on top of the pasta, around the sides, making sure you coat everything. Take a wooden spoon and gently push down on the spaghetti noodles, making sure that they are all underneath the liquid.
  • Press the Manual Button ( you are going to use high pressure) and set for 7 minutes. Listen to make sure that it seals.
  • When it’s done, release the valve manually ( see the link in my suggestions in the post above). Stir the spaghetti, breaking up any noodles that stuck together. Let it sit for a few minutes, soaking up the extra liquid.

Recipe Notes

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods etc.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 222kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 699mg, Potassium: 822mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 15IU, Vitamin C: 3.5mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 3.1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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My Instant Pot Spaghetti is the best ever! It has one (or two!) secret ingredients that make ALL the difference! #recipe #instantpot #pressurecooking #spaghetti #supper #dinner

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Lisa H. says

    Love love love this recipe! Thank you!

    I add chopped bell peppers, mushrooms, frozen Aldi meatballs, cooked ground Italian sausage and an extra bit of marinara sauce but otherwise follow the recipe as is. Top with fresh grated parm. Great for a family of 4-5 with enough to freeze for a second meal.5 stars

  2. Kathy says

    This recipe is delicious! I have tried a few different recipes and this is by far the best. The pasta was perfectly cooked. The only thing I didn’t do well was mix it from the bottom so the leftovers had lots of meat which was fine with my husband. I will be making this again.
    Also, thank you Karlynn for the cooking tips. I didn’t know that putting water over the meat ensured a quick seal. I had been having trouble with not sealing lately.5 stars

  3. Danielle says

    This is our favorite spaghetti recipe. We have it 2-3 times a month! It’s one of the few recipes all 6 of my kids like!! Yay! I kinda don’t care for spaghetti & I even like it!! Thanks for an easy, yummy recipe!!!5 stars

    • Danielle says

      One other comment… I stopped using the diced tomatoes b/c my picky kids complained about the chunks! I just use two jars of spaghetti sauce instead and it works just the same! It’s a little wet when i first open it but after 5 minutes or so it’s perfect!!

  4. Tara says

    This is the best spaghetti ever!! It was a huge hit for my family. The kids said make this recipe all the time. Nice to see a fellow Saskatchewanian around!! I love your cookbooks!!

  5. Billie Sontag says

    How would you modify the recipe for the many brands of pasta that come in 12 ounce boxes?

  6. Amber Rowland says

    What do you mean when you say weak beef broth? Did you water it down or something?

  7. Katie says

    This is, hands down, the best spaghetti I have ever had. Not just made….but had. It’s incredible. Everyone loves it! I have used both ground turkey and ground beef.5 stars

  8. Debbie says

    I tried this today and followed the recipe with only a slight change. I used 1/3 cup of red wine once the hamburger was cooked and I let that cook off a bit. I used linguine noodles because they were also a 10 minute el dente. I found that 7 minutes wasn’t quite enough for the noodles and they were still a bit hard. Unfortunately I had stirred the pot well but I put it back on pressure for 3 more minutes. After it reached the pressure again, it quickly went to the Burn mode. I cancelled it immediately and the noodles were now cooked enough and there was no burned taste. The flavor is delicious. I put it in a covered casserole dish, covered it with some parmesan cheese and placed it in a 200 degree oven until supper time. I’ll definitely use this recipe again. I’ll try 8 minutes next time.

  9. Laurie says

    Really want to try this, but daughter is allergic to beef. Can I use chicken broth in place of beef broth? I always use Turkey Chopmeat in place of ground beef. May alter the taste a bit, but we are used to this taste.

  10. Jason says

    Recipe works great. I use homemade pork sausage and Bertolli pasta sauce and it comes out excellent every time.5 stars

  11. Nori says

    I like to have my pasta al dente. Does it come out tike that or shold I decrease the time?

  12. Carole Leiser says

    Hmmm, I did use manual. Weird. Guess a little more experimentation is called for ? Will let you know if I figure out the right liquid….I think that’s the problem. It did cook tho as I dumped in a pot and boiled it lol. Tastes great!

  13. Carole says

    I have an 8 qt duo and have tried this recipe twice now and both times it has gone to burn. I added an extra cup of broth this time but that didn’t help. Any suggestions???

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      I swear that the more fancy Instant Pot just don’t work the same as the basic models. We don’t even have “burn” on our basic model. It works like a charm all the time. I’m so sorry it’s not working in yours but it seems common in the other models that the burn notice comes on all the time and won’t cook things…

    • Amy says

      It’s my 8qt now and I also got the burn message! Ugh. It better be ok. I feel like 16oz of pasta is too much. I added extra sauce, because it looked dry. I hope it’s ok.

    • Sheila says

      I have the 8. Everything works better now that I have the nonstick insert pan. Amazon has them. Not much burning or sticking now.

    • Amber Rowland says

      I read on a different post that if you don’t scrape or de glaze the bits of ground beef from the bottom of the pot after browning it you will get the burn message.

  14. Sheri says

    I am new to IP cooking. I just got the DU060 but I don’t see a “manual” button.

    • Amber Rowland says

      Do you have a button that says pressure cook? I believe that is the same as manual on your pot

      • Tracy Konitshek says

        This is the absolute best spaghetti recipe. Period. I have made it so many times and keep forgetting to leave a review! I have been making it for a solid year almost once a week. I have tweaked it a little over that time…but not because it isn’t tasty! We love a good meat sauce so in addition to the ground beef, I add a pound of ground pork (or grind your own pork too! It’s easy!) and season your own! You won’t be disappointed and you will never buy pre-made sausage again! To account for the extra meat, I use an extra cup of beef broth. We also use Ragu jar meat sauce instead of four cheese. We let it sit for about 10 minutes after it’s done cooking and then stir it and the sauce-to pasta ratio is perfect! Thank you so much for such a great recipe!5 stars

  15. PJ Miller says

    I’ve been cooking since I was 16 and am now over 60. Haven’t been excited about cooking in a long time. At least not until I got my Instant Pot. I’ve enjoyed making all kinds of recipes in my IP for the last few months. This Pot makes cooking fun again! Your recipe for spaghetti is perfect, fast, so easy and so good. Instead of using jarred sauce, I used Italian gravy & meatballs I previously made and froze. I added your recipe to our rotation. Oh, and my husband gets in on the act too……….he likes to perform the quick release. LOL5 stars

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      That’s awesome! We love our Instant Pot too, hasn’t it made cooking fun again?!! i am so glad you loved the recipe!

5 from 19 votes (12 ratings without comment)

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