Instant Pot Best Spaghetti & Meatballs

It’s sort of hilarious how I’m going on three years being an Instant Pot recipe maven and I STILL haven’t made Spaghetti & Meatballs…until NOW! 

Not only is this one of the absolute easiest recipes ever, it’s also the best Spaghetti & Meatballs I’ve ever twirled on a fork. I’m talking a sauce so outrageous, you can even customize it to be spicy, creamy or both! 

And did I mention it all happens in ONE pot with zero straining of the spaghetti and cooking the meatballs at the same time? The Instant Pot is worth getting to make this dish alone. 

Here’s How I Made It! (scroll to the bottom for the fully-written recipe): 

Begin by adding some butter and olive oil to the Instant Pot and give it some heat. 

Once the butter’s melted, add in some shallots and garlic. 

Sauté for just a few short minutes. 

If you want to add meatballs, now’s the time! Whether they’re full of meat or vegetarian; frozen from a bag or you’ve just made mine and they’re uncooked, add them into the pot now! If you don’t want meatballs, simply don’t add any. 

Now add in some broth… 

…marinara sauce… 

…and oregano. 

If you want your sauce spicy, feel free to optionally add in some hot sauce… 

…Cajun/Creole/Louisiana seasoning… 

…and crushed red pepper flakes. 

Give everything a good stir. 

Now take a box of spaghetti… 

…and break it in half so it fits in the pot. 

DO NOT STIR IT IN, but rather smooth it with a mixing spoon… 

…so that the spaghetti is mostly submerged under the broth. 

Top it off with some cherry or grape tomatoes, secure the lid and cook at high pressure. 

When the lid comes off, you’re gonna see a beautiful pot of pasta. 

But we aren’t done yet! Give it all a stir, freeing up any noodles that may have clumped together while cooking (don’t worry if the sauce appears thin – that will all change soon). 

Add in more marinara sauce… 

…and some grated Parmesan. 

If you want a nice, slightly creamy sauce that still has a dominant tomato base to it, add in some Boursin or cream cheese. 

Give it all a good stir so everything’s well-combined. 

After stirring, the sauce will have come together beautifully. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes before serving so it thickens up ever so slightly more. 

Serve in bowls… 

…top with additional Parmesan, if desired… 

…and dig in! 

Even though we broke the spaghetti in half, it’s still PLENTY long enough for us to look like a beast when eating. 

And prepare yourselves, for you’re going to have a moment of foodgasm. 

In fact, invite and instruct a friend and/or loved one to try it. 

And folks, the look on their face will say it all. 

The best and easiest Spaghetti & Meatballs on the planet – all done in one pot!

Instant Pot Best Spaghetti & Meatballs
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Best Spaghetti & Meatballs

Instant Pot Best Spaghetti & Meatballs

Mama Mia! Spaghetti & Meatballs cooked together at the same time? In ONE pot?! You'd-a betta believe it! Not only is this spaghetti done to legit approval, it's customizable!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) salted butter
  • 2 shallots or 1 yellow or sweet (Vidalia) onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon (3 cloves) garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 – 1 1/2 pounds of meatballs about the size of ping-pong balls – any of your choice (either frozen or raw. Feel free to make mine here and follow Steps 1 & 2 and make them the size of ping-pong balls. Don’t want meatballs? Leave ’em out!)
  • 3 cups broth of your choice (I used 3 teaspoons Garlic Better Than Bouillon + 3 cups water)
  • 3 cups marinara sauce, divided (use your favorite – I like Victoria which many Costcos and markets carry. The better brand of sauce used, the better the final product)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 lb (1 box) of spaghetti
  • 10 ounces grape/cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Optional for Spicy Spaghetti:

  • 1/2 cup hot sauce of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun/Creole/Louisiana Seasoning (I use Tony Chachere’s)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (and you can add more to taste)

Optional for a Creamy Sauce:

  • 5.2 ounce package of Boursin cheese (any flavor) or 4 ounces (1/2 of a brick) of cream cheese


  1. Add the oil and butter to the Instant Pot, hit Sauté and Adjust so it’s on the More or High setting. Once melted, add in the shallots and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes
  2. Add in the meatballs (frozen or raw) followed by the broth, 1 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce, oregano and the spicy ingredients (if using – if not, simply leave them out). Stir well.
  3. In batches, break the spaghetti in half and place in the pot (I know it’s a sin for some to break spaghetti, but for it to cook properly and fit in the pot, this needs to be done – it’ll still feel long, cook perfectly AND it creates more servings!)
  4. DO NOT STIR the spaghetti, but smooth it out with a spoon so it’s submerged under the broth.
  5. Top with the cherry tomatoes, secure the lid, hit Keep Warm/Cancel and then hit Manual or Pressure Cook at High Pressure and set the time for 8 minutes. Quick release when done
  6. Give the spaghetti a stir. If it appears to clump together a bit, it will quickly detach once stirred and while the noodles should be perfectly al dente, they will also soften in a few moments of resting. If the sauce appears a bit thin, not to worry as that will all change! Add in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of marinara sauce along with the Parmesan and the Boursin or cream cheese (if using) and give it a final stir and let rest for about 3-5 minutes before serving as the sauce will thicken even more.
  7. Place in bowl and serve with additional parmesan cheese if desired.
  8. Mamma Mia Mangia!

Jeffrey's Tips

You can literally use any kind of meatball that exists. If you’re a vegan/vegetarian, use one that suits you! BUT the best meatballs are my own. Make them here!

But if you’re feeling lazy (like I was in this recipe) and want a time-saver, any frozen meatball from the frozen section of the market will do (Costco has good ones as does Ikea!)

Don’t have spaghetti but only have a short pasta like penne, ziti, macaroni, rotini or campanelle? Go for 6 minutes instead of 8 (unless you’re using rigatoni – that’s also 8 minutes).

These Spaghetti & Meatballs are easily tailored to taste!:

  • If you want it creamy AND spicy, add all those optional ingredients
  • If you want just spicy, omit the Boursin or cream cheese
  • If you want just creamy, omit the spicy ingredients
  • If you want just classic spaghetti and no meatballs, leave the meatballs out

Reader Interactions


  1. Jana

    Jeffrey, after seeing your recipes for months I *finally* got off my duff and made one – the spaghetti and meatballs – and yes, I used your meatball recipe too (although subbed turkey for beef). I don’t think my family will let me get away with making any other spaghetti recipe from now on. Meatballs are tender. The boursin is genius. Only thing I’ll do differently next time is make it more spicy (to hell with the kids!). Congrats on the launch of the new website.

      • George

        Tried this last night. It was great, in fact going to finish it off tonight. Next time maybe some red pepper flakes. Definitely a keeper!

      • roadrunner

        spaghetti and meatballs are always wonderful but, for me, the dish is better when I add a pound of browned ground beef to the marinara sauce and the pound of meatballs. Can’t have too much beef.

  2. Kristen

    I’ve made this for my family several times and it is a huge hit. The kids have declared it better than our usual (stovetop) spaghetti and it most definitely is! The one pot clean up is worth it for me!

  3. Jen

    This is the best “go to” recipe. It is a staple on our menu as we always have the ingredients on hand. Thank you for sharing your recipes with us

  4. Peter

    Have to admit I did not enjoy this recipe. I found that doing it this way made the dish very starchy, and I can see why. When cooking the spaghetti in a pot with boiling water, most of the starch goes away when you drain it and by doing it in the IP then all that starch just remains.

    I have used a few of your recipes, but don’t think I would do this one again.

  5. Cindy MacArthur

    Oh. My. Gosh. This was hands down the best spaghetti I’ve ever made! Even my picky eaters loved it!!! I used Rao sauce and cream cheese and, yum. I may even have the leftovers for breakfast! lol

  6. Liza H

    I’ve made spaghetti in my IP before and it wasn’t great. Your recipe is delicious. My husband is obsessed. I didn’t add the cherry tomatoes because my kids are picky, but that sounds wonderful to me. Thank you!

  7. Tamara

    Ok, I broke down and bought your book – I’m a pro at making hard boiled eggs and oatmeal (ugh, the combination!) but not much else. I’ve printed out the spaghetti and meatballs (I have my own recipe, but it takes hours to make) and the pineapple upside down cake. I hope to add more recipes like those to my repertoire of the 2 other ones!

  8. Shirley

    Is there any way that the starch from instant pot pasta can be minimized? Will rinsing it first like rice help at all?

  9. Jen


    Have only used my new IP twice, both with your recipes. Just made the spaghetti & meatballs, and everything is great, however one minor issue. My spaghetti is a bit more al dente than I like. Even after letting it sit with the lid, it still is too chewy/firm.

    Any suggestions for my next attempt?


    • Lynn M Andreske

      Cook it an additional 2-3 minutes when you make it. I like mine more done so generally do any pasta dish 10 min.

  10. Rebecca Mazon

    My little backroads store didn’t have ground pork but had pork sausage so I gave it a go with 93/7 ground beef.
    Followed everything else to the letter and it is delicious!
    Kids like it so that’s even better. Thank you for this great recipe. 🥰

  11. Sean

    I just made this recipe and did a quick release at 8 mins as instructed but the noodles were too al dente for me and my family (and I love al dente). I will try a longer cooking time as noodles stuck together & were too hard.

    • Melissa

      My noodles were a little more al dente for my taste as well (I’m sure different brands have different results). I gave it a good stir, sealed the lid and put it on the warm setting for 10 minutes- that seemed to do the trick for me. Love Jeffrey and his recipes!

  12. Kimmie

    My wife was afraid of pressure cookers for most of her life and refused to get an Instant Pot. Since Christmas everything has changed. There was a sale at work so we got an EVO DUO PLUS. She/we love it. We have made several of your recipes soon with this spaghetti and meatballs one. Your a hit in our home. I tell people at work about you too. In fact, we made pineapple upside down cake this week and then yesterday made split pea and ham soup. I took some to work for a gal and she loved both the cake and soup.

  13. Jim

    I’m no cook! That being said, I’m trying this recipe and super excited. One thing that I would recommend for dummies like me, is to include how many this will serve. I appreciate your help and will let you know how it goes.

  14. Beth

    This was so good! Our whole family loved it, including some picky eaters. We are calling it Restaurant Spaghetti because it was absolutely delicious!

  15. Arlene

    I have to tell you that I made this yesterday and my spouse said that it was the best spaghetti that he ever had! He bought me my cooker for Christmas and said that if that was the only thing I ever cooked in it, it was worth it!

  16. Maggie Dennis

    Best spaghetti/meatball recipe that I’ve ever made and so easy in my new IP ..I put in a jar of Leggos stir thru’ sauce with the cream cheese at the end ( I didn’t have any more pasta sauce in cupboard) and was both amazed and delighted with the result, pasta was perfect and I’ve plenty left over to freeze so very economical too, ( only cook for myself)
    I bought the One step at a time book and found Pressure luck by chance … will be my go to site for IP now, thank you

  17. Lisa

    I have made this several of time. The first time I followed your recipe step by step. It was good and my family and daycare children loved it. The rest of the times that I made it I just used your recipe as my base, everytime it is delicious. Thank you for sharing. I made about 10 different recipes of your, my favorite is the spicy pasta, it is a hit at family gatherings.

  18. Donna

    This was delish! And I didn’t even use the Boursin or cream cheese! I would make this again in a heartbeat! And I will definitely keep a set of ingredients on hand for when the grandkids are here. Thank you.

  19. Krystina Fielder

    I have to admit, I didn’t see the need for a spaghetti and meatball recipe in the instant pot before. I totally get it now! My family loved the Boursin cheese in there. I didn’t have any cherry or grape tomatoes because we don’t really like tomatoes, but I think I will buy some next time to try in this.

    • Candy

      My family doesn’t like cherry toms, so I opened a can of diced tomatoes and laid it across the top of the spaghetti, it was perfect!

  20. Toby Whitehead

    My grape tomatoes were bad so I just used a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes on top. Worked great!

  21. Laura

    Jeffrey, I have made this recipe and my husband likes it.
    Anytime my husband goes back for seconds or thirds you know it is a hit.

    Tonight I will be using your recipe but, I will be using Penne pasta and even adding some spinach.

    Thank you for the delicious meal ideas. Your mom should be very proud.

  22. Mary

    O am concerned about getting a burn notice because you added some of the sauce before the noodles. I have read to not put the sauce in until you put the noodles in and don’t stir it or you will get a burn notice. Will you please clarify this for me?

  23. Gary Human

    Will definitely try this. Any chance you can add nutritional information at the end? I am always counting calories so it would help.


  24. Betty Tyler

    Delicious! I didn’t have regular spaghetti, so I used “bow tie” pasta, but it was only 12 oz., so I added half a box of Angel hair. For spices, I used oregano, Italian, harissa, red pepper flakes, and Sichuan green pepper oil. The pastas offered a choice of well-done and al dente, and the spice level was yummy. Thanks!

  25. Marquista

    My little 3 person household never agrees on the same dish. But this one is a winner for all of us. I’ve just made it for the 2nd time and my toddler loves it, she even asked for more. Which is amazing since she only eats her grandma’s spaghetti. Your recipes never fail! Thank you for making dinner time a little easier for this working mom.

  26. Vicky

    I made this tonight for me and my husband. I used a bow tie noodles and set it for 9 minutes. It was great! We both loved all of the flavors! Thanks, Jeffery 😃

  27. DeeDee Brown

    We always love your spaghetti and meatball recipe. I will never boil the pasta on the stove again. I did save my Boursin for your sausage and shells recipe though! Thanks for sharing your recipes with us!!!

  28. Brianne

    I’ve made other Instant Pot spaghetti recipes that are good but this is THE BEST. It’s so easy and so good. My whole family loves it, including two picky preschoolers.

  29. Rosemary Cowan

    This was a good basic recipe. I was concerned that there wasn’t enough liquid in the pot when I set it to cook, and I was right. After cooking I took the lid off, and it needed a LOT more sauce and liquid. I like that it cooks very fast, but this recipe will need some tinkering. Also, 1 pound of pasta is way too much for just 2 people, will only use 1/2 lb. next time.

  30. Pam

    This is the BEST spaghetti and meatballs recipe! I’ve made it several times and it’s a big hit. Also, with only 2 of us, we get lots of leftovers!

  31. Amanda Swihart

    I got COVID, rallied off the couch to make this for me and my boyfriend and I’D DO IT AGAIN. He said it’s the best spaghetti he’s ever had and I must say, I can’t remember one that’s ever been better.
    Grape tomatoes are genius. I added an extra cup of garlic better than bouillon (because I’m unapologetically scared of the burn buzzer), and adding the remaining sauce at the end made it still creamy but not too soupy.
    Also added Chululo hot sauce, red pepper flakes, and a tiny bit of Old Bay for some kick. Cream cheese and Parm at the end crushed it. I’m full but I’m getting hungry again typing this. Never left a review but this was WORTH IT. Thank you!

  32. Bean

    I followed others advice to cook 10 minutes, pasta was still chewy so put lid back on for a few more minutes. I didn’t add cheese to the pot – turned out great. Easy one pot meal.
    Thank you for the yummy recipes you create and share 🙂

  33. Jalen

    This recipe is a weeknight slump savior! My whole family loves it (including the picky 8 year old)! I make tons of your recipes throughout the month but this one is requested the most.

  34. Amos Heath

    Used several of your recipes. You and I share seasoning tastes. Had a little hiccup with this one. Followed recipe and instructions but when I added the noodles they were nowhere near being in liquid. Added 1/2 cup more broth but the noodles were still high and dry. Took half the noodles out prayed and closed the lid. When I opened it it was beautiful. Tastes great. Just wondering about the fluid / noodle ratio. Yours is my go to instapot site. Deciding which of your books to buy first. Thanks for what you do.

  35. Kevin

    Really enjoyed this,I didnt have any meatballs so I substituted them for breakfast sausage, Ijust cut them (about 18) into bit size pieces.
    So good.

  36. Donna

    I was in Australia recently for 5 weeks for the birth of my newest granddaughter. We made LOTS of different meals from your orange and blue cookbooks (one might think I can’t cook anything else)…Sausage and Shells, Herbalicious Chicken, Asian Garlic Noodles, and on and on. We broke down all the meals at the end of my visit and this recipe, hands down, was the big winner! (For me, the Garlic Mashed Potatoes were a very close second!). My grandkids here in the U.S. also love this spaghetti. They always want me to make it because I keep just a couple servings for myself and the rest goes home with them!

  37. Dustin

    By far the quickest way to cook the best quality spaghetti… and you can tailor it to taste by adding or subtracting. I feel like I’ve been wasting my time before I found your channel!! Thank you 🙏

  38. Ken Roberts

    Jeffery thank you for all the recipes, I have cooked quite a few of them, and made a hit every time! I do some adjusting to my taste on some of them, but not many!! Thanks, and God Bless You!!

  39. Stacy

    Thank you for sharing your talent with the world, Jeffrey. Your recipes are outstanding. Instead of meatballs, could you put in a pound of seasoned, ground turkey? Just the whole block frozen and do everything else the same? Maybe it would need to cook longer? I was also thinking of using feta as the the cheese to add creaminess at the end. Have you tried that? I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks again!

  40. Lisa

    Hi Jeffrey,
    Can this recipe be doubled for a large family? We traditionally make spaghetti on the stovetop and use 2lbs of spaghetti and 2 jars of sauce with one pound of meat/meatballs. Big family with teenagers here, that also loves leftovers. 🙂

  41. Sherrie

    Do you have a suggestion for using spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti in this recipe? I usually “cook” my spaghetti squash in the microwave and then shred. Was thinking of doing to same, but maybe not cook as long in the microwave so it can go into the IP and meld with the other flavors during that cooking.

    • Jeffrey

      Check your sealing ring/gasket under the lid and make sure it’s in the grooves before pressure cooking. I bet that was the culprit.

  42. Julie

    Have a large crowd to feed at our rent house with fam and friends during our Spring Break trip in Colorado next week! Do you think I could double recipe if I made it in my 8qt or is that too much?

  43. Anne Fabe

    Just made this with your meatball recipe too. Absolutely perfect! Included all the spice (plus extra) and while we could go spicier, the flavor is fantastic! Can’t wait to try out more recipes here!

  44. Mark


    This sounds great. I’m excited to try it. I’m going to try it tonight without the Boursin-but plan on using the Boursin in the future. I want to add that I have a 6 quart Instant Pot, and I have two questions. First is about the sauce. My family -ok maybe it’s just me-loves sauce. I’ll often skip the spaghetti on a second serving and just ladle sauce and meatballs on top of garlic bread. So I’m wondering if it’s possible -or even if it’s needed as the recipe might be fine as it is -to increase the amount of sauce.

    My second question would be if you have any suggestions for adapting this recipe to have ground beef and meatballs in the sauce (I have two pounds of ground beef in the freezer calling to me. )

    Love your site and your videos. When payday comes, I’m buying some of your cookbooks.

  45. Logan

    I have a question…This recipe is one of our favorites and is in our regular rotation, but every time I have tried any sort of pasta OTHER than spaghetti, I get a burn notice. I follow the recipe exactly every time, and it never fails. I tried it using fusili tonight, and I got a burn notice yet again (I do remember to change the time from 8 minutes to 6). Any ideas what could be causing that? Whenever I make it with spaghetti, there is no problem…

  46. Rebecca Wicks

    This was just a huge hit with my friends, I made it for our Mario Brothers movie night. They all said it was the best damn spaghetti and meatballs they’d ever had and I’m dreaming of the leftovers I’ll keep for myself, hehe. Thanks again Jeff, I made your meatballs too… the cream cheese at the end, and the cherry tomatoes… man, together it was perfection.

  47. Sue K

    Made this for the first time today. Yummy! I used rigatoni, meatballs and sausage; it was perfect at 8 minutes. I also used ricotta instead of the other cheeses. I’ll be making this again!

    • Jeffrey

      Angel Hair is not pressure cooker friendly. Since it’s so fine, it will become mush under pressure. Stick to a wider noodle like spaghetti or linguine.

  48. Cynthia Teruya

    I’ve been making your recipe for a year now and just getting around to commenting on it. No matter what I do to it, right or wrong, it turns out absolutely delicious. Sometimes I follow the directions to the letter and sometimes I get sloppy but it’s it’s still perfect. Every single time. The only thing that bothers me about this recipe is that I’m not allowed to serve pasta any other way. My family throws a fit if I even suggest eating spaghetti any other way.

  49. Angela Northcutt

    In case anyone wants to just use ground beef instead of meatballs, it comes out fantastic! I use just the olive oil for the shallots (onion) and garlic and sauté for less time. Then add ground beef, breaking up and browning until most of the pink is gone. You can use from 1-2 pounds of ground beef depending on how meaty you like your sauce!
    Continue as written! We make this spaghetti at least 3 times a month and just love it!

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