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…
If you want your sauce spicy, feel free to optionally add in some hot sauce…
…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!
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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!)
- DO NOT STIR the spaghetti, but smooth it out with a spoon so it’s submerged under the broth.
- 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
- 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.
- Place in bowl and serve with additional parmesan cheese if desired.
- Mamma Mia Mangia!
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
- SAME COOK TIME NO MATTER WHAT YOU CHOOSE!