Instant Pot Spaghetti

Looking for a fast and easy dinner recipe? This Instant Pot spaghetti recipe is a total crowd pleaser and could not be easier to whip up.

Instant Pot spaghetti

Are you looking for a fast and easy dinner recipe, where all you have to do is “set it and forget it”? Alex and I created this Instant Pot spaghetti recipe for busy weeknights, and times when you just don’t want to have to think about dinner. All it takes is just throwing all the ingredients in the pressure cooker! And the flavor? Take it from one of our readers, Erin, who said: “Oh my, I scraped the bowl clean on this one! The flavor was awesome and it was so easy, it was exactly what I needed right now.” Side bonus: it’s plant-based, too. No matter the way you eat, it’s sure to become a favorite in your household! Keep reading for the recipe.

Instant Pot spaghetti

How to make Instant Pot spaghetti

This Instant Pot spaghetti recipe couldn’t be much easier: it’s a matter of throwing a few ingredients into the Instant Pot and waiting for the 5 minute cook time. Yes, 5 minutes — and a quick release! Luckily, pressure cookers work for cooking pasta: it comes out a little different than cooking pasta on the stovetop, but it’s just as tasty. We loved how easy it was to simply place ingredients in the Instant Pot and not have to worry about boiling water for pasta. There are a few things to keep in mind when cooking pasta in an Instant Pot.

  1. Be sure to fan the spaghetti. Noodles that are directly next to each other in the Instant Pot stick together when they’re cooked. So for this recipe, you’ll need to fan out the noodles so they’re going different directions: this helps them to cook evenly! See the photo below.
  2. Use fire roasted tomatoes, or the best crushed tomatoes you can find. This Instant Pot spaghetti recipe calls for crushed fire roasted tomatoes. Fire roasted tomatoes have a sweet flavor that’s perfect for spaghetti sauce! If you can’t find fire roasted, use the best quality of crushed tomatoes you can find. If you can find fire roasted tomatoes diced but not crushed, you could also whiz them up a few times in the blender.
  3. Use whole fresh basil leaves. This recipe uses fresh basil to bring big flavor to the sauce. Of course you can omit if you can’t find it, but we highly recommend it if at all possible. We grow our own basil, which makes it easy to have on hand in the warm months: here’s How to Grow Basil.

As a note: if you have hungry eaters, are feeding a crowd, or want leftovers: you can double this recipe! It works doubled in a 6 quart Instant Pot. It’s a tight fit, but it cooks with the same timing!

Spaghetti in Instant Pot

What people are saying

When we shared on Instagram that we were working on an Instant Pot spaghetti recipe, we got lots of requests for recipe testers! Here’s what people have been saying about this recipe:

  • “My husband is a total carnivore and he loved this; he said it’s a definite keeper! I expected him to comment that it needed meatballs or sausage, but he liked it just the way it was.” -Amanda
  • “Oh my, I scraped the bowl clean on this one! The flavor was awesome and it was so easy, it was exactly what I needed right now.” -Erin
Instant pot spaghetti

What to serve it with?

Let’s say that you’re rushing to get dinner on the table: what to make as a side dish while this pressure cooker spaghetti cooks? We’d recommend serving with a green salad: whether it’s a salad from a recipe or just a throw together salad. Here are a few of our favorite salads or salad dressings:

Another option: saute some brocolli with minced garlic while the Instant Pot cooks! Let us know what you’d serve it with in the comments below.

Instant pot spaghetti

Looking for Instant Pot recipes?

Outside of this Instant Pot spaghetti recipe, here are some of our favorite things we’ve made in our Instant Pot:

Instant pot pasta

This Instant Pot spaghetti recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free (using the olive oil option).

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Pasta marinara

Instant Pot Spaghetti


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (71 votes, average: 3.99 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 1x

Description

Looking for a fast and easy dinner recipe? This Instant Pot spaghetti recipe is a total crowd pleaser and could not be easier to whip up.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 28 ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (or best quality crushed tomatoes)*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, tightly packed (or chopped spinach)
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 8 ounces spaghetti (regular, not whole wheat)
  • Goat cheese crumbles, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the water, tomatoes and their juices, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, oregano, kosher salt, spinach, and whole basil leaves. 
  2. Ladle just enough of the tomato mixture into the Instant Pot to cover the bottom.
  3. Break the spaghetti noodles in half. Working in batches, add the noodles to the Instant Pot in a fan shape so that they stack on each other, making as much space between the noodles as possible (if the noodles are directly next to each other they clump up — it doesn’t have to be perfect, just try to fan them out to make space).
  4. Pour remaining sauce over the spaghetti.
  5. Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes: Press the Pressure Cook button, making sure the “High Pressure” setting is selected, and set the time. Note that it takes about 10 minutes for the pot to “preheat” and come up to pressure before it starts cooking. (During cooking, avoid touching the metal part of the lid.)
  6. Quick release: Vent the remaining steam from the Instant Pot by moving the pressure release handle to “Venting”, covering your hand with a towel or hot pad. Never put your hands or face near the vent when releasing steam. Open the pressure cooker lid.
  7. Open the lid and stir, removing any clumps. Then remove the pot from the Instant Pot and allow to cool for 3 to 5 minutes for the sauce to thicken slightly. The sauce will thicken even more as it cools. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Notes

*If you have hungry eaters or want leftovers, this recipe works doubled as well. It’s a tight fit in a 6 quart Instant Pot, but it works!

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Instant Pot spaghetti, Pressure cooker spaghetti, Pasta in Instant Pot, Pasta in Pressure Cooker

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

20 Comments

  • Reply
    Claire
    July 24, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    I’d been wanting to try making pasta in the instant pot and this was my chance. The only fire roasted tomatoes I could find were diced with green chilis, so I got plain crushed instead. Since I was at the store I went to the diy antipasti bar and got a big handful of roasted garlic, pitted kalamata olives, pickled peppers and added those too. I was delicious.

  • Reply
    janice
    July 28, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    What will happen if I use whole wheat spaghetti? That’s all I have so I’m about to give it a try.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      July 28, 2019 at 9:37 pm

      Sorry! We haven’t had a chance to test the timing on whole wheat. Did it work out?

  • Reply
    Janice
    July 28, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    Absolutely delicious! I used whole wheat spaghetti and it worked fine for me. My husband said it was the best spaghetti he’s had in a long time. He loves thick sauce and this fit the bill.

  • Reply
    SDB
    January 21, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    Made a double recipe tonight and it turned out great. I used leftover grilled vegetables (onion, pepper, zucchini) in place of spinach. Next time I think I’ll add a little wine in place of some of the water; I think that would really add to the flavor.

  • Reply
    Manisha S
    April 8, 2020 at 10:46 pm

    Is white balsamic vinegar okay to use? Looks delicious

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      April 9, 2020 at 9:46 am

      Yes, that should work!

  • Reply
    Marie Calla
    April 22, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    Made this twice! Supper Yummy!

    • Reply
      Rebecca
      May 27, 2020 at 8:49 pm

      This is the first recipe I’ve used in my instapot so I figured this recipe would be a safe bet. Well… my husband and I are entering into a food coma because we COULDN’T STOP EATING IT! So quick and easy too! I started the pot and while we set the table and ate our salads the meal cooked. Everything was perfect. I also steamed broccoli as a side. So stinking delicious! Thank youuuuu!!

      • Reply
        Alex Overhiser
        May 28, 2020 at 8:27 am

        Haha! I’m so glad you enjoyed it :)

  • Reply
    T
    April 23, 2020 at 1:21 am

    I’ve been very skeptic about cooking pasta in an Instapot, so I thought I’d give this a try tonight. And boy, did the pasta come out perfectly, indeed! Love the sauce, tasty and just the right thickness.

  • Reply
    Alex
    June 18, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Turned out great! Made it twice now.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    July 28, 2020 at 8:35 am

    I’ve made this a couple of times now, and it’s really good. Perfect with some toasted bread, yum.

  • Reply
    Jane
    August 1, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    This has become one of my favourite, easy, go to recipes. I use whole wheat spaghettini and it works great. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Holly
    August 8, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    Best spaghetti I’ve ever made. This time I added artichokes but comes out perfect everytime. Even had a power outage halfway thru cooking and it still worked! Thanks so much for this recipe. Will never make spaghetti any other way.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      August 10, 2020 at 9:36 am

      So glad you enjoyed it! :)

  • Reply
    Laurel
    August 30, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    I’d like to add some protein like ground turkey but not sure if I should increase the cook time?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      August 31, 2020 at 10:32 am

      I think it would cook in the same amount of time, but we haven’t tested it.

  • Reply
    Wilma Escalante
    September 5, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    This looks great! Could you use other pasta shapes for this recipe?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      September 7, 2020 at 10:54 am

      Yes, any pasta should work pretty much the same.

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