Instant Pot Easy Does It Spaghetti–easy, meaty spaghetti and sauce that turns out perfect in the Instant Pot or the Crockpot every time!
Note: the SLOW COOKER instructions are listed in the recipe card below
Instant Pot Easy Does It Spaghetti
I came across a vintage recipe for “easy does it spaghetti” and wondered what it was all about. I couldn’t find out why the original author named it easy does it spaghetti but my guess is that this recipe uses less spaghetti noodles to the meat and sauce ratio than I’m normally used to. Plus it was originally a crockpot recipe and really was an easy way to make spaghetti. I wondered would it be good? I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was! My kids and I ate it all by ourselves! Sorry Greg! If you haven’t tried spaghetti in the Instant Pot I think you’ll really like it and I think you will love this recipe! Give it a shot!
Why you’ll love this Instant Pot Spaghetti Recipe
- It’s meaty and saucy
- The hardest part of this recipe is browning the ground beef and draining the excess grease…after that it’s smooth sailing! No need to worry about water boiling over on the stove.
- There is only a 4 minute pressure cook time
- The spaghetti doesn’t stick and burn like some recipes
- This dish has lots of flavor because instead of water to cook the pasta tomato juice is used
Ingredients for Instant Pot Spaghetti
- 1 pound ground beef–you can also use ground turkey. I used 70/30 ground beef and drained off the excess grease.
- 2 ½ cups V8 or tomato juice–to cook the pasta in! This adds lots of flavor
- 4 oz spaghetti–I used whole wheat pasta and it worked perfectly
- Minced dry onion, garlic powder, dry mustard, allspice, black pepper, bay leaf, kosher salt, Italian seasoning–for flavoring the spaghetti sauce
- 8 oz chopped mushrooms–to add some body to the sauce. If you don’t like mushrooms you can leave them out.
- 1 (8 oz) tomato sauce–for the sauce
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar–for a splash of flavor
- Parmesan cheese–for topping
How To Make the Best Instant Pot Spaghetti
In my mind the key to making the best Instant Pot spaghetti is using V8 (or tomato juice) as the liquid for cooking the spaghetti in. Here’s how to make spaghetti in the Instant Pot and the Crockpot…you choose!
Instant Pot Instructions:
- Brown ground beef: Turn Instant Pot to saute setting. When display says HOT add in the ground beef and break it up. Brown for about 5 minutes. Drain off excess grease.
- Deglaze the pot: Pour in the V8 and scrape the bottom of the pot so that nothing is sticking. Turn off Instant Pot.
- Season it up: Add in the minced onion, garlic powder, mustard, allspice, pepper, bay leaf, salt, Italian seasoning.
- Strategically add in the pasta: Break the spaghetti into 2 inch pieces and scatter them into the pot in a criss cross pattern. This will prevent them from sticking together. Press down to submerge a little.
- Layer: Add the chopped mushrooms and tomato sauce evenly over the top of the spaghetti. Don’t stir (this helps prevent the burn message).
- Pressure cook: Cover Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 4 minutes on high pressure. When time is up let the pot sit for 5-10 minutes and then move the valve to venting. (I prefer the 5-10 minute natural pressure release over a quick release because there won’t be foam and sauce coming out of your valve). Remove the lid. Discard the bay leaf.
- Finish it off: Stir in the vinegar to add a little brightness. Stir well and serve topped with parmesan cheese.
Slow Cooker Instructions:
- Brown ground beef: Brown beef and drain. Some slow cookers have a stovetop or saute feature that you can use for this step. If not, do this step of the stove. Add beef to the slow cooker.
- Add ingredients: Add in the V8, minced dry onion, garlic powder, dry mustard, allspice, pepper, bay leaf, salt, Italian seasoning, mushrooms and tomato sauce and stir.
- Cook and add in pasta: Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 3-5 hours. Turn on high the last hour and stir in the dry spaghetti (break into 2 inch pieces).
- Finish it off: Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the vinegar. Serve topped with parmesan cheese.
Tips for making Spaghetti in the Instant Pot
- How I drain grease off of beef: Try this pro tip for draining grease off of the ground beef: Tilt the Instant Pot to one side while holding the ground meat against the other side with a wooden spoon. This should make most of the grease pool on the tilted side. Lower the Instant Pot down, the meat should stay to its side and the grease on the other. Place a couple paper towels into the grease and use the spoon to sop up the grease. Discard the paper towels.
- Don’t stir: In order to prevent the burn error message layer the ingredients as stated in the recipe instructions instead of stirring all together. This will keep the thinner liquid on the bottom of the pot so that nothing burns.
- Placing the chopped mushrooms evenly over the pasta will help the pasta cook correctly. The mushrooms release moisture that helps cook the pasta perfectly. Don’t like mushrooms? It’s fine you can leave them out. Just press the pasta down as much as you can to submerge in the liquid.
- Equipment: I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. You can also make this in your 8 quart or 3 quart pot with no changes. (You can make this with most brands of electric pressure cookers)
- You can easily double this recipe in the 6 or 8 quart pot. Double all the ingredients and keep the cooking time the same. You can also halve the recipe and have success.
Freezing and Storing Spaghetti
I don’t know what it is about Italian food, but it’s always better after the flavors have melded together overnight. If you have leftovers you’re lucky!
- Storing: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Cool the spaghetti a bit before placing lids on the containers. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge and warm on the stove top or in the microwave.
How to prevent a bland tasting Instant Pot spaghetti?
- Use V8 or tomato juice in the place of water
- Add in all the seasonings listed. Add more to taste after the spaghetti has cooked.
- Add in a splash of red wine vinegar for some brightness
- If you like a sweeter spaghetti sauce add in a teaspoon or two of sugar
- For an extra boost of flavor use half ground beef and half Italian sausage
How long does it take to cook spaghetti in the Instant Pot?
To figure out how long to cook different types of pasta look on the back of the box and see how long it says to boil the pasta for. Take that number and divide by 2 and then subtract 1 minute. (Example: 10 minutes / 2 = 5 minutes – 1 minute = 4 minute pressure cook time). I like to cook spaghetti for 4 minutes with a 5-10 minute natural pressure release (to prevent foaming out of the valve).
Can I use frozen beef to make Instant Pot spaghetti?
If the beef is already browned you can use frozen beef. This actually makes this recipe even easier! When you buy ground beef at the grocery store come home and brown it and drain the grease. Then place in a ziploc freezer bags and press flat and freeze. This makes for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
What Should I Serve with This Spaghetti?
Serve with a slice of garlic bread. Try looking for the frozen texas garlic toast next time you’re at the grocery store. It is easily warmed through and tastes great. Make a tossed green salad and you have a meal!
More Instant Pot Recipes That Use Spaghetti Noodles…
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Easy, meaty spaghetti and sauce that turns out perfect in the Instant Pot or the Crockpot every time!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 1/2 cups V8 or tomato juice
- 4 oz spaghetti (whole wheat is okay)
- 1 Tbsp minced dry onion
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 8 oz chopped mushrooms
- 1 (8 oz) tomato sauce
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- Parmesan cheese
Instant Pot Instructions:
- Turn Instant Pot to saute setting. When display says HOT add in the ground beef and break it up. Brown for about 5 minutes. Drain off excess grease.
- Pour in the V8 and scrape the bottom of the pot so that nothing is sticking. Turn off Instant Pot.
- Add in the minced onion, garlic powder, mustard, allspice, pepper, bay leaf, salt, Italian seasoning.
- Break the spaghetti into 2 inch pieces and scatter them into the pot. Press down to submerge a little.
- Add the chopped mushrooms and tomato sauce evenly over the top of the spaghetti. Don’t stir.
- Cover Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 4 minutes. When time is up let the pot sit for 5-10 minutes and then move the valve to venting. Remove the lid. Discard the bay leaf.
- Stir in the vinegar. Stir well and serve topped with parmesan cheese.
Slow Cooker Instructions:
- Brown beef and drain. Add to the slow cooker.
- Add in the V8, minced dry onion, garlic powder, dry mustard, allspice, pepper, bay leaf, salt, Italian seasoning, mushrooms and tomato sauce.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 3-5 hours. Turn on high the last hour and stir in the dry spaghetti (break into 2 inch pieces).
- Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the vinegar. Serve topped with parmesan cheese.
Read the notes above for more tips and tricks.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 minutes (plus 5 minute NPR)
- Category: Beef
- Method: Instant Pot or Slow Cooker
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.