Instant Pot Ziti and Meatballs—an easy Instant Pot version of baked ziti with a scrumptious tomato cream sauce, ricotta and meatballs. Everyone will be asking for seconds!
Instant Pot Ziti and Meatballs
If you love saucy pasta and meatballs you’ll love this recipe for Instant Pot ziti. It’s got a luscious tomato cream sauce that I wanted to lick off my plate. And because it uses frozen meatballs the recipe is fast and easy. I made this for my family and another family and both families agreed that it was delicious!
One note about salt. After the food has cooked I mention in the recipe to salt to taste. Depending on how salty your canned tomatoes are, which meatballs you use and if you use broth or water will depend on if you will need to add extra salt or not. A few shakes of salt can make the difference between a solid recipe and a meh recipe. I like kosher salt but table salt will do fine. Because kosher salt is so much more coarse than table salt you’ll need more to do the same job that table salt does. 1 teaspoon of kosher salt does not equal 1 teaspoon of table salt.
Meatballs. Use a brand of meatballs that you love. I have tried the Costco meatballs, a brand from Walmart and a brand from Smith’s. I preferred the turkey meatballs from Smith’s. The turkey meatballs from Walmart were just okay.
Heavy Cream. I don’t normally cook a lot with heavy cream. First off I don’t usually have cream in my fridge. And it’s just high in calories. However I really believe that the 1/2 cup of cream that’s added into this recipe makes the recipe! It gives it so much creaminess and flavor that I do believe it is worth it!
The cooking time. What? Only 2-3 minutes? I thought pasta needed more time? Usually I use the pasta rule of half the amount of time on the box and subtract 1 minute. With this recipe the pot takes a while to come to pressure because of the frozen meatballs. I only used a 3 minute pressure cook time. Which was definitely enough time. I believe a 2 minute pressure cook time might even be better.
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What Pressure Cooker Did You Use?
To make Instant Pot Ziti and Meatballs I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. I love this Instant Pot because it has the yogurt making function which I use almost weekly. It has two pressure settings (high and low), and there are also little slots in the handles so that you can rest the lid there instead of putting it down on your counter-top.
An easy Instant Pot version of baked ziti with a scrumptious tomato cream sauce, ricotta and meatballs. Everyone will be asking for seconds!
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 3 ¾ cups water or chicken broth
- 1 (32 oz) bag frozen meatballs
- 1 (16 oz) box uncooked ziti pasta
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup grated/shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp dried basil or ¼ cup fresh chopped basil
- ½ cup ricotta
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- Turn your Instant Pot to the saute setting. When the display says HOT add in the oil, garlic and ½ tsp kosher salt. Saute for 20 seconds (be careful because it burns quickly). Turn off the saute setting. Pour in about ¾ cup of the water/broth and scrape the bottom of the pot.
- Pour in half the bag of the meatballs in an even layer. Pour the ziti in an even layer over the top. Then pour the other half of the meatballs over the top of the pasta. Pour in the rest of the water/broth. Dump the crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes over the top. Sprinkle with ½ tsp kosher salt.
- Cover the pot and secure the lid. Make sure the valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 3 minutes (2 minutes for more firm pasta). When the time is up let the pot sit for 5-10 minutes and then move the valve to venting. Remove the lid.
- Stir in cream, parmesan cheese and basil. Salt to taste. Drop dollops of ricotta on the pasta and then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Serve and enjoy!
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Italian
*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.