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Spaghetti & {cheater} Meatballs

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Instant Pot Spaghetti And Meatballs is bringing weekend cooking to your weeknights. This 5 ingredient recipe is easy, quick, and absolutely delicious. 15 minutes of hands-on time and 8 minutes of pressure cooking means you can have dinner on the table in under an hour!

You may think that as a food blogger I never have an evening where I look at my kids, look in the fridge, and then look for a mom, any mom, to make us dinner.

And you'd wrong.

Weeknight cooking can be so uninspiring. And stressful. And exhausting.

I used to cringe when my kids would request spaghetti on a weeknight. Then my brilliant husband hacked some cheater meatballs, and I threw it all in the Instant Pot.

A quick and easy weeknight dinner was born!

This recipe is dedicated to good food, fast.

A hand twirling a fork in the instant pot spaghetti and meatballs dish.
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Tips + tricks

No. 1 --> Don't worry about taking the casing off the sausage. It will just add to your prep time, and won't make a difference in the final product. Oh, and don't forget to give the sausage rounds a good browning. Browning = flavour. Don't give up that free flavour!

No. 2 --> Use a turkey baster to get all that fat out of there! Turkey basters are great for that, you may need to tip your pot slightly, to get the last bit out, but it's better than struggling!

No. 3 --> Skip the burn notice by really giving the whole bottom of your pot a good scrape with your wooden spatula after you add the water. This will prevent any headaches later on.

No. 4 --> Wondering why I haven't used any seasoning in this dish? Well, it just so happens that the sausage is spiced and salted perfectly for this recipe. Bonus! Fewer ingredients. I think we can all appreciate that.

twirling spaghetti around a fork.

Key Ingredients:

  • Fresh Hot Italian Sausage
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Marinara sauce
  • Spaghetti noodles

How To Make Instant Pot Spaghetti And Meatballs

  1. Heat your Instant Pot on High Saute mode.
  2. Slice the sausage links into rounds, approximately 3/4" thick. Don't worry about removing the casing.
  3. Add the sausage rounds to your preheated Instant Pot. Allow them to brown and cook down. Stir the faux meatballs intermittently, but allow them to get a good brown on all sides.
  4. Meanwhile, chop the onions and celery.
  5. Once the meatballs have been browned and cooked, use a turkey baster to drain the fat out of your Instant Pot. You may need to carefully tip the Instant Pot a bit to one side to get the last of it.
  6. Add the onion and celery to the pot and saute until the onion becomes slightly translucent.
  7. Add the water. And really SCRAPE the bottom of the pot. This will prevent the burn notice - use your wooden spatula to scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
  8. Pour in the spaghetti sauce. Don't stir.
  9. Break the spaghetti noodles in half and stack them in the pot in a crosshatch pattern. Spread them out as well as possible, the more played out they are, the less likely they are to stick together. Don't stir here either.
  10. Use your spatula to press the noodles gently into the liquid. Don't force them, or break them, just press them into the liquid a bit. Don't stir yet!
  11. Close and seal the lid. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
  12. After the cooking time, do a quick steam release.
  13. Once the pressure has fully subsided, open the pot and give your spaghetti a good stir! The sauce will have settled on the bottom, so stir well.
  14. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan, if desired.

Instant Pot - I used a 6 Qt Instant Pot for this recipe.

Wooden Saute Paddle - I love wooden cooking utensils!

What To Serve With Instant Pot Spaghetti And Meatballs?

The classics, man!

While your pot is coming to pressure, you can totally whip up a quick Caeser salad. My kids LOVE extra garlicky Caeser salad.

Sorry, but if we're going all out, fire up the oven and whip up some garlic bread! I personally like my carbs with a side of carbs which is why I love to serve pasta dishes with garlic bread!

Make Ahead/ Leftovers

Heck ya!

Not only are the leftovers better the second and third days, but this dish can also easily be frozen and reheated later on.

If you plan on freezing it, place it in a freezer-safe dish, and freeze for later use. I like to pull mine out of the freezer the night before I want to use it, and place it in the fridge to thaw. Usually, by the time I'm ready for it, it's thawed.

I often will reheat it as is, with a bit of water added to loosen up the sauce, right in the microwave. Sometimes, I'll spread it into a baking dish and bake it in the oven with a bit of shredded cheese on top for a delicious, cheesy baked spaghetti and meatballs dish!

A fully prepared bowl of instant pot spaghetti and meatballs.

Other Instant Pot Recipes You'll Love:

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📖 Printable Recipe

Instant pot spaghetti and meatballs in a white dish.
Yield: 10 cups

Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes

A quick and easy recipe for weeknight Spaghetti & Meatballs the whole family will love! With 5 ingredients and the speed plus the convenience of the Instant Pot, you'll love it too!

Ingredients

  • 1 package fresh hot Italian sausages
  • 1 onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 jar marinara sauce (650 ml or 24 oz)
  • 3 cups water
  • 12 oz spaghetti noodles

Instructions

    1. Heat your Instant Pot on High Saute mode.
    2. Slice the sausage links into rounds, approximately 3/4" thick. Don't worry about removing the casing.
    3. Add the sausage rounds to your preheated Instant Pot. Allow them to brown and cook down. Stir the faux meatballs intermittently.
    4. Meanwhile, chop the onions and celery.
    5. Once the meatballs have been browned and cooked, use a turkey baster to drain the fat out of your Instant Pot. You may need to carefully tip the Instant Pot a bit to one side to get the last of it.
    6. Add the onion and celery to the pot and saute until the onion becomes slightly translucent.
    7. Add the water. And really SCRAPE the bottom of the pot. This will prevent the burn notice - use your wooden spatula to scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
    8. Pour in the spaghetti sauce. Don't stir.
    9. Break the spaghetti noodles in half and stack them in the pot in a crosshatch pattern. Spread them out as well as possible. Don't stir here either.
    10. Use your spatula to press the noodles gently into the liquid. Don't force them, or break them, just press them into the liquid a bit. Don't stir yet!
    11. Close and seal the lid. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
    12. After the cooking time, do a quick steam release.
    13. Once the pressure has fully subsided, open the pot and give your spaghetti a good stir! The sauce will have settled on the bottom, so stir well.
    14. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan, if desired.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 89Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 125mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g

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DANA

Tuesday 18th of February 2020

REALLY GOOD. NEXT TIME I THINK I’LL RELEASE PRESSURE, STIR, COVER, AND LET IT SIT FOR 15 MIN. TO COOL OFF AND MAYBE THICKEN.

Ally

Thursday 20th of February 2020

Thanks! Did you find yours was too liquidy?

Rosanne Robinson

Tuesday 4th of February 2020

Ummmmmm this is our favourite dinner, love this easy to make recipe.

Ally

Wednesday 5th of February 2020

Saaaame! It's so yummy! Glad you like it, Rosanne!

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