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Meatballs and spaghetti is always a great idea. With only a few simple ingredients, you’ll have a delicious meal in no time. And with an Instant Pot, you can prepare this spaghetti and meatballs recipe in less than an hour. Reduced cooking time and fewer dishes to clean mean more time to enjoy this delicious all-time favorite with your loved ones.
Spaghetti and meatballs recipe is always a lifesaver because a) it is straightforward to make, b) it requires simple ingredients, and c) it’s impossible to turn down this tasty and Italian wonder, especially when topped with parmesan.
My life got significantly easier ever since I purchased an Instant Pot. This pressure cooker reduces the time needed to cook pasta or rice, and it has an incredibly easy user-interface. Besides saving you from the trouble of cooking the pasta separately and draining the water, it also helps the spaghetti to absorb the flavors of the meatball and the sauce.
Before moving on to the recipe, I want to brief you about the rule of thumb for any meal made in Instant Pot. Contrary to the way it’s done in a regular pot or pan, you don’t want to mix your ingredients until after the cooking. Instead, place your ingredients in layers. This will ensure that your spaghetti is homogeneously cooked without sticking to each other or to the pot.
There are variations to the layering, but I recommend dividing the pasta sauce in half, placing the first half at the very bottom. After placing the meatballs and the spaghetti noodles on top of the sauce, add the remaining sauce and finish off with water.
- 2 slices Italian Bread thick slices, about 3-4 inches
- ¼ cup water
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley snipped fine
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp Italian seasoning crushed
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 lb ground beef about 80% fat content
- 8 oz ground pork
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 32 oz jar pasta sauce or homemade if you have some
- 2 cup water for spaghetti
- 8 oz spaghetti noodles
- parmesan cheese for topping if desired
- Soak the Italian bread in the ¼ cup of water for 3 minutes.
- After soaking, break the bread into small pieces.
- Beat the egg in a large bowl. Add in the bread crumbs, soaked Italian bread pieces, chopped onion, parmesan cheese, 2 tbsp. water, olive oil, parsley, garlic, black pepper, red pepper, and Italian seasoning. Stir well.
- Mix in the ground beef and ground pork. You can use your electric mixer for this or a hand potato masher also works well.
- Shape meat into balls.
- Add 2 tbsp. olive oil to your Instant Pot. Set to saute and brown the meatballs on each side.
- Remove meatballs from the pot and wipe grease out of the bottom of the pot.
- Pour ½ jar of spaghetti sauce into the pot. Lay meatballs on top of sauce.
- Break the spaghetti noodles in half. Lay them on top of the meatballs in different directions. This helps to prevent sticking.
- Pour remaining ½ jar of sauce over top of noodles.
- Fill the sauce jar half full of water. Shake to mix in any sauce that is left in the jar. Add this water to the top of noodles.
- Seal Instant Pot according to pot directions.
- Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes.
- Do a manual fast release. Remove lid, stir carefully to avoid breaking up meatballs, and ready to serve.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 566Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 141mgSodium: 1036mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 38g
* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.
Cooking Tools: A Word About The Instant Pot
Ever seen that BURN warning on your Instant Pot? This simply indicates that the bottom layer of the sauce is starting to burn. A workaround is to calibrate the settings of your Instant Pot according to the altitude.
More specifically, if you live at an altitude higher than 2,000 feet, you need to increase your cooking time by 5% for every additional 1,000 feet (more here).
I would also imagine that the content of your pot is low on liquid if you are receiving that message. In that case, add extra 1-2 cups of water and lift the food using the steam rack for the water to wash down easily.
If the BURN notice persists, contact IP customer support. I personally haven’t had to contact customer support (knock on wood!).
Replacement For Spaghetti
You can replace spaghetti with any pasta of your liking. It doesn’t affect the recipe except for the cooking time. To adjust the pressure cooking-timer, check the recommended cooking time for the pasta you chose, and divide it by two. By the same logic, you can also use whole wheat noodles.
Replacement For The Meatballs
Instead of ground beef and pork, you can use ground turkey. As long as you cook them through beforehand, or bake them at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes, the pressure-cooking time should be the same.
Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs Substitute/Add/Remove
- You can always use ready-made frozen meatballs instead of making it yourself.
- This recipe uses a jar of spaghetti sauce, but you can opt for a homemade marinara sauce.
- You can add a layer of freshly-diced tomatoes on top of the sauce for more depth and extra flavor. Consider reducing the amount of water to compensate for the tomato, otherwise, you might end up with a soupy meal.
- The meatballs could go well with zoodle, a healthier alternative. You should definitely sautee the zoodle apart from the pressure cooking.
- Need gluten-free meatballs? Replace the breadcrumbs with gluten-free breadcrumbs or oats.
- Egg serves as a binding agent for the meatballs, but I realize that some of my readers may be allergic to eggs. Alternatively; you can try the following:
- *** 2 Tbsp of tomato paste and ¼ cup of rolled oats to replace two eggs, or;
- *** ¼ cup of ricotta cheese per egg.
- Disclaimer: I haven’t tried these myself, so let me know how it turned out in the comments section.
How to Store Your Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
You can keep your instant pot and spaghetti refrigerated for three days, or freeze them for up to three months.
Frequently Asked Questions about Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
Can you boil spaghetti in an instant pot?
Absolutely! With an electric pressure cooker, spaghetti cooks perfectly within half the recommended time written on the pasta package.
How do you keep noodles from sticking to the bottom of the instant pot?
Make sure that the water you add is just enough to cover the spaghetti entirely -not more, not less. Contrary to your intuition, you should not stir the spaghetti before the cooking. Because your spaghetti will release a lot of starch during pressure cooking, you should keep the noodles intact before putting the lid on.
What is the best thing to cook in an instant pot?
You have endless options for cooking meals in an instant pot. Aside from instant pot meat and spaghetti, here are some other meals to cook in an instant pot:
Desserts like pudding and cheesecake
Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs is the ultimate comfort food that can be made in under 30 minutes thanks to your pressure cooker. If you have been reluctant about using an Instant Pot until now, this recipe has hopefully changed your mind. Everyone at the dinner table will rave about how delicious your pasta dish is for weeks to come.
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