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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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
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:
- Grab some greens and add our healthy ranch dressing, balsamic vinaigrette, or honey mustard dressing
- Make our Incredible Chopped Salad or Radish Chopped Salad Recipe
- Or, try this Best Tossed Salad Recipe
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.
This Instant Pot spaghetti recipe is…
Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free (using the olive oil option).
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.
- 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)
- 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.
- Ladle just enough of the tomato mixture into the Instant Pot to cover the bottom.
- 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).
- Pour remaining sauce over the spaghetti.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
*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!
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