How To Make Spaghetti Noodles In Instant Pot

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Can I Add Beef Or Sausage To My Spaghetti

How to Cook Pasta in the Instant Pot (Regular & Gluten-Free!)

While the recipes that I listed above definitely serve as a good starting point for branching out, theres still something to be said about taking this specific recipe and adding on to it.

Another one of my go-tos for sauce is to simply toss either sausage or lean ground beef into the instant pot, along with some red wine, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes.

Troubleshooting Texture And Liquid Level

There is a delicate balance here. You want to make sure you have enough liquid for the pot to come to pressure. But when you eat instant pot spaghetti, nobody wants it to resemble spaghetti soup. Nope! So here is what I do to ensure the best texture and liquid level.

Heads up: When you open the pot, its going to look like a mess. Itll be very liquid-y.

And some of the noodles will be stuck in clumps like this.

No worries! Use your tongs to grab those clumps and stir them up to separate. I stir for a couple of minutes, and then I let it sit for another 5 minutes or so to let that liquid evaporate, stirring a couple times in that 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, itll look like this.

And congratulations ladies and gents, you have dinner! If you want to gussy things up a little, add some grated parmesan and fresh basil. Yum!

I also want to add that this easily yields eight servings and makes great leftovers.

Tip: I often pack leftovers for my kids lunches in vacuum sealed thermoses. It stays warm until lunch, and they love it!

I hope yall enjoy Instant Pot spaghetti as much as we do!

Tips For Making Instant Pot Spaghetti

  • Use either white or whole wheat spaghetti in this recipe Ive tested it with both with good success. I recommend cooking whole wheat spaghetti for 5 minutes . Cook white spaghetti for 7 minutes .
  • You can use either ground beef or ground turkey in this recipe.
  • When you use a full pound of meat in this recipe, the dish is heavy on the meat. You can use half a pound of meat instead of a full pound if you like less meat in your pasta. Either buy 1/2 pound from the butcher or save the other half pound from a one pound package to make tacos.
  • Ive tested this recipe without the meat and it worked great! To make vegetarian spaghetti, put the water in the pot first, then the seasonings, then pasta, then sauce on top. Do not stir and pressure cook as directed.
  • Use a good quality marinara sauce that you love the flavor of, as that will impact the flavor of the finished dish.
  • Do not stir after adding the spaghetti or sauce. You will arrange the spaghetti in alternating directions to prevent the noodles from sticking together.
  • Be sure to do a quick release right away when the cook time finishes so the pasta doesnt over cook.
  • When you first open the Instant Pot, the sauce will look thin. Give it a stir and let it rest for 3-5 minutes and it will be perfect!

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Preventing The Pasta From Sticking

The biggest challenge is preventing the cooked noodles from becoming too clumped together. Since there is no stirring once the lid is on, some sticking will occur, like cooking pasta on the stovetop. The stickiness is due to the starches that release as the flour hydrates.

Dont worry. I have a solution! Spaghetti noodles are long, so break them in half. Then add ¼ of the pasta at a time, creating a stacked crosshatch pattern. The result is less sticking, which makes it easier to stir the noodles and sauce together.

How To Cook Spaghetti Noodles In A Pressure Cooker

Instant Pot Spaghetti

The strange thing about cooking spaghetti noodles in your Instant Pot is that you cant stir the mixture while it cooks. That means you cant break up the noodles, preventing them from clumping together, during the cooking process.

To avoid clumping, its essential that you break the noodles into smaller pieces, and arrange them in a criss-cross manner as you add them to the pot. You can simply break the noodles in half, but I like to go a step further and break them into thirds for maximum non-clumping.

If your noodles to stick together for some reason during the cooking process, it is relatively easy to pull them apart with a fork when the cooking cycle is complete, but its nice to avoid having to do that as much as possible. I almost never have an issue when I break the noodles into thirds!

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Optional Brown Ground Beef In Instant Pot

*For Dump-and-Go Meal: skip the browning, sauteing, and deglazing steps below. Make sure to break the ground beef into smaller chunks, then layer the seasoned ground beef chunks, onions, garlic, dried herbs at the bottom of the pot.

*Pro Tip: This is an optional flavor-boosting step. If you have time, this step will greatly enhance the flavors of the Instant Pot Spaghetti.

First, heat up Instant Pot Pressure Cooker using Sauté More function.

*Tip: For older versions press Saute button, then Adjust button. For newer versions press Saute button twice.

Wait until it says HOT . This prevents the ground beef from sticking to the pot.

Add 1 tbsp olive oil in Instant Pot. Then, swirl your pot around to make sure the oil is coated over the whole bottom of the pot.

Now, add 1lb ground beef in Instant Pot, then season generously with salt & black pepper.

*Note: The ground beef will start to release moisture. At the 5-minute mark, discard the ground beef juice.

You just have to let the ground beef brown in Instant Pot. Simply stir them once in a while until theyre slightly crisped and browned .

Finally, taste the ground beef, then adjust the seasoning with more kosher salt and ground black pepper.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Spaghetti

There are several methods and formulas out there for spaghetti, but Im going to let you in on my method, which I developed while writing The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook. The thing you need to know about pasta is that it creates a lot of foam as it cooks under pressure. That foam will shoot out of the vent in the top of your pressure cooker if you perform a quick release immediately after cooking it.

Many recipes will have you cook spaghetti noodles for 6 to 8 minutes, then perform a quick release, but that can lead to a messy counter covered with starchy water that shoots out of your vent. The whole point of using an Instant Pot is that its supposed to make your life easier, and cleaning up a messy counter isnt going to help matters.

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Instead, I prefer to cook my spaghetti for a shorter time, and then I allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes. This lets the foam settle in the pot while the pasta finishes cooking, so when youre ready to open the lid, theres NO mess. Its a win-win.

Here are my general spaghetti cooking times for the Instant Pot:

  • Regular or Whole Wheat Spaghetti: 3 to 4 minutes at high pressure 10 minute natural release
  • Gluten-Free Spaghetti: 0 minutes at high pressure 8 minute natural release

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The Instant Pot Pasta Water Ratio

I typically make a pound of pasta at a time, so the ratio I use is a pound of dry pasta, 4 cups of water, and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. You can easily scale this up to a maximum of 2 pounds of dry pasta in a 6-qt. Instant Pot or down to as little as 4 ounces, depending on your needs. Just adjust the water and kosher salt accordingly.

See the table below for a quick pasta/water ratio reference:

4 teaspoons

What Pastas Shouldnt Be Cooked In The Instant Pot

Instant Pot Spaghetti (with or without meat!) | How to Cook Spaghetti in the Pressure Cooker
  • Small pasta like Orzetto, Stelline that are for soups | They can clog the safety mechanisms in your Instant Pot.
  • Homemade pasta tend to break very easily.
  • Any pasta that has a cook time of 7 minutes or less.
  • Fresh pasta will fall apart.
  • Potato Gnocchi, Tortellini, Ravioli | All break down and fall apart.

Now that you have perfected making pasta, why not try making homemade bread.

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Calculating Cooking Time For Pasta

Check out the recommended cooking time on the packet of the pasta. Most pasta cooks in 8 to 12 minutes. Often, you will have a range, say 9-11 minutes in boiling water. Al dente means its cooked but still has a little firmness when you bite through it, so it maintains its structure without being too soft or mushy. Al dente is the Italian way!

To cook the pasta in the Instant Pot, you would divide its regular cooking time by 2 and deduct 1 extra minute. So it would be -1 minute=3.5 minutes at HIGH pressure followed by a quick release of the pressure. On average, 4-4.5 minutes should work for most types of pasta.

Ingredients To Cook Spaghetti Noodles In An Instant Pot

The ingredients for this recipe are shown in the photo below, we use very simple basic ingredients for this recipe.

As you can see the recipe calls for:

  • dried spaghetti noodles
  • parsley
  • cracked pepper

This is the basics for what you will need to learn, understand, and master for Instant Pot Spaghetti recipes.

You can then take this understanding and make easy dinners like the Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce or Instant Pot Spaghetti with Jar Sauce.

Read Also: How To Cook Frozen Meatballs In Instant Pot

How Much Liquid Do You Need To Cook Instant Pot Pasta

A general rule of thumb for cooking Instant Pot pasta is to use four cups of liquid for every pound of pasta. Your dried pasta should be covered in the liquid – the liquid can be simply water, or tomato sauce, or dairy-based.

When in doubt, just ensure that the pasta is just about submerged under the liquid, and you should be good!

How To Make Spaghetti In Your Instant Pot

Easy Instant Pot Spaghetti Recipe

Start with your Instant Pot on sauté mode and add the olive oil. Once it is hot add the onions and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes. Stir often making sure they dont burn.

Turn off the sauté mode and stir in the kosher salt. Then pour in the chicken broth and scrape up and browned bits from the bottom.

Pro Tip: never skip scraping up the browned bits when using the Instant Pot. It helps prevent the burn notice.

Grab the spaghetti and break in half. Place the spaghetti in the pot in a crisscross pattern. This prevents the pasta from cooking in one large clump.

Do not stir the pasta at this point, just give it a light press to make sure that it is all touching the liquid.

Pour half the jar of sauce over the pasta, then sprinkle on the seasonings.

Close the lid and turn the pressure valve to seal. Set to cook for 2 minutes.

At the end do a 5 minute natural release. Finish with a quick release.

PRO TIP: It will look a little watery when you open the pot, dont worry, the starches from the cooked pasta will thicken it up while it cools!

Stir in the rest of the jar of sauce and toss the pasta. Let the pasta rest for about 5 minutes so it can thicken a little while it cools.

Taste for additional seasonings , then serve warm topped with parmesan cheese.

Also Check: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn

What Is The Pasta To Water Ratio

10-100-1000, said Felicetti. Thats the ratio of salt to pasta to water. So 10 grams of salt is the right amount to cook 100 grams of pasta in 1000 milliliters of water . 100 grams of pasta is less than 1/4 pound, so to better illustrate the ratio, multiply it by 5.

Can I Cook Pasta In An Instant Pot

Yes! You can, and whats more I highly recommend it as a time saving and low-effort way to make pasta that is super flavorful and perfectly cooked. Heres why:

More flavor – Pasta cooked in the Instant Pot turns out more flavorful than pasta that is cooked with the sauce separately. The seasonings are mixed in with the water and liquid used to cook the pasts in the Instant Pot. The pasta cooks under pressure and absorbs all the flavors from the liquid. I like to add a good quality broth or bouillon to the liquid before pressure cooking, and this gives my super flavorful pasta every single time!

Perfect texture – The pasta comes out just the way my kids and I like it. A tad more done than al dente. The softer than usual texture is a hige hit with kids especially. If you like your pasta al dente and with some more bite, then simply reduce the pressure cooking time by a minute.

Naturally thick sauce No need to reserve that starchy pasta water to thicken the sauce anymore! Many stovetop pasta recipes call for reserving the pasta water to thicken the sauce. When you cook pasta in the Instant Pot, the starch from the pasta is not drained away. It stays in the cooker, and the sauce is naturally thickened. This means you can add lesser cream or cheese or other thickeners .

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How To Avoid A Burn Notice With Instant Pot Spaghetti

A properly-developed, well-tested pressure cooker spaghetti recipe shouldn’t trigger a burn warning. In real life though, sometimes the ratio of liquid to solid ingredients gets knocked out of balance, contents start overheating, and the cooker says “burn”. To prevent this imbalance …

  • use caution when modifying this recipe ingredients
  • double and triple check the cooker settings
  • confirm that the lid, seal, and pressure valve are properly set
  • I recommend reading all about Instant Pot burn warnings and solutions from this Instant Pot safety guide.

    Why My Instant Pot Is Spitting Out Too Much Foam During Quick Release

    Cooking pasta with my new Instant Pot DUO60

    Therere a few reasons youre having too much foam spitting out of Instant Pot:

  • Milk, or any dairy product used as cooking liquid will cause excess foam. Ive had this happen when I used milk with pasta, when I was testing my alfredo pasta recipe, and it was NOT a pretty scene!
  • Some pasta brands tend to foam more than others. I never have this issue with Barilla and Italia pasta. I personally use Barilla and Italia brand pastas, and I never had foam spitting out of the pressure valve.
  • Overfilling the pot, or using too much water also could cause splattering.
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    Instant Pot Pasta Recipes

    • Instant Pot Mac and Cheese This method of cooking pasta in the Instant Pot works so well with Mac and Cheese. Because the starches in the pasta thicken the cheesy sauce, you get an extra creamy mac without needing a ton of cheese or butter.
    • Instant Pot Chicken Spaghetti Classic and comforting, this one pot meal is a family favorite around here. Check out that post .
    • Instant Pot Italian Pasta Salad This pasta salad uses a different method than the one described here. For Instant Pot pasta salad you boil the pasta above the other ingredients using the pot-in-pot method. But its such a fun Instant Pot trick, it deserved a mention here.

    Our Method Of Cooking Pasta

    Our method for cooking any type of pasta in the Instant Pot is a bit different, and well explain how we came to it below. But first, here is our basic method:

  • Add dried pasta and water to nearly cover the pasta. A few pieces of pasta sticking above the water line is ok. You dont want to cook it in too much water because that lengthens the time it takes to heat and that can become a problem during the pressure release .
  • Set the Instant Pot to the cooking time of 0 minutes, and yes this is an actual cooking time and not a typo!
  • Once it comes up to pressure and hits 0 minutes, let the pressure naturally release for 3 minutes. This reads as L 00:03 on the Instant Pot.
  • Then release the remaining pressure manually.
  • So whats the science behind this? Its simple: the pasta is already cooking during the time it takes to come up to the pressure, and the pasta continues to cook when the pressure cooker clicks off. The reason we do it this way is to minimize the Instant Pot from boiling over with starch. This looks like starch spewing out of the pressure release knob.

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    Spaghetti Squash Is A Great Pasta Substitute

    It wasnt til I went Paleo that I finally sampled a spaghetti squashbut I undercooked it and turned my nose up at the squeaky, bland vegetable strands. But heyIm open-minded. I gave spaghetti squash a second chance at a swanky vegetarian restaurant, and thats when I finally had an epiphanythis gourds pretty awesome if its properly cooked and smothered in a delicious sauce. Its not quite a pasta substitute, but this noodle-y veggie is a fabulous vehicle for an umami-packed sauce.

    Ziti Casserole Made Easy In The Instant Pot

    Instant Pot Taco Spaghetti

    If you’re a lover of cheesy, hearty, comforting pasta casseroles but avoid them due to the time and effort involved, this Instant Pot baked ziti recipe is for you. Here, we are going to eliminate the steps of waiting for a large pot of water to boil, stirring the pasta while it cooks, making a homemade sauce, and allowing for oven time to warm the ziti casserole and melt the cheese. Instead, the entire process gets streamlined by the pressure cooker, reducing time, and hands-on work.

    Here’s how easy it all is: Chicken sausage, onions, and garlic are quickly sautéed before layering in some hearty greens, the uncooked pasta, a few spices, and a good-quality jarred marinara sauce. After an incredibly short cooking time of 6 minutes, you open the lid to discover perfectly cooked pasta in a super tasty sauce. Stir in some grated parmesan and you could easily stop here for a very decent weeknight meal. But if you adore a cheesy-topped casserole dish, top it with some grated mozzarella, then close the lid again for a few minutes to allow the cheese to melt. Done. Easy. Brilliant. Delicious.

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