Instant Pot Spaghetti

Instant Pot Spaghetti


That is the sound I hear in my head with the image of Lady and the Tramp slowly making their way through a strand of spaghetti. Both gazing intensely into each other’s eyes (in my memory at least!). And then, just like that, the huge bowl of spaghetti with the inviting dollop of red sauce on top is finished and I can’t help but think: ‘I wish there were more’. There is something very comforting about a big bowl of warming spaghetti bolognese twisting around a fork on a cold, rainy day. I am not quite a lady, so I will have to settle for a fork and spoon when it comes to eating spaghetti.

Many years ago, friends of my parents invited us for dinner at their home. The lady of the house’s daughter-in-law was Italian and she made us the most memorable spaghetti dish I’ve ever had in my life; it had chunks of lamb in a rich tomato and basil sauce. The lamb was tender and literally fell of the bone when you touched it with your spoon. The spaghetti was homemade and cooked to a perfect al dente. The sauce was dripping off our faces, the fattiness of the lamb glistening on our cheeks and chin. I didn’t know it then, but looking back, I know that was the day I fell in love with the Italian Cuisine.

25 years on, I finally had the chance to visit Italy for myself. The food was every bit as delicious as that lovely evening. I honestly couldn’t get enough of the culture and cuisine and I cannot wait to go back!

Read: Sicily, A Foodie’s Paradise

I am not going to tell you today that Instant Pot spaghetti is better than the real thing, because, let’s face it: it will be an utter lie. However, in it’s own way it brings comfort on a gloomy day. It cheers you up when you are feeling down or ill and, as an added bonus, it is super quick to make! Not to say that it is rather delicious…

Top tips for a great Instant Pot Spaghetti


You’ve probably read it on Facebook or heard it on Youtube a million times, but to make IP spaghetti successfully, you must stick to the layer-order given in the recipe. If you don’t follow the recipe exactly, you will find that your pot will often end up giving you a burn notice or the pasta will clump together so much that it will be virtually inedible (although I quite like it from time to time!). When layering your spaghetti, ensure that you scatter it in an even, flat layer and then place the next layer of spaghetti perpendicularly to the first. This will ensure an even cook with very minimal clumping.


Deglazing is probably another term you may be very familiar with. Deglazing is when you use a clear liquid to scrape off all the stuck on bits from the bottom of your pot. Step 1 of my recipe would be to sauté some ingredients together. This allows for a lovely depth of flavour and gives the meat and vegetables colour, but it is also a slight problem when some bits are stuck to the bottom of the pot. This is here when you pour in your cooking liquid and take a wooden spoon and scrape the bits off the bottom. Not only will this add flavour, it will also ensure that you don’t get a burn notice.

Cooking time

The cooking time will vary slightly from person to person. It will all depend on what type of pasta you are using and also your height above sea level. A great indication for me is to look at the pasta’s cooking instructions: whatever the stovetop time has been indicated, halve it and add two minutes. Thus far, for me, this has worked every time.

Great variations and ideas on the basic Instant Pot Spaghetti recipe

We don’t always want to eat the same dish over and over, so it is fantastic if we can add a bit of variety to the old classics. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I only long for the classic dish but there are days that I would like to ‘switch it up’ and here are a few ideas on how to achieve this:

  • Add some vegetables like frozen peas or sweetcorn right at the end after cooking.
  • For a rich and indulgent twist, stir in a dollop or two of creamed cheese, creme fraiche or sour cream.
  • Stir a handful of grated cheddar cheese or even feta cheese into the finished dish just before serving.
  • Why not substitute the mince for lean diced beef? Be sure to cook it first before adding the pasta and tomato otherwise the pasta will be overcooked and the beef will not be cooked at all.
  • Minced beef can also be substituted for minced turkey, lamb or pork. You can also squeeze out some sausages out of their casings to add some wonderful flavour.
  • For a mock Italian treat, stir in some chopped basil and scatter with freshly grated parmesan just before serving.
  • You can literally use any pasta shape you like; whether it be fusilli, penne, rigatoni, tagliatelle, mafalda or even conchiglie – the possibilities are endless.

The basic recipe

The basic recipe is exactly what it says on the tin: basic. It consists of gently frying some soffritto (a blend of chopped onions, celery, garlic and carrots) before adding in the mince and frying this until it is lightly browned.

Next you add in your water/stock/wine and deglaze your pot whilst the IP is still set to Sauté mode. Ensure that you have about a cup and a half’s worth of liquid once you’re done deglazing. You don’t want so much that your pasta turns to soup, but you also don’t want so little that your pasta is undercooked.

Next, layer your pasta as described above in a criss-cross pattern. Lastly add your tomatoes. I normally use a tin of chopped tomatoes or if I have it, some bottled pasta sauce on a lazy night. DO NOT STIR. I cannot emphasise it enough: don’t stir the pot. Season it well before placing the lid onto your Instant Pot and set the High Pressure timer for 8-10 minutes.

Once the time is up, do a quick release. Now you can stir to your heart’s content before leaving the pot on Keep Warm for 5 or so minutes for the liquid to thicken a little. If, after 5 minutes of resting, the liquid hasn’t been soaked up you can thicken it with either a little corn starch paste or with tomato paste.

Now you can stir in any dairy (if you are using any) and fresh herbs if you are using any. Stir, serve and enjoy!

Instant Pot Spaghetti

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • tablespoon italian herbs like oregano, thyme and basil
  • glug of oil
  • 250g beef mince
  • 1.5 cups water/wine/stock or a combination
  • 200g pasta
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • salt and pepper


  1. Put your pot on the Sauté function and wait until it is hot. Add the oil, garlic, onion, carrot and any dried herbs. Sauté until translucent.
  2. Add the mince and brown.
  3. Add in the liquid and deglaze the pot.
  4. Add in the pasta in a criss-cross fashion.
  5. Add the tomato on top and season generously. Do not stir.
  6. Set the Instant Pot on High Pressure for 8 minutes.
  7. Once the time is up do a quick release and stir.
  8. Leave for 5 minutes to thicken up before stirring.

Do you fancy some more Instant Pot recipes?

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8 Comments on “Instant Pot Spaghetti

  1. Pingback: Butternut and chicken stuffed cannelloni (instant pot) – Life, with Clotted Cream

  2. Pingback: Instant Pot Spaghetti — Life, with Clotted Cream – Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

  3. I keep saying I am going to buy an instant pot, not for spag bol but for the pressure cooking side of it…:)One day soon it’s a toss-up between an ice cream maker or Instant Pot 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d say get both 😉 I’ve been hinting for a long time that I wanted an Instant Pot once we’ve moved out of our flat. My hubby then secretly bought me one for Christmas but it arrived really early. He couldn’t wait til Christmas to give it to me and ended up buying me another great gift for Christmas 😂.

      I must say that the IP has proved it’s worth in gold. It even saves on electricity! Tough cuts that usually take hours in the oven can be fall off the bone in under an hour. I really love that aspect.

      Good luck with the decision!xx

      Liked by 1 person

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