Instant Pot Spaghetti

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This Instant Pot Spaghetti is a quick one-pot wonder, packed with seasoned Italian sausage and a robust marinara. Super quick, super easy, and downright delicious!

Overhead image of Instant Pot Spaghetti Back To School Lifesavers series

Instant Pot Spaghetti is part of our Back-To-School Lifesavers — a series of recipes that are intended to have little (or no) veggie chopping, minimal prep time, around 10 ingredients or less (not including pantry staples), and use kid-friendly ingredients. Click here to see all the recipes in the series!

Instant Pot Spaghetti

We all know spaghetti is the hero of hectic weeknights. It’s fast, uses those trusty pantry staples, and is always a crowd pleaser. Sure, the stovetop version has its charm (this One-Pot Spaghetti has saved dinner countless times), but let’s chat about pressure cooker spaghetti and how it removes the need to stand over the pan and watch. It’s like waving a magic wand! Simple, speedy, and bursting with robust flavors! People might think you’ve been stirring and simmering a marinara all day to get these kinds of flavors. But in reality? Just 8 minutes of pressure-cooking magic!

Give your bowl of spaghetti the perfect finishing touch with some fresh Parmesan cheese and a dash of parsley, and voila! It’s like eating at a chic Italian bistro. It’s just the kind of recipe magic we need, especially during the bustling back-to-school season!

Ingredient shot-- image of all the ingredients used in this dish

Instant Pot Spaghetti Ingredients

  • Olive oil: Just a drizzle is all we need to prevent that delicious sausage from sticking to our pot.
  • Ground Italian sausage: Feeling mild or spicy today? It’s all up to you! And hey, if you’re craving some extra heat, just sprinkle in some red pepper flakes later on—or let everyone customize their own plate.
  • Yellow onion: Little tip to save your tears: pop the onion in the fridge for about half an hour before chopping.
  • Minced garlic: Jarred garlic is quickest here, but if you’re wanting a bolder garlic flavor use fresh garlic.
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, sea salt, and pepper: These are our foundational seasonings for flavor in this dish.
  • Spaghetti: Stick to regular spaghetti noodles for this recipe. Those thin, thick, or gluten-free versions might throw off our cooking time, and we haven’t tested these varieties yet.
  • Rao’s® marinara: Trust me, this stuff is gold. The magic it brings in terms of flavor and texture is unparalleled. Your sauce is a big player in this spaghetti game, so go for the best possible marinara here!
  • Water: A little tip: using filtered water can elevate that clean, fresh taste even more.
  • Tomato Sauce: Like with the marinara, the better the sauce, the tastier the dish. If you’re reaching for a more budget-friendly option, a tiny sprinkle of sugar can help balance out any excess acidity.


Quality matters: Invest in good-quality marinara sauce and Italian sausage. These two key ingredients play a significant role in the end flavor of this Instant Pot Spaghetti.

Process shots of instant pot spaghetti-- images of the sausage being seared and then onion, garlic, seasonings, marinara, and tomato sauce all being added to the instant pot

Instant Pot Spaghetti Toppings

  • Trust us, freshly grated Parmesan trumps pre-grated any day. It melts like a dream and packs a flavor punch that’s simply unmatched. Grab a block of Parmesan cheese and grate it right over the dish using a microplane. Not only will it elevate the aesthetic, but it also gives an awesome finishing seasoning to round out your flavors.
  • For parsley, flat-leaf (Italian) parsley tends to have a more robust flavor than curly parsley. It adds a nice burst of freshness to this Instant Pot Spaghetti.


We refer to Instant Pots in this recipe, but any similar multi-process pressure cooker will work. Instant Pot is a trademarked brand of pressure cookers manufactured by Instant Brands.

Process shots-- images of the spaghetti being added and it all being pressure cooked


Recipe Shortcuts

  • Marinara magic: Rao’s® marinara sauce is our top pick (nope, they’re not paying us to say that!). Why? It’s jam-packed with rich, homemade flavor and it’s hearty. Trust us, the sauce is the real MVP in this Instant Pot Spaghetti. With Rao’s, you get all those lovely additions like olive oil, onions, garlic, basil, and more, making our ingredient list way shorter.
  • Onion hacks: Don’t fancy chopping? Most supermarkets have got your back with pre-diced yellow onions sitting pretty in the produce aisle. If you’re planning way ahead, grab a bag of frozen diced onions from the freezer section. Or, if you’re on team gadget, just blitz an onion in the food processor.
  • Garlic goodness: Dorot’s® garlic cubes are a game-changer. Imagine crushed garlic, always at the ready in your freezer—just pop ’em into this recipe or any other. You can usually find these lifesavers with the frozen veggies. If you can’t track them down, the refrigerated minced garlic will do the trick.

Process shots of Instant Pot Spaghetti-- images of the pressure being released from the instant pot and it all being stirred together

How To Make Instant Pot Spaghetti (Tips)

  • Prevent sticking: Before adding ingredients, use olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. It’ll prevent the sausage and other ingredients from sticking and burning.
  • Deglaze the pot: After browning the sausage, make sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. This will keep you from getting the dreaded burn notice on the Instant Pot screen.
  • Criss-cross spaghetti: To prevent the spaghetti from sticking together, ensure you place them in a criss-cross pattern. This not only prevents clumping but also ensures even cooking. 
  • Seal properly: Make sure the Instant Pot’s sealing ring is properly placed, and the valve is set to the ‘sealing’ position before pressure cooking. This will ensure that the pot comes to pressure as intended.

Up-close overhead image of the dish in the pot ready to be enjoyed

Tips, Continued

  • Stay nearby for quick release: This Instant Pot Spaghetti can become mushy if overcooked. Be around to release the pressure immediately once the cooking cycle ends.
  • Be patient post-cooking: Once done, give the spaghetti a few minutes to rest before stirring. This allows the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken slightly on its own.
  • Stirring post-cooking: Right after pressure cooking, the mixture might look a bit watery. Give it a thorough stir and let it sit for a few minutes. The sauce will thicken up as it cools a bit.
  • Al dente noodles: If you prefer your spaghetti with a bit more bite, reduce the pressure cooking time by one minute.

Overhead image of the Instant Pot Spaghetti in the pot ready to be served

What To Serve With Instant Pot Spaghetti

  1. Garlic bread: A classic choice! Crispy garlic bread, dinner rolls, or garlic knots are perfect for soaking up any leftover sauce on your plate.
  2. Caesar salad: Fresh, crisp, and creamy, a Caesar salad with some crunchy croutons offers a refreshing contrast to the rich spaghetti.
  3. Roasted vegetables: Consider roasted Brussels sprouts, asparagus, or broccoli as a nutritious and tasty side.
  4. Caprese Salad: Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil leaves make a light and flavorful companion. Or try our popular Caprese Quinoa Salad!
  5. Focaccia: This Italian olive oil-rich bread is a great side for any pasta dish.

More Instant Pot Faves:

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Instant Pot Spaghetti

5 from 4 votes
Instant Pot Spaghetti is a quick one-pot wonder, packed with seasoned Italian sausage and a robust marinara. Super quick, super easy, and downright delicious!
Print Recipe

Instant Pot Spaghetti

5 from 4 votes
Instant Pot Spaghetti is a quick one-pot wonder, packed with seasoned Italian sausage and a robust marinara. Super quick, super easy, and downright delicious!
Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Instant Pot Spaghetti
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Chelsea Lords
Calories 607kcal
Cost $12.12


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage (mild or spicy -- up to you!)
  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon each: garlic powder, onion powder, fine sea salt, and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 jar (24 oz) Rao's® marinara sauce (Note 1)
  • cups water
  • 2 cans (8 oz each) tomato sauce
  • 16 oz (1 lb) spaghetti (Note 2)
  • For serving: Parmesan cheese and parsley (Note 3)


  • SAUSAGE: Set the Instant Pot to 'sauté' mode. Add olive oil, followed by the Italian sausage. Sear for about 1 minute on each side before adding in the onion, garlic, and seasonings. Cook until the sausage is fully browned, breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks. Turn off the Instant Pot.
  • SAUCE: Pour the marinara sauce into the pot. Fill the empty marinara jar with 2 cups water, shake to combine, then pour into the pot. Add the remaining 2½ cups water and the tomato sauce; stir to combine. Break the spaghetti strands in half. Fan them out in a criss-cross pattern on top of the sauce. Gently press down on the spaghetti, submerging it under the liquid.
  • PRESSURE COOK: Secure the Instant Pot lid and set the valve to the sealed position. Select 'manual' mode, and set it to high pressure for 8 minutes. Once done, quickly release the pressure to prevent overcooking the spaghetti. Upon opening, the mixture might seem liquid-y. Stir thoroughly, allowing the sauce to thicken and combine with the pasta. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed (I'll typically add another ½ tsp salt).
  • ENJOY: Serve hot, garnished with Parmesan cheese and parsley.


Recipe Notes

Note 1: Marinara sauce: This recipe is relying on a really good-quality, flavorful marinara sauce for flavor. And Rao's® is hands-down our favorite! Rao’s Marinara has lovely additions like olive oil, onions, garlic, basil, and more-- which add so much flavor to this recipe.
Note 2: Spaghetti: Stick to regular spaghetti for this recipe. Those thin, thick, or gluten-free versions have different cooking times, and we haven’t tested these varieties yet.
Note 3: Parmesan: We like to grab a block of Parmesan cheese and grate it right over the spaghetti using a microplane

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 607kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 1463mg | Potassium: 970mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 825IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 4mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Cant wait to make this soon for me can i use tofu i love pasta sooooooooo much i never had instant pot spaghetti before perfect for my after office meals

  2. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe, Chelsea! I just happened to find the Rao’s Homemade sauce – but the only one they had was Tomato Basil (not Marinara). Do you think I’d need to adjust the Italian Seasoning at all? As always, thanks for all you share!

    1. I think you should be fine without making any other adjustments! Hope you love this recipe; thanks for the comment Kris! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Delish!!! I couldn’t believe how easy this spaghetti was to prepare. I followed the recipe except for using the Tomato Basil instead of Marinara, so maybe a bit more spicy. The spaghetti was perfectly al dente, and the sauce thickened as expected (hoped!) couldn’t have been better – thanks Chelsea!

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