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Instant Pot Pasta and Meatballs

Posted February 26, 2020 by Stephanie

You're only 10 minutes away from the best pasta and meatballs you've ever made with this super easy one-pot instant pot pasta and meatballs recipe.

You're only 10 minutes away from the best pasta and meatballs you've ever made with this super easy one-pot instant pot pasta and meatballs recipe.

You're only 10 minutes away from the best pasta and meatballs you've ever made with this super easy one-pot instant pot pasta and meatballs recipe.

You're only 10 minutes away from the best pasta and meatballs you've ever made with this super easy one-pot instant pot pasta and meatballs recipe.

I know what you’re thinking: meatballs on a weekday?! Yes, it’s true, after a long day of work the last thing I want to do is roll meatballs. In fact, getting delivery is probably my most favorite way to have a relaxing night. But, sometimes only homemade will do. In those cases, homemade plus Instant Pot is the answer.

Is this recipe super quick to make? Yes and no. It only needs 5 minutes on high pressure in your Instant Pot, but of course it takes time for your IP to come up to pressure. Also, you need to mix and roll out meatballs. But, you don’t have to cook and drain your pasta and you don’t have to worry about hanging out near the stove in case your tomato sauce starts splattering. Instead, you can do the prep, set it, and forget it. Or, you know, have a quick shower, change into comfy clothes and pour yourself a glass of wine or five.

This is a pretty easy recipe to make! All you do is dump the sauce ingredients, along with the pasta into the instant pot. Stir that all up, then mix up your meatballs, shape them, and place them right on top. On goes the lid, set it, then wait. When everything’s done and you open up your pot, give it all a stir and you’re ready to eat.

This is self care at it’s finest. A saucy bowl of pasta and tender, juicy meatballs. The key to tender meatballs is the breadcrumbs. They help give it a soft, fall apart texture. If you want your meatballs really soft, add an extra egg – the extra moisture will loosen up the mix and make the meatballs even more tender. And yes, these are tender balls. No searing or browning here. Mostly because we’re trying to save on time, but also because a braised meatball is somehow cozier than a browned one.

Don’t forget the parm! Shower your bowl with some cheesy love, you deserve it!

Instant Pot Pasta and Meatballs

Cozy comforting pasta rings and meatballs in tomato sauce.
Serves 4
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces pasta of choice

Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup panko or breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  • In the Instant Pot insert, combine the onion, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Stir in 1 cup of water then add the pasta on top, without stirring in.
  • Make the meatballs by combining the beef, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl. Shape the meat into balls and place directly into the pot on top without stirring in.
  • Cover and cook on high pressure for five minutes. When done, quick release the pressure and carefully open the Instant Pot.
  • Stir and turn on sauté mode to reduce the sauce if needed. Taste and season. Enjoy!

13 Comments

  1. Nat says:

    Yum! Looks delicious! Do you use fresh pasta or will the recipe also work with dry pasta too?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi nat,
      you have to use dry pasta!! fresh pasta will basically disintegrate because it needs such a short cooking time!

  2. Christie says:

    Hello I am a food blog!
    Quick questions:
    – Is it possible to double the recipe and the results will be the same if you want to feed more people?
    – The pasta is sticking to the bottom. Is there a way to prevent this?

    Thank you!

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi christie,
      i haven’t tried doubling it so i’m not sure if the pot can take the volume, but if you have the larger instant pot i think it will. if the pasta is sticking, add a bit more water (maybe like a quarter cup) and be sure to stir well. if your tomato sauce is really thick, you might want to add 1/2 cup. it’ll mean that the sauce will be a touch more watery though. you can also add a tablespoon of olive oil in with the water, which should help! hope that helps :) i‘ve also heard that not stirring the pasta into the sauce helps with it not sticking to the bottom of the pot. maybe give it a try?

  3. Nancy says:

    Just made this and the onions came out raw and crunchy. Meanwhile, the pasta was undercooked and the meatballs (85% lean beef) came out dense and dry. Where did I go wrong?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi nancy!
      what size instant pot do you have and how thick were your crushed tomatoes? if they were on the thicker side, that might have affected how much water the pasta got. did you remember to add in the extra cup of water? as for the meatballs, if you like a looser meatball, i’d recommend adding extra breadcrumbs. hope that helps! let me know if you try again :)

  4. DeniseT says:

    Can I make this without the pasta, with all the same ingredients? I want to serve the meatballs with stuffed shells.

    1. Stephanie says:

      absolutely! i often just make meatballs in the instant pot!

  5. Miranda H says:

    Made this for dinner tonight! It was delicious and the first insta
    Pot meal my family said “make again” (only had mine a week)!!

  6. Jerrie says:

    This looks delicious! Would you mind sharing what kind of pasta that is? Thanks so much!

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi jerrie,
      it’s called calamarata!

  7. Monique says:

    Can you do this in a crockpot and if so how long to cook ? Thank you

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi monique,
      i haven’t made this in a crockpot so i’m not sure what the timing would be – i think you’d do the meatballs then add the pasta in at the last minute.

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