I love instant pot recipes that yield a complete meal, with minimal prep, like this Instant Pot Penne Pasta with Meatballs. Uncooked penne pasta, meatballs and a simple homemade tomato sauce are added to the pot together, and dinner is ready in just a few minutes!
I have a handful of all-in-one instant pot meals, like this one, that my family LOVES and I make on a regular basis. Our favorite is probably Instant Pot Chicken Taco Bowls followed closely by Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Pasta and Instant Pot Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes.
Instant Pot Pasta with Meatballs
I really look forward to sharing this type of Instant Pot recipe because I know so many of you share my enthusiasm for meals you can dump in the instant pot and have dinner ready and nearly the snap of your fingers. This pasta is especially kid-friendly and I’m confidant your family will love it!
How to make Instant Pot Pasta with meatballs:
Gather the ingredients you’ll need, including uncooked penne pasta, a can of crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, meatballs (frozen or fresh), and spices.
Start by layering your frozen meatballs in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add the pasta on top of the meatball and spread it into an even layer. Pour the water on top of the pasta. Add the crushed tomatoes, seasonings, and tomato sauce on top and gently stir it with a spoon, making sure that the sauce completely covers the noodles.
The general rule of thumb for cooking pasta in the instant pot or pressure cooker is to cook it on high pressure for half the amount of time noted on the box, followed by a quick release.
How to cook meatballs in the Instant Pot:
You can use pre-cooked frozen meatballs for this recipe or you can make your own meatballs from scratch.
To cook frozen meatballs in the Instant Pot, simply layer them at the bottom of the instant pot, add uncooked pasta and water on top, followed by tomato sauce and spices. Then cook on high pressure for half the time noted on the pasta box.
To cook raw meatballs in the instant pot, first turn the instant pot to sauté mode. Spray the bottom of the pot with cooking spray. Quickly brown the meatballs on all sides (they should still be uncooked in the middle). Then layer them at the bottom of the instant pot, add uncooked pasta on top, add water and top with desired sauce. Then cook on high pressure for half the time noted on the pasta box.
More ways to adapt this recipe:
- Substitute crushed fire roasted tomatoes to add some heat and bold flavor.
- Stir in spinach at the end
- Add cheese at the end
DON’T MISS MY OTHER FAVORITE INSTANT POT RECIPES, INCLUDING:
- Instant Pot Skinny Fettuccini Alfredo
- Instant Pot Chicken Taco Bowls
- Instant Pot Ranch Chicken Pasta
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Instant Pot Ribs
- Tomato Basil Soup
- Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
- Instant Pot Chicken Marsala
Pasta with Meatballs
- 2 pounds frozen meatballs (fully cooked-about 16 meatballs)
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 3 cups water
- 24 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasonings
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
- 3 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves , chopped (or 2 tsp. dried)
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper
- freshly grated parmesan cheese , for topping
- fresh chopped parsley , for garnish
- crushed red pepper flakes , optional for garnish
- DISCLAIMER: I developed and tested this recipe in my 6-QUART INSTANT POT DUO. If you’re using a larger IP or a newer brand you may need to add more liquid so that you don’t get a burn notice. (The new IP are much more sensitive). Not all instant pot recipes work perfectly for all types of instant pots. See this article for more information on adapting recipes for your instant pot.
- Add meatballs to bottom of IP. Add pasta on top, spreading into an even layer.
- Pour water over pasta.
- Add crushed tomatoes, seasonings and tomato sauce and gently stir with a spoon. Smooth the sauce to completely cover the noodles.
- Cook on High Pressure (Manual) for 4-5 minutes (half the time on the box of pasta).
- Do a controlled quick release when timer beeps. Stir. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
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