Overhead photo of an instant pot filled with penne pasta in a red sauce with meatballs, and a spoonful being lifted out.
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5 from 2 votes

Pasta with Meatballs

Instant Pot Penne Pasta with Meatballs is a favorite easy meal at our house. It's made with uncooked penne pasta, meatballs and a simple red sauce.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 547kcal
Author: Lauren Allen


  • 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
  • 1/2 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 parsley leaves , 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.


Calories: 547kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 332mg | Potassium: 809mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 360IU | Vitamin C: 11.2mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 3.3mg