Instant Pot Baked Ziti

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Instant Pot Baked Ziti is an easy one pot meal made with whole wheat pasta, spinach and cheese. The perfect meatless main dish for the family on busy weeknights!

Instant Pot Baked Ziti
Instant Pot Baked Ziti

I’m so excited to share this baked ziti recipe with all of you! I’ve tested this several times and got it just right! It’s an easy one pot pasta recipe that takes less than 15 minutes to make. I tried this out on my picky husband and he loved it, so did I! More one pot recipes like this you might like Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce or Instant Pot Turkey Meatball and Pasta Soup.

Instant Pot Baked Ziti

So many things to love about this one pot dinner! Because this baked ziti cooks with the sauce, you honestly can’t tell the pasta is whole wheat. Of course, when it comes to whole wheat pasta, you all know the only brand I like is Delallo. The texture is so much better than other brands, it’s the first brand that got me to convert and I love that it’s organic. They have a variety of shapes in whole wheat, but I really love their whole wheat cavatappi for this recipe. To keep the calories low I suggest making your own homemade marinara with their San Marzano imported tomatoes or one that doesn’t have a lot of oil added.

There’s no meat in this dish, so for the protein (over 23 grams per serving) this dish has three cheeses – mozzarella, ricotta and Pecorino Romano cheese. If you want to add meat, use a meat sauce instead or add some leftover chopped up meatballs. The pasta cooks together in the Instant Pot (affil link) with the sauce at the same time all in one pot! All you Italians out there are shaking your head, I know! You’re supposed to boil pasta in a large pot of water, but guess what, I fed this to my Italian husband and he came back for seconds. Kids love it too!

Tips when making one-pot pasta:

  • Since the pasta is cooked right in the sauce, you will need to add water to the pot along with the sauce.
  • Make sure the liquid covers the pasta.
  • Once the pasta is ready, eat right away for al dente or the pasta will continue to absorb the sauce.
  • To make this on the stove, cook everything in a large pot with the same ingredients following the same method over med-low heat, covered about 16 to 20 minutes, or until pasta is cooked, stirring half way. Similar to this Spaghetti and Meat Sauce recipe.

delallo whole wheat pastalazy baked zitiInstant Pot Baked Zitipasta melted cheese close up

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Instant Pot Baked Ziti

452 Cals 24 Protein 64 Carbs 12.5 Fats
Prep Time: 4 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 24 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Dinner, Lunch
CUISINE: Italian
Instant Pot Baked Ziti is an easy one pot meal made with whole wheat pasta and spinach. Perfect meatless main dish for the family!

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a knife
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 10 ounces Delallo whole wheat pasta such as ziti or cavatappi, about 3 cups
  • 2 cups homemade or jarred marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup part skim ricotta
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated

Instructions

  • Using the saute button, when hot add the oil and garlic; stir 1 minute, or until golden.
  • Add water and salt to the pot to deglaze, making sure the garlic is not stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  • Add spinach and pasta and stir.
  • Pour the marinara sauce evenly over the uncooked pasta, making sure it's covering all the pasta. Do not stir.
    how to make baked ziti in the pressure cooker
  • Cover and cook high pressure 7 minutes.
  • Quick release, then open the lid, stir the pasta, dollop in the ricotta, top with Pecorino and the mozzarella.
  • Cover the lid 3 to 4 minutes, until the cheese melts.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 11/2 cups, Calories: 452kcal, Carbohydrates: 64g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 12.5g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 29.5mg, Sodium: 855.5mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 6.5g
Keywords: Baked Ziti with Roasted Vegetables, instant pot baked ziti, instant pot one pot pasta

 

Recipe is sponsored by Delallo, thank you for supporting the brands I love.

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171 comments

  1. Tripled the recipe exactly and it turned out wonderfully!! All my children went crazy-that never happens! 

  2. Wow this is amazing! Definitely adding it to my east dinner rotation! 

  3. Quick and delicious, I love that you can make the whole recipe in one pot! I don’t have an instant pot so I made it using Gina’s directions for on the stove. Thanks you!!

  4. How would I double this recipe? Would I double all the ingredients? How would the cook time be affected? Thank you!

  5. This was delicious and kid-friendly too! I used whole wheat penne and started it off with a lb of ground turkey and a chopped onion before adding the garlic, seasoned the turkey with oregano and basil, and added extra tomato sauce. It was perfect and so easy!

  6. Delicious! My entire family loved it and it was so easy and quick! Thank you for another reliable, delicious, healthy meal!

  7. I’ve made this multiple times and use GF pasta. It’s a family favorite!!

  8. This was absolutely amazing! I added ground beef and cooked on the stove top but followed every other direction. It will be my go to meal!!!

  9. Excellent!! I added 99% fat free turkey. I bought some Delallo Marinara sauce and wheat noodles. They are unbelievably good. My husband said the noodles have the same consistency as regular noodles. Thanks for the suggestion and great recipe!

  10. I never have luck with gluten free pasta and instant pot recipes, just turns to mush. Any tips?

    • I looked up a few recipes for cooking gluten free pasta in the instant pot because I didn’t want to waste a box of penne.  I found most recommending not to add the sauce when cooking gf pasta. You can follow the recipe above and add the pasta and water. Cook it on high pressure for 0 minutes… yes 0 🙂 Then if you cook in a 6qt let it natural release for 8 minutes and if in an 8qt natural release for only 5. Once you manually release the remaining pressure you can drain any remaining water if it is a lot and add your sauce while turning on the Sauté feature. Once it is all warmed up and mixed you can turn off the sauté and go back to following the instructions with the cheese and such above. I used barilla gluten free pasta and it was cooked better than I have ever been able to on the stove top. Also, I have a ninja so I put the air fryer lid down and melted  the cheese that way. 

  11. This was delicious! I used the full bag of pasta, added 1/2 cup of water and topped it with a can of diced tomatoes and frozen meatballs. After I added the cheese, I put the foodi on bake for a couple minutes. Oh my. Easy, cheesy yumminess! 

  12. Will absolutely make this again. So easy and delicious. I second your comments…Delallo all the way.

  13. Delicious – I will definitely make this again.

  14. I made this is my Ninja Foodi XL Pressure Cooker. I made a few tweaks due to picky kids & it came out wonderfully. I browned 1lb of hamburger meat with the garlic & omitted the chopped spinach. I used 8oz of shredded mozzarella instead of grated & 24oz of RAO’s marinara sauce. I couldn’t find the whole wheat pasta you mentioned so I ended up using 3 cups of the Barilla whole grain penne. Thanks again for this yummy, quick recipe! We all loved it. 

  15. Looks delish! I don’t have an jnstapot….can this be made on the stovetop, oven or crockpot? A recipe variation for non-instapot would be great, thank you!

    • You can try https://www.skinnytaste.com/low-fat-baked-ziti-with-spinach/ or https://www.skinnytaste.com/baked-pasta-with-sausage-and-spinach/ or https://www.skinnytaste.com/cheesy-baked-penne-with-roasted-veggies/ 🙂

  16. How would this be prepared in an oven?

  17. Wow! AmaZing and noodles were cooked perfectly! Thanks Gina for another home run!

  18. This is a winner every time! I even messed up the first time and instead of just putting the lid back on for 3-4 minutes, I pressure cooked it for 3 minutes and it was perfectly fine. I do cook a 1/2 lb of Italian sausage first and omit the garlic and oil since that is basically already in the sausage and realize that definitely changes the nutritional content. I also had to sub in some salsa for about a 1/2 cup of the marinara once, and I swear, that made it even better! I love this recipe–it hits all the marks for our family: quick, easy, and delicious!

  19. This was so easy and excellent!

    I added an onion and three bell peppers (red, orange, and yellow) and used two 5-ounce bags of spinach. The only whole wheat Delallo pasta available at my grocery store was bowtie, but it worked great.

    I used two whole jars of sauce: Botticelli, because it was on sale. My Instant Pot is the huge 10-quart model, and I wanted to add more liquid because of this, and also since I added extra vegetables.

    There was no ricotta available during my latest grocery trip (part of the cream cheese shortage?), so I left it out, but I added some extra parmesan. It was still creamy, and 1 cup of mozzarella was plenty.

    Without prepping all of the onions and peppers, this truly was a 15-minute meal. I have leftovers for lunch while we’re on winter break, and I could see myself making this in a Sunday to meal-prep for lunches. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!