Instant Pot Baked Ziti

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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4.74 from 49 votes
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Instant Pot Baked Ziti

11
11
4
SP
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
Blue Smart Points: 11
Green Smart Points: 11
Purple Smart Points: 4
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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117 comments

  1. When the picky teenager likes it, it’s a win!!!

  2. I made this last night. Prior to sautéing the garlic, I sautéed 8 oz. sliced baby Bella mushrooms until cooked through. I used whole wheat fusilli and Rao’s marinara. I lightly seasoned the ricotta with salt, pepper, and garlic powder… Because that’s what I always do with ricotta. I did not add any extra liquid or time, and it came out great. A great addition to our Meatless Monday repertoire.
    We definitely plan on making this again, potentially trying other veggies or Italian turkey sausage.
    Bonus: my 2-year-old was a huge fan!

  3. I used 8 oz of chickpea pasta and it only needs about 3 minutes on high pressure. Delicious and so easy!

  4. Another excellent recipe!

  5. Wow! This was so good and had tons of flavor! My whole family loved it—even the picky eaters. It also came together quickly so this is getting added to the regular rotation for sure. I decided to sauté some ground Italian sausage before added the rest of the ingredients. Yum!

  6. Wonderful recipe! I added ground turkey,that I cooked on sauté mode, 1 TBS of minced garlic, dried oregano, and a box of penne pasta. Also used 1 1/2cups chicken broth plus1 cup water (due to extra 6 oz of pasta) and added a
    Can of fire roasted tomatoes with the jar sauce. So delish! Thank you for this recipe. 

  7. This dinner saved my behind tonight! I spent the whole day cleaning and the last thing I wanted to do was make dinner. This was so easy to make! I added onions with the garlic and Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Came out perfectly- adding this to the rotation for sure!!

  8. I made this just as written and it came out rich, creamy and delicious!

  9. LOVED this! Will be a regular at our house.

  10. This recipe is delicious! I added ground turkey (since I had to use up a defrosted package) and Italian seasoning and I was amazed at the results! Generous portions too! Definitely a keeper!

  11. This recipe is a working mom’s dream come true! A must have weeknight dinner. This is now in steady rotation. My best friend and I started using skinnytaste recipes about six weeks ago. We take turns making them and then we give each other feedback. We now make at least one recipe per week. We LOVE this one! Serve with garlic bread and a salad – dinner is complete in 20 minutes or less. Also, I am totally digging the Delallo products, which I didn’t know existed until utilizing this site for recipes. Mangia!

  12. Great recipe! First time using my instant pot. I used banza pasta and prego sauce and it was incredible!

  13. Looks delicious! Any other vegetables that I could add to the instant pot with it?? 

    • Mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, broccolini, eggplant… I would add a bit more water and maybe another minute to the cook time.

  14. This is the first Instant Pot recipe I have ever tried and it was delicious! I followed the steps exactly and dinner was amazing. This is going into the regular rotation, thank you!

  15. Super tasty and crazy easy to make. My husband loved it as well. If you love cheesy pasta, make this! 

  16. I doubled the recipe by just doubling the ingredients and keeping cook time the exact same. It was a success! Leftovers reheated nicely too. One of the best instant pot recipes to date.

  17. I make this once a week. My family loves it

  18. Delicious! So rich and creamy. I’ve made it twice already. 

  19. What would be the settings for the crock pot? Dying to try this for the kids! Thanks!

  20. This came out excellent! This was only my second Instant Pot recipe and it was delicious. I haven’t been able to find DeLallo pasta so I ordered it from Amazon, normally my husband dislikes whole wheat pasta but he didn’t have a clue that’s what I had used. I browned 8 oz of lean ground beef and added it last on top of the sauce.

  21. I haven’t tried this yet, but would need to use gluten free pasta. Would that change the amount of time that it needs to cook in the Instant Pot?

  22. Great interpretation of a traditional recipe. This works well in the instant pot. I prefer to finish this dish in the oven after adding the cheeses, then popping it under the broiler to brown up a bit. We love the crispy bits of the traditional dish. I also use 1 lb. of pasta, increasing the sauce by 1/2 cup and water by 1/2 cup.

  23. Hello: I’m not following a weight watchers plan, so points don’t matter to me too much. Could I add some browned hamburger to this or would it throw off the cooking time? Would throwing some frozen meatballs on top be ok do you think? I’d like to somehow add some protein.

  24. Easy and DELISH! Kids loved it. This will be a go-to. Thanks Gina!

  25. Perfect weeknight recipe and even better for a Friday dinner during lent! 

  26. I added some Mushrooms and Hot Turkey Sausage to this… Phenomenal! Thanks!

  27. Could I sub curly kale for spinach?

  28. How can you find out if this particular recipe is included in a weekly meal plan?

  29. Family loved it! So easy to make on a weeknight. I paired it with a salad and your no yeast garlic knots. Slightly higher in points than some other recipes, but so worth it! I just made sure to plan my day and leave extra points for dinner. Definitely going in my rotation.

  30. Hi Gina, the points on this recipe are way off. My husband is on the blue and I’m on the green and when we created a recipe on the WW app, it said 16 and 15 points respectively. 
    In addition, when we calculated the points using the nutrition facts you provided, it was 14 points…not 11.
    We also found your unstuffed cabbage bowl points are off as well. 

    Your recipes are so tasty but I’m disappointed that we cannot cook them because it throws off our planning if the points are wrong. 

    • Hi Jessica. The only accurate way to determine any recipe’s SmartPoints® value is to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website (Click on “My Foods,” select “Recipe,” and click “Create a recipe.”) which does not count fruits and vegetables in recipes in the calculations as they are now 0 points.

      The SmartPoints® calculator isn’t meant for recipes and will often give you the wrong points (usually higher) because it’s counting the fruits and vegetables. So if you see a recipe with a SmartPoints® value that’s different from what the calculator tells you, now you know why.

    • You are correct that the points are off. I am seeing this as 6 points on purple. I used the recipe builder, but did not bother entering the 0 point items like spinach, garlic, or water. I used the lowest point “traditional” jarred marinara I’ve been able to find which is 2 points/half cup. 

      It’s delicious, but disappointing that the points are off. 

  31. Not sure if I did something wrong.  Followed the recipe to a tee. But the outcome was not good. My family did not like it, they ate it but we threw away the leftovers.  I was surprised to see so many raves.  Oh well.

  32. Usually dinner time is a battle with a picky 3 year old but he loved this! Used rotini pasta and a block of thawed frozen chopped spinach. Plus only 1 dirty pot!

  33. There’s no way this is just 4 purple points with all the cheese and pasta?! I Even if I do make your homemade marinara…when I look up all of the individual ingredients the points are through the roof. I’m so confused…how did you calculate this?

    • Hi Taylor, did you use the recipe builder? The only accurate way to determine any recipe’s SmartPoints® value is to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website (Click on “My Foods,” select “Recipe,” and click “Create a recipe.”) which does not count fruits and vegetables in recipes in the calculations as they are now 0 points.

      The SmartPoints® calculator isn’t meant for recipes and will often give you the wrong points (usually higher) because it’s counting the fruits and vegetables. So if you see a recipe with a SmartPoints® value that’s different from what the calculator tells you, now you know why.

    • Whole wheat pasta is zero points, but if you scan it it will give you a point value. That could be where you are getting extra points. 

  34. I just made this instant pot baked ziti – so good. Excellent. I will definitely make it again. I love all your recipes. You are my go to site for anything I want to make. Thank you for all your recipes

  35. How can I make this for more people?

  36. This was excellent! And easy. Will definitely add it to the rotation. 

  37. This recipe was easy to make and delicious!!

  38. So you think it’d be ok to double this recipe in the instant pot? 

  39. This site is literally the BEST weight loss community enywhere,I read it everyday,and I’m also so grateful I found https://bit.ly/3a0aAkB, it helped me not only lose weight but keep it off, hope it helps some others!

  40. So quick, easy and delicious 

  41. This was so incredibly easy and delicious!  Made as stated, but added a shake or two of Italian seasoning. Thank you Gina!  This is going in the rotation!

  42. I used cassava penne noodles instead and it came out perfect! Everyone loved it. Next time I’ll be doubling it. 

  43. This dish was amazing. I made Gina’s Quick and Easy Marinara and bought some really good ricotta cheese which made all the difference. It was so tasty and filling. And, I did it in the instant pot and it was sooo easy!!

  44. We loved this, it truly is super easy and VERY tasty. I served it with a side of arugula salad with beets and goat cheese.  The freshness of the salad was a great contrast to the savoriness of this dish.  Will definitely make it again!

  45. Very easy very quick and very good! Thank you

  46. I made this tonight and it was wonderful! I was thinking about adding a pound of ground beef. How would you recommend doing that? i have an idea, but I’m afraid it would give the BURN message.

  47. This was delicious and so easy! I followed the recipe exactly except for the spinach (I used frozen) and pasta (used whole wheat penne). Mine looked a more liquidy before I put the lid on and after too, but I stirred it all up before adding the cheese and it was fine. I’m giving it four instead of five stars because I found it a touch bland. Next time I may try doing a bit less water and more sauce to balance it out. Overall, so easy and yummy. It was the first thing I’ve cooked in the instant pot and now I’m hooked!

  48. I made this using Barilla GF penne and came out great! I have a Cuisinart pressure cooker that has the sauté setting – would turn it off after the garlic is done browning to let cool, the bottom layer of pasta got a little burnt. 

  49. Delicious!
    I turned off Saute before pouring water and next time I would wait a few more minutes longer for the cheese really to melt.

  50. I want to double this recipe. Do I add 4 cups water instead of 2? And do I increase 7 min cook time to 14 mins? TIA

  51. My husband loved this! This will definitely be on our rotation for quick weeknight meals!

  52. Can you frozen chopped spinach? One package?

  53. Would it work to double the recipe and keep the same ratios and cook times?

  54. SkinnyTaste website says this recipe is 11 points on WW green..on WW calculator..says it is 14..please clarify

    • you must use WW recipe builder! the calculator adds points for 0 foods.

    • I used the Recipe builder and I’m coming up with 14G as well. Could it be a difference in points value in the DeLallo pasta as opposed to generic whole wheat pasta? Recipe builder shows:
      27 pasta
      11 marinara
      5 ricotta
      3 pecorino 
      9 mozzarella
      53 pts / 4 = 13.75 rounded to 14

      • Its the marinara, I used my homemade. Video shows delallo brand, but I mention its best to use homemade or fat free. My homemade is 0 points.

      • Thank you for the quick response! Will make my own next time. Eating it now and worth the points!

  55. I don’t have ziti on hand. The pasta I have on hand has a 10 min cook time for al dente. Would the time be the same? (This is an area where I struggle, if you have tips for these adjustments, would welcome them.)

  56. Hi – this looks delicious and I would like to make it but I don’t have an Instant Pot. Can it be done any other way?
    My thanks,
    Rory

  57. I followed the directions, but this one gave me the burn warning and everything got badly stuck to the bottom. Once I got my pot clean I switched to pot in pot, and that worked great. 

  58. Oh My Gosh. This is SO good.  It is in the pot now with the cheese melting but I took a little taste.  What a great recipe for my first SkinnyTaste to try. THANK YOU. 

  59. For the cooking time (8 min), would that work for any pasta or does time need to be adjusted for a non-whole wheat diff type?

  60. Hi!  Can I add ground turkey to this recipe?  Thanks!

  61. My daughter won’t eat ricotta so I skipped that and made a bechamel sauce and added it when I added the cheeses. I added a tsp of Italian seasoning as well. I opted for fresh mozarella pearls versus shredded. This was so good and SO easy!

  62. Can this recipe be doubled? 

  63. Hi! Can you use any lean ground meat in it?

  64. Would this work with Banza chickpea pasta?

  65. Can’t wait to try this with Banza chickpea cavatappi! I have some already cooked in the fridge so will probably make this on the stovetop first. Thanks for sharing!

  66. I love your recipes! I just wanted to confirm.. In the video, you are using DeLallo pasta and sauce. These sauces come in 25.25 oz jars and the pasta comes in 16 oz bags. Are you measuring out 10 oz of pasta from the bag and 16 oz of sauce from the jar? I just want to make sure, as the video appears that you are pouring the entire contents of both in the pot.

  67. It looks and sound delicious!!! Can you make this in a pressure cooker? If so, how long?

    Thanks

  68. If I added frozen meatballs, would the recipe need to change at all?

  69. Thanks for posting. I’m still trying to fall in love with my Instant Pot after 2 yrs. I’m thinking I just need some good recipes. Looking forward to trying this one.

  70. If I do not have an Instapot how could I modify this?

  71. If you dont have an instant pot can you use a slow cooker? How long would you have to cook?

  72. Any idea how gluten free pasta would hold up in this recipe?  It would be a family fave!!

  73. Hi! Would this also work with Barilla pasta? that’s the only one i have on hand at the moment. 
    Thanks!

  74. This looks delicious! Is it possible to make in the slow cooker?

  75. I can’t wait to try this! Is that basil you are sprinkling on at the end of the video?

  76. The four of us loved it, even the pick eaters. Thank you!

  77. Just ordered whole wheat cavatappi this afternoon from DeLallo’s website. This instant meal will definitely be one I try!  

    Thanks, Gina, for all your wonderful recipes.  They’ve changed how we eat at home for the better!

  78. This looks delicious but the recipe doesn’t say how many servings.  Would it be for 4?