This one-pot Instant Pot Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs is a fast and easy dish the kids and whole family will love!
Instant Pot Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs
This spaghetti and meatballs recipe is sure to be a winner with your family. Because it’s made healthier with whole wheat spaghetti and turkey meatballs, you’ll feel good knowing it’s good for them too. Making it all in the Instant Pot is certainly a dinner game changer. The Instant Pot makes spaghetti and meatballs super easy!
A few years ago, I shared my Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce recipe, which is always a hit in my home. The high pressure of the Instant Pot combined with the whole wheat pasta’s starches makes for the most wonderful sauce in minutes. Now I made a healthy spaghetti and meatball version.
I’ve seen many recipes for Instant Pot spaghetti and meatballs that use frozen meatballs, but since I always make mine from scratch, usually with ground turkey finding a way to do so without destroying the meatballs took a few rounds of testing.
Similar to my Slow Cooker Italian Turkey Meatball recipe, rather than sautéing them first, I just plopped them right into the homemade sauce. They turned out to be the best Instant Pot spaghetti and meatballs I have tried! This pasta is saucy and delicious. I recommend eating it right after you make it for the best results.
For this recipe, I used my favorite brand of whole wheat pasta, DeLallo. Their whole wheat pasta is better tasting than any other brand I’ve tried. No more gritty, earthy-tasting pasta. Their whole-wheat pasta boasts the irresistible taste and texture of traditional Italian pasta… with the added benefits of hearty whole-wheat goodness.
And if you’re on WW, whole wheat pasta has zero points on the new purple plan! The best part is that DeLallo Organic Whole-Wheat Pasta is made with only two ingredients (wheat and water) and generations of Italian pasta-making experience. You can buy their pasta as well of tons of other amazing products like pizza kits, marinara, olives, etc on the Delallo website and they will ship it to you.
How to Make Perfect Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
I initially tried sautéing the meatballs first, but this resulted in extra time and work. Plus, the meatballs tend to stick to the pot. Also, I was trying to avoid the dreaded IP “burn” error on newer models. To prevent the burn message, I skipped the browning step and plopped them right into my sauce, which helped with cooking times and ultimately made for juicer meatballs.
Building a sauce with garlic and canned tomatoes (rather than starting with a jarred sauce) gave me more control of the amount of oil used in the recipe. Here are some helpful tips for success:
- Make the Meatballs. Don’t overwork the meatballs because it will make them tough. Mix all the ingredients well, adding the turkey last.
- Make the Marinara Sauce. This pasta is saucy and delicious. I start with garlic and olive oil and then add crushed tomatoes and basil. Super simple.
- Add the Meatballs. Just nestle the meatballs in. If you have a 6-quart pot, they should fit in one layer. If not, just add more on top, but be sure not to smash them.
- Add Pasta. Add your spaghetti, which you will need to break in half so the noodles fit in the pot. Do not stir. You do not want the noodles to end up on the bottom of the pot – they could stick to the pot and burn. Then, pour in your broth or water.
- Pressure Cook. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes (it takes about 10 minutes to come up to pressure). Then, do a quick release by turning the valve and uncover. You don’t want to do a natural release because your noodles could end up being overcooked. Stir everything at this point. If it looks too watery, don’t worry – it will thicken as you stir.
More Spaghetti Recipes You’ll Love:
- One-Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
- The Best Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe
- Spaghetti with Sautéed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes
- Italian Beef and Spinach Meatballs
- Spaghetti with Butternut Squash Parmesan Sauce
Instant Pot Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs
- 2 tablespoons skim milk, or water
- 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 2 small cloves crushed garlic, or 1 large
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 pounds 93% ground turkey
- cooking spray
Spaghetti and Sauce:
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a knife
- 1/4 cup torn basil, plus more for garnish
- 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 12 ounces dry whole wheat spaghetti, DeLallo
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- In a large bowl combine the milk, breadcrumbs, Pecorino, garlic, egg, tomato paste, parsley and salt and mix well to combine.
- Add the turkey and mix using a fork to fully mix everything together, careful not to overwork and form into 18 meatballs.
- Press sauté on the Instant Pot and add the oil and garlic and cook until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Turn off the pressure cooker.
- Add the tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper to taste and gently place the meatballs in the sauce.
- Don’t worry if they are snug in the pot or aren’t completely covered in sauce. If you have to, stack a few on top of each other as needed but don’t smash them.
For the spaghetti:
- Break 12 ounces of dried spaghetti in half and spread them in one or two layers over the meatballs. Do not stir.
- Pour in 2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth.
- Lock the lid on and make sure the valve is set to seal. Set to cook on HIGH pressure for 8 minutes.
- Use the quick release to let the pressure out once it's done, then shut off and uncover.
- Stir pasta into the sauce, it will thicken and soak the sauce up so no worries if it looks too watery.
- Serve immediately with grated cheese and basil for garnish.
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Recipe created in partnership with Delallo Foods, a brand I love and use in my kitchen.