Instant Pot Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

This one-pot Instant Pot Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs is a fast and easy dish the kids and whole family will love!

This one-pot Instant Pot Spaghetti and 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.

This one-pot Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs is a fast and easy dish the kids and whole family will love!This one-pot Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs is a fast and easy dish the kids and whole family will love!This one-pot Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs is a fast and easy dish the kids and whole family will love!This one-pot Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs is a fast and easy dish the kids and whole family will love!This one-pot Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs is a fast and easy dish the kids and whole family will love!Instant Pot Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

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This one-pot Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs is a fast and easy dish the kids and whole family will love!
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4.16 from 19 votes
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Instant Pot Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

11
12
6
SP
480 Cals 31 Protein 55 Carbs 13.5 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Yield: 6 servings
COURSE: Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
CUISINE: Italian
This one-pot Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs is a fast and easy dish the kids and whole family will love!

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 13/4 cups, Calories: 480kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 13.5g, Saturated Fat: 3.5g, Cholesterol: 119.5mg, Sodium: 830mg, Fiber: 6.5g, Sugar: 6.5g
Blue Smart Points: 11
Green Smart Points: 12
Purple Smart Points: 6
Keywords: instant pot spaghetti and meatballs, one pot instant pot, whole wheat spaghetti and meatballs

Recipe created in partnership with Delallo Foods, a brand I love and use in my kitchen.

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62 comments

  1. Any advice for making this stove top without the Instant Pot?

  2. I was really excited about this but, I’ve received the “BURN” notification on my Instapot 2x’s so far. I’ve added 2 more cups of broth and stirred but, still having issues. I try and try but the Instapot and I do not get along.

  3. Does anyone know how many points just the meatballs would be?

  4. The sauce and meatballs were delicious and so easy to make! I made the mistake of using Banza GF spaghetti. Pasta clumped together and consistency was starchy.. is there another GF option?

  5. Made this last night .  Kids and husband loved it. This was so simple and easy to make, will definitely keep in the rotation. 

  6. Kept getting the burn notification, had to finish on the stove.

  7. Wow!! This was fantastic! I followed the recipe exactly, minus I used panko breadcrumbs (because that’s what I had on hand). MY super picky 9 year old loved it, as did myself and husband, will be remaking this again! Thanks for a wonderful and simple recipe!! 🙂

  8. I made this last night and really enjoyed it. I used 99% fat free turkey since I always have it in my freezer. In this case, since the meatballs were cooking in the sauce, I wasn’t super concerned about them being too lean. I made fewer, but larger, meatballs so I cooked everything for a minute longer. Next time I will add even a minute more, bringing the cooking time to ten minutes for me. The spaghetti was “just” al dente and I actually prefer my noodles a bit softer, especially the whole wheat variety. I will also use fewer noodles next time…maybe more like 8 oz. I like a lot of sauce, but there wasn’t really much left over when using 12 oz of pasta. 

  9. Could u please tell me if it is 1 cup + 3/4 cup or do u mean just 3/4 cup for serving.

    Thank U
    Deborah

  10. I cooked this recipe without the Spaghetti. The meatballs came out amazing. Thank you!

  11. Super yummy.  I added in some dried herbs, garlic powder and pepper flake to the tomatoes to up the spice flavor and also used whole week linguine and it turned out great!  Another awesome recipe!! 

  12. I love this. However the 2 times I made it I get a burn notification on my instant pot. Any recommendations on how to stop that? 

    Thank you!

    • Here are some tips—
      After you sauté your ingredients, press cancel to shut off the heat so it doesn’t continue heating up.
      When using the sauté button always deglaze the pot after sautéing with some water or broth before adding your other ingredients and use a wooden spoon or spatula to remove any food that may be stuck to the bottom.
      Make sure the sealing ring is installed properly, if not steam will escape and scorch the food on the bottom of the pan.
      Make sure your steam release button is set to sealing, not venting so steam does not escape.
      Hope it helps!

      • I’ve made this before and really enjoyed it! However, I prefer cooking my pasta on the stovetop to have a bit more control. If I am just pressure cooking the meatballs, should I still add a smaller amount of chicken broth, or skip the broth altogether? Thanks for so many delicious recipes!

      • You need the liquid to pressure cook.

  13. My mom’s meatball recipe calls for cooking the meatballs by simmering them in the sauce (not browning them first). I have been wanting to give them a try in the instant pot, but hadn’t because I was unsure of how it would turn out. Based on this recipe I’m going to give it a try!

    I’m also going to give your recipe a try as written as well, because it looks yummy! Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. Can this be done with frozen meatballs? How would that change cooking time?

  15. Thank you for another delicious and healthy recipe.  My family loved this dish tonight!

  16. Made this tonight, turned out really good!! I am on the WW green plan, when I put in the ingredients for the recipe builder, it came out to 11 points per serving, so this will be add to our regular dinner list. Thank you!

  17. It had a super weird flavor. I wouldn’t make it again! I think I followed the directions to a T. I usually don’t ever make things my husband doesn’t like, he’ll eat anything. He would not eat this again.

  18. Maybe something’s wrong with my instapot, but the noodles were still pretty hard after even 16 minutes. And when I released pressure, no steam came out! Not sure what I did wrong, but once it finally cooked, it tasted great!

  19. I made this last night and it turned out great. I improvised a bit. Instead of 93% lean turkey I used 96% lean ground beef from Aldi (this is what I had on hand and my family likes better than the turkey). I had fresh zucchini on hand but not parsley so based on Gina’s recipe for Harissa Turkey Meatloaf I grated up a little fresh zucchini and squeezed out the extra liquid. And instead of opening a can of tomato paste I just used a little ketcup. Also, based on Gina’s recipe for Instant Pot spaghetti with meat sauce I wanted to have more of a ratio of noodles to sauce so I added an entire one pound package of whole wheat spaghetti and extra water, probably a total of 3.5 cups used. I also cooked for 9 minutes. This turned out great, very kid friendly and the meatballs had wonderful flavor. Thanks for a wonderful recipe Gina!`

  20. Very good! I ended up overcooking the noodles though as I don’t have the brand-name Instant Pot, I have a Pressure Cooker XL so with the meat balls in there I didn’t know what setting to choose since the pressure cookers are different. I ended up choosing the chicken and meat setting and adjusted it to well at the lowest time which was 15 min. I wonder if I choose the middle setting next time at around 10-12 minutes the pasta would not come out mushy…it was still very tasty and my kids didn’t complain (except my daughter noticed the meatballs were “different” meaning not processed and frozen! 🤣)

  21. This may be my favorite SkinnyTaste recipe so far.  It is the easiest spaghetti ever and tastes great. I did use quite a bit more salt, added a little red wine to the sauce, and cooked for 9 minutes instead of 8 (it was still al dente, just a little less so). I doubt I’ll be making spaghetti any other way!  Awesome recipe. 

  22. This recipe is DELISH!! I also just started taking Leptitox to aid my weight loss and its so amazing, see the before and after photos here! https://mmini.me/FASTNaturalWeightLoss 

  23. Can I use extra lean beef instead of turkey?

  24. The recipe says to add oil to the instant pot to saute the garlic. No oil is listed in the recipe ingredients.

    • It’s the cooking spray. 🙂

      • You put that on the meatball section, which confused me and I just ignored. Then I added olive oil for the onions figuring a little bit would work. Currently cooking it for the 3rd time though since I am having a problem with it cooking which is confusing me because I am doing everything right, Maybe my instant pot is dying *sad face*

      • If they are falling apart, its because you are trying to turn them too soon.

  25. How long would you cook the meatballs in the sauce stove top?

  26. If I don’t have whole wheat noodles, would the cooking time be the same? 

  27. Do you think Banza noodles would work with this recipe as well?

    • I’ve used them for her other spaghetti with meat sauce in the IP and they worked amazing! I subbed it 1 for 1 and didn’t change anything else.

      • I used banza spaghetti and it all clumped together. I’m not sure what I did wrong! The meatballs were very good but the pasta just didn’t work!

  28. Can’t be keto friendly by this recipe

  29. Loved that it was a one pot recipe but my husband and I both thought it tasted like and had the consistency of Chef Boyardee! It wasnt bad, but it was bland. We made the recipe as directed but used dried basil instead of fresh and used regular (not wheat) spaghetti. Glad we tried it though. We love so many of your recipes!

  30. Can this be made on the stove top? If so, any cooking variations? I love the one pot spaghetti and adding the meatballs is a great idea!

  31. Do  I adjust the cooking time If I’m not using wheat pasta? I have semolina. Like many others, I’m trying  to work with the what I have on hand in my freezer/pantry. 

  32. Can this be made in a slow cooker/multi cooker

  33. Looks good but I don’t have an Instant Pot.
    I love your One-Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta & One-Pot Spaghetti & Meat Sauce!

  34. Have you tried this with Gluten free pasta?

  35. Any chance you could do this in the slow cooker?!

  36. Can this be made with jar spaghetti sauce? If so, would I just skip the chicken broth and then add the whole jar of sauce? 

    • I have the same question. I think she adds 1 c. of water to her Instant Pot spaghetti with a jar of pasta sauce. I am wondering if that works.

    • I made this tonight with a jar of sauce and still added the chicken broth (it is what cooks the pasta). It was delicious.

    • I think you still need the chicken broth for enough liquid for the pasta.

      I added part of a jar of sauce with the crushed tomatoes, just because I had a partial jar and we like the flavor of that one.

  37. This recipe looks delicious, buy I have an 8 qt instant pot, would I use the same time for cooking?
    Thank you!!