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.
80 comments on “Instant Pot Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs”
So good and quite simple. I added a can of rinse and drained sliced mushrooms as well
I am not the kind of person who usually comments but I have to say that this came out so beautifully and perfectly seasoned and delicious! I was blown away by the flavour and how simple it was to put together! This coming from a person who loves her spices and generally finds most instant pot recipes a bit lacking on that front. I have to say that I did sear half of the meatballs in some olive oil and didn’t the rest and as much as the unseated ones were still amazing, the little crust that searing gives elevates it even further, so go for it if you want to!
Could you use brown rice spaghetti? Would the settings change on the IP?
Thanks so much!
This recipe turned out fantastic! It’s very similar to my own recipe, but I think I like this better! (The major difference for my recipe is quantity per serving :D.) Whole wheat pasta has really improved over the years. Between the deliciousness, ease of making, only 6 personal points (for me) per serving, and the reasonable serving size of 1 and 3/4 cups, this will be a regular in our household. Thanks!
This was absolutely delicious! I used ground chicken with same fat percentage as ground turkey. Couldn’t find Delallo whole wheat spaghetti so I used Kroger Simple Truth 100% whole wheat organic spaghetti and it was perfect!
Since making the meatballs was the most time consuming and messy, I am wondering if just adding the meat mixture would work just as well, so a spaghetti meat sauce?
Thanks Gina for another winner for the Instapot!!!
Delicious and so easy to make
Made this for dinner tonight. It was amazing. Recipe is a keeper.
Just made this as written. The result was all meatballs mushed together! So now it’s more like a Bolognase sauce.. I would change this to sauté/brown the meatballs before adding sauce and noodles just to keep them together as meatballs.
I made this as written with the addition of some onion powder and Italian seasonings in the sauce and it was delicious! Will definitely be making this one again.
This has become one of my family’s go to recipes. So simple and delicious!
Any advice for making this stove top without the Instant Pot?
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.
Same! So frustrating!
Does anyone know how many points just the meatballs would be?
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?
Banza is not a good option, I have not tested with GF pasta.
Made this last night . Kids and husband loved it. This was so simple and easy to make, will definitely keep in the rotation.
Kept getting the burn notification, had to finish on the stove.
Sorry the newer model seems to have this issue.
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!! 🙂
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.
Could u please tell me if it is 1 cup + 3/4 cup or do u mean just 3/4 cup for serving.
1 and 3/4 cups , Deborah.
I cooked this recipe without the Spaghetti. The meatballs came out amazing. Thank you!
Did you use the same amount of time it states (bc i want to make this without the pasta in it )
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!!
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?
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.
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!
Can this be done with frozen meatballs? How would that change cooking time?
Thank you for another delicious and healthy recipe. My family loved this dish tonight!
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!
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.
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!
Sounds like you did not have a good seal or maybe it was on venting.
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!`
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! 🤣)
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.
I’ve made this 2x, and according to directions my pasta was too al dente the first time, bettter the second time. I will try again this week and add a splash of wine and a few more herbs to up the flavor and increase the cook time for the pasta to be just how I like it. My husband wasn’t a huge fan, but my kids loved and it and —1 pot spaghetti and meatballs — so easy! I told him I’ll work on upping the flavor, but I can’t pass up a kid pleaser that’s this easy.
We don’t like pasta Al dente either. How long did you set it for to get the pasta softer?
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
Can I use extra lean beef instead of turkey?
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.
How long would you cook the meatballs in the sauce stove top?
If I don’t have whole wheat noodles, would the cooking time be the same?
I have the same question! Did you try this?
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!
Can’t be keto friendly by this recipe
KF refers to “Kid Friendly”
then don’t use this recipe Charisma Logan
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!
OMG, this is EXACTLY what my husband said. It’s super similar to chef boyarde. I can see where kids would love it, but not my cup of tea
yes one pot pasta recipes tend to cook the pasta more, I get it!
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!
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.
Should be the same!
Can this be made in a slow cooker/multi cooker
I have not tested
Looks good but I don’t have an Instant Pot.
I love your One-Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta & One-Pot Spaghetti & Meat Sauce!
You can pretty much follow the same recipe with meatballs!
Have you tried this with Gluten free pasta?
It should work!
Any chance you could do this in the slow cooker?!
She has a recipe for meatballs in the crockpot, no pasta tho.
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.
This recipe looks delicious, buy I have an 8 qt instant pot, would I use the same time for cooking?
Yes I think so